DENTON, Texas – After coming off its first road victory in over a year, UTEP will look to start a road winning streak when it takes on league-leading North Texas on Saturday.
The Miners and Mean Green are set to tipoff at 4 p.m. MT/5 CT in The Super Pit.
“They play well inside and they have some gifted guards. [Javion] Hamlet is playing well for them so far,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “It’s going to be a tough game, they play hard and a lot of hard-nosed defense. It’ll definitely be a tough ball game on the road in the Denton.”
UTEP (12-8, 3-4 Conference USA) claimed its first road win of the season, defeating Rice 72-64 in Houston on Jan. 23. North Texas (13-8, 7-1 C-USA) won its seventh consecutive game, beating up on UTSA, 98-78, on Thursday night in Denton.
In the only meeting last season, North Texas defeated UTEP, 58-51, on Jan. 10, 2019. The Miners lead the all-time series, 10-4, while winning in Denton on March 3, 2018, their last time playing at The Super Pit. UTEP is 5-1 versus UNT in Denton.
Back to Thursday’s key win, Souley Boum led the charge, scoring a career-high 27 points and making 11-of-12 free throws versus the Owls. Boum added five boards, and assist and steal. Daryl Edwards also came up with a big performance, tallying a collegiate career-high 22 points on a career-high nine field goals.
UTEP posted another solid night at the free-throw line, hitting 19-of-25 (76.0 percent). The Miners have made 83.7 percent (103-123) of their free throws during the last five games, while hitting over 80 percent in their seven conference contests. Overall, UTEP is ranked second in C-USA and 23rd nationally in free-throw percentage (76.6).
The Miners turned the ball over a season-low seven times, while yielding only two fast break points against the Owls after allowing 21 at UTSA.
The Mean Green are one of the better defensive squads in the league, ranking second in scoring defense (62.3). Prior to the Jan. 23 game versus UTSA, North Texas kept its opponents to under 60 points in five consecutive contests. Overall, the Mean Green allowed fewer than 60 points in 10 games during the 2019-20 campaign.
Umoja Gibson, a 6-1 redshirt sophomore guard, leads the way at 14.9 points per game, while Javion Hamlet (12.7 ppg) ranks second. The 6-4 redshirt junior guard leads UNT and ranks second in C-USA in assists per game (4.7) and total assists (99). Deng Geu, a 6-8 graduate transfer, paces the team in rebounds per game (5.7), while chipping in with 8.0 points per contest.
North Texas’ lone league loss came at WKU, 93-84, on Jan. 2 to open C-USA action.
“The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher will call the action on 600 ESPN El Paso, while the Miners and Mean Green will be streamed on ESPN+.
HOUSTON – Souley Boum scored a career-high 27 points and Daryl Edwards scored a colligate career-high 22 points as the UTEP Miners ended a 19-game road losing streak and defeated Rice, 72-64, in Tudor Fieldhouse on Thursday night.
“[The road win] was really big for us,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We had been really close [on the road]. We had opportunities to close some games out on the road early in conference play and haven’t been able to do that. But we worked really hard the last couple days, trying to get back to our identity in terms of guarding hard, taking transition baskets away and executing on offense.”
The Miners (12-8, 3-4 Conference USA) shot 45.3 percent from the field, their highest percentage in seven games, while the Owls (9-12, 1-7 C-USA) shot 36.4 percent, the lowest the UTEP defense had allowed in four games. UTEP also yielded only two fast break points after allowing 21 at UTSA on Jan. 18.
UTEP took the go-ahead lead at the 6:09 mark on a Boum three-point bucket, following 15 lead changes.
Boum shot 6-of-12 from the field, and went 11-for-12 from the charity stripe. Boum connected on four of UTEP’s five three-point buckets.
“[Boum] had been working hard on his shooting and he got some great looks tonight,” Terry said. “We needed him to make shots and he’s the guy we need to come in and be aggressive with the basketball. He did that for us tonight.”
Edwards shot 9-of-19 from the field, including a made three-point basket. Edwards scored eight points in the first period as his first six came in the paint. Edwards started the second half with an and-1 after drawing a foul in the paint, while his next bucket was inside. Overall, 14 of Edwards’s 22 points came in the paint.
“We knew we could drive to the basket after working the ball around,” Terry said. “Our guys did a great job driving the ball and attacking in the paint tonight.”
Eric Vila, despite not scoring, came up big on the boards, grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds. Nigel Hawkins added eight points and four rebounds, while Kaden Archie, Tydus Verhoeven and Deon Stroud each scored four points. Bryson Williams chipped in with three points and six boards, playing limited minutes in foul trouble.
Rice took a 52-50 lead after Robert Martin connected on a layup at the 9:32 mark. Edwards answered with a three, giving the Miners a one-point edge (53-52). Ako Adams made one of his five three-pointers to give his squad a 55-53 lead at the 7:23 mark.
UTEP then went on an 11-4 run that started with a Boum trey coming out of a timeout to give the Miners the go-ahead lead, 56-55, with 6:09 left in the contest. The Miners built that into a seven-point advantage (64-57) with 1:49 remaining.
Vila and Edwards each recorded offensive rebounds during the run. Vila snagged an Edwards’s missed three-pointer and dished it back to Edwards who converted a layup to give UTEP a 60-57 lead. At the 1:49 mark, Edwards missed the second of two free throws, grabbed his own miss under the basket and connected on a layup that gave UTEP the seven-point lead.
Rice got within four points (64-60) with 50 seconds remaining in the game on a Josh Parrish layup. But the Miners went 8-for-10 from the line down the stretch to maintain the lead.
The UTEP defense stepped up in the last four minutes of the ball game as Rice went scoreless for over 2:30 before Trey Murphy III made a free throw at the 1:32 mark. During that span, Williams blocked a Chris Mullins’s jumper outside the paint, and the Miners forced a shot-clock violation.
UTEP took a 36-34 lead into the locker room, as it was the most points scored during the first half since Dec. 22 at Hawai’i (37 points).
