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Home | Tag Archives: miner basketball

Tag Archives: miner basketball

UTEP Women’s Basketball announces 2021 Conference USA Schedule

 A return to a more traditional format highlights the 18-game 2021 Conference USA schedule for the UTEP women’s basketball team, as announced Friday.

The Miners will have home-and-home match-ups with LA Tech, North Texas, Rice, Southern Miss and UTSA. UTEP will also square off once against Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, FIU, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, Old Dominion, UAB and WKU.

“The Conference USA schedule will boast a very intense and closely matched league play,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “I believe that CUSA is the strongest it has ever been, top to bottom, in my tenure here at UTEP. Each game will be an absolute battle with each team in our conference being so tightly matched. This will make for some absolutely entertaining  games. With only eight teams making the tournament this upcoming year, it will only heighten the energy and competitiveness of each contest. It is a  great year ahead!  Don’t miss the fireworks!”

UTEP is coming off its second winning season in three years under  Baker. The Miners finished 16-14 in 2019-20, capping the campaign with a 95-67 victory over Florida Atlantic in the opening round of the C-USA Championships.

UTEP set school conference tournament records for margin of victory (28), points (95) and three-pointers made (11) against the Owls, while tying the mark for field goals made (33), three-point percentage (50) and overall field-goal percentage (55). The effort advanced the Orange and Blue to the C-USA Tourney quarterfinals for the third consecutive year under Baker, continuing the longest such streak to start a career at the school. The tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, ending UTEP’s aspirations for a postseason bid.

Conference play commences in the “Sunshine State,” with the Miners opening at Florida Atlantic (Dec. 31) and then at FIU (Jan. 2). UTEP will also play at Rice (Jan. 14), at North Texas (Jan. 16), at Old Dominion (Jan. 28), at Charlotte (Jan. 30), at LA Tech (Feb. 18), at Southern Miss (Feb. 20) and at UTSA (March 6).

The Orange and Blue welcome Southern Miss to the Don Haskins Center for their league home opener on Jan. 7. Other C-USA home contests include LA Tech (Jan. 9), Middle Tennessee (Jan. 23), Marshall (Feb. 4), WKU (Feb. 6), UTSA (Feb. 13) and defending C-USA regular-season champion Rice (Feb. 27).

The 2021 C-USA Tournament is slated from March 10-13 at The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.

Game times, and streaming/television coverage will be announced at a later date, in addition to the nonconference component of the schedule.

Season ticket renewals for the 2020-21 season are available, while fans may also request season tickets. Current season ticket holders can renew their seats by calling (915) 747-UTEP, emailing at, or visiting the ticket website.

Fans who did not have season tickets last year but are interested in signing up for the upcoming season can visit the UTEP Athletics ticket webpage to fill out an electronic request form. They start as low as $65 for adults and $40 for youth (ages 3-12). Fans can also purchase reserved Floor seating for $125.

For complete coverage of UTEP women’s basketball, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPWBB (Twitter)@utepwbb (Instagram) and on Facebook or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics.

UTEP Men’s Basketball announces C-USA Schedule for the 2020-21 Season

Conference USA men’s hoops has returned to traditional league play, as the 2020-21 UTEP men’s basketball 18-game conference schedule was released Thursday.

The league slate will feature five home-and-home series after moving away from Bonus Play. UTEP will take on conference foes LA Tech, North Texas, Rice, Southern Miss and UTSA twice, and will play single contests against Florida Atlantic, FIU, Old Dominion, Charlotte, UAB, Middle Tennessee, Marshall and WKU.

UTEP will open league action in the Haskins Center on Dec. 30 against FAU and Jan. 2 versus FIU. The Miners will also host Rice (Jan. 14), North Texas (Jan. 16), Old Dominion (Jan. 28), Charlotte (Jan. 30), LA Tech (Feb. 18), Southern Miss (Feb. 20), and will conclude the regular season during their senior game against UTSA on March 6.

The first road games will be at Southern Miss (Jan. 7) and LA Tech (Jan. 9). The Orange and Blue will take to the road at UAB (Jan. 21), at MT (Jan. 23), at Marshall (Feb. 4), at WKU (Feb. 6), at UTSA (Feb. 13), at North Texas (Feb. 25), and at Rice (Feb. 27).

The 2021 C-USA Tournament will be held March 10-13 at The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.

Game times, and streaming/television coverage will be announced at a later date. The nonconference portion of the schedule is still being finalized.

Season ticket renewals for the 2020-21 season are available, while fans may also request season tickets. Current season ticket holders can renew their seats by calling (915) 747-UTEP, emailing at, or visiting

Individuals who did not have season tickets last year but are interested in signing up for the upcoming season can visit the UTEP Athletics ticket webpage to fill out an electronic request form.

