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Home | Tag Archives: miners basketball (page 3)

Tag Archives: miners basketball

Miners top Ball State 71-70 at Hawai’i Diamond Head Classic

HONOLULU, Hawai’i – Bryson Williams scored a game-high 16 points, while Efe Odigie (12 points) and Kaden Archie (career-high 11 points) came off the bench to lead UTEP (9-3) past Ball State (6-6), 71-70, during a tight battle in the consolation round at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic on Monday night.

“I’m very proud of my guys tonight the way they came back and bounced back from a tough loss last night. I said to my guys this morning that we’re going to need everybody tonight and everybody was going to have to be ready to contribute for us,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We got that tonight in a big way from everybody.”

UTEP found itself down seven points early in the second half, but rallied behind big baskets. But probably none bigger than Odigie’s first career three-point bucket. The 6-9, 255-pound forward pulled up from the top of the key at the 10:33 mark and gave the Miners a go-ahead two-point lead with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game.

UTEP went on a 16-2 run during a stretch late in the game.

After Williams scored almost half of UTEP’s points the night before against Hawai’i, the scoring was more balanced versus Ball State. Nine Miners made buckets as Jordan Lathon, Daryl Edwards and Anthony Tarke each tallied six points. Tydus Verhoeven scored three points on an and-1 play, while Nigel Hawkins recorded two points. The bench contributed 31 points on Monday night after only eight points the night before.

The telling stat for UTEP were the rebounds. The Miners outrebounded the Cardinals, 37-21, after being outdone on the glass the previous three games. The Orange and Blue came up big on the offensive side as it registered a season high in offensive rebounds (12) and second-chance points (18).

Tarke and Williams each led the squad with six rebounds apiece, while Tarke snagged a season-high three steals. Tarke also recorded his first assists (two) of his UTEP career.

The other two big contributors were Archie and Odigie. Archie, who played a career-high 30 minutes, went 5-for-9 from the field and tallied five rebounds, including three offensive boards. He added a blocked shot and steal, and tied Nigel Hawkins for the team lead with three assists. Odigie went 4-for-5 from the field, and hit 3-of-4 from the charity stripe, while also grabbing four rebounds (two offensive).

The Miners built a nine-point lead (17-8) at the midway point of the first half after back-to-back Williams’s buckets – the first a three pointer, and the second a basket in the paint.

But Ball State outscored UTEP, 23-14, down the stretch to tie the contest at 31-31 at the half. The Cardinals’ K.J. Walton started their run with a made three-point basket, while Tahjai Teague hit a pair of free throws to make the count 17-12. After Tarke connected on an outside jumper off an assist from Hawkins, Jarron Coleman answered with an and-1 to get Ball State within four points (19-15).

In the second half, after going back-and-forth in the first six minutes of the period, Ball State piled up a seven-point lead. Williams gave the Miners a 38-36 advantage at the 16:37 mark with a basket in the paint. Teague hit a three pointer that gave Ball State a 39-38 lead. His basket started a 9-0 run that made the count 45-38 with 14:22 to go in the ball game.

The Miners offense woke up as Odigie snagged an offensive rebound that led to a basket (45-40). Archie followed with a layup to make it a three-point game, while Odigie hit a pair of free throws to make it a one-point game (45-44). Ishmael El-Amin scored on a field goal in the paint that gave his squad a three-point lead (47-44). But a pair of Odigie buckets, including his big three pointer, helped the Miners build a seven-point advantage (54-47) at the 8:54 mark behind a 16-2 run. UTEP even got the score up to a nine-point cushion (64-55) at the 3:47 mark after Tarke tallied his third offensive board and slammed it down with authority.

But again, Ball State was relentless in its pursuit to avoid going winless in the tournament. With the Miners leading 66-61 after Archie recorded a put-back off his third offensive board, Luke Bumbalough came up with a big trey to get within two points (66-64).

Ball State put the pressure on with a full-court press with under a minute to play, but the Miners made their way across mid-court, while making 5-of-6 from the charity stripe down the stretch. Williams sealed the deal with a pair of made free throws with two seconds, remaining to put the Miners up four points.

UTEP won its first game outside the Don Haskins Center since winning at North Texas on March 3, 2018.


UTEP will end its holiday tournament on The Island against Boise State (7-5) on Christmas Day. The Miners and Broncos will tipoff at 10:30 a.m. Hawaii Time/1:30 p.m. MT on ESPNU.

Boise State is coming off an 85-69 victory against Portland during the early contest on Monday evening. Derrick Alston scored 32 points on 10-of-19 shooting, including an 8-for-9 effort from the free-throw line. He’s the second player after Williams to tally a 30-point performance in this year’s Classic. Alston added six assists while Justinian Jessup chipped in with 17 points. Marcus Dickinson recorded nine rebounds, while RJ Williams added seven off the glass.

The Broncos are led by Alston’s 21.7 points per game, and Jessup’s 15.2 average. Williams is averaging 8.3 rebounds per game and 12.3 points per contest.

Hawai’i downs UTEP 67-63 at Diamond Head Classic

Diamond Head Classic host Hawai’i rallied to beat UTEP 67-63 in the first round match up at the annual holiday tournament.

“We had opportunities and there were times when we had the game the way we wanted it and going in the direction we wanted it,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We were up nine, but then had unforced turnovers that you can’t have and gave [Hawai’i] momentum, especially at their home.”

UTEP’s Bryson Williams tied his career high with 33 points for the Miners, adding to the Miners’ talley were Daryl Edwards with 12 points and 10 points from Souley Boum.