UTEP scored 26 points in the paint versus Rice’s 20, while the Miners’ bench outscored the Owls 35-31. UTEP converted 12-fastbreak points, its most during a victory this season since scoring 12 on Nov. 5. The Miners also shot 76.0 percent (19-25) from the line.
The Miners only shot 17.9 percent (5-28) from the three-point line, while they hit 76.0 percent (19-25) of their two-point buckets.
Robert Martin came off the bench and led the Owls with 20 points, Adams tallied 17 points and Parrish chipped in with 10 points.
Up next, UTEP will have a tough road test at North Texas (13-8. 7-1 C-USA) on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. MT/5 CT at the Super Pit in Denton.
The Mean Green have won seven consecutive games, including a 98-78 win against UTSA on Thursday night. UNT’s lone league loss came at WKU, 93-84 on January 2.
Ariana Taylor, Avery Crouse and Ariona Gill all tallied 11 points, but UTEP fell to league-leading Rice, 69-61, at the Don Haskins Center Thursday evening.
“We put ourselves in a position to win,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “Some things didn’t go our way after we cut it to four, but I really enjoyed watching our team fight back. We’re just not quite there yet, but we’re getting closer. This young team is learning how to battle in Conference USA.”
It is the first C-USA setback at home for the Miners (11-6, 4-2 C-USA), who battled but ultimately saw the Owls (12-6, 7-0 C-USA) post their 26th straight win against Conference USA competition.
Gill added a team-high eight rebounds to nearly finish with a double-double despite playing only 16 minutes due to being plagued with fouls. Katia Gallegos stuffed the stat sheet with five points, seven rebounds and five assists. Katarina Zec pitched in nine points and five rebounds.
The Miners forced 21 turnovers and won the boards, 42-39, but it wasn’t enough to compensate for finishing at 33.3 percent (23-69) from the floor. Rice’s 13 blocked shots, including nine alone from 6-9 Nancy Mulkey, impacted UTEP’s shooting percentage. Another factor was UTEP finishing 10-18 at the charity stripe (55.6 percent) compared to the Owls going 20-28 (71.4 percent) at the line.
It was a game of runs, with UTEP using a 7-0 push early in the fourth quarter to get within four (52-48). Rice countered with nine straight points, and the Miners were unable to get closer than six the rest of the contest.
Reigning C-USA Player of the Year Erica Ogwumike paced Rice with a double-double (21 points, 13 rebounds). Mulkey added 10 points and eight rebounds, in addition to her nine swats.
UTEP had a quick start, banging home two triples in 30 seconds to grab a 6-2 advantage. It was back-and-forth the next couple of minutes, with the Miners leading by one (10-9) with 5:12 left in the first quarter.
Rice started to tighten things up defensively, which allowed it to close the quarter on an 11-3 push to put UTEP down by seven (20-13) through 10 minutes of action. Gill was sldelined during most of the run due to picking up her second foul early on.
After Rice jumped out by nine (22-13) with 6:17 left in the first half, the Miners started to mount a rally midway. Gallegos drilled a triple, which was followed by a Michelle Pruitt fastbreak lay-up to cut the deficit to four (22-18) at 5:30 of the frame. The Owls countered with a 6-0 push, putting UTEP down 10 (28-18) with 2:53 to play. UTEP trailed by nine (30-21) heading into halftime.
Rice led by 11 (52-41) with 9:15 to play in regulation before UTEP ripped off seven straight points in the blink of an eye to cut the deficit to four. The Owls called timeout and managed to counter with a 9-0 push, and UTEP never got closer than six the rest of the way.
UTEP will wrap up its three-game homestand against North Texas at 1 p.m. MT Saturday. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.
The UTEP women’s basketball team flexed its muscle at both ends of the court by drilling UTSA, 94-54, at the Don Haskins Center Saturday afternoon.
The 40-point win is the third biggest in a conference game in program history.
“I’m really proud of the way our team played,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “Our team came out and attacked, and really played well. It’s fun to watch them get payoff for all of their hard work. We scored the ball a lot of different ways.”
The Miners (11-5, 4-1 C-USA) came out firing, outpacing the Roadrunners (6-10, 2-3 C-USA) by 27 (55-28) at the half. It marked the largest halftime lead in a league contest at the school. The 55 points over the first 20 minutes tied as the second most in first-half action in program annals.
Aiding in the romp was a 32-point second quarter, which marked the most in a frame against a league foe in school history.
Katarina Zec scored 15 points, Michelle Pruitt posted her first career double-double (12 points, career-high 11 rebounds) and Katia Gallegos dished out a career-best 10 assists to help lead the onslaught. Ariona Gill (11 points) also reached double figures in scoring for the Miners, who have tallied 80+ points in a program-record four consecutive contests.
For the second time in two weeks, the Miners scored 90+ points without having an individual player tally more than 15 points. UTEP also did so in the 96-65 romp of Florida Atlantic (1/4/20). Prior to this season, the feat had never been achieved at the school.
UTEP shot 50.7 percent (37-73) from the floor and piled up its most assists (25) against a DI opponent in six years. Gallegos (10) and Tia Bradshaw (four) both set career highs for helpers. The Miners also got 48 points from their bench to nearly match UTSA’s overall output.
At the other end of the court the Orange and Blue held the Roadrunners to 32.3 percent (21-65) shooting, in addition to forcing 21 turnovers that were converted into 24 points. UTEP crushed UTSA on the boards (53-34), while also having a huge advantage for points in the paint (53-32).
All 12 Miners who played scored at least three points. UTEP improved to 9-3 on the year at home, including a perfect 3-0 in league play. All three of the C-USA victories in El Paso have been by at least 30 points.
The Roadrunners did their best to hang around, trailing the Miners by three (17-14) with two minutes to play in the opening quarter. UTEP responded by peeling off a 32-7 run over the next 10 minutes in the contest, affording it a 28-point cushion (49-21) with 2:31 left in the first half. The visitors never got closer than 25 the rest of the way.
The Miners will continue their three-game homestand by playing host to defending C-USA regular season and tournament champion Rice at 7 p.m. MT on Thursday.
Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.
