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Tuesday , November 19 2019
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Home | Tag Archives: miners basketball

Tag Archives: miners basketball

Gallery+Story: In High-Scoring Affair, UTEP Falls To New Mexico 93-78

UTEP put up 78 points while shooting 49 percent from the floor, but it wasn’t enough to keep up with high-octane New Mexico in a 93-78 setback at the Don Haskins Center Tuesday morning in the Don Haskins Center.

Nearly 1,500 fans, most of them young students, made for an entertaining atmosphere on the Miners’ (3-1) “Education Day” game, but the Lobos (5-0) emerged victorious in a battle of unbeatens. Katarina Zec (16 points), Tatyana Modawar (career-high 12 points) and Katia Gallegos (10 points) all hit double figures in scoring for UTEP.

Ariona Gill flirted with a double-double (eight points, 10 rebounds) while Avery Crouse netted nine and Ariana Taylor chipped in seven points.

UNM relied on a barrage of 3-pointers (12-29), an extremely good day at the line (17-19) and winning the boards (41-30) to outlast the Miners. The Lobos had a 24-14 margin on second-chance points while also holding advantages for points in the paint (38-28) and fastbreak points (34-12).

The Miners lost for just the second time (14-2) of the Kevin Baker era when scoring at least 70 points.

The Lobos were led by Jordan Hosey’s double-double (19 points, 13 rebounds). Four other players also hit double figures in scoring.

“We just didn’t guard well enough to get the job done,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “New Mexico is a good team, the best one we’ve played so far this year. They attack you so hard. We could never really play the game on our terms defensively. We did a lot of things to try to slow them down.”

“I also want to thank all the teachers out there that brought their kids out today,” Baker said. “It felt good to have them in the gym. They made a lot of noise for the home team.

The Lobos jumped out to an 10-2 lead at the 7:38 mark, taking advantage of Gallegos going to the bench with a pair of early fouls. The Miners regrouped and responded with a 11-2 surge on the way to leading by one (13-12) with 3:48 left in the frame.

It was back-and-forth the next couple of minutes before UNM grabbed control of the contest by wrapping a 14-1 run around the quarter break to jump out by 17 (37-20) with 5:34 to play in the half. A Zec jumper ended the sequence, but the damage had been done. The deficit was 14 at the break.

The Miners twice got it within 10 in the third quarter, but could get no closer the rest of the way.

The Miners will play their second rivalry game of the week when they play host to I-10 rival NM State at 7 p.m. MT Saturday. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.

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.

Gallery by Ruben R. Ramirez – El Paso Herald Post

JUCO All-American highlights four member Signing Class for UTEP Women’s Basketball

Junior-college All-American Destiny Thurman (Collin County Community College), Gabriela Sales (Northwest Florida State College), Brenda Fontana (U19 Argentina) and Dagne Apsite (U17 Latvia) will be donning the orange and blue starting next year.

All four have all signed national letters of intent to attend school and play with the UTEP women’s basketball team starting in the 2020-21 scholastic year, head coach Kevin Baker announced Monday.

“We are so excited about our recruiting class for this signing period,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “We believe we have ‘turned the corner’ with this group of highly-talented players. Not only are each of these young ladies very talented in their respective positions, but they are also outstanding student-athletes. These four signees will be a phenomenal addition to our Miner Women’s Basketball program and the El Paso community.”

A brief profile on each of the signees, along with a quote from Baker, is below.

Destiny Thurman  – Collin County Community College  |  Arlington, Texas

5-7, Guard

Named a National Junior College second-team All-American as a freshman with Collin County Community College … accounted for 16.1 points per game to go along with 3.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists per contest … reached double figures in scoring in 25 contests, including nine outbursts of at least 20 points … connected on 46.6 percent from the floor (174-373) … efforts helped team go 23-7 … previously starred at Lamar High School, where was a 2018 McDonald’s All-American Nominee … also a three-time All-Region (2016-18) and First-Team All-District honoree … tabbed the 2018 Offensive Player of the Year … voted to the Cowtown All-Tournament team (2015-18) on multiple occasions … four-year letter winner who averaged 12.8 points per game during her career, including a blistering 19.9 ppg as a senior.

“Destiny is an extremely gifted and highly recruited guard. She is, by far, one of the most talented guards in the country. She has the ability to see the floor and attack the rim well off the dribble. She is also an exceptional shooter that can score from mid-range or the three pointer. She simply can do it all. Our program will be heavily impacted when she puts on the Miner uniform next fall.” 

UTEP women’s basketball head coach, Kevin Baker

Gabriela Sales  – Northwest Florida State College  \   Sao Paulo, Brazil

6-0, Guard

 Helped Northwest Florida State College compile a record of 26-6 in her freshman year in 2018-19 … played in all 32 contests … as a sophomore is accounting for 7.7 points per game, in addition to 1.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists per contest … competed at the 2016 FIBA U17 Women’s World Championship with Brazil, averaging five points in the event.

“Gabriela is a very versatile guard that can play multiple positions on the floor. She has an outstanding ability to shoot the ball, which separates her from other guards and makes her valuable addition to our squad. She has great court vision and a very high basketball IQ. She is coming from one of the top junior colleges in the country and knows how to win.”

UTEP women’s basketball head coach, Kevin Baker

Brenda Fontana – U19Argentina/Club Atletico Velez Sarsfield   |  Moreno, Argentina

6-1, Forward

 Extensive international experience with Argentina at basketball tournaments, playing for the U17, U18 and U19 teams … has put up 7.3 points per game while grabbing 5.1 rebounds per contest across the board at the different events … erupted for 17 points to go along with six rebounds and five steals against Colombia while playing at the U19 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in 2019  … hit double figures in scoring in three different contests, including firing off 25 vs. Latvia at the U17 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in summer of 2018 … averaged 10 points and six boards in seven contests at the tournament … also competes with Club Atletico Velez Sarsfield.

