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Home | Tag Archives: la tech

Tag Archives: la tech

UTEP Softball Falls at LA Tech 8-0

Taylor Sargent’s bat has stayed hot but UTEP (11-31, 5-13 Conference USA) fell at LA Tech (29-16, 12-3 C-USA) on Saturday at Lady Techster Softball Complex.

The Lady Techsters jumped on the Miners in the first two frames, scoring a pair of runs in the first frame after Pauline Tufi connected on a two-run single up the middle. In the second, LA Tech took a 6-0 on a back-to-back two-run knocks by Jazlyn Crowder (ground rule double to left center) and Morgan Turkoly (single to left).

With the score 7-0, LA Tech would cross the dish in the fourth on a bases loaded walk.

The Miners registered six hits led by Taylor Sargent’s 2-for-2 outing. Sargent is hitting .553 with seven doubles (10 extra base hits, including three triples) the last 11 games.  The junior singled in the second and doubled in the fourth. Kaitlin Ryder went 2-for-3, while Lindsey Sokoloski and Cortney Smith each recorded knocks.

UTEP will have its bye week and will continue action at UAB April 29-30.

LA Tech Edges UTEP in Softball Doubleheader

RUSTON, La. – Taylor Sargent connected on a two-run triple in game one that gave UTEP an early 2-0 lead, but LA Tech rallied to win 4-2.

The Lady Techsters (28-15, 11-3 Conference USA) then came out on top 4-0 against the Miners (11-30, 5-12 C-USA) in the second game of the Friday doubleheader at Lady Techster Softball Complex.

The series finale will be played Saturday at noon CT/11 a.m. MT. UTEP will have its bye week following the contest.

UTEP 2, LA Tech 4
Sargent, who is hitting .528 the last 10 games (including Friday’s contests), came up with a two-out triple on a 2-2 pitch during the first frame. The junior sent the ball over right and off the wall as Kaitlin Ryder and Cortney Smith each crossed the dish to give UTEP a 2-0 advantage. Ryder drew a walk to reach, while Smith was hit by a pitch.

LA Tech scored a run in the bottom first off a Marilyn Rizzato RBI single, while the Lady Techsters took a 3-2 lead in the fourth after a Karlee Jensen RBI double.

The Miners would get base runners in innings five, six and seven, but couldn’t convert them into runs. Pauline Tufi recorded an RBI single in the fifth that gave her squad a 4-2 lead.

Prior to Tufi’s knock in the fifth, Kiki Pepi made a spectacular diving out on an attempted bunt by Rizzato. Pepi dashed from third base to dive for the bunted ball in front of the batter’s box and made the stretching tag in rhythm.

The Miners recorded five hits as Ryder, Smith, Sargent, Lindsey Sokoloski and Mallorie Cross each recorded knocks.

Sargent has registered nine extra base hits during the last 10 contests, which includes her team-leading three triples. Sargent has scored seven runs and tallied 12 RBI during the stretch (April 1-14).

UTEP 0, LA Tech 4
Kaitlin Fifield threw a solid outing, but LA Tech came up with a three-run second inning. Ali Galaz recorded a pair of RBI and Morgan Turkoly registered an RBI in the second.

The Miners tallied a pair of hits – a Pepi single in the second and a Sokoloski single in the sixth.

Sokoloski’s was big as she reached third on an error, but the Miners struggled to get runners across the dish. Tori Charters tacked on another run on an RBI single in the sixth to solidify the win.

Fifield recorded four assists in 6.0 innings of work, while tallying a strikeout looking.

H-P Sports In Depth: Miners Hit the Road to take on LA Tech

UTEP (6-16, 3-7 C-USA) will take aim at a season series sweep when it plays at LA Tech (11-11, 6-5 C-USA) at 5:30 p.m. MST/6:30 p.m. CST Thursday. The Miners defeated the Lady Techsters, 69-62, in El Paso on Jan. 5.

The tilt continues a four-game conference road trip- its longest in 11 years– with UTEP also slated to play at Southern Miss at 3 p.m. MST/4 p.m. CST Saturday. The Miners are also in the midst of seven of nine road tilts.