SAN ANTONIO – UTEP used a 17-2 run after being down 23 points to get within six. However, UTSA wouldn’t allow another historic rally as the Roadrunners (9-10, 3-3 Conference USA) defeated the Miners (11-8, 2-4 C-USA), 86-70, on Saturday afternoon in the Convocation Center.
Bryson Williams led the way with 21 points (9-17 field goals) and seven rebounds, while Souley Boum tallied 18 points on 9-of-10 shooting from the free-throw line. Daryl Edwards recorded a career-high five assists to lead the Miners.
The loss dropped UTEP to 0-6 on the road with two more road contests coming up next week at Rice and North Texas.
UTSA’s one-two punch of Jhivvan Jackson (23 points) and Keaton Wallace (21) combined for 44 points, while Atem Bior chipped in with a career-high 13 points.
“We let them go early in transition. We can’t let a team like that get transition baskets like that to start the game,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We didn’t have the urgency to get back and get stops when we needed them on defense.”
The Roadrunners shot 48.3 percent overall, including a scorching 63.3 (19-30) in the first half. The Miners shot 37.7 percent from the field and 18.8 from the three-point line (6-32). UTSA outhustled UTEP on the boards, 47-32.
UTEP, down 62-39, fought back as it did on Wednesday night and went on an 17-2 run to get back within six points (64-58) with 7:25 left in the contest. Deon Stroud came off the bench and provided a spark when threw down a thunderous one-handed slam on a fast break to cut the deficit to single-digits (64-56). Williams then followed by drawing a foul under the basket and hit both free throws to get within six points.
However, UTSA answered that with a 10-2 spurt to take a 74-60 lead after a Wallace jumper at the 3:50 mark.
UTSA took another big lead into the locker room as it ended the first half by hitting its last five field goals, while UTEP finished the period 1-of-7 from the field.
After falling behind by 10 points (26-16) at the 9:29 mark, the Miners used an 8-0 run to get within two points (26-24). Boum started the run with a made free throw, while Edwards followed with a three-point bucket. Williams converted a second-chance basket and Tydus Verhoeven ended the run with a hard-two-handed dunk.
But UTSA ended the run with a Bior three-pointer that banked off the glass. The Roadrunners outscored the Miners, 22-7, to take a 17-point lead into the locker room.
Efe Odigie played multiple minutes off the bench during the second-half run, and overall put up solid numbers scoring six points and tallying five boards. Kaden Archie hit two treys down the stretch, scoring six points. Eric Vila, who played major minutes on Wednesday night, made his first start in four games. Vila scored UTEP’s first four points on a three-pointer and free throw, but was shut down the remainder of the contest.
Up next, UTEP will continue its road swing with contests at Rice (Jan. 23) and North Texas (Jan. 25). The Miners and Owls will tipoff at 6 p.m. MT, while the Mean Green contest will start at 4 p.m. MT.
Both contests can be heard on 600 ESPN El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher calling the action, while both games will be streamed on ESPN+.
UTEP made history on Wednesday night, rallying from a 24-point deficit and coming back to defeat UTSA, 80-77, in overtime, while ending a five-game losing streak to its Conference USA foe in the process.
Now, the Miners (11-7, 2-3 C-USA) and Roadrunners (8-10, 2-3 C-USA) will see each other again, this time at the Convocation Center in San Antonio, on Saturday, Jan. 18. The Texas rivals are set to tipoff at 2 p.m. MT.
Saturday’s contest will feature the top three scorers in C-USA. UTSA boasts the number one and three scorers in junior guards Jhivvan Jackson (26.0 points per game) and Keaton Wallace (17.2 ppg). Jackson also ranks second nationally in that department. Redshirt junior forward Bryson Williams ranks second in the league at 19.3 points per contest.
UTSA averages 77.9 points per game, ranking second in C-USA and 39th nationally, while it gives up 75.5 (13th in C-USA). The Roadrunners shoot at a high rate, ranking 15th nationally with 509 three-point attempts. The Birds rank first in conference and 10th nationally in three-pointers made (181), and third in three-point percentage (35.6).
“We have another tough game coming up,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “UTSA is hard to guard and we’ll have to rely on our defense. We’ll have to go over there and guard as hard as we can and try to have as much energy you can have in this ball game on Saturday.”
UTEP has put a clinic on at the charity stripe as of late. The Miners are shooting 89.7 percent (70-78) from the line during the last three games, and 77.0 percent overall. They rank second in the league and 18th nationally in free-throw percentage, while making 281 free throws – good for second in conference. In C-USA only games, UTEP is shooting a league-best 83.6 percent from the line.
On the Wednesday night, the Miners found themselves down 54-30 with 14:43 remaining in the contest. Going into the locker room at the half, Jackson and Wallace had outscored UTEP, 32-28, in the first half alone.
But behind Williams’s career-high 34 points Daryl Edwards career-most five three-point buckets, UTEP surged to its greatest comeback in program history, while it tied for 24th biggest victorious rally in NCAA history.
Williams and Edwards, along with Nigel Hawkins, Souley Boum and Eric Vila played the final 17:33 of the game, outscoring UTSA, 44-21 during that span. Williams and Edwards each played a career-high 42 minutes.
The UTEP defense stepped up, forcing nine turnovers in the final 25 minutes of action. With the Miners down 24 points, they used a 20-2 run to get within six points (56-50) at the 10:00 mark. UTEP forced four turnovers during that span.
UTEP took its first lead, 71-70, since the 14:26 mark (12-11) in the first half on an Edwards’s three-pointer in the overtime period. The Miners outscored the Roadrunners, 12-9, in the extra five minutes on 4-of-7 shooing. Williams and Edwards combined for eight points, while Vila and Boum each scored two in overtime. Vila also added a pair of assists.
Overall, Williams shot 13-of-24 from field and went a perfect 6-of-6 from the free-throw line, extending his streak to 21 consecutive made free throws. Williams notched his fourth double-double of the season after gathering 10 boards. He also snagged a pair of steals.
Edwards went 5-for-8 from downtown and chipped in with a trio of dimes along with a block and steal. Vila tied a career high by dishing out six assists and grabbing seven rebounds with six points.
