Photo Courtesy of UTEP Athletics
Photo Courtesy of UTEP Athletics

RECAP: Miners cruise in their season opener, winning 120-71

The UTEP Miners men’s basketball team defeated the McMurry War Hawks in the 2023-2034 season open by the score of 120-71 Monday night at the Don Haskins Center. It was the first time these two programs met since 1971.


UTEP took a double digit lead with a little more than 12 minutes to go in the first half and never looked back. This is the first time the Miners have scored 100-points in a game since 2021 (vs. Rice on 1/18/2021, 101-89).


Despite the War Hawks being a division three team, the Miners played their game and executed for the entire 40 minutes. The game served its purpose as it established a foundation, a starting point for the UTEP is looking to do over for this upcoming season.   


Here’s what happened

  • UTEP came out with a noted confidence in the opening minutes of the game, that swagger was visible in the first couple of fast breaks that the Miners had. The scoring went back and forth staying close until the home team jumped out to a double digit lead with 12:26 to go in the first half to make the score 24-13. 
  • UTEP took a 16-point lead into halftime leading 59-43, with Joe Golding using a total of 11 players in the first half. Elijah Jones was the only player in double figures going into the locker room. The red shirt freshman scored 10-points in the opening 20 minutes of the game. 
  •  The Miners started the second half where they left off in the first, opening up their lead by scoring frequent high percentage shots. They shot 66.7% from the field in the first half. 
  • UTEP hit the century mark in points scored with just under six minutes to go in the game but did not take their foot off the gas. They kept continuing to play their game, with player rotations continuing until the end of the game.  


What was said

After the game Miners’ head coach Joe Golding declared the following, “There is a lot of positives we can take, we got to play the guys a lot of minutes and we have tape now. We have a starting point with our team.”


As for the Miners playing a complete game Golding broke down his team’s second half performance saying, “I thought in the second half we did a much better job of guarding the three point line. Obviously there is room for improvement, we got to get a lot better offensively. We were very basic in what we did tonight, but we got to get better at it.” 


What’s next

Up next for the Miners will be another home game on Thursday night against USAO (The University of Science and Arts Oklahoma Drovers). Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN+.  

Author: Joe Rodriguez  – El Paso Herald Post

Rodriguez is a life long El Pasoan. Joe has covered sports locally across the Borderland since 2007 for various media outlet both in El Paso and Ciudad Juarez as a personal passion as he is a professional in the world of healthcare (Physiatry). His favorite sports include soccer, auto racing, golf and horse racing.

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