The last time the Miners had four straight league road tilts was in 2005-06, their first year in C-USA. LA Tech is 6-5 at home (3-2 C-USA). UTEP is 1-5 on the road (1-4 C-USA).

LA Tech snapped a two-game losing streak with a 72-54 victory at Marshall on Feb. 4. UTEP is looking to avoid its first three-game C-USA slide of the year. The Miners are 2-0 in 2017 league games when entering the contest having sustained consecutive losses. The wins were at FAU (51-50, 1/14) and home against Marshall (W, 84-74, 1/28).

Brandon Cohn will have the call on 600 ESPN El Paso, KROD-AM Radio. Fans can also stay up-to-date by following the Miners (@UTEPWBB) or Lady Techsters (@LATechWBB) on Twitter.

UTEP vs LA Tech: In Depth

–  The Miners fell at UAB (L, 74-61, 2/2) and Middle Tennessee (L, 76-53, 2/4) but the games were more competitive than the scores indicate. UTEP trailed by three late in the first half at UAB while facing a five-point deficit midway through the third quarter at Middle Tennessee. Big runs in each games doomed the Miners.

–  In 10 C-USA games the Miners and their opponents are comparable for field-goal percentage (UTEP 41.3, Opp. 41.7 percent), field goals made (UTEP 255; Opp. 263) and attempted (UTEP 618; Opp. 631), rebounds/game (UTEP 39.3; Opp. 40.0), assists/game (both at 14.2) and fouls/game (UTEP 19.4, Opp. 18.4), yet UTEP has a -7.0 (68.4-75.4) scoring margin. The reason?  Foes have scored 34 more points on free throws (UTEP 129-192, 67.2 percent Opp; 163-220, 74.1 percent) and 60 more points on three pointers (UTEP 45-150, 30.0 percent; Opp. 65-190, 34.2 percent). That adds up to a -94 differential for the Miners between free throws in triples in C-USA play.

–  In league play the specialty stats points per game are pretty similar for points in the paint (UTEP 29.8; Opp. 30.6), bench production (UTEP 19.1; Opp. 18.3), second-chance (UTEP 10.7; Opp. 9.7), and fastbreak (UTEP 6.3; Opp. 6.4). An area of concern is points off turnovers/game (UTEP 13.7; Opp. 18.3).

–  UTEP is hitting 44.9 percent (210-468) of its two-point shots in league play; foes are at 48.2 percent (198-411).

THIS AND THAT ON CONFERENCE USA

–  Teams play all 13 members at least once and face five teams in home-and-home for 18-game C-USA slate.

–  The top 12 teams (14 in C-USA) will qualify for the single-elimination tournament (March 8-11, Birmingham, Ala.-UAB) with the top four teams as seeded by regular season standings receiving a bye. The winner will gain the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.

–  Charlotte, Middle Tennessee and WKU share first place at 9-2 with UTSA (7-3) alone in fourth. ODU (7-4) is fifth with Southern Miss and LA Tech tied for sixth at 6-5. The remaining seven squads are below .500.

–  North Texas (4-6) sits in eighth with Marshall and UAB tied for ninth at 4-7.

–  FIU, UTEP and Rice are in a three-way tie for 11th at 3-7 while FAU (0-10) rounds out the standings.

INSIDE THE SERIES

–  Louisiana Tech leads the series, 10-6, but UTEP has won four straight and six of the past seven.

–  UTEP downed LA Tech, 69-62, on Jan. 5 at the Don Haskins Center in this year’s first meeting.

–  LA Tech claimed the first nine meetings between the programs, when both programs played in the WAC

–  The Miners won for the first time in five trips to Ruston last year with a 72-65 outcome  (2/20/17).

GETTING TO KNOW LA Tech

Overall: 11-11               Home: 6-5   Road: 5-6    Neutral: 0-0 | C-USA: 6-5  Home: 3-2   Road: 3-3

–  Louisiana Tech is one of eight programs in NCAA history with at least 1,000 wins (1,084-second all time). It has participated in 27 NCAA Tournaments (fifth most), 13 Final fours (third most), eight national championship games and won three national titles.

