Katarina Zec poured in a career-high tying 22 points and Ariona Gill (13 points, nine boards) and Katia Gallegos (11 points, seven assists, six rebounds) also got after it, but UTEP was tripped up by Old Dominion, 77-68, at the Don Haskins Center Saturday afternoon.
“I thought we played really well today,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “I’m proud of our team and glad we put ourselves in a position to win the game against a team that is 20-3 and has won nine straight. We’re just not quite there yet. I love this team and how we battled.”
It was a back-and-forth contest with seven lead changes and eight ties. The Miners (13-9, 6-5 C-USA) led by three (60-57) with 7:55 to play before the Monarchs (20-3, 10-1 C-USA) scored six straight to put UTEP down by three (63-60).
UTEP continued to battle but could not pull back ahead, with the Monarchs making enough plays down the stretch to hold off the Orange and Blue.
Sabine Lipe pitched in eight points in her second straight start, while Ariana Taylor provided a boost from the bench with six points and six rebounds. But it was Zec who stole the show for the home side, particularly over the first 10 minutes. Zec tallied 16 points, the second most in a frame in UTEP history, by going 6-7 from the floor (3-3 on triples) in the first quarter.
UTEP shot 39.3 percent (24-61) from the floor and had 15 assists to 13 turnovers. The Miners also won the boards (42-41), but the Monarchs overcame that. Victoria Morris and Amari Young each scored 23 points to pace a trio of players in double figures for ODU. Morris was deadly from distance with seven triples, including two during the fourth quarter.
The game was tied, 40-40, through 20 minutes of action and ODU led by just one (55-54) after three quarters of play. Four straight points for Gallegos afforded UTEP a 58-55 advantage at 8:33. It remained a 3-point cushion (60-57) with 7:55 left before consecutive triples by Morris propelled ODU back into the lead.
UTEP got a bucket from Jade Rochelle to stop the surge, and it trailed by two (67-65) after a jumper from Gill in the paint. The Miners could get no closer, though, with six straight points by the visitors dropping UTEP into an eight-point deficit (73-65) with 2:50 remaining.
The Miners didn’t get closer than six from that point.
UTEP will head cross country to lock up with WKU at 5 p.m. MT/6 p.m. CT on Thursday.
The game will be the first of three in a row on the road for the Orange and Blue, who will also play at Marshall (11 a.m. MT/1 p.m. ETC) on Feb. 15 and at UTSA at 6 p.m. MT/7 p.m. CT on Feb. 20.
The UTEP women’s basketball team (12-8, 5-4 C-USA) will look to regain its winning ways when it plays host to Charlotte (14-6, 5-4 C-USA) at 7 p.m. MT Thursday.
Fans are encouraged to wear pink to raise awareness in the battle against breast cancer, and 300 t-shirts will be given away to commemorate the occasion.
It is an important contest for both teams, with UTEP and Charlotte currently tied for sixth place in C-USA at 5-4.It is the lone meeting on the season between the programs. UTEP is 10-4 at home (4-1 C-USA). Charlotte is 5-4 on the road (2-3 C-USA).
“Charlotte is a very interesting team because hey win and they’re good, but they don’t do some of the things you’d expect great teams to do. They don’t shoot the 3 particularly well and aren’t even really a good perimeter shooting team, but they find ways to score,” head coach Kevin Baker said. “They’re a great rebounding team, both offensively and defensively. They cause problems (on the boards), and are a little bit bigger than some of the teams in our conference. They present a lot of problems, and they are very, very athletic.”
Katarina Zec enters Thursday’s contest with 999 career points, meaning her first score of the night will make her the 14th member of UTEP’s 1,000-point club.
UTEP has three wins by at least 30 points in league play, which is the most such victories in a single season in program history. In fact the Miners had achieved the feat seven times total prior to this year, with the 2003-04 team (twice) previously holding the standard for a single season.
The Miners’ first four league wins were by an average of 29.5 points, but UTEP showed it has the ability to take care of business in a close contest against North Texas. The Miners rallied from a 10-point deficit on the way to holding off the Mean Green, 67-63, on Jan. 25.
It also marked the first time this season that the Orange and Blue overcame deficits at the half (down five) and through three quarters (down three) to win a game.
Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234. The Miners are looking to snap a two-game skid while the 49ers enter the match-up having won three in a row and four of six.
It will be streamed on ESPN+ (subscription based) with Colin Deaver and Izabela Piekarska on the call. It will also be streamed through 600 ESPN El Paso with Steve Kaplowitz and Traci Miller describing the action.
Bryson Williams was named the Conference USA Player of the Week presented by Top of the World as announced by league officials Monday afternoon. It’s the third C-USA Player of the Week honor for the redshirt junior forward.
Williams’s third player of the week honor is the most by a UTEP player since Vince Hunter earned the award four times during the 2014-15 campaign. Williams is also the fifth Miner, joining Stefon Jackson (three in 2005-06, two in 2007-08), Randy Culpepper (three in 2009-10), Vince Hunter (four in 2014-15) and John Bohannon (two in 2013-14), to earn multiple player of the week awards during a single season.
