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H-P Sports In Depth: UTEP Looks to Master Marshall for 1st Road Win

After taking WKU down to the wire on Thursday night in Bowling Green, Ky., UTEP (5-14, 3-4 C-USA) continues to pursue its first road victory of the season on Saturday at Marshall (13-8, 6-2 C-USA). Tip-off is at 5 p.m. MT.

–    UTEP is 0-6 in enemy venues and has dropped eight consecutive road games dating back to last season.  The Miners’ last road win came at Florida Atlantic, 89-82 on Feb. 13, 2016.
–    Marshall is 11-0 at the Cam Henderson Center this season and is 21-2 in its last 23 games in the facility dating back to the 2015-16 campaign.
–    Marshall and UTSA are the lone remaining C-USA teams that are unbeaten at home this season.  The Roadrunners are 8-0 at the Convocation Center.
–    Marshall is 4-0 at home in Conference USA play, including Thursday’s 92-71 victory over UTSA.  The Herd has also beaten Old Dominion (90-86 in OT), Charlotte (110-93) and WKU (94-80).

ABOUT MARSHALL

–    The Herd once again leads Conference USA in scoring, averaging 88 points per game.  Six Marshall players are averaging over 10 points per game — junior guard Jon Elmore (20.0 ppg), senior guard Stevie Browning (16.8 ppg), senior forward Ryan Taylor (14.9 ppg), senior guard Austin Loop (11.3 ppg), sophomore guard C.J. Burks (10.5 ppg) and junior forward Terrence Thompson (10.3 ppg).
–    Marshall has scored 80+ points 17 times in 21 games, 90+ points 10 times and 100+ points on three occasions.
–    The Herd ranks among the C-USA leaders in scoring margin (+4.1 ppg, fourth), free throw percentage (.733, fourth), field goal percentage (.468, fifth), three-point field goal percentage (.386, third), three-point field goal percentage defense (.342, fifth), three-pointers made per game (10.6, first), blocked shots (4.1 bpg, fourth), assists (16.8 apg, first), steals (6.5 spg, fifth), turnover margin (+1.4, fifth) and assist/turnover ratio (1.3, second).
–    Elmore leads C-USA in scoring and is second in assists (6.3 apg), fourth in three-pointers made per game (2.4), seventh in steals (1.4 spg) and eighth in assist/turnover ratio (1.8).  Browning is second in free throw percentage (.857), fourth in assist/turnover ratio (2.0), fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.429) and ninth in scoring.  Taylor is third in rebounding (8.6 rpg), fourth in blocks (1.8 bpg) and ninth in field goal percentage (.521).  Loop is second in three-point field goal percentage (.454) and first in three-pointers made per game (3.3).  Sophomore forward Ajdin Penava is 10th in blocks (1.1 bpg).
–    The Herd rates seventh nationally in three-pointers per game, eighth in scoring offense and 27th in assists per game.  Elmore is 13th in the country in assists per game.  He is also eighth in free throws made (126) and attempted (157).  Loop is 14th in three-point field goal percentage and 15th in three-pointers per game.

SERIES HISTORY

–     UTEP leads the series 10-4.
–     The teams split two meetings last season.  UTEP improved to 7-0 versus the Herd in the Haskins Center with a 112-108 victory on Feb. 4, 2016.  But Marshall bounced the Miners from the Conference USA Tournament with an 87-85 triumph on March 10 in Birmingham.
–     UTEP has won three times in five previous meetings between the teams in Huntington, W. Va., although Marshall has won the last two games played at the Cam Henderson Center.

THE LAST MEETING

–    Ryan Taylor converted a driving layup with three seconds left, sending no. 3 seed Marshall past no. 6  seed UTEP, 87-85, and into the Conference USA Tournament semifinals on March 10, 2016 in Birmingham.
–    The game featured 13 ties and 16 lead changes, but in the end the Herd was left standing.
–    Dominic Artis raced up the court in the final seconds, but couldn’t get a shot off as UTEP dropped its season finale.
–    After falling behind by five points with about six minutes left – punctuated by a technical foul on Earvin Morris that resulted in three free throws for the Herd – the Miners battled back to regain the lead, 83-81 on two foul shots by Omega Harris with1:35 to go. Taylor tied it on a putback off his own miss with 1:20 remaining. Terry Winn rebounded Artis’ missed layup and scored to put UTEP ahead 85-83 with 46 seconds to play. C.J. Burks knotted it up once again on free throws with 38 seconds left.
–    Harris drove to the rim, but his potential go-ahead layup was swatted away by Taylor with 18 seconds on the clock.
–    Taylor scored 21 points with 14 rebounds.  James Kelly also had a double-double with 13 points and 11 boards.  Austin Loop was a major factor for the Herd, accounting for six of their 13 three-point field goals and scoring 18 points.
–    Winn scored a career-high 21 points for the Miners and added 11 rebounds.  All five starters scored in double figures as Artis chipped in with 18 points, Lee Moore 14, Harris 12 and Morris 11.
–    The Miners started strong and took their biggest lead of the half, six points (14-8) on two free throws by Artis with 15:00 on the clock.  Later in the period, the Herd went on a 10-2 run and surged ahead 34-31 on a jumper by Jon Elmore with 6:21remaining.  UTEP answered with an 11-2 spurt and matched its earlier six-point lead (42-36) on a layup by Morris with 2:46 to play.
–    The Miners led 42-39 at the half, then scored the first four points of the second half to take their biggest lead of the game (46-39).

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