–  All time home record of 533-79, including 449-73 in the Thomas Assembly Center.

–  Record of 6-5 in Ruston this season, including 3-2 in league play. Aiding that mark was a 80-54 dismantling of Charlotte (currently in three-way tie for first place) on Jan. 12.

–  LA Tech returned seven letter winners, including two starters, from last year’s team (14-16, 9-9 C-USA).

–  Got off to a start of 5-3 on the year before dropping three straight to conclude non-league play at 5-6.

–  Stumbled early in C-USA (1-2) before winning four of the next five. Momentum halted with consecutive setbacks to first-place Middle Tennessee and WKU.

–  Bounced back with a resounding 72-54 win at Marshall last time out on Feb. 4.

–  Six players contributing at least 7.5 points/game, including three averaging double digits.

–  Lead C-USA in both field-goal percentage (44.5) and field goal percentage defense (37.3). Also among the upper echelon in the league for 3-pt defense (29.4-2nd), rebound margin (+3.8-3rd), free-throw percentage (69.5-5th), rebounds/game (39.3-5th), assists/game (15.0-6th), blocks/game (3.3-6th), steals/game (7.8-6th), scoring offense (68.6-7th), scoring defense (64.4-7th), scoring margin (+4.2-7th) and 3-point field-goal percentage (32.3-7th).

–  Boast top-100 NCAA rankings for field-goal percentage (34th) and field-goal percentage defense (68th)

3-pt defense (82nd), rebound margin (82nd) and assists/game (89th).

–  Individually Kierra Anthony is 1st in 3-pt percentage (47.1) and 14th in scoring (13.6).

–  Jasmine LeBlanc 2nd in defensive boards/game (6.2), 3rd in rebounds (9.0), 9th in defensive rebounds/game (2.8) and blocks/game (1.0) and 15th in free-throw percentage (75.0).

–  Alexus Malone is 3rd in field-goal percentage (.550), tied 5th in free-throw percentage (80.4), 13th in blocks/game (0.8), 20th in rebounding (5.9) and 29th in scoring (10.6)

–  Notable Louisiana Tech alumni include Trace Adkins (country music star) and Phil Robertson (cast member of A&E’s Duck Dynasty).

LAST MEETING WITH LA TECH; at UTEP 69, LA Tech 62 (1/5/17)

–  Sparkle Taylor poured in 25 points to join UTEP’s 1,000-point club (1,010) and the Miners stifled Louisiana Tech defensively in a 69-62 victory at the Don Haskins Center on Jan. 5

The Miners held the Lady Techsters to 27.4 percent (17-62) from the floor, their second-lowest percentage of the year (25.7 percent vs. Nichols State), while also winning the rebounding battle decisively (51-40).

–  Tamara Seda pulled down a game-high 14 boards to lead the charge on the glass while Najala Howell (14 points, career-high six assists) and Lulu McKinney (14 points, five assists) also made key contributions.

–  Taylor added a career-high four steals.

–  UTEP set a season high for free throws attempted (29) while its 21 makes at the line tie for second.

–  The Miners scored at least 16 points in all four quarters for the first time this season.

H-P Sports in Depth: UTEP Looks to Continue Comeback Streak Thursday vs LA Tech

For a fourth straight game, UTEP will face a team either in first or second place in the Conference USA standings when LA Tech rolls in to the Don Haskins Center at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

The Bulldogs (16-8, 8-3 C-USA) are in second place in the league, a game and a half in front of fifth-place UTEP (8-14, 6-4 C-USA), which is surging with wins in six of its last seven games.

“I think our guys feel good about themselves right now,” UTEP coach Tim Floyd said.  “But there’s nothing like Louisiana Tech showing up to humble you and put you back in your shoes.  We know that we’ve got to get better again this week in order to compete on Thursday night.  Our crowds have been absolutely awesome.  We’re hoping that we have another great turnout here.”