UTEP Basketball Season Ticket renewals and requests begin

Officials with UTEP Athletics announced Thursday morning that season ticket renewals for the 2020-21 UTEP men’s and women’s basketball campaigns are now live, and fans can also request season tickets now.

The UTEP men are coming off a 17-win season, chalking up nine more victories from the 2018-19 campaign. It was the largest win improvement of any program in C-USA.

The Miners produced their first winning season since 2015-16, more than doubled their conference wins from the season prior, and compiled 13 victories in the energetic Haskins Center. UTEP also made a return to the C-USA Tournament after winning its last four regular-season games to advance to postseason play.

“We are so excited for the 2020-21 Season! Our student-athletes and staff are working hard every day to display a tough and exciting brand of basketball for our community,” third-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We return successful student-athletes combined with talented newcomers, and hope El Paso can rally behind these young men! We have a challenging schedule with games against multiple 2019-20 Conference Champions. Nowhere else has the tradition and history of UTEP Basketball – We need your support to make the Don Haskins Center the Hardest Place to play in C-USA!”

The Miners return five letter winners for the 2020-21 campaign. Bryson Williams, who was selected first team All-Conference USA and NABC District 11, was the only player to rank in the top five in C-USA in both scoring and rebounding. Williams, who started all 32 games, ranked third in the league in scoring average (17.8) and fifth in rebounds per contest (7.2).

Williams added three C-USA Player of Week honors to his resume, recorded a trio of 30-plus-point performances, and secured five double-doubles. Souley Boum returns after ranking first in C-USA in free-throw percentage (87.8) with the second-best clip in program history. Boum played in all 32 games, making 22 starts.

Efe Odigie (6.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg) played in 27 contests with three starts, Tydus Verhoeven (1.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg) saw action in 30 games with 12 starts, and Eric Vila (3.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg) started in 14 of 26 games played.

Xavier transfer and former four-star recruit Keonte Kennedy, a 6-5 guard, will be eligible after sitting out last season per NCAA transfer rules.

Men’s season tickets start at just $170 for upper reserved seats. Other prices are $345 (Copper Reserved), $565 (Bronze Reserved), $675 (Silver Reserved), $795 (Gold Reserved) and $1,625 (Floor).

The UTEP women are coming off their second winning season in three years under head coach Kevin Baker. The Miners finished 16-14 in 2019-20, capping the campaign with a 95-67 victory over Florida Atlantic in the opening round of the C-USA Championships.

UTEP set school conference tournament records for margin of victory (28), points (95) and three-pointers made (11) against the Owls, while tying the mark for field goals made (33), three-point percentage (50) and overall field-goal percentage (55). The effort advanced the Orange and Blue to the C-USA Tourney quarterfinals for the third consecutive year under Baker, continuing the longest such streak to start a career at the school. The tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, ending UTEP’s aspirations for a postseason bid.

The Miners look to build on their resurgence in 2020-21, with three starters and nine letter winners returning to the fold. Highlighting the returnees is El Paso native and 2020 All C-USA Freshman team honoree Katia Gallegos. She enjoyed a banner first season at UTEP, setting a program freshman record for assists (154) while also scoring 9.6 ppg and recording a team-best 1.7 steals per contest.

Fellow starters Avery Crouse (8.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg) and Sabine Lipe (4.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg) are back as well. Six newcomers will bolster the lineup, including two-time junior-college All-American Destiny Thurman.

“We are very excited about the upcoming season,” Baker said.  “We finished this past year on an extremely high note and built a strong foundation for the future. We also signed some terrific new additions to the Miner family. There is a strong buzz surrounding our basketball program and with good reason. We will have another high tempo, fast scoring offense, and a stubborn defense. We want everyone to come out and watch this talented team compete for a Conference USA championship!”

Women’s season tickets start at $65 for adults and $40 for youth (ages 3-12). Fans can also purchase reserved Floor seating for $125.

Current season ticket holders can renew their seats  by calling (915) 747-UTEP, emailing at, or by visiting the UTEP Miners ticket page.

Fans who did not have season tickets last year but are interested in signing up for the upcoming season can also call, email and visit the UTEP Athletics ticket webpage to fill out an electronic request form, and a member of the ticket staff or Miner Athletic Club will follow up with them. A four-month payment plan option will also be offered.

Rodney Terry Guests on this week’s “Picks Up Podcast”

UTEP Men’s Basketball Head Coach Rodney Terry is the guest on this week’s “Picks Up Podcast” with “Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher.

In this week’s installment, coach Terry recaps the 2019-20 season, gives recruiting updates, and discusses how his program is adapting to the challenges presented by COVID-19.