“Brenda was a terrific find for us. She is a stretch four that will add some toughness and size to our program. Brenda is a good shooter, driver, and likes to post up. She is just what we were looking for in her position. She is a solid defender and rebounder. She has a lot of playing experience from her national team, and we know she will use that to her advantage as she joins the Miner family.”

UTEP women’s basketball head coach, Kevin Baker

Dagne Apsite – U17 Latvia /BK Saldus Sporta Skola  |  Saldus, Latvia

6-2, Forward

Gained experience on the international level while competing with the U16 and U17 Latvian National team … also has played with BK Saldus Sporta Skola

“Dagne is a solid forward with great athletic ability and a very high motor. She can handle the ball and shoot it like a guard, but also has the ability to post and score inside. She will be very difficult for other teams to guard. In addition, she is very active in the press and plays defense with great energy. Her versatility as a player is why she will have a great playing career at UTEP.”             

UTEP women’s basketball head coach, Kevin Baker

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 home of UTEP Athletics.

UTEP to host long time rival New Mexico for “Noche Latina” November 19

UTEP and New Mexico will collide for the 145th time as the Battle of I-25 returns to the Bear’s Den Tuesday night. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. in the annual “Noche Latina” game.

The matchup will feature live mariachi music and folklorico dancers, and UTEP players will wear their “Mineros” jerseys.

“We can’t thank the fans enough for their support against the Aggies and we’ll need every one of them back for another big rivalry game versus the Lobos,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said.  “This is a New Mexico team that was highly competitive in the Mountain West last season and added some high-profile transfers from Ohio State, Texas A&M, Kansas and Towson.  They are picked to finish third in the Mountain West this season.  It’s going to be another great test for our squad.  El Paso, we need you to come out and help us Defend the Don!”

Both programs are off to perfect starts as the Miners (3-0) defeated Eastern New Mexico, 71-57, Friday night in the Haskins Center, and the Lobos (4-0) got by McNeese State 90-80 Saturday evening in The Pit.

UTEP is 3-0 for the first time since the 2015-16 season after freshman Deon Stroud scored a career-high 14 points to lead the Miners past ENMU by 14 points. Bryson Williams scored 12 points, while Souley Boum hit double-digit figures (11 points) and tied his collegiate career high with four assists.

The Miners outrebounded the Greyhounds 46-23, while Terry used nine players off the bench that combined to score 29 points.

Prior, the Miners defeated NM State on Nov. 12 as they snapped a nine-game losing streak in the Haskins Center. The 50 points allowed to the Aggies were the least since allowing only 49 on Nov. 29, 1983 in which UTEP won by 13 points that night.

The Miners are shooting for its first sweep of the Aggies and the Lobos in the Sun City since 1997.

Like the Miners and coach Terry, UNM Head Coach Paul Weir has multiple transfers on his roster who are making serious contributions early in the season.

During UNM’s 10-point victory over McNeese State, senior transfer Corey Manigault led the Lobos with 24 points on 12-of-16 shooting from the free-throw line. JaQuan Lyle, a transfer from Ohio State, tallied 18 points as he shot 3-for-5 from downtown. Carlton Bragg, a 6-10 transfer from Kansas, ripped down 18 boards and snagged five steals.

Lyle leads the Lobos at 19.0 points per game, while Manigault (15.8 ppg), Makauch Maluach (12.3 ppg), Bragg (11.8 ppg) and Zane Martin (11.8) are all averaging double-digit figures. Martin is also a transfer (Towson). Bragg is averaging 11.0 rebounds per game and JJ Caldwell, a transfer from Texas A&M, leads the way with 23 assists.

“[New Mexico] is off to a great start in its season. They were picked third in the [Mountain West Conference] and they’re a really talented ball club,” Terry said. “I’ve heard Paul Weir say this might be the most talented offensive team that he’s had at this point right now in his head coaching career. But they have a number of guys with size and they can score the basketball and it will be a great challenge for us here at home.”

Fans can listen live on UTEP’s flagship station ESPN 600 El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher calling the action and Steve Yellen with color analysis. The Miners and Lobos can also be seen on the CUSA.TV live stream.

Single-game tickets are available by calling (915) 747-5234 or by going online. Mini plans are available by calling (915) 747-6150.

UTEP drills Alcorn State 92-47

The UTEP women’s basketball team raced out to an 18-point lead (28-10) after the first quarter and never looked back in a 92-47 win against Alcorn State at the Don Haskins Center Saturday afternoon.

Katarina Zec (17 points) led a quartet of Miners (3-0) in double figures for scoring in the wire-to-wire victory against the Lady Braves (0-4). Ariona Gill (14 points, game-high seven rebounds), Michelle Pruitt (13 points) and freshman Avery Crouse (career-high 10 points) buoyed fellow starter Zec.

The bench did its part too by piling up 34 points, with Ariana Taylor (nine points) setting the tone for the reserves. DejaNae Roebuck (career-high tying seven points) nearly matched Taylor.

UTEP registered 23 assists on 34 field goals, won the boards (44-26) and forced 28 turnovers that were converted into 27 points. The Miners shot 54.8 percent (34-62) from the floor, including 39.1 percent (9-23) from distance. Alcorn State was held to 32.0 percent (16-50) shooting.

It marked the third 90+ point scoring contest under head coach Kevin Baker, who has his squad off to a 3-0 start for the second time in three seasons.