Williams earned C-USA Player of the Week honors on Dec. 9 and Jan. 20 (co-Player of the Week).
Williams scored 28 points and pulled down 10 boards on his way to a fifth double-double of the season and leading UTEP past MT, 67-66, on Jan. 30. Williams went 5-for-5 from the free-throw line, while making 11 field goals along with a three-point bucket. Williams added two assists, two blocks and a steal against the Blue Raiders.
Overall, Williams averaged 27.0 points and 9.0 rebounds during the two-game stretch. The Fresno, Calif., product shot 50.0 percent (20-40) from the field (2-5 three-pointers) and went 12-for-14 from the foul line.
Williams scored 26 points against UAB and came up two rebounds short of another double-double. Williams scored the Miners’ first four points on a pair of dunks against the Blazers. Williams ranks second in Conference USA in scoring (19.3 ppg) and fifth in rebounding (7.0 rpg).
Williams matches UTSA’s Jhivvan Jackson (Dec. 16, Dec. 23, Jan. 13) with three C-USA Player of the Week recognitions.
Williams and the Miners will play at Charlotte (Feb. 6) and Old Dominion (Feb. 8).
UTEP will play host to UAB for the first time since 2017 on Saturday, while both programs are coming off victories this past Thursday.
The Miners (13-9, 4-5 Conference USA) and Blazers (13-9, 4-5 C-USA) are tied for eighth-place with UTSA and Marshall in a jumbled league. UTEP and UAB are set tipoff at 7 p.m. in the Haskins Center.
Saturday’s contest will also feature the Mike Slive Foundation once again partnering with C-USA on the Block Cancer initiative to raise awareness for prostate cancer. The teams will wear blue Block Cancer shooting shirts, and coached will don blue ties and Foundation lapel pins.
During the game, fans will see signage and videos that focus on increasing awareness for prostate cancer. Fans will also have the opportunity to donate only at mikeslivefoundation.org.
UAB leads the all-time series 11-9, while the Miners are 7-2 versus the Blazers in the Haskins Center. UTEP last defeated UAB on Feb. 2, 2017, 63-59, in El Paso. That was also the last time the Blazers made a trip to the Sun City.
The Miners squeaked by Middle Tennessee, 67-66, on Jan. 30, holding off a late rally. Bryson Williams (28 points, 10 rebounds) and Efe Odigie (15 points, 10 rebounds) each posted a double-double. For Williams, it was his fifth career double-double and eighth during his collegiate career.
Odigie registered his first of the season and 12th career double-double.
Deon Stroud made his first collegiate start, chipping in with seven points, while Nigel Hawkins tallied four points, five boards and a team-high four assists against the Blue Raiders.
Williams upped his average to 19.0 points per game, which ranks second in C-USA, while his 53.9 field-goal percentage also ranks second. Souley Boum has hit 90.7 percent of his free throws, ranking first in C-USA and 10th nationally.
UTEP only turned the ball over eight times against MT, its second-lowest total this season. The Miners turned the ball over a season-low seven times at Rice last week. In fact, the Miners are averaging only 9.8 turnovers per game the last four contests after averaging over 15 turnovers the first 18 games.
The Blazers, down two points (36-34) at the half at UTSA, outscored the Roadrunners 42-32 in the second period to claim a 76-68 win. Tavin Lovan led UAB with 19 points, while Will Butler tallied 18 and Antonio Ralat chipped in with 11 points.
UAB leads C-USA in rebounding margin (+7.3), while ranking third in rebounds per game (38.2). Jalen Benjamin leads the team at 12.4 points per game, while Lovan averages 11.5 points per contest.
Benjamin ranks third in C-USA in free-throw percentage (87.5). Six players average over 4.0 rebounds per game, as Makhtar Gueye leads the way at 5.5.
The Miners and Blazers are pretty much even across the board. UTEP averages 68.4 points per game, while UAB averages 65.9. UAB ranks fourth in C-USA in scoring defense (63.6), as UTEP ranks sixth (65.3). The Blazers yield 40.6 percent on field goals, and the Miners give up 41.0 percent on field goals.
Single-game tickets are available by calling (915) 747-5234 or by going online. Mini plans are available by calling (915) 747-6150.
Fans can 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 Miners and Blazers 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.
MURFREESBORO, Tn. – Ariona Gill posted a double-double (20 points, 12 rebounds), but UTEP dug itself an early hole and could never recover in a 76-60 setback at Middle Tennessee Thursday.
“We weren’t playing well at all and couldn’t get anything going (in the first half),” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “We just kept hanging in there and you look up at one point it’s a seven-point game. We were playing our ‘b-level game’ instead of an ‘a-level game. There’s a lot of reasons for me to be frustrated right now because we didn’t play well, but more reasons for us to be excited about who we have and the kind of character we have.”
The Miners (12-7, 5-3 C-USA) trailed by four (14-10) late in the opening frame before the Lady Raiders (14-7, 6-3 C-USA) unleashed a game-altering 17-0 run that carried into the second quarter to put UTEP down by 21 (31-10).
