Redshirt-junior Ariona Gill posted her first career double-double (17 points, career-best 12 rebounds) but an off shooting day and a balanced offensive attack from the visitors proved problematic in UTEP’s 89-61 loss to undefeated Portland State at the Don Haskins Center Sunday afternoon.
Jade Rochelle (career-high 11 points) and Ariana Taylor (career-high 10 points) came off the bench to provide a spark for the Miners (2-7), who played the second half without leading scorer and rebound Zuzanna Puc.
Jordan Alexander added eight points and eight boards, but the Vikings (6-0) simply had too much firepower. PSU was paced by Kylie Jimenez’s 21 points while Ashley Bolston (18 points), Sidney Rielly (14 points) and Ana Tainta (13 points) also had big days.
The Miners finished at 32.8 percent (20-61) from the floor, including 25.0 percent (3-12) from 3-point range. It was a different story for the Vikings, who drained 44.2 percent (34-77) of their attempts on the day. PSU had a slight edge in rebounding (45-41), with the 11 rebounds by Desirae Hanson in 20 minutes making a difference for her squad.
The Vikings also had significant advantages in points in the paint (42-28) and fastbreak points (24-21). UTEP shared the ball effectively, recording 15 assists on 20 made field goals.
“Anytime you give up 89 points you’re not going to win many games,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “I’m really disappointed in our performance. I don’t want to take anything away from Portland State. They’re a really good team and do a lot of really tough things. I just was really disappointed in the product as a whole today. I think we’re a much better basketball team than the way we played today.”
There was plenty of offense to go around at the onset of the contest, with a 3-pointer by Alexander putting the Miners ahead by two (13-11) midway through the first quarter. PSU countered with a 6-0 push to go ahead by four (17-13, 4:01 1Q), but a pair of free throws by Puc put an end to that. It remained a two-point differential (19-17 2:25 1Q) in favor of the Vikings before they tallied the final seven points of the frame to lead by nine (26-17) after 10 minutes of action.
The run continued into the second stanza, with the visitors eventually extending their cushion to 16 (35-19, 5:13 2Q). The Miners started to chip away at the deficit, inching within 11 (41-30, 00:37 2Q) late in the frame. Much to the chagrin of the Orange and Blue faithful, PSU’s Jimenez drilled a pull-up 3-pointer to beat the buzzer and give her squad a 44-30 advantage going into the locker room.
The Vikings connected on a triple on their opening possession of the third quarter, affording them their largest lead (47-30) of the game to that point. UTEP regrouped and responded by peeling off five consecutive points to reduce the margin to 12 (47-35, 7:02 3Q).
It remained a 12-point contest (51-39, 5:24 3Q) before PSU uncorked an 11-1 run to vault out by 22 (62-40, 2:22 3Q). A pair of free throws by Rochelle ended the sequence, but the damage had been done. The margin was 23 (66-43) heading to the final frame, and UTEP couldn’t get any closer the rest of the way.
UTEP will be idle for finals week before returning to action at Pacific-12 member Arizona at 6:30 p.m. MT on Dec. 17. The contest will be the beginning of a long stretch without a home game.
The Miners will have five road tilts and a pair of neutral-site contests before returning to the Don Haskins Center on Jan. 17, 2019.
Twenty-two past and present UTEP student-athletes will graduate from the university on Saturday, December 15.
The list includes 12 representatives from the football program, six from track & field, three from soccer and one from volleyball.
Highlighting the list of graduates are three-time first team All-American Jonah Koech and seven-time Conference USA champion Lilian Koech from track and field.
Of the 12 graduating football student athletes, 10 have made starts for the Miners (OL Jerrod Brooks, DT Sani Buckingham, RB/LB Treyvon Hughes, DB Alex JeanCharles, WR Terry Juniel, TE David Lucero, DB Nik Needham, WR Warren Redix, OL Tanner Stallings, TE Josh Weeks).
Juniel is ranked in the top-10 in school history in kickoff return yards (1,253) and Needham is UTEP’s career leader in pass breakups with 33.
Nine of the graduates have earned a spot on the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll during their careers for posting a grade point average of 3.0 or better.
Kylie Baumgartner (Volleyball)
Pleasant Hill, Calif.
Ranks third all-time for block assists (300) and fifth in total blocks (341) in program history … the only Miner to lead the team in block assists and total blocks for three consecutive seasons … participated in 105 matches and had 352 sets played throughout her career … two-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Biology major.
Ada Benjamin (Track & Field)
Helped the women’s track and field team claim four Conference USA titles, including its first conference outdoor title … registered a personal best of 52.76 seconds in the 400m at the 2017 Conference USA Outdoor Championships, earning a spot at the NCAA West Preliminaries … one-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Entrepreneurship major.
Jerrod Brooks (Football)
Offensive lineman who played in 37 games and started in 18 for the Orange and Blue … a four-time letter winner for the Miners … helped Aaron Jones gain a single-season program-record 1,773 yards in 2016 while becoming UTEP’s all-time leading rusher … double major in Communication and Criminal Justice.
Sani Buckingham (Football)
Tafuna, American Samoa
A two-time letterwinner … has seen playing time at tight end and in the defensive line while appearing in 17 games in the Orange and Blue … one-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Economics major.
Kennadie Chaudhary (Soccer)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Played in 73 games and started 53 for the Miners … tallied 11 goals, seven assists and 29 points … scored three game-winning goals … helped the Miners to a 1-0 win over Rice at the 2016 C-USA Championships … four-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Forensic Science major.
Stephen Forester (Football)
A three-year letter winner for the Miners … saw action in 18 games for UTEP … three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Finance major.
Asa Guevara (Track & Field)
Chaguanas, Trinidad & Tobago
Took gold in the 400m at the 2018 Conference USA Outdoor Championships with a personal best time of 45.26 seconds … was ranked 26th nationally with a personal best of 20.51 seconds in the 200m, posted at the 2018 Desert Heat Classic … advanced to the NCAA West Preliminaries twice … Multidisciplinary Studies major.
Treyvon Hughes (Football)
Played in 33 games and made eight starts for the Orange and Blue … rushed for 320 yards on 98 attempts … made six starts at linebacker and registered 40 tackles and two quarterback hurries during the 2017 season … Criminal Justice major.