“Alcorn State plays such a unique style and is very difficult to prepare for,” Baker said. “I thought our team executed and moved the ball well because if you don’t they’re going to trap you for 40 minutes. We were able to score 92 points, even withstanding 25 turnovers, because we were able to handle a lot of what they do. I’m extraordinarily proud of our team today. We did an excellent job off maintaining our spacing and ball movement, and because of that we were able to play very well.”

UTEP jumped all over Alcorn State early, vaulting to a 13-3 advantage four minutes into the game. After the two sides traded blows over the next few minutes, UTEP ripped off eight straights on the way to leading by 18 (28-10) through 10 minutes of action. It marked the Miners’ highest-scoring quarter of the young season, with UTEP shooting 68.8 percent (11-16) in the frame factoring in.

The Miners peeled nine in a row to start the second quarter much like the first, affording them a 27-point cushion (37-10) at the 7:44 mark. The Lady Braves fought back some, but UTEP’s margin was still 22 (46-34) heading into halftime.

UTEP scored 10 in a row to christen the third quarter with a bang, and Alcorn State never got closer than 30 the rest of the way.

The Miners will continue their seven-game homestand when they play host to unbeaten New Mexico in a special 11 a.m. “Education Day” game on Tuesday. There is a $10 ticket special that includes a drink and a hot dog for the matinee contest, which may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.

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.

Gallery+Story: Miners down Eastern New Mexico 71-57

UTEP freshman Deon Stroud scored a team-high 14 points as the Miners (3-0) used a late run to defeat Eastern New Mexico, 71-57, on Friday night in the Don Haskins Center. The Miners are 3-0 for the first time since the 2015-16 season.

Stroud, who shot 5-of-8 from the field, energized the Miner faithful when he threw down a dunk with great extension with just over two minutes left in the ball game.

“[Deon Stroud] is a young player and is still learning what it takes to compete at this level day-in-and-day-out,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “He’s learning and he really wants to be good. He’s buying into the things we ask him to do, especially from the defensive standpoint. His attitude has been good and we wanted to give him an opportunity on the floor tonight.”

But it was Isaiah “Juice” Rhyanes who brought the house down. The local product from Andress High School saw his first collegiate action and scored the final two points of the ball game on an emphatic throw down that brought the announced crowd of 4,476 to their feet.

“Nicknamed ‘Juice’, the guys call him ‘Juice’, he’s probably one of the best kids you’ll ever have to coach in your career,” Terry said. “He’s a team favorite, and he’s one of those guys who will do anything for the team. You want to get him into the game at some point and I really wanted to get him in the game tonight. For him to get the opportunity to score a basket and a dunk on top of that, it was a great way to cap the game off tonight.”

Friday’s victory wasn’t easy by any means however as the Greyhounds got within eight points (49-41) at the 10:01 mark. The game could have been closer, but Devin Pullum missed a layup after a steal. The Miners then used an 11-4 run to go up 60-45 with 5:14 left in the contest.

“I think it’s good for us to play in those types of situations. [ENMU Head Coach] Tres [Segler] does a great job there and he had a lot of energy when he was with us at Texas,” Terry said. “He’s carried that over into his coaching career and his teams play extremely hard.”

Last season, the Miners slipped past Segler’s squad by seven points.

With just over a minute left in the game, Terry subbed in a few of his bench players as Juice, Jules Williamson, Anieus Medrano, and Ountae Campbell saw action.

Campbell dished out an assist to Juice under the basket, who scored his first collegiate points.

Eastern New Mexico kept the first half interesting as it led 12-9 after a Deng Kuany jumper in the paint at the 12:45 mark. Williams connected on a three pointer to tie the game, while Efe Odigie gave the Miners the go-ahead lead at 14-12.

The Miners broke the half open when Stroud connected on his first collegiate three-point bucket and then followed with his second three, giving the squad a 36-17 advantage. After being down three points, the Miners outscored the Greyhounds, 29-10, to close the half and take a 38-22 lead into the locker room.

Bryson Williams tallied 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting, while slamming down three of UTEP’s six dunks. Jordan Lathon added nine points (4-4 FT), while tying for the team lead with four assists. Souley Boum also recorded four dimes, while chipping in with 11 points.

Anthony Tarke saw 11 minutes of action (nine in the first half) and tied for the team lead with six rebounds. He added two points and a blocked shot. Odigie also grabbed six boards, while scoring six points. Tydus Verhoeven scored four points – two of them on a dunk, blocked a shot and snagged three boards.

Nigel Hawkins tallied three rebounds, two assists and a steal, while Daryl Edwards scored four points and dished out three assists. Eric Vila went 2-of-3 from downtown, scoring six points, while recording five points and an assist.

No Miner played over 30 minutes as Edwards led the way with 29 minutes of action. Terry also used nine players off the bench as it scored 29 points.

UTEP outrebound ENMU, 46-23, while scoring 36 points in the paint. The Miners dished out 16 assists, while forcing 14 turnovers.

For the Greyhounds, Isaiah Murphy led with 14 points, while Yosnier Cobas tallied 11 points.

Up next, UTEP will host rival New Mexico November 19. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. in the Haskins Center as the themed event is “Noche Latina”.

Gallery by Ruben R. Ramirez – El Paso Herald Post

UTEP to host to Eastern New Mexico Friday night

Hot off their big victory against NM State this past Tuesday night, UTEP (2-0) will host Eastern New Mexico on Friday, Nov. 15. The Miners and Greyhounds are set to tipoff at 7 p.m. in the Don Haskins Center.

Tuesday night was huge for UTEP as it snapped a nine-game losing streak to NM State on Nov. 12 in the Haskins Center. The Miners outscored the Aggies 37-25 on their way to a 15-point (65-50) triumph.

