Dec. 29, 2010
Christian Polk scored a game-high 18 points and Randy Culpepper added 15 to lead the UTEP Miners to a 71-54 victory over Air Force Wednesday in the final game of the 2010 Bank of the West Sun Bowl Invitational in El Paso, Texas.
Polk, the tournament's Most Valuable Player, scored 12 of his points in the first half when UTEP pulled away with a 26-13 run midway through the half. Culpepper scored six of his points in the final five minutes of the half as UTEP held a 43-31 halftime advantage.
The Miners (11-3) came out strong in the second half with a 10-2 run to take their biggest lead at 53-33 on a Culpepper layup. A three-pointer by Air Force's Tom Fow cut the lead to 55-41 with 12:15 remaining, but the Falcons could get no closer. Fow led the Falcons with 13 points, followed by Zach Bohannon with a career-high 10 points. Fow, who scored 28 points in AFA's two games, was named to the all-tournament team.
UTEP shot 51 percent from the field, just the second team this season to shoot better than 50 percent against Air Force. The Falcons, meanwhile, shot just 35.8 percent from the floor and 33.3 percent (6-of-18) from three-point range.
The Falcons (8-4) once again played without starting center Taylor Broekhuis, who sat out the game with a concussion. Bohannon started the first game of his career in his place. Michael Lyons, who sat our Tuesday's game against Sam Houston State, played 11 minutes on Wednesday and scored six points.
Air Force returns home to Clune Arena to face Florida A&M on Sunday, Jan. 2. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.