Thursday is UTEP’s annual “Military Appreciation” game.  Discounted tickets are available for all active military members (valid I.D. must be shown to pick up tickets), and the first 300 veterans in attendance will receive Military Appreciation t-shirts compliments of the UTEP Military Student Success Center and UTEP Army ROTC.

LA Tech beat UTEP by 20 (64-44) on Jan. 5 in Ruston in what was game 11 of a 12-game losing streak.

“We’d like to think that we’ve grown a little bit, but I think this is the real test,” Floyd said.  “Who knows?  We’ve just got to go play and play inspired.  In the last ballgame Matt Willms went down with an injury [in a 31-27 game] in the second half.  We’re hopeful that he’ll be healthy and we’ll be healthy mentally and ready to roll.”

LA Tech has a bunch of weapons, starting with senior forward Erik McCree who averages 17.5 points and 8.9 rebounds.  Junior guard Jacobi Boykins leads C-USA in steals (2.2 spg), freshman guard DaQuan Bracey is first in assist/turnover ratio (3.6), freshman guard Jalen Harris is first in free throw percentage (.923) and sophomore center Joniah White is first in blocked shots (2.4 bpg).

“They throw a lot of lefties at you that can really play,” Floyd said.  “Erik McCree is a candidate for player of the year in our league.  He is an extremely difficult matchup for our team.  They put a lot of pressure on you in the open floor.  I think one of the best things that they do is defend.  Boykins is going to be an all-league player at the small forward spot.  And their little point guard is as fast as Omega Harris.  It’s a great team and we’re going to see their best shot when they come in here.

“We have to come out and play our best basketball.  And our best basketball has been close wins against FIU, Florida Atlantic, UAB and Middle Tennessee.  So we’re not a juggernaut.  But we have to play together, play well, unselfishly and we’ve got to have big performances from the guys that we rely on.”

The Miners have put themselves in position to do something special a month after sitting 2-13.

“It really could [be special] and I really believe that,” Floyd said.  “When you’ve got a player like Matt who can score it on the block, who’s long and athletic and different from a lot of bigs, and you’ve got two seasoned guards, you’ve got a chance if we can play mistake-free and continue to guard at a high level.”

Thursday’s game marks the 700th for the Miners in the Don Haskins Center.  They are 537-162 all-time in the facility.  UTEP has won 21 of its last 22 C-USA home games.

UTEP In Depth Stats

UTEP (8-14, 6-4 C-USA) looks to continue its recent surge when it hosts LA Tech (16-8, 8-3 C-USA) in game three of a four-game homestand on Thursday at 7 p.m.

–    The Miners have won six of their last seven games to climb from a tie for 12th place in Conference USA to fifth.  UTEP is a half-game behind third-place Old Dominion and UAB, and a game and a half behind second-place LA Tech.
–    Thursday is UTEP’s annual “Military Appreciation” game.  Discounted tickets are available for all active military members (valid I.D. must be shown to pick up tickets), and the first 300 veterans in attendance will receive Military Appreciation t-shirts compliments of the UTEP Military Student Success Center and UTEP Army ROTC.
–    UTEP is playing a team either in first or second place in the C-USA standings for the fourth straight game.  Marshall (Jan. 28) was tied for second place, UAB (Feb. 2) was in second and Middle Tennessee (Feb. 4) was in first.
–    UTEP is 5-0 in C-USA home games this season, and 48-12 in C-USA home games under coach Tim Floyd.  UTEP is one of three teams still unbeaten at home in league play this season, along with Middle Tennessee (5-0) and UAB (4-0).
–    The Miners are 77-17 overall in C-USA home games.  UTEP has won 21 of its last 22 league home games dating back to the 2014-15 season.
–    The Miners have a 10-game C-USA home win streak, their longest since 11 consecutive from Jan. 10, 2015 – Jan. 21, 2016.
–    UTEP has won eight straight Thursday C-USA home games.  The last Thursday C-USA home loss was to LA Tech on Jan. 8, 2015.