Vila also drew his team-leading fourth charge in the final seconds in regulation. Hawkins tallied a season-high eight rebounds, and Boum tied his season high with four assists.
Fans can listen on 600 ESPN El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher calling the action, while the contest will be streamed on ESPN3.
After being idle for a week, the UTEP women’s basketball team (10-5, 3-1 C-USA) will return to action at home against UTSA (6-9, 2-2 C-USA) at 1 p.m. MT Saturday at the Don Haskins Center.
“They’re a lot better than they were last year. They’re running some things now they didn’t last year. They’re moving around more on offense so they’re harder to guard than they’ve been in the past. They’ve got some young players that can really score,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker shared. “UTSA is a very dangerous team, very much like us. I expect a really good game, a really competitive game between two teams that are kind of on the rise a bit.”
Saturday’s contest will be the first of three straight at home for the Miners. The series between the Miners and the Roadrunners dates to the 1980’s when both squads were members of the Oil Country Athletic Conference.
The Miners are 8-3 at home, including 2-0 in league play. The Roadrunners are 1-6 on the road, but that lone road victory did come during league action. UTEP is in second place in C-USA at 3-1 in the league. The Miners have scored at least 80 points in three straight games for the first time since the 2013-14 season; they’ve never strung together four consecutive such contests.
UTEP is coming off an 87-80 setback at LA Tech on Jan. 11. The Roadrunners fell, 82-65, at Southern Miss on Jan. 11.
In 2018-19 the Miners were decimated by injuries and finished the year at 9-22. It is a much different story this year, with UTEP (10-4) having already surpassed its overall win total from a season ago. The Miners got off to their first 3-0 start in league play in three years and enter Saturday’s contest in second place in C-USA (3-1). Last year they began league play at 1-8 en route to finishing 5-11 in conference action.
UTSA leads the series with UTEP, 22-13, but it is even at 6-6 since the Roadrunners joined Conference USA. Last year the Miners posted their first season sweep in the series since the 2013-14 campaign, including a 77-73 home win on Feb. 23, 2019. The Miners have won three in a row against UTSA to regain momentum in the match-up. UTSA had peeled off six of seven before the current UTEP surge.
Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234. The game will be streamed on CUSA.TV (subscription based) and also through the 600 ESPN El Paso website with Duke Keith and Traci Miller on the call.
Bryson Williams scored a career-high 34 points and added 10 rebounds for his fourth career double-double, and Daryl Edwards hit a career-best five three-point buckets on his way to 18 points, as the pair led UTEP to its biggest comeback in program history, defeating UTSA, 80-77 in overtime in the Haskins Center on Wednesday night.
The Miners (11-7, 2-3 Conference USA), who were down 24 points with 14:43 remaining, got a much-needed victory as their comeback tied for 24th largest in NCAA history. UTEP rallied from 19 points down against WKU on Feb. 6, 2016.
“What a game. What a game,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We beat a team who’s playing as well as anybody in our league. We have a lot of respect for [UTSA Head Coach] Steve [Henson], and UTSA. We know that guys can really score the basketball. They put a lot of pressure on us, defensively and we had to guard two of the better scorers in college basketball. Jackson and Wallace are elite-level scorers. They had it going early and they were making shots. We didn’t come out with the kind of intensity and effort that we’ve had in practice the last couple days.”
Jhivvan Jackson (29 points), the nation’s second-leading scorer, and Keaton Wallace (26 points) combined for 55 points. The pair outscored the Miners, 32-28 in the first half but it wasn’t enough for the Roadrunners (8-10, 2-3 C-USA), who was looking to secure their third consecutive league win.
“We didn’t come with the defensive intensity that we needed. UTSA is an elite scoring team and they came out doing exactly that,” Williams said. “We had a long talk in the locker room. We knew we had to come harder and lock down on defense. We did that tonight.”
Souley Boum, Edwards, Nigel Hawkins, Eric Vila and Williams played the last 17:33 of the contest, as UTEP outscored UTSA, 44-21 during that span.
“I give my guys a lot of credit,” Terry said. “When we went into halftime with that lack of effort, you don’t have a lot of adjustments. It’s not about the board, it’s about the heart, this is about competing, and it’s about having pride defensively. I thought our guys responded and I give them a lot of credit on how they bounced back. They showed character through adversity and persevered against a good team.”
Vila scored six points with seven rebounds and tied his career high with six assists in 31 minutes off the bench. Vila also drew a charge with the game tied with just over 37 seconds remaining in regulation, while he threw down a late dunk in overtime.
Hawkins tallied a season-high eight rebounds, while chipping in with seven points and a pair of assists. Boum scored five of his seven points in the second half, while dishing out four assists.
After taking a 42-28 lead into the locker room, the Roadrunners upped it to 24 points (54-30) at the 14:43 mark in the second half after Jackson hit a jumper and Wallace followed with a layup.
Edwards followed with a three-pointer, but Wallace, answered with another of his own to give his squad a 23-point advantage and silencing Miner Nation.
But the relentless Miners wouldn’t go down without a fight.
Down 56-33, Boum hit a three-point bucket that sparked a 17-0 run at the 13:06 mark. Williams followed with an and-1, while Vila nailed a three-pointer to make it a 14-point game. Williams converted another and-1, while he stole the ball on the other end that set up an Edwards’s trey, making the score 56-48.
Williams scored his eighth point during the run to make it a six-point contest (56-50) with 9:02 left.
“What we echoed to the guys was, ‘work the game possession by possession’,” Terry said. “We don’t need any home runs right now. But we have to put some consecutive stops together right now and guard.”
The Miners’ defense forced four turnovers during the run, while they forced nine turnovers overall in the final 25 minutes
Though Luka Barisic stopped the run with a made layup to make the count 58-50, Edwards got the Miners going again as his basket started an 8-2 run that was capped by a Vila free throw to tie the game at 60.
The two squads went basket-for-basket down the stretch as the scored stayed at 68-68 with no time left in regulation.
In overtime, UTEP shot 4-of-7 (57.1 percent) from the field, while UTSA went 3-for-8. Jackson scored the first points during the extra period, but Edwards followed with this fifth trey of the contest that gave UTEP its first lead (71-70) since the 14:26 mark of the first half (12-11).