Adrian Hynson (Football)
Corpus Christi, Texas
Played in 37 games on special teams and defense for UTEP … a three-year letter winner for the Miners … registered 28 tackles and a sack … Organizational & Corporate Communication major.
Alex JeanCharles (Football)
Winter Haven, Fla.
Played in 10 games and made one start for the Orange and Blue … a two-year letter winner for the Miners … Multidisciplinary Studies major.
Terry Juniel (Football)
Tallied 2,209 all-purpose yards in his UTEP career … ranked eighth in school history in kickoff return yards … finished the 2018 season ranked third in C-USA in punt return average … Multidisciplinary Studies major.
Jonah Koech (Track & Field)
Made six NCAA Championship appearances … finished the 2018 outdoor season with a personal best of 1:46.23 seconds in the 800m, finishing sixth at the NCAA Championships … garnered first team All-American honors three times … helped the men’s cross country team claim two Conference USA titles … Management major.
Lilian Koech (Track & Field)
Helped the UTEP women’s cross country team capture the first conference title in program history … also aided the women’s track and field squad to four Conference USA titles … earned seven Conference USA gold medals and advanced to the NCAA Championships once … Biological Sciences major.
David Lucero (Football)
Registered 20 catches for 322 yards in 2018, becoming only the sixth UTEP tight end to tally 300 yards in a campaign … played in 20 games for the Miners and made 12 starts … closed out his career with 37 receptions for 451 yards and three touchdowns … Multidisciplinary Studies major.
Rasmus Maukonen (Track & Field)
Closed out the 2015 season with an NCAA Championship appearance in the javelin and finished 20th overall … launched the seventh-longest throw in program history of 73.64m in the javelin at the 2016 UTEP Springtime meet … three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Mechanical Engineering major.
Nik Needham (Football)
Buena Park, Calif.
Started in 41 games for the Miners … registered a school record 33 pass breakups … concluded career with 213 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and three interceptions … Organizational & Corporate Communication major.
Tyler Ragin (Track & Field)
Helped the UTEP women’s track and field team claim four Conference USA titles, including its first conference outdoor crown … posted a personal best of 5.94m in the long jump at the Sun Angel Classic … three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Organizational & Corporate Communication major.
Warren Redix (Football)
El Paso, Texas
Played in 46 games for UTEP and made 18 starts at wide receiver … registered 85 catches for 856 yards and five touchdowns … saw the field as a running back, receiver and returner … Multimedia Journalism major.
Sheridan Smith (Soccer)
Appeared in 28 games for the Miners … logged 170 minutes in the Orange and Blue … two-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Multidisciplinary Studies major.
Tanner Stallings (Football)
Played in 17 games and made nine starts for the Orange and Blue … efforts in the offensive line helped the Miners average 185.5 rushing yards per game and 20 rushing touchdowns in 2016, while aiding Aaron Jones to a single-season program-record 1,773 rushing yards … Multidisciplinary Studies major.
Carmen Webster (Soccer)
Played in nine games for the Miners … assisted on the game-winning goal against Houston Baptist during her first year at UTEP … two-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Biology major.
Josh Weeks (Football)
Show Low, Ariz.
Played in 19 games and made two starts for the Miners … registered 14 catches for 221 yards and one touchdown in his career … Multidisciplinary Studies major.
ALBUQUERQUE – Zuzanna Puc poured in a season-high 21 points, including 10 during a big first quarter, but UTEP couldn’t sustain its fast start in a 69-51 loss at New Mexico Wednesday.
The Miners (2-6) bolted out to a 19-10 advantage through 10 minutes of action, with Puc single-handily matching the Lobos (6-1) for scoring in the frame. The home side regrouped and responded in a big way to pull away over the final three quarters. In spite of that, UTEP kept the Lobos to a season-low 69 points. UNM entered the game putting up 81 points per game and was flying high after routing NM State, 83-58, last time out on Dec. 1
Jordan Jenkins (eight points, five assists) and Jordan Alexander (seven points, nine boards) buoyed the efforts of Puc. UTEP recorded 15 assists on its 20 made field goals while also keeping things competitive on the glass (41-38, UNM). Overall the Miners connected on 36.4 percent (20-55) from the floor, including a sizzling 53.3 percent (8-15) over the first 10 minutes of action.
“We played at a very high level. There are not many teams that are going to hold them to 69 points,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “We played really, really well (in the first quarter). They’re a team of runs but even when they made them I still felt good with the way that we were playing.”
Aisia Robertson tallied 20 points to go along with five rebound and six assists to set the tone for the Lobos. UTEP did, though, harass her into committing eight of UNM’s 11 giveaways in the game. She was joined in double figures for scoring by Jayla Everett (14 points) and Jaisa Nunn (12 points). The Lobos finished at 42.0 percent (29-69) from the field, including just 19.2 percent (5-26) from 3-point range.
After both teams scored early, the Miners blitzed the Lobos with 13 straight points to grab a 15-2 advantage midway through the first quarter. UNM ended the surge with a couple of free throws, and managed to climb within nine (19-10) through 10 minutes of action. Puc was instrumental to UTEP’s strong start, tallying 10 of its 19 points in the frame.
The differential remained in double figures (23-13, 6:50 2Q) early on in the second quarter before the home side finally got on track. The Lobos closed out the frame on an 18-4 push to put the Miners down by four (31-27) heading into halftime.
Puc got a basket on UTEP’s opening possession of the second half to make it a two-point tilt (31-29, 9:07 3Q). The Lobos got a couple of scores to extend the margin to six (37-31), but a transition trey by Katarina Zec cut the deficit in half (37-34) midway through the quarter. UNM struck back in the form of a 9-2 push, affording it a 10-point advantage (46-36) heading to the final frame.
Zec found Puc for a nice lay-up to get the Miners within single digits (46-38, 9:22 4Q) early in the fourth quarter. The Lobos responded with a mini 5-0 run, and UTEP couldn’t climb closer than 10 the rest of the way.
The Orange and Blue will be back in action at home against undefeated (5-0) Portland State at 2 p.m. MT Sunday. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and may be purchased by calling 915-747-5234.
MILWAUKEE – Jordan Lathon scored a career-high 26 points and dished out a career-best six assists, while fellow freshman Efe Odigie produced his third career double-double (17 points, 10 rebounds) but Marquette (7-2) and Markus Howard (21 points) got past UTEP (3-5) on Tuesday night at Fiserv Forum.