ABOUT LA TECH

–    LA Tech brings a 3-2 mark in C-USA road games to El Paso; the Bulldogs were 0-4 in their non-conference road games.
–    LA Tech has been very competitive in its nine road games with all but one of the six losses decided by 10 points or less.  The Bulldogs fell at Nebraska, 65-54, on Nov. 19.
–    LA Tech is led by senior forward Erik McCree, who is averaging 17.5 points and 8.9 rebounds.  McCree is second in C-USA in rebounding, seventh in scoring, 13th in field goal percentage (.490) and 15th in three-point field goal percentage (.355).
–    Lending support are junior guard Jacobi Boykins (15.1 ppg) and junior forward Omar Sherman (10.0 ppg).
–    LA Tech has a pair of sensational freshmen in guards Jalen Harris (9.8 ppg) and DaQuan Bracey, who leads C-USA in assist/turnover ratio (3.6).
–    Boykins is first in the league in steals (2.2 spg), Harris is first in free throw percentage (.923), and sophomore center Joniah White is first in blocked shots (2.4 bpg).
–    The Bulldogs are first in C-USA in scoring margin (+11.2 ppg), assists (16.5 apg), blocked shots (5.7 bpg) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.323), second in field goal percentage defense (.413), and steals (6.9 spg), and third in scoring defense (65.7 ppg), turnover margin (+1.7) and assist/turnover ratio (1.3).
–    LA Tech was ninth in the country in personal fouls per game (15.5), 14th in blocks and 29th in scoring margin through the games of Feb. 6.  Bracey was sixth in assist/turnover ratio, Boykins was 19th in steals and 20th in three-point field goal percentage, White was 22nd in blocked shots and McCree was 25th in double-doubles (11).

SERIES HISTORY

–    LA Tech leads the series 11-10, but the Miners are 8-2 against the Bulldogs in El Paso.
–    Last season the Miners topped LA Tech in the Haskins Center, 91-80.  The year before the Bulldogs posted a 58-45 triumph in UTEP’s C-USA home opener.
–    UTEP is 2-4 versus LA Tech since the Bulldogs joined C-USA for the 2013-14 season (2-1 home, 0-3 away).  All three games in the Haskins Center have been decided by 10 points or more.

THE LAST MEETING

–    The Miners played a solid first half on Jan. 5 in Ruston, but LA Tech proved to be too much for the short-handed Miners over the last 20 minutes.  The Bulldogs pulled away from a slim 28-25 lead at the break and cruised to a 64-44 victory.
–    UTEP lost Matt Willms to an ankle injury in the first minute of the second half, and Paul Thomas to five fouls with 4:44 to play.  LA Tech went on a 15-0 run, extending a 36-34 lead to 51-34 early in the period.
–    The Miners shot 42.3 percent in the first half and held LA Tech to 32.1 percent.  In the second half the Bulldogs shot 42.9 percent, made six threes and held UTEP to 25 percent (6-for-24) from the field.
–    Erik McCree scored 19 points with 11 rebounds for the Bulldogs, and Jacobi Boykins added 14 points, seven rebounds and three steals.  McCree scored seven points during the 15-0 run.  He finished 6-for-10 from the field, 3-for-7 from three-point distance and 4-for-5 from the line.
–    Omega Harris scored 23 points to lead the Miners.  Only four UTEP players scored as Thomas tallied 12 points, Dominic Artis six and Willms three.
–    The Miners committed 19 turnovers, leading to 20 points for the Bulldogs – including 13 in the second half.

COACH FLOYD’S LA TECH CONNECTION

–    UTEP’s Tim Floyd graduated from LA Tech in 1977 with a degree in health and physical education.  He earned one letter with the Bulldogs in 1976.   –    He is 11-10 when coaching against his alma mater (9-6 at New Orleans/2-4 at UTEP).