Williams not only tied his career high, but the redshirt junior scored his most points against a Division I opponent. He shot 13-of-26 from the field, while hitting a trio of three pointers and going a perfect 4-4 from the charity stripe.

The Miners led by as many as nine points (42-33) and eight points (51-43) at the 10:21 mark after Boum connected on a bucket in the paint. The Rainbow Warriors answered with a 7-0 run to get within a point, but Williams ended that run with an outside jumper.

Another Williams’s clutch outside jumper put UTEP up 58-54 with 4:18 left in the game. But Hawai’i, which answered any UTEP run, scored four consecutive points to tie the ball game at 58 with 3:16 to go.

Williams gave UTEP the lead again on a pair of free throws and Samuta Avea answered by making 2-of-3 free-throw attempts after being fouled on three-point attempt.

With the contest tied 60-60, Boum missed a three pointer and Bernardo Da Silva’s layup gave the Rainbow Warriors the lead for good.

With Hawai’i up four points, Williams connected on his third trey to get the Miners within a point (64-63), but Buggs answered with a pair of made free throws after being intentionally fouled. A costly turnover with 16 seconds left handed the game over to Hawai’i. Buggs was intentionally fouled again and made a free throw to make the count 67-63.

The Miners only turned the ball over five times in the first half, but ended the ball game with 17 total turnovers, including four with just over eight minutes remaining in the ball game.

The Miners led by as many as seven points in the first half, and closed out the period on a 6-0 run to take a 37-31 lead into the locker room. The Miners’ run started with a Williams layup, followed by a Hawai’i turnover in which Williams was credited with a steal. Williams was fouled on the possession as Mate Colina was called for a technical. Williams answered with a pair of made free throws to make the count 35-31. Vila hit a pair of free throws that gave UTEP the six-point lead.

Da Silva led UH with 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting off the bench (23 minutes) and Avea tallied 16 points. Buggs led UH with eight assists, while Raimo Zigmars dished out six.

Hawai’i outrebounded UTEP, 34-30, while each team registered eight steals.

UTEP’s Monday opponent, Ball State, fell to no. 22 Washington, 85-64, in the earlier contest. Tahjai Teague (14.2 ppg), Ishmael El-Amin (14.2 ppg) and Kyle Mallers (11.4 ppg) average double figures, while Teague leads the Cardinals in rebounds per game (8.2). Ball State recently won at Georgia Tech by 18 points (65-47) on Dec. 18 and beat up on IUPUI, 102-54, on Dec. 7.

Against the Huskies, Teague led the way with 20 points on 8-15 shooting and El-Amin chipped in with 13 points. Ball State hung with the no. 22-ranked team in the country, as the Cardinals were down 52-49 at the 15:27 mark. But the Huskies were too much down the stretch.

The Miners (8-3) will take on Ball State (6-5) on Monday night in the consolation round. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m. Hawaii Time/11:30 p.m. MT. The game will be televised on ESPNU, while “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher will call the action on 600 ESPN El Paso.

Click here to view the box score.  Click here to view the bracket.

UTEP to open Diamond Head Classic against host Hawai’i Sunday Night

HONOLULU, Hawai’i – UTEP is seeking its first road win in over a year. The Miners (8-2) will compete in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic against host and former Western Athletic Conference rival Hawai’i (7-3) on Sunday, December 22 in the Stan Sheriff Center.

The Miners and Rainbow Warriors will tipoff at 6:30 p.m. Hawaii Time/9:30 p.m. MT.

The Miners recently fell at Houston, 77-57, on Dec. 19. Bryson Williams led the way with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Souley Boum scored 13 points. Nigel Hawkins, a Houston product, chipped in with nine points and paced the squad with five assists. Fellow Houston native Efe Odigie scored four points and also pulled down seven boards.

UTEP last competed at the Diamond Head Classic in 2011 when it chalked up a 2-1 record. The Miners opened with a 61-48 victory over ACC’s Clemson on Dec. 22. UTEP followed with a loss to Kansas State, 78-70, the next day, but rebounded to defeat former UTEP coach Tony Barbee’s Auburn squad, 83-76, on Christmas day.

Michael Perez was named to the all-tournament team after averaging 17.7 points per game, including a 25-point performance versus Clemson, and dishing out seven assists overall. During the Miners’ victory against Auburn, John Bohannon led the way with 20 points and nine boards, while Perez added 18 points.

Hawai’i has won four of its last five contests and is coming off a 94-73 victory over Samford in the Stan Sheriff Center on Dec. 15. Eddie Stansberry led the way with 23 points. Zigmars Raimo led the Rainbow Warriors with 11 rebounds, while Justin Webster came off the bench to score 15 points.

Hawai’i’s lone loss during the five-game stretch came against Oregon on Dec. 7 by the score of 89-64. Hawai’i defeated New Orleans, 79-71, on Nov. 24, San Francisco, 85-75, on Nov. 29 and Hawaii Pacific, 58-41, on Dec. 1 – all in the Stan Sheriff Center.

Stansberry leads UH and ranks second in the Big West at 19.7 points per game and has connected on 42.7 percent (38-89) of his three pointers, which leads the Big West. His 3.8 three pointers per game leads the conference and ranks fourth nationally.

Samuta Avea ranks second in points per game (11.1) and Drew Buggs third (10.9). Raimo leads the team in rebounds per game (7.2) and averages 9.3 points per contest.