Jackson made a pair of free throws at the 2:31 mark to give his squad a 74-73 edge. But Williams answered with a jumper and Vila’s dunk put the Miners up three points (77-74). Boum then sunk a pair of free throws that gave his squad its biggest lead of the night at five points (79-74).
Jackson made things interesting with a three-pointer, but he and Wallace missed jumpers in the final seconds, in which one was blocked by Vila. Edwards capped the comeback with a free throw with one second remaining.
UTEP tallied a season-high 19 assists, while collecting 10 offensive boards. The Miners turned the ball over eight times during the first half, but limited that number to only five in the second period and overtime.
The Miners’ hot free-throw shooting continued, as it shot 88.9 percent (16-18). UTEP is shooting 89.7 percent (70-78) from the line during its last three contests.
UTSA, after shooting 48.6 percent from the field in the first half, was held to 38.7 percent in the second half and overtime. The Miners shot 47.4 percent in the final 25 minutes after only 32.1 percent the first 20.
Kaden Archie, who make his fourth consecutive start, tallied five points and three assists. Efe Odigie tallied three boards, two points and an assist, while Tydus Verhoeven chipped in with a point and rebound.
Up next, UTEP will play UTSA again, this time in San Antonio on Saturday, Jan. 18.
Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. MT/3 p.m. CT at the Convocation Center. The Miners and Roadrunners can be heard on 600 ESPN El Paso, while the contest will be streamed on ESPN3.
Bryson Williams scored a game-high 17 points and Souley Boum scored 11 of his 12 points in the second half, but LA Tech (12-4, 3-1 Conference USA) used a 10-0 run down the stretch to hand UTEP (10-7, 1-3 C-USA) its first home loss, 64-61, on Saturday night in the Haskins Center.
“It was a really good game tonight, but obviously we don’t like the outcome of the game – being on the wrong side of it,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “It was another close ball game where we have to execute on both ends of the floor. We have to be able to get stops and we have to be able to come down and execute on the other end as well.”
The Miners rallied after being down 10 points early in the second half. Jordan Lathon made a pair of free throws to put the Miners up 61-54 with 3:19 left in the game, bringing crowd of 5,731 to its feet and into an uproar.
Derric Jean started the Bulldogs’ run on a driving layup. Following a missed Boum three-point attempt, Mubarak Muhammed made the count 61-58 on another LA Tech layup.
Cobe Williams connected on a pair of three throws with 1:38 left in the game, getting the Bulldogs within a point (61-60). Jean connected on another layup for the go-ahead basket (62-61) after a turnover by Eric Vila with 24 seconds remaining. Lathon tallied another UTEP crucial turnover with 15 seconds remaining and Amorie Archibald hit both his free throws after being fouled in the closing seconds.
UTEP had a chance to tie the contest as Williams missed a three-point attempt. Vila grabbed the offensive board for another chance to tie, but turned the ball over again after Williams snagged the ball to seal the victory.
LA Tech controlled the first half, shooting 43.3 percent to UTEP’s 36.4. The Bulldogs took a 34-28 lead into the locker and built that lead to 10 points (38-28) at the 19:13 mark in the second period.
“I thought in the first half, we gave away the ball too much,” Terry said. “We had 11 turnovers at the half and they were scoring and converting off our turnovers. It’s really hard to defend that. We have to do a better job at protecting the ball, continuing the keep working and keep plugging away.”
Despite the double-digit deficit, the Miners kept fighting on their home floor as Daryl Edwards gave some spark to the offense after nailing a three-pointer. Though DaQuan Bracey answered with a jumper to make it a nine-point game (40-31), Vila connected on his second three of the game, bringing the Miners within six points (40-34).
Vila’s trey was big as it started a 17-1 run. Edwards hit another three and Williams followed with a bucket in the paint, making the score 40-39.
“That run was all predicated on how hard we guarding and we were getting stops,” Terry said. “Then we were able to get out and play in transition.”
Boum gave the Miners a 42-41 lead on a three-point bucket, while Williams went on to score the next five points that included an and-1 play. Boum capped the run with a made free throw as the Miners took a 48-41 lead at the 10:59 mark.
After Williams was called for stepping out of bounds on baseline, a technical was called on Terry and LA Tech went on a 6-0 run, making the score 48-47. The two squads went back-and-forth as the two were tied 50-50 with 7:17 remaining. UTEP used an 11-4 to take the seven-point advantage before the Bulldogs locked down and shutdown the Miners’ offense the rest of the way.
Williams added five rebounds, a UTEP career-high three blocked shots and two steals, while Lathon led the team with nine rebounds. Edwards chipped in with nine points and led the team with three assists. Vila added six points on a pair of treys and grabbed seven boards.
Archibald led La Tech with 14 points, while Jean scored 13 and Bracey 12 points. Muhammed recorded 13 rebounds and eight points.
The Bulldogs took advantage of 17 Miners’ miscues that led to 24 points off turnovers.
UTEP continued its clutch free-throw shooting, making 20-of-23 (87 percent) on the night.
Up next, UTEP will host UTSA (8-9, 2-1 C-USA) on Wednesday, Jan. 15. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. in the Haskins Center. The contest will be streamed on ESPN+, while fans can listen to the action on 600 ESPN El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher and Steve Yellen calling the action.
Gallery by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta – Chief Photographer, El Paso Herald Post
RUSTON, La. – UTEP shot 47.9 percent (23-48) from the floor and nailed a season-high 10 triples, but it sustained its first Conference USA loss of the year in an 87-80 setback at LA Tech Saturday afternoon.
“If you’re going to beat them here, you’ve got to do something special.” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “We were unable to get it done today, but I like the way we played. I was really impressed with the things we did out there. Our problem was in the first quarter we just kept turning it over. They hit shots when they needed to hit shots. I think we brought the best out of LA Tech tonight.”
The Miners (10-5, 3-1 C-USA) were hurt by committing 28 turnovers and allowing the Lady Techsters (9-5, 1-2 C-USA) to drill 53.8 percent (28-52) from the floor, including 50.0 percent (11-22) from 3-point range.