Rodney Terry, who was appointed the 19th head coach in UTEP men’s basketball history on March 12, 2018. Is in his third season as UTEP head coach and 10th overall at the helm of a collegiate program.

Terry has chalked up 151 wins  as a head coach, while he’s compiled 73 conference victories.

In Terry’s second season at the helm, UTEP won 17 games, nine more than the previous season, while more than doubling its Conference USA wins. The Miners posted their first winning season in four years, and made a return to the C-USA Tournament during the 2019-20 season.

UTEP finished with a 13-4 record in the Haskins Center, its best home mark and most home victories in four years.

Airing weekly, the “Picks Up Podcast” takes an inside look at UTEP Athletics, offering perspectives and analysis not available anywhere else, thanks to special guests including Miner coaches, staff, student-athletes and alumni.

To go directly to the podcast landing page, click here.

UTEP Women’s Basketball lands Clemson Transfer

Isis Lopes, formerly of Clemson, has agreed to attend school and play with the UTEP women’s basketball team, head coach Kevin Baker announced Friday.

“Isis is a very solid, quick, athletic and versatile guard. She has the ability to get the rim and create shots for others. She has tremendous court vision, and it allows her to distribute the ball at a high level,” Baker shared.

“Isis has a very high basketball IQ, which allows her to play PG or off guard. She excels on the defensive end of the floor by defending ball handlers with intensity. Isis is a great shooter and can score in many ways. She will be a tremendous addition to our team, and we cannot wait to get her to El Paso.”

University officials add that Lopes will have three years of eligibility.  Below is Lopes’ bio

Isis Lopes – 5-11, Guard   |   Melbourne, Australia

Played one year with Clemson, and will have three seasons of eligibility with the Miners … due to injuries was limited to 13 games played and 47 total minutes … set season highs for points (five), rebounds (two) and minutes (13) at North Carolina (2/2/20) … during her prep career she represented the Victorian State team at the U18 Australian Championships, helping her team earn a bronze medal … also starred at Caulfield Grammar High School … the team finished with an overall record of 27-3 during her career … she averaged 18.0 points per game … was a member of the 2016 and 2017 premiership winnings teams, being named MVP both years.

For complete coverage of UTEP women’s basketball, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPWBB (Twitter)@utepwbb (Instagram) and on Facebook or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics.

UTEP Women’s Basketball signs standout forward from Finland

Elina Arike, a key player for the U20 Finland national team has signed a national letter of intent to attend school and compete with the UTEP women’s basketball team beginning in the 2020-21 scholastic year, head coach Kevin Baker announced this week.

Baker shared that Arike will have four years of eligibility.

“We are very excited to add Elina to our roster for the upcoming season. Elina is a very talented and versatile player. She has the ability to do it all. She can shoot well from the perimeter, post-to-score on the block, handle the ball like a guard, and is a very special passer,” UTEP women’s basketball head coach, Kevin Baker shared.

“She will be able to help our team in many ways.  She also has a willingness to defend multiple kinds of players. Elina checks all the boxes. We look forward to great things from Elina as she joins the UTEP family.”

Elina Arike 6-0, Forward – U20 Finland/ Mäkelänrinne Upper Secondary School  |  Helsinki, Finland

Ample international playing experience with Finland at numerous tournaments, competing for the U18 and U20 teams … averaged 8.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists in six games in summer of 2019 at the U20 European Championships Division B …  her efforts helped Finland take runner-up honors at the 12-country event.

Connected on 46.2 percent (18-39) of her shots from the floor, while also making a robust 83.3 percent (10-12) at the charity stripe … increased her scoring output as the tournament wore on, tallying double digits in both the semifinal and championship contests … tallied 12 points to go along with seven rebounds in the 86-68 win in the semifinals against Great Britain (8/10/19)

Arike hit 5-7 from the floor, including 2-2 on 3-pointers, in 25 minutes of action … scored 11 points (3-6 FGs, 5-6 FTs) while snagging six rebounds and dishing out two assists in the championship contest vs. Bulgaria (8/11/19) … competed on the club level with HAB Märsky … graduated from Mäkelänrinne Upper Secondary School in Dec. 2019.

For complete coverage of UTEP women’s basketball, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPWBB (Twitter)@utepwbb (Instagram) and on Facebook or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at

UTEP Men’s Basketball Isaiah “Juice” Rhyanes receives C-USA Spirit of Service Award

DALLAS – UTEP men’s basketball Isaiah Rhyanes is among 14 honorees for the Winter Conference USA Spirit of Service Award, as officially announced by the league on Tuesday.

The C-USA Spirit of Service Award is designed to recognize the community service efforts of our student-athletes.

