Photo by Ruben R. Ramirez | El Paso Herald Post
The UTEP men’s basketball team will hit the road to play at UTSA on Thursday, January 28.
The Miners (7-7, 3-5 Conference USA) and Roadrunners (7-8, 3-5 C-USA) are set to tipoff at 5 p.m. MT in the Convocation Center.
UTEP is coming off a split against LA Tech (5-3 C-USA). The Miners never trailed during an 82-74 victory on Jan. 22, as Souley Boum recorded his third-career double-double on 24 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. Bryson Williams led all scorers with 28 points. UTEP tallied 20 assists on 29-made field goals, while only turning the ball over eight times.
Saturday’s game was a different story as the Miners trailed the entire game, and shot just over 34 percent from the floor. UTEP tallied only six assists and doubled up on the turnovers from the previous night. Boum led the way with 23 points and a career-high five steals. At one point, Boum scored 21 consecutive points for the Miners and almost singlehandedly brought his team back after being down 16 points.
The Miners used a 14-2 run to get within four points early in the second half as all of UTEP’s points were scored by Boum during that stretch.
UTSA is coming off a big sweep against Southern Miss (3-5 C-USA) in a pair of six-point victories. The Miners, Roadrunners and Golden Eagles are in a three-way tie entering this week’s games. Jhivvan Jackson (25 points) and Keaton Wallace (18 points) led the Roadrunners past USM, 70-64, on Jan. 22, while Jackson tallied 24 points during UTSA’s 78-72 win the next night.
Jackson leads UTSA and ranks second in C-USA in scoring (19.6 ppg). The Roadrunners rank fifth in scoring (76.7 ppg) and ranks last in scoring defense (76.5). UTSA ranks second in the league in free-throw percentage (74.8).
UTEP leads the series 11-9, however, it’s 1-6 versus UTSA in the last seven meetings. The two programs split last season. In the first contest, the Miners rallied from 24 points down to complete the biggest comeback in school history during an 80-77 [OT] win on Jan. 15 in the Haskins Center. The Roadrunners responded with an 86-70 win on Jan. 18 in San Antonio. UTEP is 3-6 all-time at UTSA.
Southern Miss, UTEP and UTSA are in a three-way tie in the West Division standings. The top six teams from each division will advance to the C-USA Championships on March 10-13 at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
The Miners and Roadrunners will meet again on Saturday, Jan. 30 in El Paso with a tip time slated for 7 p.m.
The contest can be heard on the home of UTEP Basketball 600 ESPN El Paso and on the UTEP Miners app with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher in his 40th season behind the mic. The game will be streamed on ESPN+ with Lincoln Rose (play-by-play) and LaDarrin McLane (analysis) calling the action.