Photo by Ruben R. Ramirez | El Paso Herald Post
The UTEP men’s basketball team is set to make its return to the hardwood when the Miners host Charlotte on Saturday, Feb. 27. Tipoff set for 4 p.m. in the Haskins Center.
UTEP (10-10, 6-8 Conference USA) is coming off a sweep against FIU at home, while Charlotte (9-11, 5-7 C-USA) has lost four straight games after getting swept at Middle Tennessee and also losing a pair to Old Dominion. Both the Miners (at FAU) and 49ers (vs. UTSA) had their series canceled last weekend.
Sunday’s “Senior Day” contest will start at 1 p.m. Bryson Williams and Eric Vila will be honored prior to tipoff.
Souley Boum produced another stellar weekend, leading the Miners to their first sweep of the season against the Panthers. In his most recent outing, Boum scored 28 points on career highs in free throws made (15) and attempted (17). After missing a pair at the 16:09 mark of the second half, Boum responded with a 13-for-13 effort down the stretch. Boum ranks first in C-USA and sixth nationally in made free throws (116).
Boum’s 17 attempts were the most since Stefon Jackson’s 20 free-throw attempts against Marshall on Feb. 14, 2009. Boum has scored 20 or more points in seven of the last eight games. The junior is averaging 22.5 points in his last eight games, totaling 180 points. Boum is shooting over 34 percent 3-pointers and over 82 percent from the foul line over the last eight games.
Overall, Boum ranks fourth in C-USA in scoring (18.7).
Christian Agnew has been a key contributor off the bench as the junior transfer scored a season-high 17 points in 26 minutes off the bench. The night prior, ‘Saucy’ scored 12 points.
After going scoreless at UAB, Agnew responded with a 7-for-12 effort from the floor (2-of-3 from beyond the arc), while going 13-for-16 (81.3 percent) from the foul line during the FIU series. Agnew registered season highs in free throws made (8) and attempted (10) on Feb. 13.
Defensively, the Miners have yielded just over 63 points per game in the last five contests after giving up 86 at UTSA on Jan. 28.
Charlotte’s sophomore guard Jahmir Young leads C-USA and is ranked fifth nationally in minutes played per game (38:16). Young leads the 49ers at 19.1 points per game, ranking third in the league. Senior guard Jordan Sheperd (11.4 ppg), and sophomore guard Brice Williams (10.1) average double figures, while senior 6-9 forward Milos Supica leads in rebounding (5.5 rpg). Overall, Charlotte ranks 13th in C-USA in scoring offense (64.2), and ranks third in scoring defense (65.0).
The 49ers are shooting 74.6 percent from the foul line, ranking third in C-USA. Charlotte is shooting 44.6 percent from the field, and yielding 44.3 percent to its opponents, which ranks 11th in C-USA. Charlotte Head Coach Ron Sanchez is 33-45 overall in his third season at the helm.
Charlotte leads the all-time series 6-4 after winning the last two meetings. The 49ers outlasted the Miners, 68-64, last season (Feb. 6, 2020), and 68-58 on March 3, 2019. Both games were played in Charlotte.
The Miners have won their last three meetings in the Haskins Center against the 49ers. The last contest in El Paso was on Jan. 26, 2019 with the Miners coming out on top, 57-53. Overall, UTEP is 3-2 versus Charlotte in the Haskins Center.
The Miners and 49ers will be streamed on ESPN+ with Erik Elken (play-by-play) and Leonard Owens (analysis) handling the call. Fans can also tune into the home of UTEP Basketball and listen the “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher call the action in his 40th season.