Rhyanes gathered 14.5 hours of community service. The El Paso native and Andress High School graduate worked with Game Changers and UTEP Mente, while making trips to visit young fans at the El Paso Children’s Hospital, Loma Linda Elementary, East Point Elementary, and donated time at the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank and the Salvation Army.

In the classroom, Rhyanes graduated with a 3.2 grade point average in December 2019. He went on to continue his education, enrolling in graduate school this past Spring and continues to pursue a Master’s in Leadership Studies.

Rhyanes was also named to the 2018 and 2019 C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll.

The 6-foot-9 forward, also known as “Juice”, brought high-energy to practice every day. He contributed with the scout team and took pride in being a great teammate. For his hard work and efforts, UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry awarded Rhyanes with his first collegiate action on Nov. 15 against Eastern New Mexico in the Haskins Center.

Rhyanes capped the UTEP victory over the Greyhounds with a thunderous two-handed dunk that electrified Miner Nation and brought his teammates to their feet with enthusiasm.

Rhyanes made his first career start on ‘Senior Day’ against Southern Miss on March 1, recording a pair of rebounds.

GECU PRESENTS: First Champions – The 1941 Border Conference Champion UTEP Miners

The year was 1941.  A loaf of bread cost eight cents.  A couple of experimental TV stations were on the air.  The big band era was in full swing.

Neil Diamond, Faye Dunaway, Bob Dylan and Martha Stewart were born. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was beginning his third team as President of the United States.  America was on the brink of war.

And in El Paso, the Miner basketball team was winning its first conference championship.

UTEP was known as the College of Mines and Metallurgy back then.  And the game of basketball was different, too.  The two-handed set shot was standard, and players shot free throws between their knees.

Marshall Pennington moonlighted as the Miner basketball coach.  He was the business manager at the school by day.  Pennington did not have a recruiting budget to speak of.  Every so often the president of the university, Dr. Dossie Marion Wiggins, excused him from his duties in the business office at 4 p.m. so he could go out and find players.  Pennington would go to the YMCA and Vernus Carey, the athletic director there, would brief him on who all was playing – where they went to school, and what year they were.

Seven members of the ’41 team – Bud Lassiter, Don Lance, Mike Devlin, Lee Floyd, Billy Johnstone, Greg Ramsey and Doug Ramsey – had been on the same peewee team at the Y.

The Miners weren’t the most physically gifted bunch, but they made up for it with their camaraderie and quickness.  Lance, Lassiter, Floyd, Bill Rike, David Carrasco and Jesse Bulos were regarded as the team’s best players.

Lance, an All-Conference forward, was the Miners’ leading scorer.  He was nearsighted, and couldn’t see the basket until he passed midcourt.

Lassiter could play every position, and was the team’s unofficial rebound champion.

Floyd, another forward and the third-leading scorer, was the father of Tim Floyd, who was later head coach of the Miners.

Rike was a guard who didn’t score a lot, but still earned All-Conference recognition for his heady play.

Carrasco, who split time in the middle with Lassiter, was hampered with injuries that limited his mobility, but still made his presence known off the bench.

Bulos was a tough, hard-nosed guard who earned nine letters as a member of the Miner basketball, football and track squads.  Once he dislocated two fingers in a football game, but stayed in the contest.

The Miners played their home games at Holliday Hall, which seated about 250 people.  They beat Arizona State, 63-46, to clinch the outright Border Conference title – the first of 12 regular season league championship banners to fly in the Don Haskins Center.

GECU Presents: Miner Madness – Who Takes the Title? ’91-’92 Miners vs ’09-’10 Miners

The 1991-92 Miners (27-7) take on the 2009-10 Miners (26-7) in GECU’s Miner Madness, the mythical “championship game” to determine which is the second-best team in UTEP history behind the 1966 national champs.

Analysis: Both squads boast powerful, physical front lines.  The 1991-92 team has two seniors at the top of their game in Marlon Maxey and David Van Dyke.  The 2009-10 Miners counter with Arnett Moultrie and a dominating Derrick Caracter.

One thing to watch for is a distinct size advantage in the backcourt for the 2009-10 team.  But with Eddie Rivera and Prince Stewart, the 1991-92 Sweet 16 squad has a couple of starting guards that are as savvy as they come.

Off the bench, the 2009-10 Miners bring in Claude Britten, Christian Polk, Wayne Portalatin and Myron Strong.  The 1991-92 Miners have Gym Bice, Ralph Davis and Roy Howard in reserve.

This would be a great matchup, but you can’t dismiss the big-game accumen of the ’91-92 Miners. Pick: 1991-92 Miners

Review the matchups, then go to UTEP men’s basketball Twitter Monday and vote for who you think would win!

Thank you to everyone who has voted over the last week and a half.  We hope this has brought a little joy to your lives in this year without March Madness.