UTEP leads the all-time series 35-17. UTEP and Hawai’i last played on March 10, 2005 in the WAC Tournament in Reno, Nev. The Miners won the contest, 80-62, on their way to the NCAA Tournament.

The two programs last met in Honolulu on Feb. 21, 2005 when the Miners defeated the Warriors, 71-67. The Miner have won four straight meetings. The Rainbow Warriors last defeated UTEP on Jan. 2, 2004, by the score of 85-63 in Honolulu.

UTEP and Hawai’i first met on Jan. 19, 1980 in El Paso, while the Miners played their first game on The Island on Feb. 14, 1980.

“The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher will call the action on 600 ESPN El Paso, while the game will be televised on ESPN2 with Roxy Bernstein calling play-by-play and Cory Alexander providing color analysis.

Houston downs UTEP 77-57

HOUSTON – Bryson Williams tied a game high with 17 points and Souley Boum chipped in with 13, but Caleb Mills’s and Nate Hinton’s 17 points apiece led Houston to a 77-57 victory over UTEP on Thursday night at the Fertitta Center.

“That was a big play. We battled our way back and put ourselves into position down the stretch to try to win the ball game,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “You can’t taunt and get in the face of an opponent. It was the right call and you can’t get caught up in talking. You got to play the game. It didn’t cost us the game, but it was a costly play in the game.”

The Miners (8-2), after being down by as many as 14 points early in the second half, got within five points (54-49) after a Boum driving layup at the 7:50 mark. But the Cougars (7-3) answered with a 16-0 run to put the game away after Boum was called for a technical foul following the bucket.

The Cougars hit the glass hard, outrebounding the Miners 49-34 – with 16 of those being offensive rebounds. The tough UH defense also came up with 11 blocked shots.

Nigel Hawkins, a Houston product, scored nine points and led the Miners with five assists. Efe Odigie (four points), another native of Houston, tied for the team lead with seven rebounds, while Williams matched that number on the boards.

Houston opened up a 6-0 lead as UTEP struggled to find offense early in the contest. Williams put his squad on the board with a three-point basket, while Hawkins tied the game (6-6) with a trey at the 14:01 mark. After Mills answered with a three of his own, Jordan Lathon tied the game at 9-9 with the Miners’ third trey at the 13:29 mark.

After the back-and-forth three-point fest, the Cougars went on a 14-0 run to gain a 23-9 lead with 9:50 remaining in the period. The Miners fought their way back, getting within three points (28-25) at the 3:03 mark.

UTEP’s 16-5 run started with a Boum steal and fast break layup. Williams converted an alley-oop dunk off a Hawkins’s assist to make the count 25-13. After a DeJon Jarreau made free throw and a Chris Harris Jr. second-chance layup, Williams hit another trey and followed with a two-point basket to get the Miners within 10 points (28-18). His five consecutive points started a 9-0 run that was followed by a Hawkins three-point play.

With the score 28-21 and momentum going UTEP’s way, Boum scored four consecutive points on a pair of buckets in the paint to make the count, 28-25.

But the Miners couldn’t get any closer as Houston finished out the half on a 9-2 run and putting UTEP down 37-27 heading into the locker room.

Hinton produced a double-double, grabbing 10 rebounds, while Brison Gresham also registerd a double-double, scoring 10 points and leading UH with 12 boards. Jarreau dished out a game-high nine assists, while scoring seven points.

Edwards scored six points on a pair of three pointers, while Deon Stroud came off the bench and tallied five points.

The Miners have lost 15 consecutive road games after Thursday’s setback. Their last road win came on March 3, 2018 at North Texas.

Up next, UTEP will travel to Honolulu, Hawai’i to compete in the Diamond Head Classic Dec. 22-25. The Miners, who are searching for that elusive road win, will open the holiday tournament against host school Hawai’i (7-3) on Sunday, Dec. 22.

UTEP Battles in narrow loss at SMU 60-56

DALLAS – Katarina Zec (12 points) and Ariana Taylor (season-high 10 points) both reached double figures in scoring while Ariona Gill (eight points, 11 rebounds) flirted with a double-double in UTEP’s hard-fought 60-56 setback at SMU Thursday evening.

The Miners (7-3) forced 18 turnovers and held the Mustangs (5-4) to 39.0 percent (23-59) from the floor. UTEP shot a similar percentage, but couldn’t compensate for a discrepancy on free throws. SMU finished 12-22 at the charity stripe, including 10-14 in the final frame. UTEP was 3-6 at the line, and did not attempt a free throw during the second half despite holding a 32-24 advantage for points in the paint.

Another factor was rebounds, with the Mustangs controlling the glass by a count of 43-33. UTEP recorded 17 assists on 24 field goals, with Gill dishing out a career-high five helpers. She also set a career best with five steals.

“Defensively we played well enough to win,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “Tonight was just one of those nights where we simply couldn’t make a shot. We got great looks, but could not finish. I loved our fight, and we still almost found a way to win.

The Miners started quickly with back-to-back baskets from Zec before SMU countered with an 10-1 run to put UTEP down five (10-5). Tia Bradshaw floated home a shot in transition to end the surge. It was nearly even the rest of the frame, with the Miners trailing by four (16-12) through 10 minutes of action.

It was back-and-forth through most of the second quarter before a 5-0 run by the home side put UTEP down eight (30-22) inside of one minute. The Miners had a good response, using a jumper from Taylor and a lay-up by Gill to cut the margin to four (30-26) heading to halftime.

