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Home | Tag Archives: miner basketball

Tag Archives: miner basketball

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 www.utepminers.com.  Then cast your votes on the UTEP Men’s Basketball Twitter beginning on Thursday.

View in-depth analysis for every matchup on www.utepminers.com

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)

Quarterfinals

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+.

UTEP’s Bryson Williams earns 2020 All-Conference USA First Team Honor

DALLAS – UTEP’s Bryson Williams was named to the 2020 All-Conference USA first team as announced by league officials on Monday afternoon. The redshirt junior transfer is the first Miner in five years to make the prestigious squad.

Following UTEP’s 77-72 victory at Rice on March 7, Williams ranks third in C-USA in points per game (17.6) and total points (546), and ranks fifth in rebounds per game (7.1). He ranks fourth in field-goal percentage (50.0), fifth in free-throws made (114) and sixth in free-throw percentage (82.0).

The Fresno, California product has also recorded five double-doubles, ranking fourth in C-USA. Williams leads UTEP with 27 blocked shots, while tallying 28 steals and 28 assists in the process. Williams was also named C-USA Player of the Week three times during the season.

Williams has registered a trio of 30-points games that included a career-high 34 points during a comeback victory against UTSA on Jan. 15. Williams led the Miners from 24 points down to defeat the Roadrunners, 80-77 in overtime. He’s recorded double figures in 25 games, including 11 games of 21 or more points.

Williams most recently tied his career-highs in blocked shots (three) and steals (three), while his efforts have surged the Miners to a four-game winning streak in league play, the longest since the 2016-17 season, after victories against Rice (68-62) on February 22, Southern Miss (75-56) on March 1, and a pair of road victories at Middle Tennessee (60-56) on March 4 and at Rice (77-72) on March 7.

Vince Hunter was the last Miner to be named first team, which happened during the 2014-15 season. Williams joins Hunter, Randy Culpepper (2011, 2010), Stefon Jackson (2008, 2007) and John Tofi (2006) to be named All-C-USA first team performers.

Williams and no. 11-seed UTEP will continue the 2019-20 campaign when the Miners take on no. 6-seed Marshall on Wednesday, March 11 at the 2020 Conference USA Air Force Reserve Men’s Basketball Championships presented by Baylor Scott & White Sports Performance Center at The Star.

The Miners and Thundering Herd will tipoff at 9 p.m. CT/8 MT.

ALL-CONFERENCE USA FIRST TEAM

DaQuan Bracey, LA Tech

Javion Hamlet, North Texas

Bryson Williams, UTEP

Jhivvan Jackson, UTSA

Taveion Hollingsworth, WKU

ALL-CONFERENCE USA SECOND TEAM

Osasumwen Osaghae, FIU

Devon Andrews, FIU

Taevion Kinsey, Marshall

Umoja Gibson, North Texas

Keaton Wallace, UTSA

ALL-CONFERENCE USA THIRD TEAM

Jahmir Young, Charlotte

Jordan Shepard, Charlotte

Jarrod West, Marshall

Carson Williams, WKU

Jared Savage, WKU

Zec, Gallegos Earn Honors From Conference USA

IRVING, Texas – Katarina Zec (All C-USA second-team) and Katia Gallegos (C-USA All-Freshman team) both picked up honors from Conference USA, the league office revealed Monday.

Zec, who was named to the league’s five-member All-Academic team on March 6, secured her second honor of the postseason.

“No one works harder or is more committed that Katarina Zec,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “So to see her become an all-conference player is not surprising at all. There is not a player that deserves it more than Kat. She has been an amazing player for us all season and put together a solid senior year. She is a top player in C-USA, and is proof that hard work and total dedication pays off.”

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

“This has been a very unique year for freshmen on C-USA teams,” Baker said. “Many freshmen made huge impacts on their respective teams. Katia being selected to the All-Freshmen team is even a bigger accomplishment than usual. She has proven to be not only one of the top freshmen in C-USA, but also one of the best overall players in the league. She led the conference in assists and was one of the biggest reasons for our turnaround this season. Katia is a special player that will continue to be honored and set records in her career at UTEP.”

Zec turned in a banner senior season, leading the team in scoring (12.8 ppg), minutes per game (31.8), 3-pointers made (41) and 3-pointers attempted (116). She has been incredibly consistent, having reached double figures in scoring in 34 of the past 41 contests dating to last year.