[2] 1991-92 Miners (27-7) vs. [4] 2009-10 Miners (26-7)

1991-92 Miners (27-7) Starting Lineups 2009-10 Miners (26-7)
Marlon Maxey (6-8, Sr., 15.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg) F Arnett Moultrie (6-11, So., 9.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg)
Johnny Melvin (6-5, Jr., (8.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg) F Jeremy Williams (6-7, Jr., 10.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg)
David Van Dyke (6-9, Sr., 13.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg) C Derrick Caracter (6-9, Jr., 14.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg)
Eddie Rivera (5-8, Jr., 11.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg) G Randy Culpepper (6-0, Jr., 17.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg)
Prince Stewart (5-11, Sr., (11.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg) G Julyan Stone (6-6, Jr., 6.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg)


Opening Round Results
[1] 1963-64 Miners def. [16] 1987-88 Miners
[2] 1991-92 Miners def. [15] 1989-90 Miners
[3] 1983-84 Miners def. [14] 1974-75 Miners
[4] 2009-10 Miners def. [13] 1984-85 Miners
[5] 1986-87 Miners def. [12] 1962-63 Miners
[6] 1988-89 Miners def. [11] 1969-70 Miners
[8] 2004-05 Miners def. [9] 1966-67 Miners
[10] 2003-04 Miners def. [7] 1985-86 Miners

Elite Eight

[8] 2004-05 Miners def. [1] 1963-64 Miners
[4] 2009-10 Miners def. [5] 1986-87 Miners
[2] 1991-92 Miners def. [10] 2003-04 Miners
[3] 1983-84 Miners def. [6] 1988-89 Miners

Final Four
[4] 2009-10 Miners def. [8] 2004-05 Miners
[2] 1991-92 Miners def. [3] 1983-84 Miners


GECU Presents Miner Madness: Fans can vote for the 2nd-Best Team in UTEP Basketball History

What if Texas Western didn’t win the 1966 national championship? Which team would be the best team in UTEP basketball history?

Assuming you took the remaining UTEP NCAA Tournament teams, and pitted them against one another in a 16-team bracket, who would come out on top?

Would All-American Jim Barnes lead the 1964 Miners to the title?  Would the upset-minded 1992 Sweet 16 squad reign apparent?  Would one of the great UTEP teams from the 1980’s capture the crown?

Imagine if Nate Archibald, Tim Hardaway, Eddie Rivera, Filiberto Rivera and Randy Culpepper all had something to say about it, along with the 1967 defending champions.

There’s no March Madness this year.  But there is Miner Madness!

We’ve seeded the teams.  We’ve set the bracket.  Starting on Thursday (March 26), we’re letting the fans determine the winner.  Study the matchups on  Then cast your votes on the UTEP Men’s Basketball Twitter beginning on Thursday.

View in-depth analysis for every matchup on

First Round

Thursday, March 26                         Game A: (1) 1963-64 Miners (25-3) vs. (16) 1987-88 Miners (23-10)

                                                            Game B: (3) 1983-84 Miners (27-4) vs. (14) 1974-75 Miners (20-6)

                                                            Game C: (5) 1986-87 Miners (25-7) vs. (12) 1962-63 Miners (19-7)

                                                            Game D: (7) 1985-86 Miners (27-6) vs. (10) 2003-04 Miners (24-8)

Friday, March 27                              Game E: (2) 1991-92 Miners (27-7) vs. (15) 1989-90 Miners (21-11)

                                                            Game F: (4) 2009-10 Miners (26-7) vs. (13) 1984-85 Miners (22-10)

                                                            Game G: (6) 1988-89 Miners (26-7) vs. (11) 1969-70 Miners (17-8)

                                                            Game H: (8) 2004-05 Miners (27-8) vs. (9) 1966-67 Miners (22-6)


Saturday, March 28                         Game I: Winner Game A vs. winner game H

                                                            Game J: Winner Game C vs. winner Game F

Sunday, March 29                            Game K: Winner Game B vs. winner Game G

                                                            Game L: Winner Game D vs. winner Game E

Final Four

Saturday, April 4                               Game M: Winner Game I vs. winner Game J

                                                            Game N: Winner Game K vs. winner Game L

Championship                                  Monday, April 6

UTEP’s Williams earns All-District First Team honors by NABC

KANSAS CITY  – The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) announced UTEP’s Bryson Williams to the 2019-20 NABC Division I All-District team, as selected and voted on by member coaches of the NABC in NCAA Division I Monday morning.

Williams earned a spot on the District 11 first team squad after averaging a team-high 17.8 points per game.

In his first season with the Miners, Williams started in all 32 contests. The transfer from Fresno State finished third in Conference USA in scoring and fifth in rebounding (7.2). Williams ranked 11th in field goal percentage (49.9), 13th in free-throw percentage (81.1), and ninth in blocked shots per game (0.9).