Freshman Katia Gallegos flirted with a double-double (15 points, seven assists) to pace a trio of players in double figures. Katarina Zec (13 points) and Ariana Taylor (11 points) buoyed her, while Sabine Lipe (nine points, three assists) and Jade Rochelle (eight points, two assists) led the efforts off the pine.
It was a seesaw battle with 11 ties and 14 lead changes. The game was knotted at 71 with 9:34 to play before LA Tech took control with an 8-0 surge. The Miners battled back, trimming the margin to three (81-78) after a Zec free throw with 3:19 remaining.
That was as close as they would get, with the Lady Techsters staving off every remaining push from the Orange and Blue to improve to 8-2 on the year at home.
LA Tech was led by Keiunna Walker’s double-double (28 points, 10 rebounds). Three other Lady Techsters also reached double digits in scoring, in the form of Grayson Bright (14 points), Raizel Guinto (13 points) and Amber Dixon (12 points).
UTEP jumped out to an 9-4 lead, including a mini 5-0 run by Zec, two minutes into the contest. LA Tech responded with 10 straight points and eventually led the Miners by six (21-15) with 46 seconds to play in the opening quarter. UTEP struck back with consecutive triples by Gallegos and Taylor, respectively, to pull even at 21 through 10 minutes of action.
The home side went back ahead midway through the second frame, with UTEP trailing by four (34-30). Once again, the Orange and Blue had an answer. This time it was with five straight points to regain an advantage at 35-34 with 1:31 left in the first half. It was back-and-forth the final 91 seconds of quarter, and UTEP entered the locker room armed with a two-point edge (38-36).
It was a high-scoring third quarter, with the two teams combining for 62 points in the frame. UTEP’s 30 points in the frame marked its highest scoring road quarter in program history. Overall it tied as the fifth-most points the Orange and Blue have ever tallied in a quarter.
After each team got a triple at the onset of the fourth quarter, LA Tech went on the aforementioned 8-0 that ultimately doomed the Orange and Blue.
UTEP will be idle for a week before it starts a three-game homestand when it plays host to UTSA at 1 p.m. on Jan. 18. Tickets are $5 for kids and $3 for adults, and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.
UTEP men’s hoops will continue its home stand when it hosts LA Tech in Conference USA action on Saturday, January 11. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. in the Haskins Center.
“They’re coming off a loss [at UTSA] and we know we’ll get a team coming in here ready to play and we’ll get their best game,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We’ll have to execute, we’ll have to play hard and take pride in getting stops against a team that prides itself on shooting the ball. We’ll have to keep them off the glass as they rebound really well and they’re well-coached, they’re a good team.”
The Miners (10-6, 1-2 C-USA) are coming off a 76-64 victory over Southern Miss on January 9, where UTEP connected on a 34-of-37 free throws led by Souley Boum’s 14-for-14 effort.
Boum scored a game-high 26 points, including 19 during the second half. Bryson Williams added 20 points, while he was also perfect (10-10) from the charity stripe. Its 34 free throws made were the most for UTEP in a conference game since Jan. 31, 2009 versus Southern Miss (35).
The Bulldogs (11-4, 2-1 C-USA) are coming off an 89-73 loss at UTSA as the Roadrunners’ Jhivvan Jackson went off for 37 points. UTSA also hit a program-record 18 three-pointers. Kalob Ledoux and DaQuan Bracey each led LA Tech with 12 points, while Derric Jean chipped in with 11 points and led the way with seven boards.
The Bulldogs’ are one of the top defending teams in C-USA as they rank second in scoring defense (61.6) and first in field goal percentage defense (38.3). LA Tech ranks third in steals per game (8.7) and ranks first in scoring margin (16.3).
Saturday’s game will also feature “Youth Day”. Youth basketball teams of 15+ receive group ticket prices starting at $13. There will be a free pregame clinic for kids 12 and under.
To sign up email – firstname.lastname@example.org. There will also be a free postgame autograph session with the team exclusively for all clinic participants. Call (915) 747-6065 to get group tickets.
Fans can also listen live on 600 ESPN El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher (play-by-play) and former UTEP basketball player Steve Yellen (color analysis) calling the action.
The contest will also be streamed on ESPN+ with El Paso Athletics Hall of Famer Duke Keith (play-by-play) and Miner great Leonard Owens (color analysis) on the mic.
Single-game tickets are available by calling (915) 747-5234 or by going online. Mini plans are available by calling (915) 747-6150.
Souley Boum tied a career high with 26 points, while draining a collegiate career-best 14 free throws on 14 attempts, and Bryson Williams tallied 20 points on 10-of-10 shooting from the line as UTEP won its first Conference USA game, defeating Southern Miss, 76-64, in the Haskins Center Thursday night.
“We knew it was going to be a competitive game tonight, both teams were desperate for a win in conference play,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said, who returned to the bench after missing the last two games.
“We knew we’d get a team in Southern Miss that’s well coached and that was going to come in here with guys who can score the basketball. We were going to have to do a great job defending and we did that in the second half. We knew we’d have to grind it out and continue to build the team moving forward.”
The Miners (10-6, 1-2 C-USA) are 9-0 in the Haskins Center for the first time since the 1988-89 season. The nine wins at home surpassed last season’s total of eight after shooting 91.9 percent (34-37) from the free-throw line.
UTEP sunk 34 free throws, the most made since hitting 33 against Loyola on Nov. 14, 2015.
The Golden Eagles (4-12, 0-3 C-USA) entered Thursday’s game averaging 5.0 three-pointers per game. USM kept the contest close by make four in the first half and shooting 40.0 percent from the field overall. That number dropped as Southern Miss shot 33.3 percent in the second half, while going 2-for-7 from three-point range.
Kaden Archie made his second consecutive start and chipped in with nine points, three rebounds and an assist and steal, while Eric Vila, Nigel Hawkins and Daryl Edwards each scored six points. Vila led way with 11 rebounds, matching his season high, while recording a season-high three offensive boards. Hawkins led the squad with four assists and grabbed five rebounds.