LAST GAME: UTEP 57, MIDDLE TENNESSEE 54

–    Matt Willms scored nine of his 14 points in a game-ending 19-6 run as UTEP handed Middle Tennessee its first conference loss of the season, 57-54, on Feb. 4 at the Haskins Center.
–    UTEP trailed 39-22 with 14:08 remaining.  The Miners outscored Middle Tennessee 35-15 over the final 13:46, holding the Blue Raiders to six field goals during that span.  Middle Tennessee scored one field goal in the final six minutes, when it was outscored 15-4.
–    The Miners made 9-of-10 foul shots in the second half and 15-for-18 for the game, none bigger than Willms’ two with eight seconds left that pushed a 55-54 lead to 57-54.
–    After falling behind by 17, the Miners scored 11 consecutive points to pull within six (39-33).  Middle Tennessee extended the lead back to double digits and was ahead 48-38 when Brandon Walters scored with 7:26 remaining.  Then the Miners mounted another run.
–    Willms scored five points in a 9-0 run that turned a 50-42 deficit into a 51-50 lead.  When Omega Harris hit a jumper with 2:27 to play, the Miners had their first lead since it was 1-0.
–    JaCorey Williams, who was a one-man wrecking crew for Middle Tennessee with 24 points and 10 rebounds, put the Blue Raiders ahead 52-51 on a jumper with 2:09 to go.  He gave them a 54-53 lead by splitting two free throws with 37 seconds left.
–    The Miners did the rest of their damage at the foul line, as Harris made two free throws with 22 seconds left and, after Edward Simpson missed a three-pointer, Willms made two more with eight seconds remaining.  Middle Tennessee’s Giddy Potts missed a three pointer at the buzzer.
–    Dominic Artis collected 13 points, seven rebounds and four steals.  Paul Thomas had 10 points and six rebounds.
–    Williams made 10-of-15 shots and 4-of-5 free throws for Middle Tennessee.  But the Blue Raiders’ other stars, Reggie Upshaw (zero points, one rebound in 23 minutes) and Potts (nine points, 3-for-11 from the field) were held in check.
–    Middle Tennessee uncharacteristically turned it over 19 times, which was the equalizer on a night where it shot 48.9 percent to UTEP’s 41.3.
–    The Miners trailed 27-16 following a miserable offensive first half where they shot 20.8 percent (5-for-24), including 0-for-7 from three-point range.  In the second half UTEP shot 63.6 percent led by Willms, who was 5-for-7 from the field.

Miners Down Louisiana Tech 69-62

Senior Sparkle Taylor poured in 25 points to join UTEP’s 1,000- point club (1,010) and the Miners stifled Louisiana Tech defensively in a 69-62 victory at the Don Haskins Center Thursday evening.

The Miners (4-10, 1-1 C-USA) held the Lady Techsters (6-7, 1-1 C-USA) to 27.4 percent (17-62) from the floor, their second-lowest percentage of the year (25.7 percent vs. Nichols State), while also winning the rebounding battle decisively (51-40).

Tamara Seda pulled down a game-high 14 boards to lead the charge on the glass while Najala Howell (14 points, career-high six assists) and Lulu McKinney (14 points, five assists) also made key contributions.

“We just played hard and we’re fortunate to get the win,” UTEP head coach Keitha Adams said. “I thought our defense was tremendous tonight. The rebounding was the key; when you rebound the ball, good things happen. We are going to enjoy this one tonight and then tomorrow start to get ready for Southern Miss.”

While Taylor’s career scoring achievement grabbed the headlines, she also got after it on defense with four steals.

“That’s a monumental thing (1,000 career points) but what I’m really, really proud of her tonight is her defense. What a great night to get 1,000-career points, one when you also know you played your tail off on defense.”

Louisiana Tech came out firing, racing out to a 12-6 lead midway through the first quarter. Howell stopped the surge by converting all three free throws after she was fouled on a triple attempt from the left wing. That play sparked a run for the Miners, who closed out on the first quarter on a 15-6 surge to pull within one (18-17) after 10 minutes of action. Taylor was instrumental with six points in the sequence.

UTEP’s defense picked up in the second quarter, only allowing LA Tech to score 10 points while the Orange and Blue tallied 18 to take a 35-28 advantage heading into the locker room. It was also in the second quarter where Taylor hit 1000 career points on a jumper with only four seconds left in the half, a feat that only 12 other Miners have reached.