The effort allowed her to become a member of the 1,000-point club at UTEP, with her total of 1,112 career points currently ranking eighth all time in program history.

The native of Serbia has displayed an all-around game, rating second on the squad in rebounding (5.1 rpg) and third in steals (34). She poured in a career-high tying 22 points against Old Dominion on Feb. 8, while netting 21 in the win at Southern Miss on Jan. 9. She has started every contest on the year, hitting at least three triples in five different contests.

Gallegos enjoyed a record-setting year for her hometown Miners. She has dished out a UTEP freshman single-season record 146 assists, which broke a 15-year old mark that was previously held by Shalana Taylor (142, 2004-05). She paces C-USA and is 34th nationally for assists per game (5.0). She is also third in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.7).

Gallegos has stuffed the stat sheet across the board, topping the squad in steals (50), while ranking third on the unit for both scoring (9.7 ppg) and rebounding (4.7 rpg). She has started all 29 games on the year, earning the second-most minutes per game (30.0 mpg) on the roster.

Zec, Gallegos and the rest of the squad will open play this week at the 2020 Conference USA Air Force Reserve Conference USA Women’s Basketball Championships presented by Baylor Scott & White Sports Performance Center at The Star.

The Miners will be seeded seventh and will square off against 10th-seeded Florida Atlantic at 12:30 p.m. MT/1:30 p.m. CT Wednesday in the first round of the event. The winner will advance to face second-seeded Old Dominion.

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 clipped at North Texas in regular-season finale 68-58

DENTON, Texas – Ariona Gill (16 points) and Avery Crouse (15 points) each hit double figures in scoring, but UTEP came up short in the regular-season finale at North Texas 68-58, Saturday evening.

“We didn’t play well enough to win tonight,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “They played better than us.”

Katia Gallegos added five points while dishing out four assists to bring her bring her season total to a UTEP freshman record 146 assists on the year. She breaks the prior standard held by Shalana Taylor (142, 2004-05).

The Miners (15-14, 8-10 C-USA) won the boards (34-33) and forced 26 turnovers, but were doomed by shooting 36.4 percent (20-55) from the floor. Another key factor was the Mean Green (12-18, 6-12 C-USA) connecting on 51.9 percent (13-26) of their shots.

UTEP led by one (34-33) at the half but UNT outscored the Orange and Blue 35-24 after the break to pull away for the win. The third quarter was particularly decisive, with the Mean Green outpacing UTEP by eight (18-10) in the frame.

Katarina Zec (nine points) and Michelle Pruitt (eight points) nearly reached double figures in scoring as well.

It was back-and-forth early on, with the contest tied at nine midway through the opening quarter before Gallegos found Crouse in transition for the score. The assist propelled her past Taylor for the UTEP freshman single-season record. After North Texas got going to pull ahead by three (16-13), UTEP closed the quarter on a 5-0 run to lead by two (20-18) through 10 minutes of action.

The two sides locked down defensively in the second frame and traded blows, with UTEP settling for a one-point advantage (34-33) at the half. The Miners couldn’t keep things going after the break, with North Texas outscoring them by 11 (35-24) over the final 20 minutes to pull away for the win.

UTEP will regroup and open play at the 2020 Conference USA Air Force Reserve Conference USA Women’s Basketball Championships presented by Baylor Scott & White Sports Performance Center at The Star.

The Miners will be seeded seventh and will square off against 10th-seeded Florida Atlantic at 12:30 p.m. MT/1:30 p.m. CT Wednesday in the first round of the event. The winner will advance to face second-seeded Old Dominion.

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 .

Four in a Row! Miners burn Rice 77-72; C-USA Tourney up next

Souley Boum scored a game-high 25 points and Daryl Edwards followed with 22 points as the pair led UTEP past Rice, 77-72, on Saturday afternoon at Tudor Fieldhouse in the regular-season finale.

“I’m excited for my guys, the way my guys are playing,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “They have really bought into details. It’s hard when you face someone a second time, a third time for Rice, they had to be locked into the details.”

UTEP (17-14, 8-10 C-USA) secured the no. 11 seed and will take on no. 6-seed Marshall in the first round of the Air Force Reserve Conference USA Championships on Wednesday, March 11.

The Miners (17-14, 8-10 C-USA) and Thundering Herd (16-15, 10-8 C-USA) will tipoff at 8 p.m. MT/9 CT in the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.