Behind tough play, the young and spirited Miners overcame a pair of second-half, double-digit deficits.
“Marquette is a very good team and a very-well coached team. We knew coming in that we had to compete for 40 minutes. We always tell our guys, whether we get off to a good start, bad start, we got to work the game and settle in, guard some guys and get some stops. Then we can come out and execute on offense,” first-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We really try to establish an inside presence if we can and work the game.”
With UTEP down seven points coming out halftime and getting within five points (37-32) after Evan Gilyard and Nigel Hawkins free throws, the Golden Eagles went on a 12-0 run to go up 17 points (49-32) at the 14:41 mark. The Miners cut the lead to 12 after an Odigie layup and a Nigel Hawkins three-point bucket. But Marquette answered with a Howard made a three-pointer at the 13:02 mark to go up 15.
The fighting Miners, however, didn’t let the Big East power get the best of them. UTEP got within four points (60-56) after Lathon nailed a jumper with under seven minutes remaining in the contest.
“Once we settled down a little bit and got into our game, tried to get lost playing hard on defense and get some stops, then we got a chance to get back into the game,” Terry said.
During the first half, Marquette opened the contest with a 12-point lead (15-3) at the 12:40 mark after Sam Houser connected on a layup. UTEP chipped away at the lead, while Ountae Campbell got UTEP within a pair of points (25-23) after a made running layup at the 4:54 mark. But Marquette answered with an 8-0 run after Howard made two free throws to put his squad up 33-23.
Lathon halted the run when he hit a step back jumper with three minutes remaining in the half. With his jumper, UTEP got within seven points (37-30) after going on a 7-4 run to end the half.
Lathon scored 15 of his 26 points during the first half, while he chipped in with three rebounds and two steals in the contest.
“This is [Lathon’s] third game in a row that he played a very complete game,” Terry said. “He played with great confidence tonight and I call it ‘swag’ a lot of times. He carried himself with very good swag to compete at this level.”
Lathon scored 16 points against Northwestern State on December 1, while producing a solid outing in limited action agasint NM State on November 28.
Hawkins, after a slow start, finished with nine points, including a 4-for-5 effort from the charity stripe. Hawkins added four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Gilyard scored 10 points and tallied three rebounds.
UTEP snagged a season-high eight steals, while its 68 percent free throw percentage was also a season best.
For MU, Joey Hauser scored 15 points, while Sacar Anim tallied 14 points.
Up Next, UTEP will get a bit of a breather before its next game as it will host UC Riverside on Sunday, December 16 in the Haskins Center with a 1 p.m.
The Miners will then play in the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational December 21-22. The Orange and Blue will open against Norfolk State with a 7 p.m. tip-off time. The Miners will play the winner of East Tennessee State/Wyoming the next day.
DALLAS – UTEP guard Jordan Lathon was named the Conference USA Freshman of the Week presented by Top of the World and chosen by a vote from a media panel representing the 14-member schools.
Lathon is the second consecutive Miner to earn the honor after producing all-around numbers during the Miners’ two contests last week. Efe Odigie was named the C-USA Freshman of the Week on Nov. 26.
The native of Grandview, Mo., displayed an all-around effort during the last two games for UTEP. Lathon averaged 12.0 points and 5.0 rebounds. He collected five steals, two blocks and four assists in the process.
In limited action (25 minutes) versus rival NM State, Lathon tallied eight points, an assist, block and led UTEP with three steals. He shot 3-for-5 from the field, including a three-pointer.
Lathon, in 31 minutes of action, broke out for a career-high 16 points on five field goals, including a pair of treys during a 77-47 stomping of Northwestern State. Lathon added nine rebounds to lead the Miners, along with recording three assists, two steals (one led to a fast-break dunk during an 8-0 run to open the game) and a blocked shot.
Lathon was locked in on defense as the Miners allowed a season-low 47 points.
Lathon is averaging over seven points per contest and 5.0 rebounds per game. He’s dished out 16 assists, is tied for the team lead with five blocked shots and has snagged six steals in seven starts to begin his UTEP career.
With Odigie and now Lathon earning freshman of the week honors, they are the first pair of UTEP freshmen to earn the award during a single season since the 2013-14 campaign when Vince Hunter (five times) and Matt Willms were named freshmen of the week.
It’s also the first back-to-back honors for UTEP freshmen since Julian Washburn (Dec. 19) and Cedrick Lang (Dec. 26) did so in 2011.
Freshmen Nigel Hawkins (16 points) and Jordan Lathon (16) each led UTEP in scoring, while reaching career highs in points as the Miners (3-4) ran past Northwestern State (2-6), 77-47, on Saturday night in the Don Haskins Center.
UTEP opened the contest with an 8-0 lead after a Lathon steal and dunk, and the Miners never looked back. The Demons got within a point (12-11) at the 10:21 mark after a C.J. Jones made jumper. But the Orange and Blue pulled away and closed out the first half on a 25-9 run to go up 37-20 at the half.
“I thought our guys came out and again the thing is we really try to challenge our guys with is continue to try and improve and build our offense and build our defense,” first-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “At this time of year so much is about each player trying to improve every single practice and every single game which makes it a process.”
In fact, Terry’s four freshmen combined for 50 points as Efe Odigie scored 14 points – his seventh consecutive double-digit game to begin his UTEP career, and fellow big man Kaosi Ezeagu chipped in with four points. Odigie also pulled down five boards, blocked a shot and went 4-for-5 from the charity stripe.
Besides the points for Lathon, the 6-4 guard had an all-around game as he led the Miners with nine rebounds. Lathon picked up three assists, a steal and a blocked shot.
“I really like what Jordan did tonight,” Terry said. “He worked really well with Hawkins and being young-guards they have to be able to make decisions with the ball and they did that tonight. I thought Jordan came back and really maned-up the point-guard spot for us especially with the starting rotation. He did it with some really good conviction.”
Hawkins went 4-of-8 from downtown, his first collegiate three point buckets.
“Hawkins built his confidence tonight with his scoring and he’s a young player so sometimes you live and die by your scoring which can affect your entire game” Terry said. “I thought he held his composure well when things aren’t going his way. It was good to see the ball go through the basket for him tonight and he’s one of those guys who is capable to be a scoring option throughout his career here.”
