The UTEP Miners men’s basketball team took a double digit lead toward the end of the first half and never looked back defeated the Florida International University Panthers on Thursday night at the Don Haskins Center by the score of 81-61.
Guard Shamar Givance led the way for UTEP with a double-double that consisted of 15 points and 10 assists. His contribution allowed the Miners to get their second win in a row in the span of three days.
The win against the Panthers marked the 600th win that the Miners have obtained in the Don Haskins. Ironically enough, UTEP head coach Joe Golding pointed out that the first team the Miners beat in the ‘Bears Den’ was Abilene Christian University. The same institution where Golding arrive to the Borderland from
Here’s what happened
- Jamar Sibley and Calvin Salomon helped the Miners open up a lead halfway through the first half after both teams struggled to get their scoring going in the opening minutes of the game. UTEP led 20-12 with 11:15 left in the first half.
- Despite taking and maintaining a double digit lead with a little more than five minutes to go in the half, Miners’ head coach Joe Golding was still agitated at what some of his players were doing on the floor individually. He was giving stern lectures on the bench to a few players when they came out of the game despite UTEP extending its lead to 40-28 lead at the end of the first half.
- The Miners took less than four minutes into the second half to take a 20-point lead. Despite the relatively easy lead, UTEP did not take their foot off the gas pedal. The frequent substitutions ensued that consisted of a variety of lineups for the home team.
- Despite the dominating victory for the Miners they did not improve in their free throws going 11 for 17, a dismal 64.7% from the charity stripe. Something that they simply have to improve.
What was said
After the game Golding said, “I thought we were good tonight in most aspects of the game. In the second half I thought we were even better, to hold them to 61 points is good. The two big keys coming into tonight were turnovers and rebounding.”
Golding added, “I’m proud of our guys, I’m happy for them, we finally got a winning streak.”
As for getting the 600th win at the Don Haskins Center, forward Otis Frazier who had 15 points and 6 rebounds on the night said, “It means everything. UTEP is our jersey, we’re playing for UTEP, that’s who we are.
The Miners will now have a quick turnaround as the Miners will host the Florida Atlantic University Owls (17-1, 8-0) at the Don Haskins Center on Saturday night.The Owls, who are ranked 24th in the nation, defeated UTSA tonight in the Alamo city 83-64. They will bring in a 16th game winning streak into the Borderland. UTEP has not beat a ranked team at home since 2001 or played a ranked team at home since 2014. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. MST. The game will be televised nationally via streaming 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.