The contest can be heard on UTEP’s flagship station 600 ESPN El Paso and will be streamed on ESPN+.

The winner of that game will face no. 3 LA Tech (22-8, 13-5 C-USA) on March 12 as tipoff is set for 8 p.m. MT/9 CT. The contest will be streamed on Stadium on Facebook.

The Miners won their fourth straight league game for the first time since the 2016-17 season, while winning their second consecutive road game for the first time in three seasons. UTEP has also advanced to post-season play since playing at the C-USA Tourney two years ago.

Rice shot 9-for-35 (25.7 percent) threes, while the Miners blocked six shots and forced seven second-half turnovers.

“We’re just getting started right now. It was all about the defensive matchups, we knew they were going to small-ball, we had to defend the three-point line,” Terry said.

UTEP controlled the majority of the contest, though Rice scored the first two points for an early lead. UTEP answered that with a 9-0 run and never looked back. UTEP built the lead to seven points multiple times, but Rice kept chipping away to get within a possession. One of those times was when the Owls made the count 35-33 after a pair of Chris Mullins free throws. However, Edwards hit a three during a 13-1 run to go up 48-34 at the 12:47 mark. Boum scored six points, while Edwards tallied seven points during the run.

In fact, Boum and Edwards combined for 146 points in UTEP’s three victories over Rice. The Miners outscored Rice, 217-198.

UTEP outscored Rice on fast break points, 16-3, while the Miners outrebounded the Owls, 42-38. The Miners tallied 12 offensive boards, led by Tydus Verhoeven’s six.

Verhoeven tallied eight rebounds, with four points, including a dunk that put the Miners up nine points with 42 seconds remaining in regulation. He added an assist and blocked shot to his stat line.

Boum shot 6-for-15 from the field, and went 10-for-11 from the foul line, playing all 40 minutes. Edwards shot 9-of-19 from the field, while the pair made six of UTEP’s three-point buckets. Edwards also tallied two dimes and a pair of steals.

Williams tied his career high in steals (three) and blocked shots (three), while leading the way with nine rebounds. He added nine points and an assist.

Jordan Lathon led the Miners with five assists, to go along with six points, six rebounds and a blocked shot.

Terry received solid production from his bench as Kaden Archie played over 26 minutes and recorded a career-high eight rebounds. His two points came off an offensive rebound that put his squad up 12 points with 9:36 remaining in the game. Archie tallied a blocked shot, assist and a steal.

Deon Stroud played just under 15 minutes off the bench, tallying nine points. Stroud hit a pair of threes during the first half on his first two attempts, while coming up with a three-point play during the 11:04 mark in second half that put the Miners up 14 points.

NOTABLE NOTES

  • UTEP last won back-to-back road games during the 2016-17 season. The Miners won at Florida Atlantic on Feb. 23, 2017 and at FIU on Feb. 25 as part of a four-game road winning streak. UTEP started the win streak with wins at North Texas on Feb. 16 and at Rice on Feb. 18.
  • UTEP’s four-game winning streak in league play is the first since that run in 2016-17 when it won five-consecutive games. The winning streak started with a victory over Southern Miss on Feb. 11 in the Haskins Center, followed by the four games won on the road.
  • Edwards has gone for 22 or more points in four straight games. It’s the longest run of 20 or more points since Randy Culpepper scored 31 points on Jan. 2, 29 on Jan. 5, 34 at UAB and 26 at Tulane.

UTEP to battle Rice for C-USA Tourney seeding Saturday afternoon in Houston

HOUSTON – UTEP and Rice both clinched spots in the 2020 Conference USA Championships next week. Now, the Miners and Owls will play in a winner take 11-seed on Saturday afternoon with a 1 p.m. CT/12 MT tipoff time in Tudor Fieldhouse.

The Miners (16-14, 7-10 C-USA) won their third consecutive game after edging Middle Tennessee, 60-56, on March 4, while the Owls (15-15, 7-10 C-USA) has won their second straight, winning at Southern Miss, 72-57, on Wednesday night.

Only a trio of seedings have been set as North Texas won the regular season C-USA title for the no. 1 overall seed. Charlotte (10-7) is the no. 4 seed, clinching a first-round bye, and FIU (9-8) holds the no. 5 spot.