After a score on the opening possession of the third quarter by SMU, the Miners peeled off six straight points to pull ahead (33-32) for the first time since it was 4-0. It was a seesaw battle the remainder of the frame, with UTEP by two (44-42) with the contest going into the fourth quarter.

The Miners remained down by two (50-48) with 7:56 to play before four straight SMU free throws put UTEP down by six (54-48) with 4:44 left in the contest. UTEP didn’t flinch, getting back-to-back lay-ups from Tatyana Modawar and Avery Crouse, respectively, to get within two (54-52) and prompt a timeout by the Mustangs. The Miners got another stop out of the break before Gill made a lay-up to tie the tilt (54-54) with 3:09 remaining in regulation.

UTEP couldn’t quite complete the comeback, with SMU closing the contest on a 6-2 push. All six Mustang points in the sequence came at the charity stripe

The Miners will break for the holidays before wrapping up nonconference play at home against Tulsa at 1 p.m. MT on Dec. 29. 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.

UTEP takes on Houston for first time in six years

HOUSTON – UTEP, after improving its home record to a perfect 8-0, will look to chalk up its first road win in over a year as the Miners (8-1) will play in Houston (6-3) on Thursday, December 19. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. MT/7 CT in the Fertitta Center.

The Miners and Cougars will face each other for the first time since March 13, 2013 during the second round of the Conference USA Tournament. UTEP won, 80-69, and leads the all-time series 16-10.

The Miners are coming off their first WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational championship in five years after they defeated a tough UC Irvine squad, 67-61, on Tuesday night.

Bryson Williams, who was named the tournament MVP, averaged 21.5 points, including a game-high 22 against UCI. Williams connected on a collegiate career-high 11 free throws on 14 attempts. Jordan Lathon earned the Don Haskins Trophy after his efforts during the championship game. The sophomore matched his season high with 13 points and tied a career best with six assists, while grabbing five rebounds to tie for the team lead with Tydus Verhoeven. Souley Boum averaged 19.5 points during the two-day span, including 26 points on Monday night, which tied his collegiate career best. Boum was named to the all-tournament team.

UTEP, which has matched its win total from a season ago, is off to its best start since jumping out to a 9-1 mark during the 2003-04 season. The Miners only blemish was a three-point setback at NM State on Dec. 3. The Miners’ last road victory came at North Texas on Jan. 3, 2018.

Nigel Hawkins and Efe Odigie, a pair of Houston products, are making their way back to their hometown. Hawkins played at Cypress Falls High School, while Odigie competed at Pro-Vision Academy.

Houston is coming off a 61-55 loss against Oklahoma State on Dec. 15. The Cougars, before their loss against the Cowboys, had won four-straight. Prior to the win streak, Houston fell at then-no. 11 Oregon on Nov. 22.

Quentin Grimes, a 6-5 guard, leads the team at 15.0 points per game, ranking fifth in the American Conference. Nate Hinton, 6-10 center, averages 9.2 boards per game, ranking third in the conference and 53rd nationally.

Like the Miners, the Cougars don’t turn the ball over much. Houston has only turned the ball over 110 times, ranking first in the American Conference and 23rd nationally.

Houston rebounds the ball well, averaging 43.2 rebounds per game (ranks sixth nationally), while it’s +11.2 rebounding margin also ranks sixth.

UTEP is 4-1 when opponents outrebound it.

The game can be heard on 600 ESPN El Paso as “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher will call the action. The Miners and Cougars can also be seen on ESPN3 with David Saltzman calling the action and Reid Getty providing color analysis.

UTEP to take on former league rival SMU Thursday

After a break for finals the UTEP women’s basketball team (7-2) will return to action by playing at former WAC and Conference USA member SMU (4-4) at 4 p.m. MT on Thursday.

“SMU is a very dangerous team because they are so athletic. They do not always score on a first shot. They hit the offensive boards hard. They will also be a tough road test for our team. But we have been playing well , and I expect a great game,” head coach Kevin Baker shared.

The Miners had a four-game winning streak snapped by No. 20/19 Arizona, 54-43, on Dec. 7. The Mustangs are coming off a 66-51 vanquishing of North Dakota on Dec. 9.

It will mark the second and final nonconference road game for UTEP, which emerged victorious at I-10 rival NM State, 63-57, on Nov. 13. SMU is 3-3 at home, including a victory over defending C-USA Champion Rice.

A win would afford UTEP its first 2-0 start on the road since 2011-12 and fourth overall in program history. Incredibly enough the 2011-12 team holds the school standard for best road start at 3-0; it went on to finish 11-1 on the road. UTEP was also 2-0 on the road in 1998-99 and 2006-07.

Thursday’s game will be streamed live online through PonyUpTV.

UTEP is off to a 7-2 start on the year, which is a stark reversal from a year ago. The Miners were 2-7 at this juncture in 2018-19, and eventually finished the year at 9-22. UTEP could match its overall win total from a year ago before conference play begins if it is able to pick up a road win at SMU and then knock off Tulsa at home. 

Five of UTEP’s victories have been by double figures, including three of at least 20 points. The Miners had their largest differential (+45) under head coach Kevin Baker in a 92-47 drubbing of Alcorn State (11/16), in addition to toppling Western Michigan (11/29) by 30 (76-46) and a 20-point (65-45) dispatching of NM State (11/23).

It marks the first time since 2013-14 that UTEP posted at least three nonconference wins against DI programs by 20+ points. That year the Miners had six such efforts prior to league action.

