Photo by Ruben R. Ramirez – El Paso Herald Post
The UTEP men’s basketball team will take on another Pac-12 opponent when it faces Arizona State on Wednesday, December 16 in Tempe. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. MST at Desert Financial Arena.
The Miners (2-2, 0-0 Conference USA) and Sun Devils (4-2, 1-0 Pac-12) are meeting for the 97th time on Wednesday evening, while it’s the first meeting between the two schools since November 30, 2008 at the 76 Classic in Anaheim, Calif. UTEP last faced Arizona State in Tempe on December 22, 1983 as the Miners prevailed 60-55.
UTEP dropped its second straight game when it fell at Pac-12 program Arizona, 69-61, on Dec. 12. Souley Boum continued dropping buckets as he led the Miners with 16 points. Boum sent 6-of-9 from the foul line and 2-for-4 from downtown. Boum leads C-USA in scoring (23.5 ppg) and ranks fourth in free-throw percentage (84.4).
Bryson Williams chipped in with 10 points and seven boards. However, Boum and Williams combined to shoot 8-of-25 from the floor.
Tydus Verhoeven set his career best in a UTEP uniform when he scored eight points on 4-of-5 shooting, and Jamal Bieniemy made led the Miners with four assists. Bieniemy ranks fourth in assists per game (5.7) and leads the nation in assist/turnover ratio (17.0). Bieniemy has dished out 17 dimes while only turning the ball over once.
Arizona State is coming off a 71-70 victory at Grand Canyon on Dec. 13. Preseason All-American point guard Remy Martin poured in 31 points, including the go-ahead three pointer with :09 seconds left in the game. Josh Christopher tallied 11 points, while Holland Woods chipped in with 10 points. Martin leads ASU in scoring (18.2 ppg) and assists (23). Alonzo Verge Jr. ranks second in scoring (16.0 ppg), while Christopher (15.7 ppg) and Marcus Bagley (13.0 ppg) also average double figures.
Former Duke All-American point guard and Arizona State Head Coach Bobby Hurley is in his sixth season at the helm. Hurley led the Sun Devils to a trio of 20-win seasons the last three seasons and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. Overall, ASU averages 79.5 points per game on 45.8 percent shooting from the floor.
The Sun Devils give up 76.7 points per contest, allowing opponents to shoot 45.1 percent.
The Sun Devils own a 51-45 record against the Miners. UTEP last defeated Arizona State on Nov. 26, 2004 at the Las Vegas Holiday Invitational. The Miners defeated the Sun Devils, 60-55, in the last meeting in Tempe on Dec. 22, 1983.
In the last meeting, ASU dominated UTEP, 88-58, on November 30, 2008 at the 76 Classic in Anaheim, Calif. Both programs were members of the old Border Conference (1935-1961), and the Western Athletic Conference (1969-1978).
The contest can be heard on 600 ESPN El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher calling the action. Fans can also catch the game on the Pac-12 Network with Brian Webber doing play-by-play, and former NBA player and Sun Devil great Eddie House providing color analysis.
Then on Sunday, the Miners will host Benedictine University at Mesa, with tipoff set for 4 p.m. in the Haskins Center.
After consultation between university and athletic department leadership, it has been decided that this game will be hosted without fans in attendance.
Benedictine is 0-1 after losing to The Master’s University, 78-70, on Dec. 11. Prior to that contest, the RedHawks fell in a pair of exhibition games to Grand Canyon, 94-63, on Nov. 28, and NM State, 92-54, on Dec. 1.
Against The Master’s U., senior 6-foot-3 guard Austin Denham scored 21 points on 4-7 threes. Senior 6-foot-6 forward Nick Sessions led with seven rebounds and chipped in with nine points, and sophomore 6-foot-1 point guard Tre Carolina tallied 12 points and three assists.
Fans can listen live on 600 ESPN El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher calling the action in his 40th season. The Miners and RedHawks will also be streamed on CUSA.tv.