UTEP (6-18, 3-9 C-USA) will play host to North Texas (9-14, 6-6 C-USA) at 7:05 p.m. MST Thursday.
After playing four straight road games, UTEP will now have four consecutive home contests. The last time the Miners had four in a row at home was in 2005-06, their first year in Conference USA. That year it was also a four-game road swing followed by a four-tilt homestand.
There will be free admission to the game as part of the annual National Girls & Women In Sports Day Celebration. There will also be a post-game autograph session on the concourse level.
Steve Kaplowitz (play-by-play) and Traci Miller (color commentary) will have the call on 600 ESPN El Paso, KROD-AM Radio. Fans may also stay up-to-date by following the Miners (@UTEPWBB) or Mean Green (@MeanGreenWBB) on Twitter. Additionally, the game will be streamed live on the beIN Sports app (Duke Keith-play-by-play and Wayne Thornton-color), and a TV tape-delay airing will take place later that evening.
– North Texas has won a season-high three straight games, including back-to-back wins by 20+ points.
– The Miners have dropped four straight, but they are 1-0 this year when trying to snap a four-game skid.
– UTEP is 5-6 at home (2-3 C-USA). North Texas is 3-7 on the road (2-3 C-USA).
– The Miners have a +3.1 scoring margin (70.5-67.5) and a +7.4 rebounding margin (45.5-38.2) in their 11 home games (5-6) this year. They haven’t played at home since Jan. 28, which was an 84-74 win vs. Marshall.
– In 12 C-USA games the Miners and their opponents have similar numbers for field-goal percentage (UTEP 40.9%, Opp. 41.1%), FGM/game (UTEP 25.0; Opp. 25.9), FGA/game (UTEP 61.2; Opp. 63.1), assists/game (UTEP 14.8; Opp. 14.4) and blocks/game (UTEP 3.5; Opp. 2.8) but UTEP has a -8.6 scoring margin (66.1-74.7). The reason? Foes have scored 61 more points on free throws (UTEP 143-222, 64.4%, Opp. 204-277, 73.6 percent) and 60 more points on three pointers (UTEP 50-177, 28.2%; Opp. 70-223, 31.4%). That is a combined -121 differential (-10.1/game) for the Miners between free throws in triples in C-USA play.
– In league play the specialty stats points per game are pretty similar for points in the paint (UTEP 29.5; Opp. 31.7), bench production (UTEP 19.1; Opp. 18.9), second-chance (UTEP 10.2; Opp. 10.8), and fastbreak (UTEP 6.6; Opp. 7.3). An area of concern is points off turnovers/game (UTEP 13.4; Opp. 18.3).
– UTEP is hitting 44.9 percent (250-557) of its two-point shots in league play; foes are at 45.1 percent (241-534).
INSIDE THE SERIES
– UTEP leads the series, 6-3, aided by a mark of 3-0 in El Paso.
– The Miners are 4-2 against UNT under head coach Keitha Adams, including 3-1 since the Mean Green joined C-USA.Thursday’s match-up is the only one on the year between the programs.
GETTING TO KNOW NORTH TEXAS
Overall: 9-14 Home: 6-5 Road: 3-7 Neutral: 0-2 | C-USA: 6-6 Home: 4-3 Road: 2-3
– North Texas returned three starters and five letter winners from last year’s team (11-19, 5-13 C-USA).
– After a 2-2 start to the season, it lost five of six to wrap non-conference play at 3-8.
– Opened up at 2-1 in C-USA action before losing five of six to slip to 3-6. Recovered by peeling off three straight wins (a season high) to climb to 6-6 in league action. UNT hasn’t been above .500 in league play on Feb. 16 or later since 2008. It is also poised to set its program mark for league wins as a C-USA member.
– UNT hangs it hat on with its defensive pressure; it is 2nd in C-USA for turnovers forced/game (19.5), 3rd in 3-pt defense (29.2), 4th in turnover margin (+1.8) and 5th in scoring defense (64.0). Strangely,though, it is 12th in field-goal percentage defense (42.9). The Mean Green are also 7th in free-throw percentage (69.5).
– UNT has top-100 NCAA rankings for turnovers forced/game (33rd), 3-pt defense (74th) and turnover margin (93rd).
– The areas of concern for UNT have been related to fouls, offensive production and rebounding. UNT is 12th in C-USA in field-goal percentage (39.3), 13th in scoring offense (61..6) and rebound margin (-3.4) and 14th in assists/game (10.2) and personal fouls/game (21.5).
– Among C-USA players Terra Ellison is 5th in free-throw percentage (81.0), 8th in field-goal percentage (50.5), 15th in offensive boards/game (2.3), 18th in rebounding (6.0) and 28th in scoring (10.7).
– Terriell Bradley is 14th for scoring (13.6) and Kelsey Criner is 15th in steals/game (1.7).
– Candice Adams is tied 8th in 3-pt/game (2.0) and 11th in 3-pt percentage (36.5).
– Notable alumni include “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (professional wrestler), Jeff Coffin (Jazz saxophones member of Dave Matthews band) and “Mean” Joe Green (NFL Hall of Famer).
LAST MEETING WITH NORTH TEXAS: UTEP 75, at North Texas 67 (1/3/16)
– UTEP shot 50 percent from the floor (28-56) while forcing 22 turnovers on the way to an exhilarating 75-67 road victory at North Texas on Jan. 3. The Miners led for 31:11 of the action but that doesn’t accurately portray the effort required to down the Mean Green and pick up their second win in three days.
– Starr Breedlove set a career high for points (25) and rebounds (seven) while also grabbing four steals to give her a school-record-tying six straight contests with at least four thefts.
– Lawna Kennedy came off the bench to tally a career-high 13 points. Cameasha Turner (11 points), Jenzel Nash (11 points) and Sparkle Taylor (10 points) also hit double figures in scoring.
– There were three ties and eight lead changes (all in the second half), with the momentum switching for good when the Miners unleashed a full-court press.
– Trailing 61-60 with 2:43 to play, UTEP forced five turnovers down the stretch to help fuel a contest-closing 15-6 run. Breedlove tallied 11 of the 15 points in the decisive stretch.