Fans are encouraged to connect with the Miners on Facebook (UTEP Women’s Basketball), Instagram (@utepwbb) and Twitter (@UTEPWBB). 

Up next, the Miners will be break for the holidays before wrapping up nonconference play at home against Tulsa at 1 p.m. MT on Dec. 29. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.

Game in Many Pics: UTEP downs UC Irvine 67-61 to take Haskins Tourney Crown

For the first time since 2014, the Miners were victorious Tuesday evening in their own holiday tournament, named for their Hall of Fame Coach.

With the 67-61 victory over UC Irvine at the Haskins Center, UTEP improved to 8 and 1 on the season.

The Miners upped their home mark to 7-0 after defeating North Carolina A&T, 72-54, Monday night. With the win Tuesday night, the unblemished 8-win home record is the best start since the 2003-04 season.

The Miners now prepare for a Thursday match up with Houston.

“We did a great job of attacking the paint and putting pressure on the basket. When you do those kinds of things, it gives itself an opportunity to go to the foul line,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We got to the line 36 times and we did a pretty good job shooting free throws tonight, making 28 of those. That was a big part of the game.”

UTEP set season highs in made free throws (28) and free-throw attempts (36) for a 77.8 percent clip.

Our very own Ruben R. Ramirez and Johnny Yturales were at the game and we bring you their view of the contest in this ‘Game in Many Pics.’

Gallery by Ruben R. Ramirez | Johnny Yturales – El Paso Herald Post

Video+Gallery+Story: Boum, Williams combine for 47 points in UTEP’s 72-54 win

Souley Boum nailed a collegiate career-high five three pointers, while tying his career best with 26 points and Bryson Williams registered his second double-double (21 points, 10 rebounds) of the season as the UTEP Miners (7-1) downed North Carolina A&T (3-8), 72-54, in the first round of the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational on Monday night.

“I thought our guys came out tonight and really executed against a combination of defenses,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We knew we would see some 1-3-1 and I thought our guys did a nice job seeing the 1-3-1 in a game situation. We did a great job of handling that in the first half. We saw a 2-3 zone in our previous game, which was good for us for 40 minutes. I thought tonight we were much better against the 2-3 zone. We got great looks all night long, whether we were attacking in the middle of the zone, or whether we were getting it into the interior.”

The Miners improved the 7-0 in the Haskins Center, making it the best start in the Sun City since the 2003-04 season. UTEP finally got going from three-point land, as it made a season-high 13-of-27 (48.1 percent).

The Orange and Blue set the season high in the first half with eight-made treys.

UTEP will now take on UC Irvine (7-5) in the championship game Tuesday night with tipoff set for 7 p.m. The Anteaters upset Kent State (8-2), 74-68, in the earlier contest.

Boum produced all-around numbers, going 8-for-11 from the field that included a 5-for-8 effort from downtown. The redshirt sophomore also went 5-for-6 from the charity stripe. Boum missed his first free throw of the season after starting his UTEP career 24-of-24 from the line.

“Souley has been a guy we expected all year who we counted on to make shots for us and score the basketball,” Terry said. “That’s what he did at San Francisco. He was all-freshman in the WCC and we were glad to see him make some shots.”

Williams scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half. The redshirt junior went 4-for-5 from the field, and shooting a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line. Overall, Williams made 6-of-9 from the field and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Williams is 9-for-13 (69.2) from three-point range this season after going 1-for-4 in his first two years at Fresno State.

“I’ve been working on (three-point shooting) since I got to UTEP,” Williams said. “After not playing for a year, I was just constantly shooting in the gym and it all took care of itself.”

Daryl Edwards added nine points, including back-to-back three pointers in the first half that put the Miners up 18-8.

The Aggies, however, would rally. They answered with a 7-0 run sparked by a made three-point bucket by Ronald Jackson (13 points) that got his squad within three points (18-15).

Even after a pair of made free throws by Nigel Hawkins that put UTEP up 22-15, North Carolina A&T would not go away.

The Aggies assembled a 13-5 run that was capped by two Kameron Langley’s made free throws at the 3:03 mark, putting them up 28-27.

But Boum’s late three gave UTEP a 30-28 lead and never looked back. The Miners ran into the locker room up eight points (37-29) after finishing out the first half on a 10-1 run.

The second-half scoring opened up after NC A&T got within six points (39-33) after a jumper by Devin Haygood at the 17:08 mark. The Miners used an 18-3 run to go up 57-36 and essentially clinching the seventh home victory of the season.

Jordan Lathon and Edwards each tallied four of UTEP’s 18 dimes, while Lathon added six rebounds and a late three-point bucket.

The Miners allowed less than 60 points for the fifth time this season, while the Aggies only shot 34.5 percent from the field. It was the sixth time this season UTEP allowed less than 39 percent shooting from the field. UTEP also outrebounded North Carolina A&T, 43-32.

“I thought we were good defensively for stretches,” Terry said. “But I didn’t think we were good for 40 minutes. However, I thought we really turned the game in the second half with our defense.”

UTEP will play UC Irvine in Tuesday’s championship game as the Anteaters have won four of their last five games. Collin Welp leads UCI in points per game (14.3) and rebounds per contest (6.4). Eyassu Worku averages 10.9 points per game.

Welp led the way with 18 points on Monday night, while Eyassu chipped in with 15 points and six assists, and Brad Greene with 16 points. UCI outrebounded Kent State, 35-32, and recorded six steals.