The Fresno, Calif., product registered three games of 30-plus points, the most by a Miner since the 2010-11 campaign. Williams scored a career-high 34 points during a comeback victory over UTSA on Jan. 15. Williams’s double-double (34 points, 10 rebounds) rallied the Miners from 24 points down to defeat the Roadrunners, 80-77, in overtime.

Williams recorded five double-doubles during the season. He posted 33 and 10 against East Central, 21 and 10 against North Carolina A&T, 13 and 10 at Florida Atlantic, and 26 and 10 against Middle Tennessee.

The redshirt junior’s efforts helped lead the Miners to a 17-win season and trip back to the C-USA Tournament. UTEP won nine more games than a year ago, while more than doubling its C-USA wins from three to eight this season.

Williams is the first Miner since the 2009-10 season to earn a spot on the All-District team. Williams also named to the All-C-USA first team, as he was the first UTEP basketball player since 2015 to be named first team. He was also named C-USA Player of the Week three times, the most by a Miner since the 2014-15 campaign.

Williams joins North Texas’ Javion Hamlet, UTSA’s Jhivvan Jackson, LA Tech’s DaQuan Bracey and WKU’s Taveion Hollingsworth on the first team.

UTEP falls to Marshall in opening round of C-USA Tourney 86-78

FRISCO, Texas – Bryson Williams scored 25 points and Jordan Lathon recorded a double-double on season-highs in points (22) and rebounds (11) while tying his career best with six assists, but Marshall pulled away from UTEP late to claim an 86-78 victory on Wednesday night in the first round at the Conference USA Basketball Championships.

The Miners (17-15, 8-10 C-USA) got within three points on a pair of occasions down the stretch, however the Thundering Herd (17-15, 10-8 C-USA) hit clutch baskets and made their free throws down the stretch to pull away.

“I’d like to give Marshall a lot of credit, those guys came out and worked the game for 40 minutes and I have a lot of respect for their program,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “I thought we were in good shape for the better part of the game, but we lost some separation toward the end of the first half, and that was the big difference in the game in terms of giving those guys some transition baskets.”

UTEP took a 15-10 lead on a Williams’s three-point bucket at the 14:07 mark. Marshall answered with an 8-2 run to take an 18-17 edge with 9:17 left in the first half and never relinquished the lead. The Herd built the lead to 13 points after a pair of free throws by Jannson Williams but Kaden Archie followed with a dunk on the other end to make it an 11-point game (43-32) going into the locker room.

Marshall was up by as many as 14 points (48-34) following a three by Jarrod West early in the second half, but the Miners battled to cut the lead the single digits. Souley Boum hit three three-pointers with under six minutes left in the contest. His third got the Miners within seven points, 77-70.

Williams followed with a hook shot in the paint, while an Edwards’s driving layup on a fast break at the 2:03 mark got his squad within three points, 77-74. But Mikel Beyers drew a pair of fouls and went 4-for-4 from the foul line to make the count 81-74 with 1:45 left in the game.

“I give my guys a lot of credit, they fought, they battled, and could’ve easily laid down and didn’t,” Terry said. “They put themselves in the position late in the ball game to have a chance to win the ball game.”

Williams, who scored 21 points in the second half, scored four points on consecutive possessions to make it an 81-78 contest with 53 seconds remaining. Kinsey was fouled on the following possession and made 1-of-2 from the line to up the lead to four points (82-78).

Williams missed a three on the other end and the Herd finished the game 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.

UTEP outrebounded Marshall 43-42, as Williams grabbed nine boards and Boum recorded eight. Boum scored 11 of his 13 points during the second half, but shot 4-for-20 overall in the contest. Tydus Verhoeven recorded a season-high four blocks, while adding four points, five rebounds and a steal.

Jordan Lathon | Photo courtesy Conference USA

Edwards tallied five points on 2-of-6 shooting and dished out four assists, while Deon Stroud played over 16 minutes off the bench, tallying five points, and Archie played over 20 minutes with four points and a pair of assists.

UTEP shot 40.0 percent from downtown, led by Lathon’s 5-for-8 effort. Lathon shot 6-for-10 overall and went 5-of-7 at the foul line. Williams went 11-of-23 from the field, including a pair of threes.

Marshall held UTEP to 37.1 percent from the field, while shooting 46.0 percent itself.

The Thundering Herd outscored the Miners, 46-26, in the paint and 16-8 on fast-break points. Marshall’s bench also outdid UTEP’s, 24-9, led by Beyers’s 14 points in over 21 minutes of action. Taevion Kinsey played all 40 minutes, scoring 26 points, though he was held to five points in the second half.