Hawkins (4-5) and Vila (4-6) went a combined 8-of-11 from the line.
The Miners came out of the locker room up two points and Hawkins put his team up 32-28 on an impressive reverse layup. However, Southern Miss wouldn’t go away as it took a 42-38 lead at the 14:47 mark. Boum was fouled on the following play attempting a trey and got the Miners within a point after draining all three free-throws.
But USM took a three-point advantage after Gabe Watson made a pair of free throws. After Watson later followed with a jumper that put USM a point (52-51), the Miners answered with stingy defense and never looked back after a 12-1 run.
“We’re trying to get back to being a team that takes pride in stopping your man by guarding hard,” Terry said. “Tonight, when we had runs, we had guys defending really hard that led to those great runs. We try to play to our strength and get easy baskets in transition.”
Hawkins started the run with a pair a made free throws, while Boum nailed his second trey of the game that put the Miners up four points (56-52) at the 6:46 mark. Leonard Harper-Baker made a free throw that stopped the run, but Williams went to score the next seven points that gave the Miners a 63-53 lead with four over four minutes remaining in the contest.
Deon Stroud, who’s been seeing more playing time, score three points on an and-1. Stroud took the ball to the hole and threw an emphatic dunk on David McCoy, while drawing the foul in the process late in the first half.
Watson led USM with 20 points, while Harper-Baker chipped in with 14 points and a team-high eight rebounds. LaDavius Darine tallied 13 points.
UTEP went 13-for-13 from the line in the first half, but struggled from the field, shooting only 38.1 percent (8-21) and 10.0 percent (1-10) from beyond the arc. The Miners shot over 42 percent in the second period, and finished 19-47 (40.4 percent) from the field overall.
The Miners’ bench outscored USM’s, 35-10. UTEP also hit the boards hard, outrebounding Southern Miss, 39-31.
UTEP’s home stand will continue on Saturday as it hosts LA Tech (11-4, 2-1 C-USA). The Bulldogs fell at UTSA (7-9, 1-2) on Thursday night as Jhivvan Jackson went off for 37 points. The Miners will play the Roadrunners in back-to-back contests, the first on Wednesday, Jan. 15 in the Haskins Center and at San Antonio on Jan. 18.
HATTIESBURG, Ms. – Fueled by the highest scoring first half on the road in program history, UTEP surged to an 89-72 win at Southern Miss Thursday evening.
The Miners’ (10-4, 3-0 C-USA) 89 points tie as the most in league road contest in school history. They also did so in an 89-74 win at UCF on Feb. 24, 2008.
UTEP piled up 51 points to lead the Lady Eagles (9-4, 1-1 C-USA) by 20 at the break on the way to their third victory in as many league games. It marked just the second home loss of the campaign for USM, which slipped to 8-2 inside Reed Green Coliseum this year.
Freshman Katia Gallegos set career highs in scoring (23) and assists (eight) to lead the way. She was joined in double figures by fellow starters Katarina Zec (21 points), Ariana Taylor (14 points) and Ariona Gill (13 points). Avery Crouse pitched in six points and four assists. All five starters logged at least 30 minutes of action.
UTEP drilled 52.5 percent (32-61) from the floor, the fourth-highest percentage in a road conference contest in program annals. Furthermore, the Miners have scored at least 89 points in consecutive league games for the first time in program history. They piled up 96 points in the home win against Florida Atlantic (1/4/20) before erupting for 89 points against USM Thursday.
“We played extraordinarily well in the first half,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “That’s about as good as we’ve played all year and we needed that to win here at Southern Miss. I’m proud of the team. This team is playing really, really well right now, and I hope everybody jumps on board. These are a special group of kids. To come in on a road game and play as well as this, that says a lot.”
The Orange and Blue forced 16 turnovers that were converted into 28 points. UTEP also controlled the boards (39-28), with Taylor’s career-high nine rebounds setting the tone in the area.
UTEP raced out to a 17-8 lead just four minutes into the contest. Six different Miners scored during the surge, which was capped by a transition triple from Arina Khlopkova off a feed from Gallegos. USM fought back, trimming the Miner advantage to three (23-20) through 10 minutes of action.
A jumper from Gill followed by a triple by Gallegos powered a mini 5-0 push to start the second quarter, prompting a timeout by the home side. The difference was 11 (42-31) with 2:49 left in the stanza before UTEP ripped off nine straight points to close the stanza in style. UTEP’s 28 points in the second quarter marked its highest scoring frame on the road at the school.
The Miners extended their lead to as many as 27 (72-45) late in the third quarter, but the home side started to rally.
USM fought back to whittle the differential to within eight (82-70) with four minutes to play, but Gallegos wouldn’t let it get any closer. She hit six straight free throws before drilling a triple for good measure to help UTEP close out the contest on a 9-2 surge to win by 17.
UTEP will look to make it a sweep on its first league road trip of the year when it plays at LA Tech at 1 p.m. MT/2 p.m. CT Saturday.
The UTEP men’s basketball teamwill make their return to their home court when they host Southern Miss on Thursday, January 9. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
UTEP (9-6, 0-2 Conference USA) and Southern Miss (4-11, 0-2 C-USA) are off to winless starts in league action. The Miners came up short, losing at FIU, 69-67, and at Florida Atlantic, 59-56. The Golden Eagles lost a pair to LA Tech, 80-49, in Hattiesburg and 78-50 in Ruston, La.
The Miners are 8-0 in El Paso this season, while Southern Miss is 0-8 (0-5 on the road) away from Hattiesburg. UTEP has started the season 8-0 at home for the first time since the 2003-04 season.
The last time a Miner team started its home season with more than eight straight wins was in 1988-89 when they went undefeated (18-0) in the Haskins Center.
Second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry, who was admitted to a Miami area hospital on Jan. 1, will make his return to the bench for the Miners after missing two games.
“I’m excited about being here. I’m excited about getting a chance to be back with our team, and getting our team up and going,” Terry said. “Our team is excited about continuing to compete.”
Even though one road team was victorious (North Texas at Marshall on Jan. 4) to open C-USA play this past weekend, Terry thinks home court advantage in league play isn’t necessarily an advantage.