“It’s a program I’m very familiar with,” Terry said. “Russ (Turner) is a great coach and he’s built a solid program. We’re trying the build a program here, and he’s built one there that has a chance to go to the NCAA Tournament every year. We’re going to play to play some good senior guards and have played in postseason play. Their interior players are really good as well and they put a lot pressure on the basket. He’s always had really big teams and they execute well. It’s going to be a great challenge for us.”

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

Video+Gallery+Story: Miners march to 6-1 with 59-50 win vs UAPB

Bryson Williams scored 19 points, including a crucial three-point play late, as UTEP held off Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 59-50, on Saturday in the Haskins Center to move to 6-1 on the young season.

“We have a lot of respect for [UAPB] coach Ivory,” UTEP coach Rodney Terry said.  “We knew his team was going to come in here and compete at a very high level.  Whether they were at Kansas State or Pitt, those guys compete from start to finish.  We knew we were going to play a team that would come in here and not be intimidated by us.  They’ve already played quality opponents and played them well.”

Williams added seven rebounds, three assists and three steals for the Miners, who are 6-0 at home for the first time since the 2007-08 campaign.

Marquell Carter scored 21 points with five threes for the Golden Lions (1-7), who have played seven of their first eight games on the road.

Outrebounded 15-8 in the first half, UTEP (6-1) turned the tables on the Golden Lions (1-7) over the final 20 minutes.  The Miners had an 18-12 edge on the glass during that stretch.  UTEP was in a dogfight until holding UAPB scoreless over the final 3:14.  During that time the Golden Lions missed three shots, and the Miners closed out possessions with defensive rebounds.

The Miners trailed 14-11 midway through the first half before putting together an 18-2 run over the next four and a half minutes.  Williams’ jumper at the 4:42 mark gave UTEP its largest lead of the half, 29-16.  UAPB, however, got hot from three-point range in the final few minutes of the half and drew to within a point (35-34) at the break.

In the first half, the Golden Lions shot 60 percent (12-for-20) from the field while making 4-of-8 threes.  UTEP compensated by scoring 16 points off 13 UAPB turnovers.

“For the better part of the first 10 or 12 minutes, we did a good job of guarding the way we’ve guarded all year,” Terry said.  “We really haven’t had a team shoot 60 percent on us all year and 50 percent from three.  We’ve been one of the best three-point field goal defenses in the country.”

In the first half Carter scored 15 points, making three triples.

“We let a guy get comfortable,” Terry said.  “He sized up a shot, and then we let him get comfortable again and he sized up another shot.  He made three before the half.  When you do that, you give a team confidence, and you’ve got to come back out and play at a very high level.”

The Miners scored the first seven points of the second half while holding UAPB scoreless over the first 4:23.  Overall, UTEP limited UAPB to one field goal over the first eight and a half minutes of the period in building a 45-36 lead.  But the Golden Lions wouldn’t go away.  They pulled within four (54-50) on another three-pointer by Carter with 3:15 to go.

Those were the final points for UAPB, as Kaden Archie scored a layup with 2:49 remaining, followed by Williams’ huge “and-one” at the 2:13 mark.

Williams made 6-of-11 shots and was a perfect 7-for-7 from the line, capping a week where he averaged 23 points per game.

Tydus Verhoeven, making his first start of the season, had four of the Miners’ 12 steals.  Souley Boum scored nine points for UTEP, while Nigel Hawkins and Efe Odigie added seven apiece off the bench.

The Miners shot 43.2 percent from the field while facing a zone defense exclusively for the first time this season.

“Good game for us, a good opportunity for us to play against zone,” Terry said.  “We’re going to continue to get better and better as the year goes on versus zone.”

The Miners will take part in the 58th Annual WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational Dec. 16-17 in the Haskins Center.  UTEP will join Kent State, North Carolina A&T and UC Irvine in the event.

First round matchups on Dec. 16 are Kent State versus UC Irvine at 5 p.m., and UTEP versus North Carolina A&T at 7 p.m.  The consolation game is set for 5 p.m. on Dec. 17, followed by the championship game at 7 p.m.

UTEP has won 31 Sun Bowl Tournament titles, most recently in 2014.  Tickets are on sale online or by calling (915) 747-5234.

Gallery by Johnny Yturales – EL Paso Herald Post  |  Video courtesy UTEP

UTEP defense shines in hard-hought loss to Arizona 54-43

UTEP forced 23 turnovers and held No. 20 Arizona to its lowest scoring output in a nonconference game in three years but couldn’t get enough shots to fall in a 54-43 setback at the Don Haskins Center Saturday afternoon.

“I’m really, really proud of our team,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “We played terrific defense, especially in the fourth quarter. We held them to one field goal in the whole fourth quarter. That had a lot to do with our defensive energy, with the energy in the Haskins Center. I thought our fans were terrific today. We’re just going to get better and better.”

The Miners (7-2) limited the Wildcats (9-0) to 38.0 percent shooting (19-50), including just 7.1 percent (1-14) from beyond-the-arc. Arizona entered the contest averaging 78 points and shooting 49 percent from the floor. UTEP also kept All-American Aari McDonald to 13 points on 4-14 shooting, eight below her scoring output.

The defensive effort, particularly over the final three quarters, helped give Arizona its smallest margin of victory on the year. The Wildcats brought a +33 scoring margin into the game.

Ariona Gill (11 points) and Katia Gallegos (10 points) paced UTEP on offense. The Miners shot 43 percent in the opening frame but couldn’t sustain that on the way to finishing at 25.9 percent (15-58) for the day.