Daryl Edwards has been playing lights out, as the graduate transfer from LSU scored 25 points to lead the Miners past the Blue Raiders. He tied his career-high with 11 made field goals, while hitting three more treys on Wednesday night. Edwards added four assists and three rebounds.

Edwards is averaging 28.3 points per game his last three outings. He’s also made 71 three-point buckets this season, becoming the fifth Miner to hit 70-plus threes during a single season.

Souley Boum, who scored 13 points (nine in the second half), iced the game with a pair of free throws with nine seconds that gave UTEP the 60-56 advantage. Moments earlier, Tydus Verhoeven came up with a blocked shot with 41 seconds remaining with the game tied at 56. Bryson Williams drew a foul with the Miners in the bonus on the ensuing possession, hitting both free throws for the go-ahead 58-56 lead.

UTEP won its second road game of the season, matching its 2017-18 total. The Miners won their third consecutive C-USA game for the first time since the 2016-17 season when they won five-consecutive from Feb. 11 – Feb. 25.

The Orange and Blue has also advanced to the C-USA Tournament for the first time since the 2017-18 season.

The Miners have clipped the Owls twice already this season. UTEP chalked up its first road win in over a year, defeating Rice in Houston, 72-64, on January 23.

The Owls almost got their revenge on February 22 in El Paso when they built a 19-point lead, but the Miners rallied, using a 19-0 run to fly past the Owls, 68-62.

The contest can be heard on UTEP’s flagship station 600 ESPN El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher calling the action. The game will also be streamed on CUSA.tv.

Zec named To C-USA All-Academic Team

IRVING, Texas – Senior Katarina Zec was voted to the five-member Conference USA Women’s Basketball All-Academic team, the league office revealed Friday.

“It’s a tremendous honor for Kat, one she is completely deserving of,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “I’m really glad to see her get recognized and am extremely proud of her. It is an all-star team of talent on the court and excellence in the classroom.”

She becomes the first Miner to be so honored since Cameasha Turner did in 2016, sporting a 3.72 GPA in biochemistry.

Zec has been a consistent performer across the board for the Miners in 2019-20, including pouring in a career-high tying 22 points against ODU on Feb. 8.

Overall, she leads the team in scoring (12.9 ppg) and minutes played (31.8 mpg) while starting all 28 games. Zec also paces the unit for 3-pointers made (40) and attempted (111).

Dating to the end of last season, she has hit double figures in scoring in 34 of the past 40 contests, helping her join the UTEP 1,000+ points club. She enters Saturday’s regular-season finale at North Texas with 1,103 points to rate eighth all time at UTEP.

In the classroom Zec is a three-time C-USA Academic Medalist. She has also garnered placement on the C-USA Academic Honor Roll all three years of eligibility.

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.

The entire C-USA All-Academic team follows below.

2020 C-USA Women’s Basketball All-Academic Team
Christian Hithe, Charlotte, R-Jr, 3.86, Computer Science
*Erica Ogwumike, Rice, Sr., 4.0/3.86, Post-Baccalaureate (Pre-Med)/Kinesiology and Policy Studies (BA)
Rachael Childress, UAB, Sr., 3.70, Management
Katarina Zec, UTEP, Sr., 3.72, Biochemistry
Dee Givens, WKU, R-Sr., 4.0/3.73, Recreation and Sport Administration (MS)/Sports Management (BA)
*Repeat Selection (2018, 2019, 2020)

League-leading Rice stops Miners 82-59

HOUSTON – Ariona Gill (19 points), Katia Gallegos (15 points) and Katarina Zec (11 points) hit double figures in scoring but homestanding Rice used a barrage of 3-pointers to topple UTEP, 82-59, at Tudor Fieldhouse Thursday evening.

“A few things didn’t go our way (in third quarter) and the bottom fell out,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “Rice doesn’t shoot the 3-pointer that well, but they did tonight. When you’re daring kids to make 3-pointers and then they do, they deserve to win.”

The Miners (15-13, 8-9 C-USA) used a 7-0 run to pull even at 48 midway through the third quarter before the Owls (20-8, 15-2 C-USA) wrapped a 15-1 run around the quarter break to pull away for good.

Zec pulled down a team-high and career-best tying nine rebounds to flirt with a double-double while Gallegos dished out a squad-best three assists. Gallegos now has 142 assists on the season, which ties Shalana Taylor (2004-05) for the UTEP freshman single-season record.