The Miners finished with their first winning season since the 2015-16 campaign (19-14), while advancing to the C-USA Tournament for the first time in over a year. UTEP improved to 17 wins from eight last season, while improving from three league wins to eight during the 2019-20 campaign.

“There’s no disappointment this season and we’re building,” Terry said. “We still have a way to go in terms of what we’re doing. I’m excited with what we were able to do this year. We kept playing and battling all year long.”

Miners shoot past FAU 95-67; Will play ODU in C-USA Championships Quarterfinals

FRISCO, Texas – Six different players hit double figures in scoring as UTEP soared past Florida Atlantic, 95-67, in a record-setting win on Wednesday in the first round of the 2020 Conference USA Women’s Basketball Championships.

“When we get off to a good start, we usually play really well,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “It was crucial the way these young ladies came out of the locker room today, and just played a great game from beginning to end. I couldn’t be more proud of them against a very good FAU team that is extremely well coached. It’s a great tournament win for our team.”

The Miners advance to face second-seeded Old Dominion at 12:30 p.m. MT/1:30 p.m. CT on Thursday. The contest will be streamed by Stadium, and broadcast locally in El Paso on 600 ESPN El Paso.

The Miners (16-14) broke school conference tournament records for margin of victory (28), points (95 and 3-pointers made (11), while tying the mark for field goals made (33), 3-point percentage (50.0 percent) and overall field-goal percentage (50.0 percent). The effort propels UTEP to the quarterfinals for the third straight year under head coach Kevin Baker, continuing the longest such streak to start a career at the school.

Additionally, the 95 points are the fourth-highest total by any program in C-USA tournament history.

Sabine Lipe (career-high 16 points), Katarina Zec (16 points), DeJaNae Roebuck (13 points), Avery Crouse (12 points) and Arina Khlopkova (10 points) all hit double figures in scoring for UTEP.

The Miners connected on 50.0 percent (33-60) from the floor, including 82.4 percent (14-17) during a dominant first quarter that resulted in them leading by 21 (36-15) through 10 minutes of action. The 36 points scored in the opening framed tied as the most in a quarter in program history. The Miners won the boards (38-31) and forced 22 turnovers that result in 22 points during the wire-to-wire win.

It marked the third time this year that the Orange and Blue have surpassed 90 points without having any individual player tally more than 16 points in a contest.

Crouse, Lipe and Zec all connected on shots to send UTEP out to a 7-0 lead 90+ seconds into the contest, forcing FAU to burn an early timeout. The Owls answered with a 5-0 push, but Zec ended that with her second triple of the tilt. It was a four-point differential (15-11) at the halfway point before UTEP kicked it into high gear.

The Miners ripped off 12 straight points to ignite a 21-4 surge to close the quarter.

The margin swelled to as many as 27 (44-17) with 5:38 to play in the half before the Owls managed to whittle the Miners’ advantage to 20 (48-28) heading into halftime. UTEP continued to control after the break, with FAU unable to get closer than 16 the rest of the way.

Katia Gallegos flirted with a double-double (eight points, eight assists), while Gill pulled down a squad-best seven rebounds. FAU was paced by Crystal Primm’s team-high 24 points.

Gallegos’s eight helpers tied as the second most in a conference tournament game by a Miner.

For complete coverage of UTEP women’s basketball, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPWBB (Twitter)@utepwbb (Instagram) and visit the official home of UTEP Athletics.

Miners prep for Florida Atlantic in C-USA Tourney opener Wednesday

The seventh-seeded UTEP women’s basketball team (15-14) will lock up with 10th-seeded Florida Atlantic (13-16) at 12:30 p.m. MT/1:30 p.m. CT in the first round of the 2020 Air Force Reserve Conference USA Women’s Basketball Championships presented by Baylor Scott & White Sports Performance Center at The Star.

“It has been two months since we played FAU, and they have improved much. They will be a tough match-up for us because they are playing some really good basketball this time of year. They play a very similar style as us, and they are just as aggressive as we are as of late. We are looking forward to the tournament, and we believe we are built for a great postseason run,” head coach Kevin Baker shared.

The Miners blasted Florida Atlantic, 96-65, in the only meeting between the programs this year in El Paso back on January 4, 2020. It will be the first meeting between the programs in the league championships.

UTEP dropped its final two contests of the regular season, including a 68-58 setback last time out at North Texas on March 7. FAU split its final week of action, including besting Marshall, 68-50, on March 7. Wednesday’s contest will be the first neutral-site game on the year for both teams. The victor advances to face second-seed ODU in the quarterfinals.

The Miners lead the league in turnovers forced per game (19.9), and FAU is last in C-USA for turnovers committed per game (19.7). the Miners pace the conference for free throws attempted (608) and the Owls are last in the league for personal fouls per game (21.2).