After UTEP only allowed three offensive rebounds in the first half, the Miners gave up six in the third quarter. But UTEP did enough things well in other areas, and were still able to outscore (18-15) the Lady Techsters in the quarter. Howell provided a spark off the bench with eight to help UTEP extend its lead to 10 (53-43). Katarina Zec, who had missed the prior six games with a knee injury, sent the quarter out in a style with a long triple to give UTEP that aforementioned 10-point lead.

Going into the fourth quarter with a 10-point lead, the Miners continued to tack more onto their advantage. The resilient Lady Techsters stormed back and brought it back down to six (64-58) with 00:51 remaining. Feeling the loss of Taylor, who fouled out with 2:04 left in the game, the Miners looked to their defense for a final stand. The stop troops delivered and after a technical foul on LA Tech, McKinney converted on both free throws, to essentially end the game.

The Miners will wrap up their three-game homestand by playing host to Southern Miss at 2 p.m. Saturday. As part of “Superhero Saturday” first responders, medical professionals and law enforcement will receive $3 admission. All other tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for kids.

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H-P Sports In Depth: Miners to Take on LA Tech on Thursday

UTEP (2-11, 0-1 C-USA) continues a three-game Conference USA road swing at LA Tech (9-5, 1-0 C-USA) on Thursday.  The Miners dropped their league opener at UTSA, 67-55, on Jan. 1.  The Bulldogs won at Southern Miss, 79-55.

UTEP is seeking its first win in Ruston since 2004.   The Miners have lost 10 consecutive games, including six by nine points or fewer.  UTEP is 0-3 on the road this season, while LA Tech is 7-1 at home.  Thursday’s game is the Bulldogs’ C-USA home opener.

ABOUT LA TECH

–    After losing their first home game of the season to Florida Gulf Coast on Dec. 20 (79-78), the Bulldogs have strung together consecutive dominating victories over LSU-Shreveport (95-53) and at Southern Miss (79-55).
–    LA Tech leads C-USA in scoring margin (+14.6 ppg), three-point field goal percentage defense (.302), assists (17.4 apg) and blocked shots (5.6 bpg).  The Bulldogs are second in scoring defense (64.2 ppg), field goal percentage (.481) and field goal percentage defense (.399), and third in scoring offense (78.9 ppg) and assist/turnover ratio (1.3).
–    LA Tech ranks 25th nationally in blocks per game, 28th in assists per game and 30th in scoring margin.
–    Senior forward Erik McCree is averaging 17.3 points (eighth in C-USA) and 9.4 rebounds (second).  He is shooting 52 percent from the field (11th in the league).
–    McCree ranks eighth nationally in defensive rebounds per game (7.9), and 17th in double-doubles (seven).  He is the league leader in both categories.
–    Junior guard Jacobi Boykins (15.0 ppg), freshman guard Jalen Harris (12.3 ppg) and junior forward Omar Sherman (10.2 ppg) also have double-figure scoring averages.
–    Boykins is second in C-USA in steals (1.9 spg) and three-pointers made per game (3.0).
–    Freshman guard DaQuan Bracey is the C-USA leader in assist/turnover ratio (3.8), and ranks ninth nationally.  He is also third in C-USA in assists (5.6 apg).
–    The Bulldogs also have C-USA’s no. 2 shotblocker in sophomore center Joniah White (2.5 bpg).  He is 22nd in the country in rejections.

SERIES HISTORY

–    The series is tied 2-2.
–    The Miners are 1-7 against LA Tech in games played at Ruston.  The lone win came on Feb. 26, 2004 by the score of 76-65.
–    UTEP and LA Tech were joint members of the Western Athletic Conference from 2001-05.  The Miners went 5-4 versus the Bulldogs during that stretch, including 1-3 in Ruston.
–    UTEP is 2-3 versus LA Tech since the Bulldogs joined C-USA (0-2 in Ruston).