Bryson Williams, who was in foul trouble and played only 17 minutes, led the Miners with 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field, and paced the squad with eight rebounds. Jordan Lathon, who played in both contests last season against NM State, got off to a quick start by scoring four points on his first two field-goal attempts early in the contest.

Lathon finished with 13 points, four rebounds and a pair of assists. His three steals in the second half led to six points for the Miners. The Aggies got within four points (38-34) when Trevelin Queen connected on a three-point shot, but the Miners answered with a 9-0 run to go up 47-34 following a Lathon layup and never looked back.

Souley Boum played significant minutes, leading the Miners with 38. It’s the most played during his collegiate career, surpassing his previous high of 35 minutes while at San Francisco during the 2017-18 season. Boum struggled from the field, but not from the free-throw line after hitting 5-of-5 and scoring seven points with four rebounds.

Daryl Edwards chipped in with eight points, while Eric Vila filled his stat line with seven points, six rebounds and three assists. Tydus Verhoeven scored his first points as a Miner off a layup during the second half and tallied three rebounds, including an offensive board.

Nigel Hawkins scored four points in his season debut, while Efe Odigie, despite being in foul, scored five points and tied his career best with three assists.

UTEP is seeking its first 3-0 start since the 2015-16 season when the Miners started the campaign 5-0. UTEP is also looking for it first three-game winning streak since the 2017-18 season.

The Greyhounds are off to a winless start, recently losing 90-85 at Fort Lewis College. ENMU opened the season against New Mexico Highlands, falling 112-108 in Durango, Colo. Devin Pullum leads the team at 16.5 points per game, while Jose Serrano (14.5 ppg) and Isaiah Murphy (14.0) rank second and third, respectively.

Brandon Meadows leads ENMU in rebounds per game (6.5) and Pullum has dished out a team-high 13 assists.

In the last meeting, UTEP pulled away late from ENMU on Nov. 19, 2018 in the Haskins Center to come up with a 66-59 victory. Odigie ripped down 17 rebounds (a career high at the time) and tallied 14 points. The Miners lead the overall series, 12-1, after last season’s win. Prior to last season’s contest, the two programs met on Jan. 4, 1975.

The first meeting between the Miners and Greyhounds came during the 1944-45 season.

Fans can listen live on UTEP’s flagship station ESPN 600 El Paso with Steve Kaplowitz calling the action and Steve Yellen with color analysis. The Miners and Greyhounds can also be seen on the CUSA.TV live stream. Kappy is filling in for “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher who will be in Birmingham, Alabama, with the UTEP football team.

Single-game tickets are available by calling (915) 747-5234 or by going online. Season tickets and mini plans are available by calling (915) 747-6150.

UTEP knocks off I-10 rival NM State on the road 63-57

LAS CRUCES – Senior Katarina Zec scored 17 points, including a go-ahead three pointer with two minutes to play in the game, to help lift the UTEP women’s basketball team to a 63-57 win at I-10 rival NM State Wednesday evening.

The effort secured the Miners’ third straight 2-0 start under head coach Kevin Baker. Furthermore, they picked up their first road win against the Aggies (1-2) since 2015-16.

Junior transfer Michelle Pruitt (14 points) and freshman Katia Gallegos (13 points) joined Zec in double figures for scoring, while senior Ariona Gill pitched in seven points to go along with a team-best eight rebounds. Ariana Taylor came off the bench to score nine points, in addition to setting up Zec’s clutch trey.

It was a back-and-forth game with 12 ties and 19 lead changes, with the final change coming down the stretch. NM State led by two (57-55) with 3:24 to play, but UTEP closed the game on a 6-0 push to stay perfect on the young season. Zec provided the go-ahead score with a knockdown triple off a cross-court pass by Taylor.

NM State was paced by Aaliyah Prince (22 points).

“It just feels really good to have a competitive team that fights for every possession,” Baker said. “This was a very difficult game on the road against a really good team. We had a lot of young kids out there battling their hearts out and got some strong senior leadership down the stretch too. This is a big win for our program because we’re so young and are learning.”

The two sides traded scores over the first several minutes, with NM State holding a 12-11 lead at the 4:16 mark of the opening quarter. UTEP scored five straight to go up, 16-12, including back-to-back baskets from Taylor. The Aggies had an answer, wrapping an 11-0 run around the quarter break to go out by seven (23-16) with 8:11 remaining in the opening half.

It remained a seven-point  differential (27-20) at the 6:20 before the Orange and Blue reeled off eight consecutive points to regain the advantage at 28-27 with 3:36 left in the stanza. It was back-and-forth over the final few minutes, allowing UTEP to head into the locker room up by one (33-32).

The Miners ripped off seven straight points to start the third quarter, vaulting them to an eight-point cushion (40-32) at the 7:24 mark. NM State slowly but surely chipped away at the margin, and it crept within one (47-46) through three quarters of play.

It was a tightly-contested affair down the stretch, with neither team leading by more than three points before UTEP’s game-closing 6-0 surge.

The Miners will look to move to 3-0 on the year when they play host to Alcorn State at 1 p.m. MT Saturday. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.

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 click here to visit the official home of UTEP Athletics.

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Gallery+Video+Story: Miners overwhelm Aggies 65-50

Bryson Williams scored 14 of his 19 points in the second half and Jordan Lathon tallied 13 points as the duo led UTEP to a 65-50 victory over NM State in the Battle of I-10 Tuesday night in a loud and electric Don Haskins Center.

The Miners outscored the Aggies 37-25 that led to their first victory in nine tries. Prior to Tuesday night, the last victory came on Nov. 22, 2014.