Hawkins scored all 16 of his points during the second half. Hawkins hit his first collegiate three-pointer with 3:50 remaining in the contest, then followed with another trey in back-to-back possessions. Hawkins then nailed another with just over two minutes to go and then connected on his fourth with 1:29 left in the game.
Ountae Campbell, who played 15 minutes in his UTEP debut on Nov. 28, played 16 more minutes on Saturday night, scoring a pair of points, drawing a couple charges, recorded four rebounds and dished out four assists.
Evan Gilyard led the squad with three steals, scored 10 of his 12 points during the first half and grabbed six rebounds, while Paul Thomas tallied nine points, three rebounds and a blocked shot. Kobe Magee played 26 minutes, scored three points, dished out three dimes and registered three rebounds.
UTEP combined for four blocks, six steals and turned the ball over 15 times after averaging 20 turnovers the last four games. UTEP outrebounded NSU, 40-30, while making nine three-pointers on the night to NSU’s three.
NSU only recorded four assists, while its leading scorer was DeAndre Love with eight points.
UTEP connected on 50 percent of its shots (23-46) and won the rebounding battle (37-31) but visiting Arkansas State escaped with a 67-66 win at the Don Haskins Center Saturday afternoon.
“We put ourselves in a position to win today against a very good, solidly-coached athletic basketball team,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “They just made one more play than we did.”
The Miners (2-5) led by two (66-64) before Akasha Westbrook converted an old-fashioned 3-point play to put the Red Wolves (3-4) up by one (67-66) with 13 seconds left.
UTEP called timeout to advance the ball and looked to retake the lead but it wasn’t in the cards as redshirt-junior Neidy Ocuane was called for a change with less than a second to play.
UTEP had led by as many as 10 (37-27, 8:23 3Q) early in the second half, and the margin was still at five (48-43) going into the fourth quarter. A-State put together a rally in the form of a 13-2 run at the onset of the final frame, vaulting out by six (56-50, 6:42 4Q) in the process. UTEP regrouped nicely, eventually surging back ahead after senior Jordan Alexander nailed a triple to put the Miners up by three (65-62, 00:45 4Q) late.
Peyton Martin, who paced A-State with 21 points and eight rebounds, got an offensive board and putback to make it a one-point affair (65-64, 00:28 4Q). Ocuane was fouled on the ensuing inbounds and went to the free-throw line. She split the pair, which allowed Westbrook’s and-one to serve as the game’s seventh and final lead change.
Redshirt-junior Ariona Gill (17 points), Alexander (13 points) and junior Zuzanna Puc (12 points) set the tone offensively for the Miners. Transfer Jade Rochelle pitched in eight points and a career-best nine rebounds in a personal-best 24 minutes played.
UTEP held A-State to 38.7 percent (24-62) from the floor, including just 23.5 percent (4-17) from 3-point range. The visitors compensated for that by forcing 23 Miner turnovers that were converted into 27 points. Another factor was A-State, which entered the contest leading the nation in both free throws made and attempted, going 15-26 at the charity stripe. Included in that was a 12-22 effort in the second half. UTEP was 12-13 from the free-throw line, including 8-9 in the final 20 minutes.
UTEP had a solid start, an important feat given its tendency of late to be sluggish in the opening frame. The Miners led by three (11-8) midway through the quarter after Gill cut through the defense for an athletic lay-up. It was back-and-forth the rest of the frame, with the Orange and Blue still carrying the three-point edge (16-13) after 10 minutes of action.
On the home side’s opening possession of the second quarter, Jordan Jenkins splashed home a corner three off a pass from Alexander to give the Miners their largest advantage (19-13) to that point. UTEP continued to lead as the half wore on, and it entered the locker room armed with a four-point cushion (31-27). It marked the first time since the season-opening win against Alcorn State (11/10) that the Miners outscored the opposition in both the first and second quarter.
The home side ripped off six straight to start the third frame, with Alexander making a trey and an and-one to fuel the run. The Miners continued to control as the quarter wore on, allowing them to carry that five-point lead into the final frame. To its credit, A-State was able to make enough plays to rally back and pull out the win.
UTEP will look to get back on track when it plays at I-25 rival New Mexico at 7 p.m. MT Wednesday. The game will be broadcast locally on 600 ESPN El Paso with Duke Keith on the call.
UTEP will open the month of December with a contest against Northwestern State in the Don Haskins Center, with tip-off set for 7 p.m.
The Miners (2-4) are coming off a hard-fought matchup against rival NM State on Nov. 28, while the Division I Demons (2-5) fell to Louisiana Monroe, 80-52, on Nov. 27.
“Respect every opponent and it’s about us trying to get better right now,” first-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We know we have to come out and compete at a very high level every night no matter who you’re playing. You saw it at the beginning of the year. It doesn’t matter what level you play, whether it’s Division II, you got to be ready to play for 40 minutes. We’re excited about another opportunity and hopefully our guys will compete at a high level. We’re also excited for the opportunity to play at home.”
UTEP last played Northwestern State on Dec. 3, 2016 in El Paso. The Demons defeated the Miners, 79-67. The Miners hold a 4-2 series advantage against the Demons as the last victory came on Dec. 19, 2013, an 84-74 triumph.
The Miners won’t take any moral victories, but after the Aggies took an 11-point lead, the Orange and Blue battled back to make it a two-point contest against a deep NM State squad on Wednesday. The Miners overcame a 13-0 run during the second half and tried to capitalize on every possession to cut the lead.
“We try to build on every possession,” Terry said. “This time of year, you’re trying to build your offense and you’re trying to build your defense. Every possession matters as you go into December.”
UTEP, after starting the season with basically two bench players, has since gained freshman Nigel Hawkins, who sat out the first two games due to injury, and Fresno State transfer Ountae Campbell. Campbell, a redshirt junior who was announced as an eligible player prior to the Battle of I-10, nailed a three-point shot and drew a charge in 15 minutes of action against the Aggies.
UTEP was led by Conference USA’s third-leading scorer (20.3 ppg), Evan Gilyard. The super sophomore led the Miners with 18 points, his fifth time pacing the team in scoring this season. Gilyard came up big, again, on the boards, grabbing nine rebounds (tied for team lead) against a long and athletic NM State squad.