C-USA All-Freshman team member Katia Gallegos (146 assists) has set the UTEP freshman record for a season. She needs five helpers to move into fourth on the program’s single-season list regardless of class and six to take over third place.Ariona Gill has hit double figures in scoring in 10 of the past 11 games.

Katarina Zec (All C-USA second-team) and Katia Gallegos (C-USA All-Freshman team) both picked up honors from Conference USA on March 9. Zec also was named to the league’s five-member All-Academic team, sporting a 3.72 GPA in biochemistry.

Gallegos became the first Miner to be named to an All-Freshman squad in five years after a sensational first year with the Orange and Blue. 

Wednesday’s game will be available on ESPN+. It will also be broadcast locally in El Paso on 600 El Paso with Steve Kaplowitz and Traci Miller on the call.

UTEP to battle Marshall in C-USA Tourney action Wednesday Night

UTEP is back in postseason play at the 2020 Air Force Reserve Conference USA Basketball Championships presented by Baylor Scott & White Sports Performance Center at the Star. No. 11-seed UTEP will battle no. 6 Marshall in first-round action on Wednesday, March 11 with tipoff set for 8 p.m. MT/9 CT in in Frisco, Texas.

The Miners (17-14, 8-10 C-USA) will put their four-game winning streak to the test against a Thundering Herd (16-15, 10-8) squad that has won four of its last five games.

The Miners were previously in the C-USA Tournament during the 2017-18 season, while their last win in postseason play came against Rice, in an 86-76 victory on March 9, 2017.

UTEP is 11-7 all-time versus Marshall. The two programs faced each other at the 2011 C-USA Tournament, with the Miners coming out on top, 77-65, on March 10 in El Paso.

UTEP’s last loss came against Marshall, 71-61, on Feb. 15 in the Haskins Center. The setback dropped the Miners under .500 for the first time during the season, but they’ve responded with a four-game winning streak after wins against Rice (68-62), Southern Miss (75-62), at Middle Tennessee (60-56) and at Rice (77-72). It’s the longest winning streak in league play since the 2016-17 campaign. The Miners’ back-to-back road wins in league play were also the first in three seasons.

In the first meeting on Feb. 15 in the Haskins Center, the Miners jumped out to an 11-3 advantage, but Marshall answered that with a 13-2 run and never looked back. UTEP was down by as many as 13 points, but cut the deficit to seven points on a pair of occasions with under 9:34 to play. However, Marshall answered with clutch jump shots to sustain the lead. Marshall, which entered the contest averaging 7.1 three-pointers per game, made 12 threes that Saturday afternoon.

Mikel Beyers came off the bench and scored 18 points behind 4-of-6 shooting from behind the line in 24 minutes of action. Bryson Williams paced the Miners with 23 points, while Souley Boum tallied his first career double-double (12 points, career-high 10 rebounds). Daryl Edwards recorded 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting.

Edwards has averaged 21.0 points his last seven games, while shooting 44.8 percent (26-58) from beyond the arc. Overall, he’s shooting 49.1 percent (56-114) and has added 17 assists and five steals. During UTEP’s four-game winning streak, Edwards is averaging 26.8 points per game behind 18-of-36 shooting from downtown.

Overall, he’s shooting 54.7 percent (41-57) during that span. The four-game performance commenced with a career-high 34 points as he helped UTEP erase a 19-point deficit against Rice, rallying the Miners past the Owls, 68-62, on Feb. 22.

Jordan Lathon currently ranks 12th in C-USA, averaging 3.0 assists per game. He’s been one of the leading guards for the Miners, as the sophomore is averaging 4.3 assists during his last eight games.

Lathon, during that span, has tied his career high twice with six assists at Charlotte and another six against Southern Miss. He’s averaging 6.0 rebounds and 5.5 points per game during his last eight outings.

Bryson Williams was named to the All-C-USA first team earlier Monday afternoon, as he ranks third in conference in points per game (17.6) and fifth in rebounds per game (7.1).

Marshall is led by All-C-USA second team selection Taevion Kinsey’s 16.1 points per game and 131 assists. Jarrod West, a third team selection, ranks second at 14.4 points per contest and has 126 assists. Kinsey (4.2 apg) and West (4.1 apg) rank in the top five in C-USA in assists per game.

The Thundering Herd average 75.6 points per game, ranking fourth in C-USA, while they rank 11th in scoring defense (72.9). Marshall ranks third in rebounds per game (38.6), while it ranks second in blocked shots per game (5.9) and steals per game (8.2).

The Miners and Thundering Herd can be heard on UTEP’s flagship station 600 ESPN El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher and former UTEP basketball player Steve Yellen calling the action. The contest will be streamed on ESPN+.

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