“Being at home is not enough. I think in our league, on any given night, if you’re not ready to play anybody can beat anybody,” Terry said. “We know being at home isn’t enough and we have to outcompete teams for 40 minutes.”
But with UTEP coming off narrow losses on the road, the Miners can gain the home advantage by working on details.
“We need to get better in practice every day and challenge each other the get better in practice every day,” Terry said. “But there is a lot of basketball to be played and we have to do that every 40 minutes by 40 minutes. We need to take care of the ball and clean some things up. We need to fix our rebounding and work harder for those.”
Jordan Lathon will also make his return to the program after announcing his return to the program Jan. 6. The sophomore guard missed time due to a family matter. Lathon leads the Miners with 37 assists in 13 games started.
Bryson Williams leads UTEP in points per game (18.4) and rebounds per game (6.7) and recorded his third double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) at Florida Atlantic on Jan. 4. Kaden Archie, who made his first collegiate start at FAU, is averaging 8.3 points per game and has 10 rebounds during his last four games. Archie shot 3-of-5 from the field, including a three and went 2-for-2 from the line, scoring nine points versus the Owls.
Southern Miss got off to a slow start this season under first-year head coach Jay Ladner. The Golden Eagles finished 4-9 in nonconference play as they have faced to tough competition in Gonzaga, Seton Hall, Alabama, Iowa State and Texas Tech. Gabe Watson is USM’s leading scorer (13.1 ppg), while Tyler Stevenson (11.9 ppg), Boban Jacdonmi (10.8 ppg) and LaDavius Draine (10.7 ppg) each average double-figures. Jacdonmi paces the squad at 5.7 rebounds per game, while Jay Malone has a team-high 62 assists (4.1 apg).
UTEP owns a 16-14 edge in the series. Southern Miss defeated the Miners, 77-47, in Hattiesburg on Feb. 16, 2019 during the lone meeting last season. The Golden Eagles have won 10 of the last 15 matchups and nine of the last 13.
The two programs last met in the Haskins Center on Feb. 24, 2018 with the Miners cruising past the Golden Eagles, 73-44. UTEP is 12-2 versus Southern Miss in El Paso, including 9-1 since joining Conference USA.
Overall the Miners are 13-12 against the Golden Eagles since becoming a member of C-USA. The Miners and Golden Eagles first met on Dec. 29, 1950 in the Sun Carnival Classic.
Fans can also listen live on 600 ESPN El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher (play-by-play) and former UTEP basketball player Steve Yellen (color analysis) calling the action.
The contest will also be streamed on ESPN+ with El Paso Athletics Hall of Famer Duke Keith (play-by-play) and Miner great Leonard Owens (color analysis) on the mic.
The UTEP women’s basketball team (9-4, 2-0 C-USA) will face its first road test of conference play when it squares off at Southern Miss (9-3, 1-0 C-USA) at 5 p.m. MT Thursday.
The game is the first of two on the road for the Miners, who will also play at LA Tech at 1 p.m. MT Saturday.
Southern Miss and LA Tech are a combined 15-2 at home on the year. UTEP is 1-1 on the road. The Miners enter the match-up with momentum, having won back-to-back conference contests by 30+ points for the first time in program history.
UTEP is off to a 2-0 start in C-USA action for the first occasion since 2016, including blasting Florida Atlantic, 96-65, last time out at home on Jan. 4. The 96 points were the most under head coach Kevin Baker, and rate as the fourth-highest total in a conference contest in program annals.
USM has won back-to-back contests, including holding off LA Tech, 66-60, at home on Jan. 4. UTEP (2-0), Rice (2-0) and Southern Miss (1-0) are the lone teams without a loss in league action after the opening week of play.
“They press, they get after you a bit. They’re a great offensive rebounding team. They’re not the best shooting team we’ve played all year, but they are a great offensive rebounding threat. They have a great scorer inside and a great point guard who will keep us busy and keep us challenged,” head coach Kevin Baker said.
In 2018-19 the Miners were decimated by injuries and finished the year at 9-22. It is a much different story this year, with UTEP (9-4) having already matched its overall win total from a season ago. The Miners are also off to a 2-0 start in C-USA action. Last year they began league play at 1-8 en route to finishing 5-11 in conference action.
Seven of UTEP’s victories have been by double figures, including five of at least 20 points. It is the most wins by 20+ points since 2013-14 (nine). The Miners had their largest differential (+45) under head coach Kevin Baker in a 92-47 drubbing of Alcorn State (11/16/19), which tied as the 10th-biggest margin of victory in program history. They’ve also taken down Florida Atlantic (1/4/20) by 31 (96-65), FIU (1/2/20) by 30 (64-34), Western Michigan (11/29) by 30 (76-46) and a NM State (11/23/19) by 20 (64-45).
Overall UTEP’s scoring margin (+12.3) ranks second in C-USA and 55th in the nation.
UTEP leads the series, 13-9, but Southern Miss has a 5-4 cushion when playing in Hattiesburg. Southern Miss has claimed two straight and four of the past five, including a 64-63 win in El Paso on Feb. 16, 2019, in the lone meetings between the programs last year. Twenty one of the 22 match-ups between the programs have come since 2005-06 when UTEP joined C-USA.
For the first time since the 1982-83 season (prior records incomplete), the Miners scored at least 90 points in a contest without having an individual player tally at least 15 points. UTEP exploded for 96 points in the win against Florida Atlantic (1/4/20), with DeJaNae Roebuck and Ariona Gill sharing the team lead with 14 points each.
UTEP is getting after it on defense in 2019-20, ranking among the league and national leaders for several defensive categories. The Miners top the country in 3-point field-goal percentage defense (21.2). They are also making waves with turnovers forced per game (21.1-first/24th), scoring defense (56.0-third/32nd) and field-goal percentage defense (35.6-fourth/40th).
All of those figures were aided when UTEP set the program record for fewest points allowed in a conference contest by holding FIU to 34 points on Jan. 2.
The game will be streamed on CUSA.TV (subscription based) and also through the 600 ESPN El Paso website with Brandon Cohn on the call.