The nine rebounds were the second-most during his career and he ranks second on the squad at 5.2 rebounds per contest. Efe Odigie scored 12 points against the Aggies, his sixth consecutive double-digit game, and ranks second in C-USA in rebounding (9.2 rpg). Freshman Kaosi Ezeagu came off the bench versus NMSU and played a season-high 19 minutes while supplying outstanding defense.
Ezeagu ripped down nine rebounds, tying for the team high, while he threw down a thunderous dunk during UTEP’s comeback that electrified the Haskins Center. Ezeagu chipped in with four points and tallied a steal. Freshmen Hawkins and Jordan Lathon combined for 14 points, while Lathon snagged a career-high three steals.
Kobe Magee scored two points and registered three rebounds, while Paul Thomas scored five points and tied Gilyard with three assists against the Aggies.
Overall UTEP has shot well from downtown, ranking second in C-USA in three-point field goal percentage (.374). Gilyard leads the league, hitting over 48 percent of his three-point buckets (18-for-37) and ranks fourth in three-point field goals per game (3.0). Hawkins ranks 15th in free-throw percentage (.750) and 19th in steals per game (1.5).
The Demons opened the season with a 102-62 victory over Centenary on Nov. 6, but dropped their next four contests before beating Alabama A&M, 70-66 in overtime on Nov. 23. Senior 6-8 forward/center Ishmael Lane leads NSU in scoring (14.3 ppg) and rebounding (7.0 rpg), while 6-4 senior guard DeAndre Love is averaging 10.3 points per game. Sophomore guard C.J. Jones leads the team with 15 assists on the year.
The Demons are averaging 66.9 points per game and allowing over 77 points per contest. As a team, NSU is shooting over 38 percent and giving up over 44 percent. Northwestern State is averaging 37.6 rebounds per contest, but giving up over 42 per game.
Single-game tickets, starting at $8, are available by calling (915) 747-5234. Fans can listen live on KOFX 92.3 with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher and Steve Yellen. The Spanish broadcast can be heard on ESPN Deportes 1650AM with Omar Ropele and Abel Rodriguez.
The Miners and Demons can also be seen on the CUSA.TV live stream.
The second round of the Battle of I-10 was a hard-fought contest as NM State (5-1) slipped past UTEP (2-4), 62-58, on Wednesday night in front of a loud and energetic Miner faithful at the Don Haskins Center.
NM State took an 11-point lead (44-33) in the second half after AJ Harris made a three-pointer at the 14:12 mark. The Aggies were on a 13-0 run after the Miners had taken a 33-31 lead after a good Paul Thomas jump shot.
But unlike the previous game on Nov. 9, the Miners fought back and made it an exciting contest for the 6,000-plus fans.
“We have made a lot of progress obviously with our group. There is still a lot of room to grow in a lot of different areas,” first-year UTEP head coach Rodney Terry said. “Again, I give my guys credit for battling back. Two weeks ago, 11 minutes to go, and they go on a run we are probably not withstanding that. So, we have grown in that regards to know it is a long game, and that there are still a lot of possessions in this game and that this game is still a long way from being over. We put ourselves in position to win the game down the stretch now you have to execute down the stretch.”
Kaosi Ezeagu brought the Miners within five points (47-42) after he threw down a thunderous dunk at the 9:59 mark that got everyone in the out of their seats. Ezeagu, who led the Miners with nine rebounds, played great defense down the stretch that helped keep the Miners in the contest. He chipped in with four points and a steal.
Evan Gilyard, who led the Miners with 18 points, brought his squad within four points (49-45) after he connected on a pair of free throws at the 8:50 mark. And for every Aggie made basket, the Miners would answer with their own.
Efe Odigie, UTEP’s other double-digit scorer (12 points) on the night, connected on a mid-range jumper in the paint to make the score 54-50 with just over six minutes remaining in the contest. Fellow freshman Nigel Hawkins, after a made jump shot by Ivan Aurrecoechea, was good on a layup to make the count 56-52 with under five minutes remaining in the contest.
The Miners would then get within two points on two occasions. Odigie used his soft touch to connect on another midrange jumper on the baseline, making the score 56-54 at the 3:51 mark. And after a made lay in by Harris, Gilyard drove to the bucket and made a layup, getting UTEP within a pair of points (58-56) with under two minutes remaining in the contest.
But the Aggies made plays down the stretch, as Terrell Brown was good on a jump shot with 15 seconds remaining, boosting his team up four points. Odigie made another mid-range jumper with six seconds to go off an assist from Hawkins, but Brown, after being fouled, connected on his two free throw attempts to put the game away.
“I tip my hat to my guys in terms of their effort and obviously, the resilience that they showed to hang in there against some adversity,” Terry said. “To continue to battle back and keep putting ourselves in position to have an opportunity to be successful. At the end of the day like I say to our guys we play to win, we do not play to play close. When we get a little taste of that, and we get a feel for that and what that all takes then this group will continue to take steps forward.”
The Miners found themselves down 28-26 at the half after they had led by five points (24-19) after Hawkins made a layup at the 3:42 mark. But the Aggies finished the half on a 9-2 run.
Ountae Campbell was made eligible prior to the contest and played 15 minutes in his UTEP debut. The transfer from Fresno State made a three-pointer and drew a charge during the first half. Hawkins scored six points, while Jordan Lathon put in eight points. Thomas chipped in with five points and Kobe Magee scored two points.
UTEP will host Northwestern State on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. in the Don Haskins Center.
Gallery by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta – Chief Photographer – El Paso Herald Post
OGDEN, Utah –Senior Jordan Alexander produced her first double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds) of the year while junior Katarina Zec added a season-high 15 points but a slow start doomed UTEP in its 68-63 setback at Weber State Wednesday evening.
The Miners (2-4) were sluggish at the onset, with the Wildcats (3-3) capitalizing in the form of a 15-0 run over the first five minutes of the game. UTEP went to work from the point on, getting the deficit all the way down to two (43-41, 4:07 3Q) midway through the third quarter. WSU responded five a 5-0 run and the Miners couldn’t get closer than five the rest of the way.
“It’s the same story we’ve had the past four games. We just dug ourselves too big of a hole to climb out of,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “We just didn’t shoot the ball well, particularly early. When you’re down that much, every little bitty thing you do wrong is magnified by 10. There were some bright points, but bottom line we’ve just got to play better.”
