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Home | Tag Archives: miner basketball (page 2)

Tag Archives: miner basketball

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.

Miners look to clinch spot in C-USA Tourney at Middle Tennessee Wednesday Night

The UTEP men’s basketball team has won two Conference USA games in a row for the first time in two years and will look to extend its winning ways at Middle Tennessee on Wednesday, March 4.

The Miners and Blue Raiders will tipoff at 5:30 p.m. MT in the Murphy Center.

With a win, the Miners (15-14, 6-10 C-USA) will clinch a spot in the 2020 C-USA Basketball Championships March 11-14. The Blue Raiders (7-22, 3-13 C-USA) are eliminated from postseason contention after falling to Rice, 77-66, on March 1.

UTEP is coming off victors against Rice (Feb. 22) and Southern Miss (March1), winning back-to-back league games for the first time since the 2017-18 season when it defeated LA Tech (Feb. 22) and Southern Miss (Feb. 24) in consecutive games.

The Miners haven’t won three conference games in a row since the 2016-17 campaign when they reeled off five consecutive victories, defeating Southern Miss (Feb. 11), winning at North Texas (Feb. 16), at Rice (Feb. 18), at Florida Atlantic (Feb. 23) and at FIU (Feb. 25).

Daryl Edwards came up with another clutch performance, scoring 26 points during the Miners’ 75-56 victory against Southern Miss. Jordan Lathon also came up with a solid outing, stuffing the stat sheet with 10 points, 10 rebounds, a career-high tying six assists and a career-high six steals, as UTEP never trailed in the contest. Lathon recorded his first double-double of the season and third in his career.

Williams tallied 15 points with six rebounds, while Deon Stroud played seven minutes off the bench, tallying eight points.

The Miners allowed a season-low 56 points in a conference game, while their 13 made three-pointers was a season-high in a league contest.

UTEP, entering last week’s game against Rice, averaged 5.6 three-pointers made per game. The Miners have averaged 12.5 three-pointers made their last two games, while shooting 42 percent from beyond the arc.

Edwards, who’s averaging 30.0 points per game his last two contests, has spearheaded the sharpshooting. The graduate transfer from LSU is shooting 57.1 percent (12-21) from downtown.

The Miners edged out the Blue Raiders, 67-66, on Jan. 30 in the Haskins Center. UTEP erased an early 13-point deficit (22-9), as Williams poured in 28 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Efe Odigie also recorded a double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds).

After an upset win at UTSA, 83-80, on Feb. 1, MT is 1-5 in its last six games. C.J. Jones leads the Blue Raiders at 16.0 points per game, while Antonio Green is also averaging double figures (12.9). Donovan Sims leads the team with 96 assists, while Reggie Scurry averages a team-leading 5.2 rebounds per game.

The game can be heard on UTEP’s flagship station 600 ESPN El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” calling the action. The contest will also be streamed on ESPN3.

Gallery+Story: Senior Day Domination! Miners ground Golden Eagles 75-56

Jordan Lathon stuffed the stat sheet, recording a double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds) to go along with a career-best six steals and a career-high tying six assists, and Daryl Edwards lit up the scoreboard with 26 points, as the Miners soared over the Golden Eagles, 75-56, on “Senior Day” in the Haskins Center Sunday afternoon. 

UTEP (15-14, 6-10 Conference USA) won consecutive conference games for the first time this season, and first since the 2017-18 campaign behind a season-high 13 three-pointers in league action. The Miners entered last week’s contest versus Rice averaging 5.6 three-pointers made in their previous 14 conference games. UTEP has averaged 12.5 threes its last two contests, while connecting on 42 percent.

UTEP, which only turned the ball over nine times, forced 17 turnovers and scored 18 points off turnovers. UTEP also recorded a season-high 11 steals in a conference contest.

“We’re getting better and our guys are playing much more confident,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “I think a lot of that is predicated with the energy and activity that the guys are bringing to the defensive end of the floor. We’re getting stops and then scoring on the other end of the floor.”