“I thought our guys did a nice job,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “Our coaches had our guys prepared in terms of their actions and what they like to run. I thought our guys, for the better part of the game, did a good job competing and following the scouting report.”

The Miners (2-0) and Aggies (1-1) were neck-and-neck until Lathon connected on a three-pointer at the 3:36 mark in the first half, while Daryl Edwards hit one of his own at the 2:37 mark to give their squad a 28-21 lead.

However, the Aggies responded with a 4-0 run to finish the first half and finding themselves down by only three points (28-25) heading into the locker room. NM State had recorded nine offensive rebounds in the first half, as it outrebounded UTEP by seven (24-17).

The Aggies came out of the tunnel and started with a Johnny McCants’s layup to get within a point (28-27), but that was the closest they would get.

Williams would go on to score the next four points to put the Miners up 32-27 early in the second half. Trevelin Queen answered with a three-pointer to quiet the announced crowd of 8,993, but back-to-back layups by Edwards and Eric Vila upped the lead to six points (36-30) at the 15:22 mark.

“You have to come out in the first four minutes [of the second half] and try to set the tone, especially on defense,” Terry said. “Defense, a lot of the times, is all activity and energy. When you come out with that mindset, you start the halves the way you need to. You have to be a team to start the second half well and finish the second half well. We didn’t do a great job finishing the first half. The last couple possessions weren’t great for us offensively and defensively.”

After Queen hit another three to make the count 38-34, UTEP used a 9-0 run that started with two made free throws by Efe Odigie and ended with a Lathon layup. The Miners went up 47-34 at the point of the game (9:16) and never looked back.

Williams led UTEP with eight rebounds in 17 minutes of action. Williams sat most of the beginning of the second half after finding himself in foul trouble. Lathon paced the squad with a trio of steals – all in the second half. All three of Lathon’s steals led to six points for the Miners.

Edwards chipped in with eight points on 3-of-5 shooting, while tallying three rebounds, a blocked shot and two assists. Souley Boum and Vila each recorded seven points, while Vila added six boards and three assists. Odigie scored five points, going 3-of-4 from the charity stripe and dishing out three assists, tying his career best.

Tydus Verhoeven played seven minutes, and scored his first points as a Miner while grabbing three rebounds.

UTEP shot 46.9 percent (23-49), while making 76.2 percent (16-21) of its free throws. The Miners cut down their turnover from last Tuesday’s 20 to only 12 a week later.

The loud and raucous crowd may have distracted NM State, as it shot 18.2 percent (2-11) from the free-throw line. The Aggies also shot 36.8 percent from the field as the Miners harassed them all night. Queen paced NM State with 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting, while Terrell Brown recorded 10 points and led the team with eight rebounds.

Up next, UTEP will host Eastern New Mexico on Friday, Nov. 15. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. in the Haskins Center.

Gallery by Ruben R. Ramirez – El Paso Herald Post

UTEP, NM State renew rivalry Tuesday evening at the Haskins Center

UTEP will host NM State in the 218th meeting in the Don Haskins Center Tuesday, November 12. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

“We’re looking for the support of the community to get behind us at the Haskins Center Tuesday night,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We have a great fan base, they were really good to us a year ago and we want to make [the Don Haskins Center] one of the hardest places to play in the country. We have to do our part in terms of controlling our effort and preparation every night but there’s a huge difference when you have a lot of support behind it. Come out, we need you, El Paso!”

The Miners (1-0) and Aggies (1-0) are both coming off victories last week. UTEP downed New Mexico Highlands, 93-70, while NM State took care of Western New Mexico, 92-46.

Efe Odigie led the Miners with 20 points and added six rebounds in 22 minutes of action, while Daryl Edwards (17 points), Bryson Williams (17 points), Souley Boum (15 points) and Eric Vila (11 points) each hit double figures during their UTEP debuts.

Vila recorded a double-double to start his UTEP career, pulling down 11 rebounds. Vila also came up four assists short of a triple-double – something done only once in program history.

Williams tallied seven rebounds and shot 5-of-7 from the field, while making his lone three-point attempt. He made one during his previous two seasons at Fresno State. Edwards connected on 3-of-4 from downtown as the Miners went 6-for-14 from beyond the arc.

The Miners recorded 15 assists, while making 78.1 percent (25-32) of their free throws. The 25 made free throws matched last season’s high against on Dec. 21 against Norfolk State and against UTPB in the season opener. The 93 points also surpassed last season’s high of 90 in Terry’s UTEP coaching debut.

Overall, UTEP connected on 56.4 percent (31-55) from field, which also surpassed last season’s high of 52.9 percent. The Miners hit the boards hard, outrebounding NMHU, 42-28.

Terry went nine-deep, as the bench scored 36 points on the night. Freshman Deon Stroud scored four points and Anthony Tarke added a pair of made free throws and three rebounds. Tydus Verhoeven also played nine minutes off the bench.

The Aggies lead the all-time series 114-103, while the Miners have lost the last nine contests.

UTEP’s last win came on Nov. 22, 2014, a 77-76 triumph in the Don Haskins Center. The Aggies defeated UTEP, 96-69, in Las Cruces in the first contest last season, while slipping by the Miners, 62-58, in the Haskins Center Nov. 28, 2018. Odigie averaged 12.5 points per game and 4.5 rebounds in the two contests.

NM State opened its 2019-20 season with a dominating victory against Western New Mexico Nov. 5. The Aggies jumped out to a 16-0 lead in the first 5:30 of action and took a 52-16 lead into the locker room at the half. Redshirt sophomore guard Jabari Rice led NM State with 21 points on 6-of-9 shooting off the bench.

