Amid the ups and downs that never seem to feel even-keel, UTEP men's basketball won its fifth straight game and swept the Jim Forbes Classic in a 72-67 win against Texas A&M Corpus-Christi on Friday.

In front of 4,073 fans at the Don Haskins Center, the Miners gutted out another tightly contested matchup. Earlier in the week, the Miners won back-to-back games against Alcorn State (71-51, 2OT) and Cal St. Bakersfield (68-67, OT) on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. The Miners gutted out consecutive games with three periods of overtime under their belt going into their contest against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

In Friday's game, UTEP led by as much as 20 points (60-40) with more than eight minutes left in the second half, but they allowed the Islanders to march back on a 23-5 run to cut the UTEP lead to a one-score game (65-63, 2:11 2nd). Late stops on defense led the Miners to closing this one with an 11-4 run and ultimately a five-point victory, 72-67.

Tae Hardy (12 points, five rebounds) and Jamari Sibley (12 points, four rebounds)  led the Miners in scoring. Shamar Givance (8 points, 6 assists), Calvin Solomon (8 points, 6 rebounds) and Mario McKinney Jr. (8 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists) also chipped in the victory.

UTEP hit 47% of its field goals on Friday and shot 43% from 3-point range. However, they shot 64% from the free throw line (14-of-22) and turned the ball over 20 times. On defense, UTEP forced 16 turnovers, led by Mckinney’s three steals. They also won the rebounding margin, 39-38.

Texas A&M Corpus-Christi shot 38% from the floor and 21% from 3-point range. Terrion Murdix led the Islanders with 18 points.

Up next: UTEP (5-1) will take their five-game unbeaten streak on the road to face NM State on Wednesday, November 30, in the Pan American Center. The Miners won the first edition of the Battle of I-10 earlier in November, 67-64. The game can be heard on 600 ESPN El Paso with a 7 p.m. MST tip-off.

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