UTEP piled up 15 assists on 22 made field goals, while tying for the fifth-fewest turnovers (six) in program history. The boards (42-41, WSU) were competitive as well but the home side found some separation with its shooting. WSU nailed 44.2 percent (23-52) from the field, including drilling 10-21 (47.6 percent) from 3-point range. Conversely, the Miners finished at 29.7 percent (22-74) from the floor. UTEP hit a season-best nine triples but needed a campaign-high 33 attempts to do so.
Zec drilled a quartet of triples while Alexander connected on 3-6 from beyond-the-arc. Jade Rochelle came off the bench to contribute career bests in both points (eight) and rebounds (eight), while Alexa Hoy added nine. Ariona Gill chipped in six points and career-high six boards.
WSU was led by a near triple double from Jaiamoni Welch-Coleman, who finished with 16 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. She was buoyed by Emily Drake (18 points, six boards).
The Orange and Blue were hindered with the aforementioned 15-0 run. The Miners got on the board with a lay-up by Rochelle, followed by a driving score from Gill. The teams traded baskets the remainder of the frame, with the Wildcats armed with a 22-10 advantage through 10 minutes of action.
WSU tallied the first five points of the second quarter to grab its largest lead of the contest at 17 (27-10, 8:54 2Q). The margin was 15 (30-15, 6:14 2Q) before Zec started to heat up. She banged home triples on consecutive possessions to bring the Miners within single digits (31-20, 5:33 2Q) and force a Wildcat timeout. It paid dividends in the form of a trey, one of seven in the half for WSU. This time Alexander answered with her own 3-pointer, but the Wildcats were able to carry a 12-point cushion (36-24) into the locker room.
Zuzanna Puc converted on a reverse lay-up on UTEP’s opening possession of the second half. After the Miners got a stop, Alexander nailed another triple to bring UTEP within seven (37-29). WSU was able to push the differential back to 10 (41-31) before UTEP ripped off seven consecutive points in the blink of an eye to get right back into the game. A lay-up ended the surge, but Zec was pure from distance on the next possession to bring the Miners within two (43-41). The home side had an answer, however, and UTEP’s comeback bid would fall short.
The Miners return home to square off against Arkansas State at 1 p.m. MT Saturday. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and may be purchased by calling 915-747-5234.
UT El Paso November 26, 2018Sports, UTEPComments Off on UTEP’s Gilyard Named C-USA Player of the Week, Odigie Freshman of the Week
IRVING, Texas – UTEP men’s basketball swept the Conference USA weekly honors as Evan Gilyard was named Player of the Week and Efe Odigie was honored as Freshman of the Week announced by league officials on Monday.
Gilyard, ranked third in Conference USA in scoring (20.8 ppg), averaged 25.5 points per contest and 7.0 rebounds per game in UTEP’s last two games. Gilyard also set career numbers in the process with his sharpshooting.
Gilyard opened the week with a 29-point performance (matched career high) during the Miners’ victory against Eastern New Mexico.
The sophomore connected on a career-high 11 field goals from the field but really shined on the boards as he pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds, including five on the offensive side. Gilyard followed with his fourth 20-plus point effort (22 points) of the season in a hostile environment at The Pit. Gilyard went 5-of-9 from downtown and 3-of-4 from the charity stripe. Gilyard also recorded a steal and assist with a trio of rebounds against the Lobos.
Odigie, the only player averaging a double-double (14.8 ppg, 10.2 rpg) in Conference USA and the league leader in rebounding, averaged 13.0 boards per game and 12.5 points per contest during his last two games. Odigie ripped down a career-high and single-game C-USA best 17 rebounds on Nov. 19 during a win against Eastern New Mexico.
Odigie also scored 14 points, leading to his second consecutive double-double. At New Mexico, Odigie came up a rebound short of his third straight double-double. Odigie also recorded his first career assists (three) against the Greyhounds. Odigie scored 11 points against the Lobos on 4-of-5 from the field and 3-of-4 at the charity stripe, while connecting on a pair with ease down the stretch to keep the Miners in the ball game.
The big man played with urgency in the loud environment at The Pit, tallying a blocked shot, steal and five offensive rebounds. Odigie set the tone for the game when he dove for a loose ball in the opening minutes against the rival Lobos.
Monday’s honors were the third time since joining C-USA that the Miners received both Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week. Vince Hunter (FOTW) and John Bohannon (POTW) earned theirs on Dec. 30, 2013, while Cedrick Lang (FOTW) and Michael Perez (POTW) earned it on Dec. 26, 2011.
UT El Paso November 24, 2018Sports, UTEPComments Off on Miners Come Up Short, UNM Wins 84-78 at ‘The Pit’
ALBUQUERQUE – In a hard-fought contest, five Miners scored in double-digits figures and UTEP outrebounded New Mexico, but the Lobos used late three-pointers to claim an 84-78 victory in The Pit on Saturday night.
Freshmen Nigel Hawkins (12 points) and Jordan Lathon (10 points) each hit career highs, while Lathon paced the Miners with four assists. Efe Odigie (11 points), the Conference USA leading rebounding entering the game Saturday night, came up a rebound short of his third consecutive double-double, Paul Thomas scored a season-high 16 points and Evan Gilyard (22 points) led the squad in scoring for the fourth time this season, connecting on 5-of-9 from beyond the arc.
Defensively, UTEP battled, as it registered season highs in blocked shots (seven) and steals (seven). Thomas and Kaosi Ezeagu registered a pair of blocks apiece, while Odigie, Lathon and Hawkins each registered one. Hawkins led the team with two steals.
But after a 34-29 UTEP advantage at the half, New Mexico (3-1) used a big second half, outscoring UTEP (2-3), 55-44, during the second half, while connecting on 8-of-11 three-pointers.
“We fought and we battled hard tonight. I thought we did a nice job guarding in the first half, I thought we finished possessions and for the game, we we’re plus five on the rebounding side,” first-year UTEP head coach Rodney Terry said. “Those were definitely bright spots for us in this game. In the second half with our shooting defense we would have to guard [Anthony] Mathis and [Dane] Kuiper. Those are two key guys that can scored for [New Mexico]. They got some air space and you have to give those guys credit.”