UTEP connected on 42.0 percent (21-50) from the floor and forced 21 turnovers that led to 24 points, but Rice overcame that through sharp shooting and a big night on the glass. The Owls nailed 51.8 percent (29-56) from the floor, including making a season-best 12 triples on 23 attempts (52.2 percent).

Rice also had a 39-23 advantage on the boards, which led to a 18-2 differential on second-chance points.

The Owls were led by Erica Ogwumike with game highs in points (24) and rebounds (16). Sydne Wiggins (18 points) and Lauren Schwart (14 points) also hit double figures for scoring for Rice, who dished out 22 assists on 29 field goals made.

Rice ripped off seven straight points to prompt a UTEP timeout 90 seconds into the contest. UTEP responded with a 7-2 push to cut the margin to two (9-7) with 6:02 to play in the opening quarter. After Rice extended the lead back to seven (14-7), the Miners went on a 9-2 surge to pull even at 16 with 3:15 to play in the frame.

The Owls had an answer, closing the quarter on an 11-1 run to put UTEP down by 10 (27-17) through 10 minutes of action.

Gill put the squad on her back with her own 7-0 run to start the second quarter on a high note for the Orange and Blue, which brought them all the way to within three (27-24). Rice eventually worked its advantage out to as many as 12 (42-30) before the Miners got a driving lay-up from DeJaNae Roebuck and a triple by Gallegos to inch within seven (42-35) heading into halftime.

It remained a seven-point differential (48-41) before UTEP ripped off seven straight points to pull even (48-48) midway through the third quarter. Rice found another level, though, wrapping a 15-1 run around the quarter break to lead by 16 (65-49) with 8:30 remaining in regulation.

UTEP continued to battle, but couldn’t get closer than 11 the rest of the way.

The Miners will look to bounce back when they wrap up the regular season at North Texas at 6 p.m. MT/7 p.m. CT on Saturday.

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.

C-USA Tournament Bound! UTEP tops Middle Tennessee 60-56

MURFREESBORO, Tn – Bryson Williams made a pair of free throws with 27 seconds left, giving UTEP the go-ahead lead two-point lead, while Souley Boum iced the contest with two of his own with nine seconds left in regulation as the Miners defeated Middle Tennessee, 60-56, on Wednesday night in the Murphy Center.

Daryl Edwards led the way with 25 points, surging UTEP to the Conference USA Championships in Frisco, Texas, March 11-14.

Edwards shot 11-for-18 from the field, while draining a trio of three-point buckets. He added four assists and three rebounds. Edwards is averaging 28.3 points per game his last three outings, while shooting 57.1 percent from the field and 53.6 percent (15-28) from three-point range. Edwards has made 71 three-pointers this season, becoming the sixth Miner to make 70-plus threes during a single season.

“Daryl’s playing with a lot of urgency,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “He’s not just shooting threes, he driving that ball and has been very effective doing so.”

UTEP (16-14, 7-10 Conference USA) won its third consecutive game in league play for the first time in three seasons, while allowing 58.0 points per game during that span in the month of March. The Miners dominated MT (7-23, 3-14 C-USA) on the boards, 37-29, while holding the Blue Raiders to 37.7 percent shooting from the field.

“It’s the best time of year to play and I give our guys a lot of credit in terms of working the game,” Terry said. “[MT] made some big shots and C.J. [Jones] got hot there, but we had to withstand it and continue to do a better job at attacking the 1-3-1 [defense]. We did a much better job in the second half of attacking the 1-3-1.”

UTEP could never put MT away as it led by eight points early in the second half, and had a pair of six-point leads. But it wasn’t about the offense, it was the defense that came up with big moments.

Tydus Verhoeven, who played a season-high 32 minutes, blocked a pair of shots in the second half. The second was key, as he blocked an Antonio Green shot attempt with 41 seconds remaining and the game tied at 56. Williams drew a foul on the ensuing possession with the Miners in bonus and hitting both with ease to make the count 58-56.

C.J. Jones, who led MT with 22 points, missed a jumper with 12 seconds remaining that led to a Boum board and his two free throws that put the game away.

Boum tallied 13 points, connected on a pair of three-pointers and secured seven rebounds with two assists and a steal. Williams followed with nine points, a team-high eight rebounds and tied his career high with a trio of steals. Despite going 3-for-15 from the field, in which his shots were rolling out the rim, he scored four of the Miners’ final six points.