But the defense, which kept Arizona to 1-9 in the final quarter, allowed the home side to be down by just nine with three minutes to play. UTEP could get no closer, with the Wildcats hitting enough free throws down stretch to hold on.

The Wildcats were led by Cate Reese’s double-double (19 points, 17 rebounds).

UTEP struck first with a triple from Katarina Zec before Arizona countered with eight quick points to prompt a timeout from Baker. The Miners responded by firing off a quick 5-0 run, including a trey by Sabine Lipe, to knot the game at 8-8.

The Wildcats answered with a 5-0 push of their own. UTEP ended the push with a fastbreak layup by Gill but still found itself down by seven (21-14) through 10 minutes of action.

Arizona tallied the first eight points in the second quarter to put the Orange and Blue down by 15 (29-14) midway through the stanza. Gill stopped it with a free throw, and then UTEP turned up the heat defensively. The Miners kept the Wildcats without a field goal for almost five minutes, but they couldn’t get enough shots of their own to fall. UTEP headed into halftime trailing by 16 (33-17).

It remained at 16-point differential early in the fourth quarter before UTEP’s defense allowed the Orange and Blue to chip away. A jumper by Gallegos was followed by a lay-up from Gill, forcing Arizona to call timeout with its advantage trimmed to 13 (49-36). UTEP continued to fight and got within nine (50-41) after a corner triple by Avery Crouse, but the Wildcats were able to hold on.

The Miners will be idle for final exams before returning to action at American Athletic Conference member SMU at 6 p.m. MT/7 p.m. CT on Dec. 19.

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.

Gallery by Ruben R. Ramirez & Johnny Yturales – El Paso Herald Post

UTEP to play host to unbeaten, ranked Arizona Saturday afternoon

The UTEP women’s basketball team (7-1) will face a tremendous test when it plays host to undefeated and No. 20/19 Arizona (8-0) at 1 p.m. MT Saturday.

“This is by far the best Arizona team they’ve had in many, many years. They were good last year but they added some more pieces to the puzzle. They could make a run in the NCAA Tournament. They could go pretty deep I think,” Miner head coach Kevin Baker shared. “They’ll be a frontrunner to win the Pac-12. I think that they are really going to be a dangerous team. As far as our team is concerned, we have nothing to lose in the game.”

The Miners are riding a four-game win streak, including besting Weber State, 70-51, on December 5. The 2019 WNIT Champion Wildcats have won 14 straight games dating to last year, including being off to an 8-0 start in 2019-20.

UTEP is playing for the second time in three days, in addition to closing out its seven-game homestand (5-1 in stretch). 

UTEP is 7-1 on the year, its best start of the Kevin Baker era. It also is the top beginning to a season in four years (8-0, 2015-16). Five of the victories have been by double figures, including three of at least 20 points.

The Miners had their largest differential (+45) under Baker in a 92-47 drubbing of Alcorn State (11/16), in addition to toppling Western Michigan (11/29) by 30 (76-46) and a 20-point (65-45) dispatching of NM State (11/23).

UTEP is 1-19 all time against ranked opponents, most recently being clipped by eight (85-77) by No. 11 Penn State in the opening round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament on March 18, 2012. The Miners’ lone victory against a ranked team came in a 50-46 home win against No. 11 Utah on Jan. 31, 1998.

No. 20/19 Arizona is the first ranked team to face UTEP in El Paso since No. 22 Houston snuck past the Miners, 68-64, on March 10, 2011, in the quarterfinals of the C-USA Tournament. 

The first 600 fans in attendance will receive a special UTEP T-shirt. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.

The game will be streamed on ESPN+ with Colin Deaver and Izabela Piekarska on the call. It will also be streamed through 600 ESPN El Paso with Brandon Cohn and Traci Miller on the call.

UTEP aiming to get back on winning track against UAPB Saturday

The UTEP men’s basketball team suffered its first loss of the 2019-20 season on Tuesday at NM State.  But the Miners still have the best record in Conference USA (5-1), and they’ll look to resume their winning ways on Saturday when they open a three-game homestand against Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-6) at 7 p.m. in the Haskins Center.

“I’ve been saying this all along, we haven’t played our best basketball yet,” UTEP coach Rodney Terry said.  “We’re a better shooting team than what we’ve shown to this point in the season.  As our guards continue to get better and get better, then our team will get better and improve as well.  This team has a high ceiling in terms of our growth and where we’re going to be able to go this year.  We’re still learning what it takes to win, both on the road and at home.”

The Miners may have one mark in the loss column, but they’re still unbeaten in the friendly confines of the Bear’s Den (5-0) with an average margin of victory of 15 points.  UTEP is 5-0 at home to open a season for just the third time in the 2000’s.  The Miners started 8-0 in the DHC during the 2003-04 campaign (en route to an NCAA Tournament appearance), and 6-0 in 2007-08.

UTEP is one of four remaining C-USA teams with unblemished home marks, along with FIU (4-0), LA Tech (4-0) and WKU (3-0).

UTEP junior forward Bryson Williams is on a tear, scoring 33 points (versus East Central) and 27 points (at NM State) in the Miners’ last two games.  He is the first UTEP player to produce 27 points or more in consecutive contests since Randy Culpepper during the 2010-11 season.

Williams is averaging 19.5 ppg (second in C-USA) and his .733 field goal percentage rates third nationally.  He has added a new dimension to his game in 2019-20 as he has made 6-of-9 three-point attempts; in his first two seasons at Fresno State (2016-18), Williams was a combined 1-for-4 from downtown.