Zeros were on the board till the 16:16 mark when Ezeagu ripped down an offensive rebound and put the ball back in the hoop for the games’ first points as the Miners opened the ball game with a 7-0 run. Lathon put his team up 5-0 on a three-point bucket and Thomas converted a layup at the 12:59 mark.
UNM finally got on the board on a Vance Jackson three pointer following Thomas’s layup.
The Miners took advantage of New Mexico’s poor shooting during the first half (7-of-30) and built 10-point leads on multiple occasions.
The first came on Lathon’s second made trey at the 7:45 mark, making the count 17-7, Hawkins put the Miners up 21-11 on two made free throws (6:30), Gilyard made a three-point basket at the 5:43 mark (23-13) and Thomas converted a three-point play to made the score 26-16 at the 5:12 mark.
However, the Lobos outscored UTEP 13-8 the remainder of the half to cut the deficit to five points heading into the locker room
The Miners came out of the tunnel and built their lead to seven (40-33) after a Lathon two-point jumper at the 18:22 mark and again at the 15:19 mark when Odigie made the score 47-40 on a basket in the paint.
But the Lobo’s 11,000-plus fans were loud and hostile during the second half. Anthony Mathis put his squad up 55-53 on a three-pointer at the 12:11 mark and UNM never trailed again. The Miners tied the ball game at 57-57 on a Lathon mid-range jumper (9:44) and Thomas tied the game on a layup at 59 apiece with just over eight minutes remaining in the game.
Even though UNM kept making big baskets down the stretch, the Miners would answer. Vance Jackson’s layup put UNM up 69-62, but Gilyard responded with a three-pointer at the 5:53 mark.
After exchanging baskets during the next few minutes, Odigie converted a pair of free throws with ease to get the Miners within two points with just over two minutes remaining. But Kuiper and Jackson made clutch three-pointers down stretch. Hawkins converted two free throws and made a layup on a fast break to keep the Miners within striking distance. But it wasn’t enough in the end.
UTEP outrebounded UNM, 37-32, while tallying 12 assists. Gilles Dekoninck played over six minutes, registering a point and two rebounds, while Kobe Magee played over 24 minutes. He recorded two assists, two rebounds and a steal. Ezeagu scored six points and pulled down five rebounds. He scored four of his points off a pair of offensive rebounds.
“My young guys are definitely growing up every night,” Terry said. “This was a great growing experience for us in a hostile environment. The thing I’m proud of tonight is we had a lot of resistance tonight. There have been games where there has been hostile environments and we haven’t had a lot of resistance to stay in games to make it a game down the stretch. We did that tonight.”
Mathis was perfect from downtown (4-for-4 all in the second half) as he led the way for UNM with 18 points and Jackson chipped in with 12 points. Makuach Maluach scored 13 points on 3-of-4 three-point shooting.
UTEP will host rival NM State in the FirstLight Federal Credit Union Battle of I-10 on Wednesday, November 28 in the Don Haskins Center with tip-off set for 7 p.m.
UT El Paso November 24, 2018Sports, UTEPComments Off on Gallery+Story: Abilene Christian Tops UTEP 70-69 at The Don
Ariona Gill poured in a career-high 22 points while Zuzanna Puc added 18 points but visiting Abilene Christian outlasted UTEP, 70-69, in the final game of the UTEP Thanksgiving Classic at the Don Haskins Center Saturday evening.
The Miners (2-3) trailed the Wildcats (6-0) by as many as 15 (23-8) in the opening quarter but they slowly but surely chipped away at the deficit. UTEP reduced the margin to seven (37-30) at the break before managing to take a one-point edge (50-49) heading to the fourth quarter.
It was a back-and-fourth battle down the stretch, with ACU going back on top for good with a pair of free throws with 13 seconds left. An unlucky pass led to Gill having to race down the ball before heaving up a desperation 3-poiner at the buzzer.
UTEP drilled 52.5 percent (31-59) from the floor while also committing the fewest turnovers (nine) of the Kevin Baker era but ACU was locked in offensively as well. The Wildcats drilled 51.1 percent (24-47) of their shots, including draining 14-28 (50.0) from beyond-the-arc. They also won the boards, 29-23.
“I thought our team got a lot better today,” Baker said. “I was really impressed with how we battled as a team. We moved the ball so much better this game than we did yesterday. We have to learn to be tough and get through it. We were one inbounds pass away from winning the game so we’ll hang our hat on that and figure out a way to get better before our next game.”
Katarina Zec pitched in 11 points to join Gill and Puc in double figures. Four different Miners registered five assists each to help UTEP pile up a season-best 24 assists. Dominique Golightly (18 points) and Makayla Mabry (17 points) led the way for ACU. The duo combined to make 10-17 from 3-point range.
ACU came out firing, racing out to a 23-8 lead through 10 minutes of action. Mabry was instrumental in the opening frame for the visitors, tallying 14 points in the period. She nailed 4-5 from beyond the arc in the stretch.
UTEP ripped off seven straight points to open up the second quarter on a high note. Gill got is started with a lay-up, which was followed by a trey by Zec and a baseline jumper from Alexa Hoy. After the Wildcats extended the advantage back to 13 (34-21) with 4:47 left in the half, the Orange and Blue scored the six points to get within seven (34-27). It remained a seven-point differential (37-30) going to halftime.
The visitors continued to lead by seven (46-39) with 4:20 remaining in the third quarter but UTEP peeled off six straight points to inch within one (46-45). ACU pushed it back out to four following one of its 14 triples in the contest, but UTEP closed the stanza strong to take the one-point margin (50-49) into the final frame.
UTEP used a lay-up from Gill to push its cushion to three (52-49) early in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats stroked back with a 13-6 run to lead by four (62-58) with five minutes to play. UTEP countered and regained the lead on a trio of occasions from that point but a back-luck turnover with 16 seconds left when ACU was trying to foul gave the visitors the break they needed. The free throws were converted on the subsequent possession and Gill’s circus-like shot refused to fall.
The Miners will return to action when they play at Weber State at 7 p.m. MT Wednesday.