The Miners remain in the 11th spot in the C-USA standings and a game above the Golden Eagles (9-20, 5-11 C-USA). The Miners are 2-0 this season against each Southern Miss (5-11) and Rice (6-10). The Owls defeated Middle Tennessee, 77-66, earlier today.

Senior Isaiah Rhyanes, a.k.a. Juice, made his first career start, forcing a turnover on Southern Miss’ first possession after winning the tip, and grabbed a pair of rebounds. Senior Ountae Campbell, who started in 10 games last season, made his first start of the season. He sank a three-point bucket and dished out an assist.

Edwards was the story again today as the graduate transfer from LSU sparked the UTEP offense by scoring eight of the first 13 points. Edwards shot 10-of-16 overall from the field and was 4-for-9 from beyond the arc.

“Daryl was ready to play and Daryl’s been ready to play the last few ball games,” Terry said. “He’s playing with urgency that a senior plays with this time of year, and is spreading throughout our team in terms of understanding the importance of every possession.”

Lathon hit a pair of threes for the second consecutive game and recorded his first double-double of the season and third in his career.

“I thought Jordan had of his better games in terms of managing the game,” Terry said. “We led from start to finish and there’s been some games where we get a lead and don’t play well with the lead. But we did that today and a lot of that had to do with his floor leadership.”

UTEP jumped out to a 7-0 lead and never looked back. Edwards opened the scoring with a three, Williams followed with a jumper in the paint off an assist from Lathon, and Edwards drained his second trey at the 18:22 mark.

Williams buried the first of two three-pointers off another Lathon dime that gave the Miners a 24-10 lead at the 12:35 mark. Southern Miss pulled within seven points (24-17) after a 7-0 spurt, but an Edwards’s free throw and back-to-back threes by Lathon and Edwards put the Miners up 31-17 with 6:51 left in the half.

Southern Miss got within eight points on a pair of occasions, but UTEP’s defense sustained while the offense kept producing points.

Bryson Williams scored 15 points, grabbed six boards, dished out an assist and snagged a pair of steals. Boum came off the bench and scored eight points, while Deon Stroud added eight points (2-4 three-point field goals) in seven minutes off the bench.

Kaden Archie played 25 minutes off the bench, contributing with five points, an offensive rebound, an assist, steal and blocked shot.

Overall, UTEP’s bench outscored USM’s bench, 21-3.

UTEP shot 40.6 percent (13-32) from three-point land, and 45.6 percent (26-57) overall from the field.

LaDavius Draine led USM with 16 points, while Leonard Harper Baker (11 points, 10 rebounds) registered a double-double.

Up next, UTEP will finish out the regular season with a pair of road games. The Miners will take on Middle Tennessee in Murfreesboro on Wednesday, March 4 at 5:30 p.m. MT. The game will be streamed on ESPN3.

The regular season will end at Rice on March 7 (12 p.m. MT tipoff). Both games can be heard on UTEP’s flagship station 600 ESPN El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher calling the action.

Gallery by Ruben R. Ramirez – El Paso Herald Post  | Video Highlights by UTEP

Gallery+Story: Celebrating Senior Day, UTEP soars past Southern Miss 80-72

Avery Crouse (career-high tying 21 points), Katarina Zec (17 points), Arina Khlopkova (14 points) and Katia Gallegos (career-high 12 assists, career-most seven steals) all had big days as UTEP toppled Southern Miss 80-72, on “Senior Day” at the Don Haskins Center Saturday afternoon.

It was a back-and-forth game with five ties and five lead changes, with the Miners (15-12, 8-8 C-USA) ripping off seven straight points midway through the fourth quarter to turn a one-point deficit into a six-point advantage (63-57). The Lady Eagles (14-13, 6-10 C-USA) could get no closer than four the rest of the way, with UTEP closing out the contest in style.

The 12 assists by Gallegos were one shy of the UTEP single-game record and tied for third-most in a contest by a Miner. Her seven steals earned her a share for seventh for UTEP’s single-game charts.

The Miners shot 48.3 percent (28-58) from the floor, piled up 22 assists on 28 field goals made, while forcing 23 turnovers that led to 24 points. That effort allowed UTEP to offset being outrebounded by 13 (43-30).