The Aggies bench scored 48 points as redshirt freshman William McNair chipped in with 11 points. Senior Trevelin Queen, who was named the 2019 Western Athletic Conference Tournament MVP, hit 5-of-8 shots, scoring 14 points, while junior Shawn Williams and senior Ivan Aurrecoechea each tallied 10 points.

Last season, third-year NM State Head Coach Chris Jans directed the Aggies to a program record 30 wins, while going 15-1 in the WAC. Jans was named the WAC Coach of the Year, followed by the 2019 Don Haskins Coach of the Year.

NM State returns four starters from a year ago in senior guard Terrell Brown (11.3 ppg), redshirt senior guard AJ Harris (9.4 ppg, 3.3 apg), senior guard Clayton Henry (5.4 ppg) and redshirt junior forward CJ Bobbitt (4.6 ppg). Former Miners Evan Gilyard recently transferred to NM State, but will sit out the season per NCAA transfer rules.

“New Mexico State has had a great run over the last decade and they’re a well-coached team,” Terry said. “They’re a team that competes at a very high level. Anytime you play a Chris Jans’s team, you’re going to play a hard-nosed defensive team. They’re also a very physical rebounding team that hits the glass hard, and they’re great in transition.”

Fans can listen live on UTEP’s flagship station ESPN 600 El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher calling the action and Steve Yellen with color analysis. The Miners and Aggies can also be seen on the CUSA.TV live stream.

Single-game tickets are available by calling (915) 747-5234 or by going online. Season tickets and mini plans are available by calling (915) 747-6150.

UTEP Women’s basketball set for UC Riverside Saturday night

The UTEP women’s basketball team will tip off the 2019-20 season when it plays host to UC Riverside at 7 p.m. MT Saturday.

Fans who buy a ticket to the UTEP football game against Charlotte (1 p.m. MT Saturday) may bring that ticket to the Don Haskins Center to get a group ticket price for entrance into the UCR contest. Otherwise tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and may be bought by calling (915) 747-5234.

The game will be streamed on CUSA.TV (subscription based) and broadcast locally on 600 ESPN El Paso.

UTEP is 25-20 all time in season openers, including 21-7 when doing so in El Paso. Overall in home openers, the Miners stand 28-14 (missing outcomes in some years). They are 2-0 under Head Coach Kevin Baker in season lidlifters.

“UC Riverside had a great season last year. They have four starters back. They are very, very impressive. They’re playing at New Mexico, at NM State and then come down to play us. They’re not shying away from competition,” stated Coach Baker.

UTEP leads the series, 2-1, with the two squads set to square off for the second time in the past three years. Most recently UTEP emerged with a 73-62 road win against the Highlanders on Dec. 30, 2017. The first two match-ups were both in El Paso.

UCR claimed the first game, 63-61, on Dec. 16, 2000, but most recently UTEP secured a 68-57 triumph on Nov. 27, 2015. 

LAST MEETING WITH UCR: (UTEP 73, AT UCR 62, Dec. 30, 2017)

Najala Howell poured in a career-high 23 points while Tamara Seda notched her second straight double-double (21 points, 14 rebounds) to help power UTEP to a wire-to-wire 73-62 win at UC Riverside on Dec. 30, 2017.

The Miners bolted out to a 20-point lead at the half and led by 17 with six minutes to play before the Highlanders scored the next 12 points in the game to cut the margin down to five (67-62). UTEP kept its composure while regaining momentum for good on a triple by Howell to help fuel a game-closing 6-0 run.

Faith Cook, who finished with seven points and six assists, set up both field goals down the stretch. UTEP connected on 43.9 percent (29-66) from the floor, aided by drilling 20-36 during the impressive opening half. The Miners dished out a season-high 20 assists while finishing with a season-low 14 turnovers for the second time in as many nights.

Zuzanna Puc joined Howell and Seda in double figures for scoring with a campaign-high 15 points in 25 minutes of action off the pine. 

UTEP prepped for the 2019-20 season by posting a pair of victories against Division II opponents in exhibition contests. The Miners downed Eastern New Mexico, 84-64, (Oct. 26), while also besting St. Mary’s (TX) (Nov. 2), 59-47.

Katarina Zec averaged 20.5 points per game to lead the unit, with transfer Michelle Pruitt (10.5 ppg) also checking in for double figures. UTEP had a +9.0 rebounding margin (41.5-32.5) during the contests. The Miners also forced 24.0 turnovers per game, which made up for the opposition hitting 41.2 percent (42-102) from the floor in the two contests. 

UTEP will play a total of 18 home games in 2019-20, which will be the most in the regular season for the Miners since also doing so in 2006-07. UTEP will be home for nine of its 11 non-conference games, the exceptions being matchups at I-10 rival NM State (Nov. 13) and SMU (Dec. 19).  

The first nine games of the season will either be played in El Paso or within 40 miles of it, until the Miners board a plane for the first time to battle the Mustangs in the Metroplex. There will then be nine C-USA contests at the Don Haskins Center.

The Miners returned three starters and seven letter winners from a year ago, including senior guard/forward Katarina Zec (10.1 ppg/4.4 rpg/1.9 apg), senior guard/forward Ariona Gill (8.7 ppg/4.4 rpg), sophomore forward Ariana Taylor (5.9 ppg), senior guard/forward Jade Rochelle (4.0 ppg/4.7 rpg), senior guard Neidy Ocuane (4.0 ppg/1.8 apg) and sophomore guard Sabine Lipe (3.2 ppg and 2.3 rpg).

