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December 31, 2008SANTA CLARA, CALIF. - John Bryant scored a layup with one second remaining in overtime, lifting Santa Clara to an 89-88 victory over UTEP in the championship game of the Cable Car Classic on Tuesday night at the Leavey Center.
Bryant finished with 33 points and 17 rebounds to earn tournament MVP honors and spoil a record-setting performance by Stefon Jackson, who became UTEP's all-time leading scorer.
Jackson finished with a career high 44 points, including a three point bank shot with two seconds remaining in regulation to send the game into overtime. Jackson needed 35 points coming in to shatter Brandon Wolfram's school record of 1,831 points. He now has 1,841 career points.
The 44 points marked the third-most by a Miner player behind the 51 by Jim Barnes versus Western New Mexico in 1964, and the 45 by Antoine Gillespie against Hawaii in 1994. Jackson joins Barnes as the only players in school history to have multiple 40-point games.
Jackson's jumper with 37 seconds remaining put UTEP (7-5) ahead 88-87. Santa Clara's James Rahon missed a three pointer on the other end, and Bryant's putback attempt was also no good. A jump ball was called with 3.8 seconds left giving possession to UTEP, and the Miners appeared to have the game won if they could inbound the ball successfully. But the Miners' Julyan Stone turned the ball over and the officials appeared to award the Broncos a timeout that they didn't have. The referee then announced that he had blown the whistle inadvertently, giving Santa Clara the ball on the baseline and setting up Bryant's game-winner.
It was the first overtime game in the history of the Cable Car Classic, which is in its 42nd year.
UTEP led by as many as seven points in the first half and was ahead 31-30 at the break, but Santa Clara (7-7) started the second half with a big run, just as it did in Monday's 83-80 win over Belmont.
The 13-2 spurt by the Broncos gave them a 43-33 lead with 16:56 remaining. The Miners battled back to take a 58-57 edge on a layup by Arnett Moultrie with 8:13 to play. Kevin Foster's jumper with 4:34 left put Santa Clara ahead 65-64, and the Broncos maintained the lead until Jackson's trifecta sent the game into extras.
UTEP had its largest lead of the overtime period at 86-82 on a three pointer by Jackson with 2:06 to go. Santa Clara regained the lead on a three pointer by Foster and a layup by Bryant.
Jackson scored 13 points in the first half, 24 in the second half and seven in overtime. He was 13-for-24 from the field, 4-for-5 from three point land and 14-for-16 from the line.
Randy Culpepper added 17 points for the Miners to join Jackson on the All-Tournament Team.
Santa Clara hit 36 percent of its shots in the first half, but heated up in the second half and overtime, connecting on 18 of 29 field goal attempts (62.1 percent).
Foster scored 17 points for the Broncos, while Rahon added 14 and Perry Petty had 13.
UTEP will host UT-Pan American on Friday at 8 p.m. MST in the nightcap of a basketball doubleheader at the Haskins Center. The Miner women will take on Tulane in their Conference USA opener at 5 p.m.