“That was a terrific college basketball game today,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “It could have gone either way, but I thought our whole team stepped up. This team is a special team, and I’m glad that our fans came out to watch us play. They got their money’s worth.”

Kelsey Jones (11 points, 11 rebounds) and Respect Leaphart (17 points, 11 boards) each recorded double-doubles to set the tone for the visitors.

All four seniors for UTEP played, with Zec leading the quartet with 17 points, two assists, two rebounds and two steals. Jade Rochelle came off the bench to provide five points and a team-best seven boards in only six minutes, while Ariona Gill fought through foul trouble to contribute five rebounds.

Neidy Ocuane, who has been sidelined since the fourth game of the year with an injury, played in the final minute of the contest.

But on a day when the seniors were honored, it was the freshmen that showed UTEP has a bright future as well. Crouse, Gallegos and Khlopkova combined for 41 points, seven rebounds, 14 assists and nine steals to make contributions across the board.

Southern Miss scored the first four points of the contest and was still up by three (11-8) at the media timeout of the first quarter. UTEP turned things around by using an 11-5 push to close the frame with a three-point cushion (19-16). Khlopkova got the stretch going by burying one of her three triples in the contest. Crouse capped it with a corner triple off a feed from Gallegos.

Khlopkova kept things going in the second quarter by knocking down triples on consecutive possessions to balloon the Miner margin to nine (29-20) with 7:02 remaining in the first half. It was evenly contested the rest of the period, with UTEP heading into the locker room armed with a seven-point advantage (38-31).

UTEP extended the margin to 11 (43-32) early in the third quarter before Southern Miss made its move. The Lady Eagles scored the next nine points in the contest to cut the Miners’ lead all the way down to two (43-41). UTEP regrouped and got it back out to six early in the fourth quarter only to have USM score seven straight and take the lead for the first time since the opening half.

Fittingly Crouse knocked down a triple, followed by a Gallegos driving lay-up to spark a 7-0 surge for UTEP, which put the home side back on top for good.

UTEP will venture to preseason favorite Rice for a 6 p.m. MT/7 p.m. CT tip-off on March 5. The game is part of a season-closing stretch with five of seven on the road.

The Miners will then wrap up the regular season at North Texas at 6 p.m. MT/7 p.m. CT on March 7.

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.

Photo gallery by Ruben R. Ramirez – El Paso Herald Post

UTEP Men’s Hoops hosts Southern Miss Sunday; Seniors to be Honored

The UTEP men’s basketball team snapped a five-game losing skid and will look to finish out the home portion of the schedule with another victory against Southern Miss during a Sunday matinee on ‘Senior Day’.

The Miners and Golden Eagles will tipoff at 2 p.m., while the contest is a rematch of their January 9 meeting in El Paso.

Senior Ountae Campbell, graduate transfer Daryl Edwards and senior Isaiah “Juice” Rhyanes will be honored prior to tipoff.

The Miners (14-14, 5-10 Conference USA) opened ‘Bonus Play’ with a comeback victory over Rice, 68-62, after being down 19 points early in the second half on Feb. 22. The Golden Eagles (9-19, 5-10 C-USA) fell to last-place Middle Tennessee, 61-53, on Saturday after averaging 72 points per game their previous three contests.

Edwards, the reigning C-USA Player of the Week, poured in a career-high 34 points against Rice, helping to surge the Miners past the Owls. Edwards hit a career best in threes, going 8-for-12, including a 6-for-6 effort in the second half. Edwards’s eight threes are tied for third best on the program’s single-game list.

UTEP was down 44-25 with 15:50 before going on a 19-0 run behind 6-for-6 shooting from downtown. Jordan Lathon started it with a trey, Souley Boum added a four-point play, and Edwards accounted for 12 of the 19 points. UTEP started the run by scoring 16 points on the first five possessions.

Against Rice, Edwards added three assists, a blocked shot and steal to his stat line. Edwards is averaging 19.6 points his last five games.