The Miners battled back to get within 14 at the half (41-27) and then within seven (65-58) in the fourth quarter, but MT was able to hold off the rally.
UTEP finished at 37.1 percent from the floor, including 21.1 percent (4-19) on 3-point tosses. An off night (10-20, 50 percent) at the charity stripe and 24 turnovers also affected the outcome. Avery Crouse buoyed Gill with nine points and a career-best nine boards. Katarina Zec pitched in eight points and nine rebounds.
Tia Bradshaw led the effort from the reserves with a career-high tying eight points to go along with a personal-best five caroms.
The Miners kept MT to 39.7 percent (23-58), including 28.6 percent (6-21) from 3-point range. MT compensated for that by going 24-29 (82.8 percent) at the free-throw line. UTEP won the boards (49-33), but it wasn’t enough to make up for other discrepancies.
“This is a tough venue to play in,” Baker said. “It feels like the whole world is against you, but they’re really not. Our young team learned a lot today.”
UTEP struck first with a triple by Ariana Taylor, but MT countered with a 10-3 push. Six of the points came at the charity stripe, putting the Miners down by five (10-5) midway through the opening frame. It was a four-point differential (14-10) after Gill completed an old-fashioned 3-point play with 2:26 left in the first quarter, but MT came alive.
The Lady Raiders wrapped a 17-0 run around the quarter break to put UTEP down by 21 (31-10) with 8:22 to go in the opening half. It remained a 21-point differential (35-14) midway through the quarter before the Orange and Blue ripped off seven straight points to get the deficit down to 14 (35-21).
It was back-and-forth the remaining of the half, with the Miners still trailing by 14 (41-27) heading into halftime.
UTEP scored the first five points of the third quarter, including a fastbreak lay-up by Crouse, to cut the deficit down to nine (41-32) with 6:48 remaining in the frame. It was still a nine-point affair (43-34) with 5:06 left before MT used a 9-2 push to inch the differential out to 16 (52-36). UTEP trailed by 15 (56-41) after three quarters of action.
The Orange and Blue battled to within eight (57-48) with 6:19 left in the contest, but MT answered with a 5-0 run. UTEP continued to fight and trimmed the margin to seven (65-58) with 2:04 on the clock. To their credit the Lady Raiders had another response, this occasion with nine in a row to put the contest away.
UTEP will wrap up its week on the road with a tilt at UAB at 1 p.m. MT/2 p.m. CT Saturday. The contest will be streamed on CUSATV (subscription based).
It will also be broadcast locally in El Paso on 600 ESPN El Paso with Brandon Cohn on the call.
The UTEP women’s basketball team (12-6, 5-2 C-USA) will open up a demanding stretch of playing five of the next seven games on the road when it competes at perennial league power Middle Tennessee (13-7, 5-3 C-USA) at 5:30 p.m. MT Thursday.
“Middle Tennessee is a solid team again this season in our conference, and they are led by some very strong guard play,” head coach Kevin Baker shares. “They are good at what they do, extremely well coached, and we know that it will be a challenge playing at their place.But we are excited about how we are playing, and we feel like it will be a great game.”
The Miners will face UAB (13-7, 5-3 C-USA) on the second contest of the trip Saturday. UTEP is alone in third place in the C-USA standings at 5-2 while the Lady Raiders and Blazers share fourth with a mark of 5-3 in league action. MT and UAB are a combined 17-4 at home on the year. UTEP is 2-2 on the road.
The Miners enter Thursday’s contest following a come-from-behind 67-63 vanquishing of North Texas on Jan. 25. MT also is coming off a victory, having downed Southern Miss, 77-69, on the road on Jan. 25.
UTEP still has 11 games remaining in the regular season, but thus far the Miners have greatly exceeded the expectations based upon the Conference USA Coaches’ Preseason Poll.
UTEP enters Thursday’s contest at 5-2 in the league and alone in third place. It was tabbed to finish 12th according to a vote by the league’s head coaches in the preseason.
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 (12-6) having surpassed its overall win total from a season ago.
The Miners are 5-2 in league play, which places them alone in third place and also matches their C-USA victory count from last year.
UTEP has three wins by at least 30 points in league play, which is the most such victories in a single season in program history. In fact the Miners had achieved the feat seven times total prior to this year, with the 2003-04 team (twice) previously holding the standard for a single season.
Middle Tennessee holds a 6-1 advantage in the series with the Miners, with all of the match-ups coming since the Lady Raiders joined C-USA. MT is 3-0 against UTEP at home, and has won four straight in the series.
The Lady Raiders ousted the Miners from the 2019 C-USA Championships, 66-44, in the quarterfinals on March 14, 2019, in the most-recent meeting between the programs.
The game will be streamed on ESPN3, with Jake Rose (PXP) and Madison Blevins (Analyst) describing the action. It will also be streamed through the 600 ESPN El Paso website with Brandon Cohn on the call.
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