HOUSTON -- UTEP maintained its hold on the No. 3 seed in Conference USA with a 67-56 victory over Rice on Saturday.
The Miners (16-12, 9-5 Conference USA) got 10 points each from Julian Washburn, John Bohannon and C.J. Cooper to move closer to securing a first-round bye in the conference tournament. The top five seeds get byes in the opening round.
The Miners scored 10 straight points to take a 21-13 lead, were up 34-24 at halftime and began the second half with an 18-6 run to build a 52-30 lead with 10:18 remaining.