UTEP brought in seven newcomers (junior college transfers Tia Bradshaw, Michelle Pruitt and DejaNae Roebuck, and freshmen Avery Crouse, Katia Gallegos, Arina Khlopkova and Tatyana Modawar) to bolster the unit.

The group features three top-100 JUCO players, including two All-Americans, and four high school standouts that produced a combined record of 105-27 at their respective schools.

The squad is under the direction of third-year head coach Kevin Baker, who is assisted by Todd Buchanan, Anthony Anderson and Heather Karner.  

Gallery+Video+Story: Miners march past New Mexico Highlands 93-70

UTEP received balanced scoring, and outshooting New Mexico Highlands during a 93-70 season-opening victory.

Efe Odigie scored 20 points and added six rebounds in 22 minutes of action, while Daryl Edwards (17 points), Bryson Williams (17 points), Souley Boum (15 points) and Eric Vila (11 points) each hit double figures during their UTEP debuts in the season opener Tuesday night in the Haskins Center.

“I was pleased with our effort. I thought Efe came in and gave us a great lift when Bryson picked up two early fouls in the first half,” season-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “Efe did a great job both offensively and defensively. We’ll have to have guys step and hold the fort down and I thought [Odigie] did that for us with Bryson in foul trouble.”

Vila also recorded his first career double-double in a UTEP uniform, leading with 11 rebounds and coming up short four dimes short of a triple double with six assists.

Returning floor general Jordan Lathon produced a solid all-around game, scoring seven points, grabbing six boards and dishing out five assists. The most important of his stat line was the zero turnovers.

“I thought Jordan had one of his best games. He had zero turnovers and had five assists,” Terry said. “He did a great job quarterbacking our team and did a great job. He made great decisions.”

The Miners opened the game with a 7-0 lead, but New Mexico Highlands answered with an 8-0 run of its own to go up a point (8-7). But that was all the Cowboys could rustle up as the Miners went on an 18-0 run to take a 25-8 lead and never looked back.

“We did a really nice job setting the tone in the first half, defensively,” Terry said. “We rotated over and took a lot of charges. We also did a nice job handling the pressure and scoring behind their pressure.”

NMHU made a run in the second half to get within nine points (71-62) after a Raquan Mitchell three, but UTEP, after a media timeout, outscored the Cowboys, 22-8, to complete the 23-point victory.

“[New Mexico Highlands] came in and played at a very high level,” Terry said. “We knew these weren’t going to be intimidated by us.”

The Miners recorded 15 assists, while making 78.1 percent (25-32) of their free throws. The 25 made free throws matched last season’s high against on Dec. 21 against Norfolk State and against UTPB in the season opener.

The 93 points also surpassed last season’s high of 90 in Terry’s UTEP coaching debut.

Williams tallied seven rebounds and shot 5-of-7 from the field, while making his lone three-point attempt. He made one during his previous two seasons at Fresno State.

Edwards connected on 3-of-4 from downtown as the Miners as a squad went 6-for-14 from beyond the arc.

Overall, UTEP connected on 56.4 percent (31-55) from field, which also surpassed last season’s high of 52.9 percent. The Miners hit the boards hard, outrebounding NMHU, 42-28.

Terry went nine-deep, as the bench scored 36 points on the night. Freshman Deon Stroud scored four points and Anthony Tarke added a pair of made free throws and three rebounds.

Tydus Verhoeven also played nine minutes off the bench.

Mitchell and Sammy Barnes-Thompson each scored 18 point for the Cowboys. Desmond Carpenter added 17 points in the effort. NMHU connected on 11-of-31 three-point field goals.

Up next, the Miners will host rival NM State in the Battle of I-10 November  12. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. in the Haskins Center.

Photo gallery by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta – Chief Photographer – El Paso Herald Post

Chalk Talks offer fans an Inside Look at UTEP Basketball

Fans can get the scoop on UTEP Basketball direct from head coach Rodney Terry at a series of Chalk Talks during the 2019-20 season.

The UTEP Men’s Basketball Chalk Talks will take place in the Hall of Honor at the Foster Stevens Center prior to three marquee games this winter – versus NM State (Nov. 12), LA Tech (Jan. 11) and UAB (Feb. 1).  All Chalk Talks start 90 minutes prior to tipoff at 5:30 p.m.

For just $35 per Chalk Talk or $65 for all three, fans can enjoy a catered meal and open bar while getting an in-depth report on the evening’s opponent and the keys to the game from coach Terry.

To purchase tickets, call (915) 747-5841, email mac@utep.edu or visit www.MinerAthleticClub.com.

UTEP men’s hoops to open 2019-20 Campaign Tuesday night

UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry will enter his second season with an upgraded roster. The new Miners’ squad will host New Mexico Highlands in the 2019-20 season opener Tuesday night.

The 99th season of UTEP hoops is set to tipoff at 7 p.m. in the Haskins Center.

Sophomore Souley Boum, junior Anthony Tarke, sophomore Tydus Verhoeven and junior Bryson William sat out all of last season due to NCAA transfer rules. But the quartet practiced in Terry’s system during that year and will finally step onto the hardwood to begin their UTEP careers Nov. 5.

“Anytime a kid has a year to sit out, has a chance to work on his game and expand his game, it’s an advantage,” Terry said. “With Bryson, we worked particularly on trying to expand his game in terms of shooting the basketball, handling the basketball and passing at a more efficient level. They made our guys from last season play better as well. We started three freshmen and those guys got a chance to play against older players every single day in practice.”

Fans had the opportunity to witness Terry’s new troops in the action Oct. 12 when they played host to 2019 national runner-up Texas Tech in the #ElPasoStrong Charity Game.