Boum came up with a career-high seven assists and chipped in with six rebounds. Lathon led the way with seven boards and scored eight points. Bryson Williams was the third Miner in double figures with 10 points and recorded six rebounds.

USM shot 15.8 percent (3-19) from three-point range against the Blue Raiders, while turning the ball over 18 times. Tyler Stevenson led the way with 16 points, while Leonard Harper-Baker recorded a double-double (12 points, 13 rebounds) in 40 minutes of action.

Gabe Watson paces Southern Miss in points per game (13.1) and assists (97), while ranking seventh in C-USA at 3.5 assists per game. Stevenson ranks second at 13.0 points per contest and averages 6.6 rebounds per game. Harper-Baker leads the Golden Eagles in rebounds per game (7.9), ranks second in assists (92) and ranks fourth in points per contest (8.6). He leads C-USA with six double-doubles. Stevenson averages 12.4 points per game and has dished out 51 assists.

USM averages 66.9 points per game, and ranks 11th in C-USA in defensive scoring (72.5). The Golden Eagles leads the league in total assists (406) and rank second in assists per game (14.5).

UTEP used a 34-for-37 effort from the foul line to defeat Southern Miss, 76-64, on Jan. 9 in the Haskins Center. Boum scored a game-high 26 points, while going 14-for-14 from the charity stripe (career highs in both free throws made and attempted).

Williams followed with 20 points (10-10 free throw) and nine boards. Eric Vila led with 11 rebounds and chipped in with six points.

UTEP will travel to Murfreesboro to take on Middle Tennessee on Wednesday, March 4, and will conclude the regular season at Rice on Saturday, March 7.

The C-USA Basketball Tournament will be played March 11-14 at The Star in Frisco, Texas.

The Miners and Golden Eagles can be heard on UTEP’s flagship station 600 ESPN El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher calling play-by-play and former UTEP basketball player Steve Yellen providing color analysis.

The contest will also be streamed on CUSA.tv.

UTEP squares off against Southern Miss on “Senior Day” Saturday

The UTEP women’s basketball team (14-12, 7-8 C-USA) will play host to Southern Miss (14-12, 6-9 C-USA) on “Senior Day” at 1 p.m. MT Saturday.

UTEP is looking to send out its four seniors – Ariona Gill, Neidy Ocuane, Jade Rochelle and Katarina Zec – in style. The quartet will be honored in a pre-game ceremony Saturday.

“Southern Mississippi is arguably the hottest team in Conference USA. They have been winning as of late and are playing a little bit of a different style from when we played them last time. Both of us are playing some good basketball this time of year so we believe it is going to be a great game,” head coach Kevin Baker said. “There is a lot on the line for this game, so we know that they will bring a lot of good energy to the Haskins Center. We hope to see a big crowd as we hope to send our seniors off in style.”

UTEP is 11-6 at home (5-3 C-USA), while Southern Miss is 5-5 on the road (4-3 C-USA). UTEP is alone in seventh place in the league standings at 7-8, while Southern Miss is one game back in a tie for eighth place at 6-9.

The Miners knocked off USM, 89-72, in Hattiesburg, Miss., on Jan. 9, and are in search of a season sweep.  UTEP is 2-0 on “Senior Day” under Kevin Baker.

As for team performance, Ariona Gill has hit double figures in scoring in eight straight games, and she is averaging 17.6 ppg and 10.4 rpg in the stretch.

Katia Gallegos has the fourth-most assists (127) by a Miner freshman, Shalana Taylor (142 assists, 2004-05) holds the Miner freshman record in a year, followed by Jareica Hughes (137 assists, 2006-07) and Kelli Willingham (128 assists, 2010-11)

Regardless of class, Gallegos is 10th on the UTEP single-season list, she needs two helpers to move into ninth, four to take over eighth, and 11 to vault up to seventh

After Southern Miss, UTEP will venture to preseason favorite Rice for a 6 p.m. MT/7 p.m. CT tip-off on March 5. The game is part of a season-closing stretch with five of seven on the road. The Miners will then wrap up the regular season at North Texas at 6 p.m. MT/7 p.m. CT on March 7.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.

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 and Traci Miller on the call.

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