COACH FLOYD’S LA TECH CONNECTION

–    UTEP Coach Tim Floyd graduated from LA Tech in 1977 with a degree in health and physical education.  He earned one letter with the Bulldogs in 1976.
–    He will be coaching against his alma mater for the 21st time on Thursday.  He is 11-9 versus LA Tech (9-6 at New Orleans/2-3 at UTEP).
–    Floyd is 4-4 when coaching against LA Tech in Ruston, with the bulk of the games coming during his stint at the University of New Orleans.

THE LAST MEETING

–    Lee Moore scored 26 points and matched his career-high with nine assists in leading UTEP to its sixth consecutive victory, 91-80 over LA Tech on Feb. 20, 2016 at the Don Haskins Center.
–    Terry Winn added 17 points and 10 rebounds.  The Miners trailed for only one minute and 16 seconds and built leads of as many as 23 points before holding off a late rally by the Bulldogs.
–    The Miners shot a season-best 59.3 percent from the field, made 9-of-20 three pointers and collected 22 assists.
–    The Miners got down 9-5 early but went on a 15-5 run to assume a 20-14 lead.  They closed the half with a 9-3 run and were up 50-36 after shooting 62.5 percent from the floor in the opening stanza.
–    UTEP took its biggest lead (82-59) on a jumper by Dominic Artis with 5:46 to play.  LA Tech answered with a 17-3 spurt to make it a nine-point game (85-76) with a little under a minute left.  But Moore hit a couple of free throws, then a huge three-pointer with 35 seconds remaining to put it away.
–    Omega Harris chipped in with 15 points for UTEP.  Artis had nine points, six rebounds and six assists, and Earvin Morris added seven points and seven boards as the Miners won the rebounding battle 36-28.
–    The Bulldogs shot 49.2 percent from the field, but more importantly 29.6 percent (8-for-27) from outside.  Alex Hamilton scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half for LA Tech.
–    Moore finished 8-for-13 from the field, 4-for-7 from three and 6-for-6 from the line.

LAST GAME: UTSA 67, UTEP 55

–    Nick Billingsley scored 17 points in a reserve role, leading UTSA to a 67-55 win over UTEP in the Conference USA opener for both schools on Jan. 1 at the Convocation Center.
–    The Miners took a 38-37 lead, their last of the game, on a layup by Dominic Artis with 14:40 remaining.  But they went cold after that, managing only two field goals over the next nine minutes.  UTSA wasn’t much more prolific offensively during the stretch, outscoring the Miners 13-4 to go ahead 50-42.
–    Artis cut the eight-point deficit down to five (50-45) on a three-pointer with 5:29 left.  But the Roadrunners scored the next seven points, including five from Lucas O’Brien, to put it away.
–    UTEP shot 44.7 percent for the game, but that number cooled off to 40.9 percent in the second half.  The Miners scored nine field goals in the final 20 minutes, but three of those came over the final 2:37, and all from Artis who scored 18 points.
–    The Miners coughed up the ball 16 times, leading to 22 points for the home team.
–    Besides UTSA turning it over only nine times, free throws were a difference-maker as the Roadrunners were 24-for-30 at the stripe and UTEP was 10-for-19, including 6-for-13 in the second half.  The Miners made their last three free throws after starting the second half 3-for-10.
–    Omega Harris scored 12 points.  Paul Thomas had seven points and nine rebounds and Matt Willms added six points and eight boards.  But the Miners lost the rebounding battle 34-32.

MINERS IN THE NCAA STATS

–    Dominic Artis was sixth in the nation in assists (7.2 apg), 20th in minutes (36.1 mpg) and 32nd in steals (2.1 spg) through Jan. 2.
–    Artis is the only player in the country averaging at least 14 points, six rebounds and seven assists.

National Assist Leaders (Through Jan. 2)

1.    Maurice Watson Jr. (Creighton)    9.1 apg
2.    Lonzo Ball (UCLA)    8.1 apg
3.    Jaaron Simmons (Ohio)    7.7 apg
4.    Kyron Cartwright (Providence)    7.4 apg
5.    Erick Neal (UT Arlington)    7.3 apg
6.    Dominic Artis (UTEP)    7.2 apg

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