Another one of Terry’s stud transfers graduate student Daryl Edwards made a huge impact after hitting 6-of-8 from downtown and leading the way with 24 points on 8-of-10 shooting. Williams electrified the Miner faithful with thunderous dunks while scoring 19 points and leading the team with nine rebounds.

Boum got off to a slow start, but dished out a team-leading four assists. The fourth dime came on an ally-oop to Williams, who slammed it down, giving the Miners a 12-point and sealing the victory.

Lathon, who was one of four freshmen to play significant minutes last year, finished with 15 points and pulled down eight rebounds in 34 minutes against the Red Raiders.

“The freshmen played meaningful minutes at critical times. They gained valuable experience and learned from their mistakes a year ago,” Terry said. “To be honest, a lot of them tried to pace themselves a little bit through games because they had to stay on the floor. This year, we have great depth and a number of guys who can play. We’re in a unique situation where our younger guys got to play and we didn’t have the older guys. This year, we have a great mix of players.”

The new squad will face a New Mexico Highlands team that finished 22-10 overall last season. The Cowboys are in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and posted a 14-8 league record. NMHU averaged 87.2 points per game, while making 10.3 three-point baskets per contest (331-903, .367 percent).

Senior Raquan Mitchell returns after leading the team in points per game (20.6), while the 6-3 guard averaged just over four boards per contest.

First-year head coach Mike Dominguez took over at the helm after serving as the associate head coach the previous two seasons. Junior guard Desmond Carpenter returns after averaging 6.4 points per game.

Single-game tickets are available by calling (915) 747-5234 or going online. Season tickets and mini plans are available by calling (915) 747-6150.

Fans can listen live on UTEP’s flagship station ESPN 600 El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher calling the action and Steve Yellen with color analysis.

The Miners and Cowboys can also be seen on the CUSA.TV live stream.

Gallery+Story: UTEP shoots Past St. Mary’s 59-47 in Exhibition Game

Katarina Zec poured in a game-high 23 points to help lead the UTEP women’s basketball team to a 59-47 victory in an exhibition game against Division II St. Mary’s (TX) at the Don Haskins Center Saturday afternoon.

The Miners trailed early on before an 18-4 run put them out by 12 midway through the second quarter, and the Rattlers never led again.

“I’m really proud of our team,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “We hit a lull in scoring, but we were taking such good shots. There wasn’t very much for me as a coach to correct or adjust to. We played good enough defense (to overcome missing some shots), holding them to 47 points.”

Michelle Pruitt tallied 10 points to join Zec in double figures for scoring while Ariona Gill (nine points) and Katia Gallegos (seven points) also got involved. Gill grabbed a contest-best 10 boards to nearly record a double-double in the process. UTEP forced 22 turnovers and held St. Mary’s (TX) to 34.7 percent (17-49) from the floor.

St. Mary’s took an early 6-4 lead two minutes into the contest before UTEP picked up the intensity on both ends of the court. The result was wrapping an 18-4 run around the quarter break to steam ahead by 12 (22-10) with 7:54 to play in the half.  It was back-and-forth the remainder of the stanza, with the Miners settling for a seven-point cushion (32-25) heading into halftime.​

UTEP opened up the second half on an 8-2 push to secure its largest lead (40-27) of the contest. Zec capped the sequence by burying one of her four triples (on eight tries) in the game. The Rattlers trimmed the margin to seven through three quarters.

The visitors continued to try to rally in the final frame getting within three points twice, but UTEP reinstated control with a 7-0 run. The Miners continued to cruise down the stretch, closing the game in style.

UTEP will tip off the 2019-20 regular season when it plays host to UC Irvine at 7 p.m. MT on Nov. 9. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.

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

Photo gallery by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta – Chief Photographer – El Paso Herald Post

UTEP Athletics Launches ‘Defend the Don’ Campaign for the Battle of I-10

 The UTEP men’s basketball team will square off against long-time rival NM State in El Paso on Tuesday, November 12, and fans are encouraged to pack the Bear’s Den for the Battle of I-10, wear orange and help the Miners ‘Defend the Don.’

“It’s going to be a great matchup between two teams that are very talented and play very hard,” UTEP coach Rodney Terry said.  “Having been exposed to two games in the Battle of I-10 last season, I know how much the rivalry means to these two communities.  We need El Paso to come out, pack the Don and provide us with a tremendous homecourt advantage on Nov. 12.”

Tickets are going fast for the Nov. 12 matchup, as the Miners aim for their first sellout in the Haskins Center since February of 2016 and their first sellout of the Battle of I-10 since December of 2004.  Fans can track the progress toward the sellout, pick their seats and purchase tickets on the new microsite. 

Fans can also join the Battle by adding the hashtag #DEFENDTHEDON to their social media content, with the best posts appearing on the microsite daily up until the big game.

UTEP has also partnered with Nike to produce official DEFEND THE DON long and short sleeve shirts with the likeness of the Miners’ Hall of Fame coach Don Haskins.  The shirts will be available for purchase via a Nike Team Store web link, to be announced.

Anticipation is high for this year’s matchup as the Miners are expected to be among Conference USA’s most-improved teams and the Aggies have appeared in each of the last three NCAA Tournaments.  UTEP returns three of its top four scorers from the 2018-19 squad while introducing a heralded recruiting class that features six Division I transfers.

UTEP Basketball Season Tickets are on sale now, starting at just $160, by calling (915) 747-6150 or visiting the Defend the Don website.  Single-game tickets and five-game mini plans are also available by going online or by calling (915) 747-5234.

The mini plans start at just $44 depending on which five games fans select.

Tipoff for the Nov. 12 game is at 7 p.m. It marks the 218th meeting between the Miners and the Aggies.

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