Sophomore guard Souley Boum was the other Miner to score in double figures at NM State (11 points) behind a 6-for-6 effort at the foul line.  He ran his streak of consecutive made free throws to 17, which is the longest by a UTEP player since Evan Gilyard hit 19 in a row over the course of the 2017-18 and 2018-19 campaigns.

Omega Harris made 22 straight foul shots during the 2017-18 season.  As a team, the Miners have been stellar at the charity stripe in 2019-20 after going 14-for-15 at NM State to raise their seasonal mark to 76.2 (third in C-USA).

The Miners will look for a more balanced offensive effort against UAPB after three players (Williams, Boum, Daryl Edwards) accounted for 47 of the team’s 56 points at NM State.  On the defensive end, UTEP will simply look to remain solid, as its opponent field goal percentage (.378) and opponent scoring average (61.7 ppg) both rank among the C-USA leaders.

UAPB has played six of its first seven games on the road, with losses to USF (70-41), Gonzaga (110-60), Grand Canyon (67-54), Kansas State (62-51), Pittsburgh (66-41) and Tulsa (72-39).  Junior guard Shaun Doss (12.3 ppg) and junior forward Markedric Bell (10.9 ppg) are the team’s leading scorers, although Doss has missed the last four games due to injury.

UAPB tied for third in the SWAC last season (10-8 record) and returned two starters for 2019-20.  The Golden Lions have two preseason second team All-SWAC players in Doss and junior center Terrance Banyard (7.3 ppg/5.0 rpg).

After Saturday, the Miners will take a break for finals week before returning to “The Don” to participate in the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational.  UTEP will face North Carolina A&T in opening round action on Monday, Dec. 16 (7 p.m.), and either Kent State or UC Irvine on Tuesday, Dec. 17 at a time to be determined.

Forward Isaiah Rhyanes will become the latest Miner to earn his degree when he graduates from the University next weekend.

Saturday’s matchup is the “Hoops for the Holidays” game and will feature seasonal activities for the whole family, plus an appearance by Santa Claus.  Tickets are available by calling 747-5234 or by visiting WWW.DEFENDTHEDON.COM.

Gallery+Story: NMSU ends UTEP’s win streak 59-56

LAS CRUCES – C.J. Bobbitt scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half, leading NM State to a 59-56 win over UTEP in the Battle of I-10 on Tuesday night at the Pan American Center.

Bobbitt was 3-for-4 from the field, 2-for-3 from three-point range and 4-for-4 from the line over the final 20 minutes as the Aggies (5-4) handed the Miners (5-1) their first loss of the season and salvaged a split in the season series.

NM State outscored the Miners in the paint (32-22) and controlled the glass (36-28), overcoming a dominant performance by UTEP’s Bryson Williams, who scored 19 of his 27 points in the second half.

“Give those guys credit.  They were a little tougher than us,” UTEP coach Rodney Terry said.  “That’s hard for me to say in terms of the points in the paint.  We weren’t as tough as we needed to be and didn’t have the resistance that we needed around the basket.”

Williams finished 9-for-13 from the floor, 4-for-6 from three-point range and 5-for-6 from the line while adding nine rebounds for the Miners.  Williams, Souley Boum (11 points) and Daryl Edwards (nine) accounted for 47 of UTEP’s 56 points.

The Miners went up 16-14 on a three-pointer by Williams with 5:35 remaining in the period, but the Aggies answered with an 11-2 run to surge to a 25-18 advantage.  The Miners trimmed the deficit to four (27-23) at the midway point.

UTEP tied it up twice early in the second half, 32-32 and 34-34, but was unable to regain the lead.  Still, it went right down to the wire, as Wiliams and Lathon both missed three-pointers in the final seconds.

NM State matched its biggest lead of seven points (54-47) on a jumper by Bobbitt with 6:03 to go.  The Miners chipped away with five straight points to get within two (54-52), and were within five over the final 5:12.

Trailing 57-56, the Miners intentionally fouled Bobbitt with 12 seconds left.  He drained both shots before Williams and Lathon’s last-ditch attempts from long range were offline.

Johnny McCants scored 13 points and Jabari Rice added 10, leading the Aggies to a 25-4 edge in bench scoring.

The Miners held the Aggies’ leading scorer, Trevelin Queen, to two points on 1-for-8 shooting after he tallied 21 points in the first matchup between the teams in El Paso.

“We did a good job on Queen,” Terry said.  “He is a guy that can really score the basketball.  I thought our perimeter guys guarded really hard.  We didn’t get the job done in the paint.  They did a really nice job.  McCants did a really good job.  We needed to do a better job trying to be more physical with him inside.

UTEP shot 39.1 percent from the field, and NM State shot 38.9 percent.  The Miners went 14-for-15 from the line but missed 17 of their 23 three-point tries.

“We got to the foul line.  We made foul shots,” Terry said.  “We had opportunities.  We had wide open looks.  We didn’t make some shots that we’re more than capable of making.  To me, that was the disappointing part, that we didn’t match their toughness.  We knew going into this game that it’s a toughness game, a tough mindset, and we have to be tough.”

The Miners will open a three-game homestand against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Saturday (Dec. 7) at 7 p.m.  The “Hoops for the Holidays” game will feature seasonal activities for the whole family.  To purchase tickets, call 747-5234 or visit the ‘Defend the Don’ ticket website.

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

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