“Bryson kept working and got to the foul line and made some big foul shots for us late. It was a frustrating night for him, but his teammates came in and picked him up,” Terry said. “Guys came off the bench and played really well. I thought Kaden guarded really hard, I thought Deon gave us a good lift and I thought Efe’s short minutes were good for us as well. This time of year, you need everybody. You need guys to come in and hold it down.”

Deon Stroud played 14 minutes off the bench, scoring six points that included a three-point play in during the first half. Kaden Archie played a solid 19 minutes, recording three rebounds and played tough defense. Efe Odigie scored two points, playing just under four minutes.

Verhoeven recorded six rebounds and two points with an assist. Jordan Lathon, who played in foul trouble, hit a three-pointer, tied for the team lead with four dimes and gathered four rebounds.

MT’s only lead came at the beginning of the contest when it was up 2-0. The Blue Raiders tied the game three times during the second half, but Edwards gave the Miners the lead back with clutch buckets. The first came early in the second period, knotted at 26, when Edwards hit a three that started a 6-0 run. The graduate transfer from LSU then knocked down a midrange jumper with the game tied at 50 at the 5:45 mark.

UTEP has won three consecutive league games for the first time since the 2016-17 season when it won five-consecutive, while advancing to the C-USA Tournament for the first time since the 2017-18 season.

The Miners’ 16 wins this season are the most since the 2015-16 season, in which UTEP finished 19-14. That season was also the last winning campaign. UTEP has also won seven league games, surpassing its total from last season (three wins), and the 2017-18 campaign (six wins).

Reggie Scurry tallied 17 points, while MT recorded seven offensive boards after averaging 10.9 per game.

Up next, UTEP will travel to Houston, Texas, to take on Rice on Saturday, March 7. The Miners recently defeated the Owls, 68-62, on March 1, erasing a 19-point deficit. The Miners also chalked up their first road win in over a year, registering a 72-64 victory in Houston on Jan. 23. Boum and Edwards combined for 99 points in those two meetings against Rice.

Miners set to challenge co-league leader Rice on road Thursday

The UTEP women’s basketball team (15-12, 8-8 C-USA) will open up the final week of the regular season by playing at co-league leader Rice (19-8, 14-2 C-USA) at 6 p.m. MT Thursday.

“Our team has been looking forward to getting another opportunity to play Rice. We felt that we played well enough to bet them last time we met,” head coach Kevin Baker shared. “We are still looking for that signature win on the season, and beating Rice on its home floor would get us ‘over the hump’ and ready to take our program to the next level. Rice always plays great at home, but I believe our team is focused and determined enough to win.”

The Miners have won two of their past three games, including dispatching Southern Miss, 80-72, on February 29 to improve to 3-0 under Kevin Baker on “Senior Day.”

After dropping consecutive contests, the Owls have peeled off three straight wins. Most recently it came in the form of a 73-60 OT victory at LA Tech on February 29.

Dating to the 2018-19 season, Rice is 37-2 at home, including 22-1 in league play. The last home C-USA loss for the Owls was to LA Tech on March 1, 2018. This year Rice is 11-1 at home (7-0 in C-USA). UTEP is 3-6 on the road (2-5 C-USA).

The Miners are alone at seventh place in the league at 8-8, while Rice is tied for first place at 14-2 alongside ODU.

The Miners’ first four league wins were by an average of 29.5 points, but UTEP showed it has the ability to take care of business in a close contest against North Texas. The Miners rallied from a 10-point deficit on the way to holding off the Mean Green, 67-63, on January 25. It also marked the first time this season that the Orange and Blue overcame deficits at the half (down five) and through three quarters (down three) to win a game.

UTEP also was involved in a nail biter in its 82-76 OT victory against Charlotte on February 6. The Miners trailed by four with two minutes to play in the contest before rallying to force OT.

Rice leads the series, 30-16, including a 17-7 mark when playing in Houston. The Owls have won four in a row in the series, including holding off UTEP, 69-61, at the Don Haskins Center on January 23 in the most-recent match-up between the programs. The two squads have squared off at least once annually since the 1996-97 campaign, with the sequence beginning when both were in the WAC and continuing into C-USA. UTEP is 13-9 against Rice since the start of the 2007-08 season.

The contest will be streamed by CUSA.tv (subscription based). It will also be broadcast locally in El Paso on 600 ESPN El Paso with Duke Keith on the call.

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