UT El Paso November 23, 2018Sports, UTEPComments Off on UTEP’s Comeback Bid Falls Short In 58-56 Loss To Nicholls State
Ariona Gill (14 points) and Jordan Alexander (season-high 12 points) hit double figures in scoring as UTEP rallied back from a 17-point second-quarter deficit to regain the lead several occasions in the fourth quarter only to have visiting Nicholls State pull out a 58-56 win as part of the UTEP Thanksgiving Classic at the Don Haskins Center Saturday afternoon.
The Miners (2-2) trailed 28-11 with 2:56 to play in the second period but they refused to quit against the Colonels (1-4). The home side used a huge third quarter (23-12) to get back within striking distance heading to the final frame. UTEP continued its push in the fourth quarter, going up by three (45-42) with 7:44 left.
Nicholls State countered with eight straight points to vault out by five (50-45) before the Miners tallied the next six points to jump ahead by one (51-50). It was a seesaw battle the rest of the way, with a pair of free throws from Cassidy Barrios providing the seventh and final lead change with 52 seconds left. UTEP had a chance to tie or win it with two seconds left, but was unable to get a shot off.
Barrios produced a game-high 22 points to go along with eight rebounds and seven assists to lead the way for Nicholls State. She was supported by a nine-point effort from Kinzie Heineman.
UTEP connected 42.6 percent (20-47) from the floor, including 8-20 on 3-pointers, while also committing a season-low 13 turnovers but issues elsewhere doomed the home side. The Miners were 8-17 on free throws and were outrebounded, 34-27.
“We lost game in the first half,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “I have to do a better job of getting our team ready to play. We played better in the second half because we played with a better sense of urgency.”
UTEP started off well, scoring the first five points of the contest. The advantage remained five (9-4) with 4:08 to play in the period before the Colonels ripped off five straight points to pull even (9-9). UTEP regained the lead after a pair of free throws from Gill but a lay-up to beat the buzzer knotted the game at 11 through 10 minutes of action
The home side went cold in the second stanza, allowing Nicholls State to tally the first 17 points in the frame to vault out to a 28-11 advantage with 2:56 to play in the half. UTEP whittled the deficit down to 13 (30-17) heading to the locker room. The margin was nine (38-28) with 4:38 left in the third quarter before UTEP started to make its move. The Miners uncorked a 12-2 surge over the next four minutes to tie the tilt at 40 before a Barrios jumper gave Nicholls State a two-point edge (42-40) going into the fourth quarter.
UTEP tallied the first five points of the final frame, using a jumper from Gill and one of a career-high four 3-pointers from Alexander to grab that 45-42 edge. Nicholls responded with the aforementioned 8-0 run, aided by back-to-back treys from Heineman. Another Alexander triple was followed by an old-fashioned 3-point play by Katarina Zec to put UTEP back on top. Nicholls State peeled off five straight to put UTEP down by four (55-51) with 2:09 left. The Miners scored five straight to regain the lead, and it appeared as if they could claw out the victory. It was not to be, though.
UTEP will wrap play at its Thanksgiving Classic by facing undefeated Abilene Christian (5-0) at 7 p.m. MT Saturday. Nicholls State will face Texas Southern at 5 p.m. MT Saturday. One ticket serves as admission for both games. They are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.
UT El Paso November 22, 2018Sports, UTEPComments Off on UTEP, New Mexico Ready to Battle at The Pit Saturday Night
UTEP will travel to Albuquerque and square off against long-time rival New Mexico on November 24 at The Pit.
“Paul [Weir] has done a great job revitalizing the program out there,” first-year UTEP Basketball Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “His older returning players and core guys that he inherited really made a difference in his program a year ago. I thought he sprinkled in a good group of guys that were bling guys for him last year. He’s in his second year and they’re playing very similar to the way they did last year. They’ve added a couple of transfers that are really good players — Vance Jackson coming in from UConn, and [Anthony] Mathis is back – a very good three-point shooter.”
The Miners will play at UNM for the first time since 2016, while the two teams will meet for the 144th time during the long-standing rivalry.
UTEP defeated New Mexico behind Kobe Magee’s career-high 16 points last season in El Paso, 88-76, while the Lobos edged the Miners, 78-77, on Dec. 7, 2016 in Albuquerque. The Lobos lead the all-time series 77-66.
UTEP last won at The Pit on Jan. 6, 2008 – a 73-60 victory.
“Anytime you go up the road to play at The Pit, we know it’s going to be a difficult place to play,” Terry said. “I have a lot of respect for their program and a lot of respect for Paul and how he runs the program.”
Terry’s Fresno State squad split its two contests against New Mexico last season, winning 89-80 in Fresno, Calif., and falling in overtime, 95-86, at The Pit to close out the regular season.
The Miners (2-2) are coming off a 66-59 victory over Eastern New Mexico on Nov. 19 as Evan Gilyard scored a season-high 29 points (matched career high) and pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds, while drawing five charges.
Efe Odigie also had a career night, recording his second consecutive double-double after ripping down a career-high 17 rebounds and scoring 14 points. Odigie also blocked a shot and recorded his first career assists (three) against the Greyhounds.
Paul Thomas registered a season-high 10 rebounds and chipped in with nine points, while Jordan Lathon tallied four rebounds, three assists and two points on a dunk. Kobe Magee came off the bench and led the Miners with four assists, while connecting on a three-point bucket, and Kaosi Ezeagu scored six points with three rebounds in his first career assist.
Nigel Hawkins made his first start in front of the Miner faithful against ENMU, scoring three points with an assist and two rebounds. Hawkins missed the first two games of the season due to injury and has averaged 31.0 minutes in his first two starts.
Gilyard is leading the Miners in points per game (20.5) and assists (11), while Odigie leads Conference USA in rebounds per contest (10.5). Odigie is the only Miner to score in double digits in all four games (15.8 ppg). Thomas is third on the team at 10.8 points per game and averages 6.0 rebounds per contest.
Magee, after logging all 40 minutes in each of the first two games, has come off the bench during the last two contests. He’s tallied 10 assists and is averaging over five points per game.
The Miners are averaging 67.8 points per game, while shooting over 43 percent from the field, including 37 percent (27-74) from beyond the arc.
The Lobos (2-1), after winning their first two ball games, recently fell to NM State in a high-scoring affair, 98-94. UNM’s 6-9 guard/forward Jackson led the team with 27 points and six rebounds, while senior guard Mathis came off the bench to score 22 points on 4-of-5 three-point shooting.
Forward Corey Manigault registered 20 points in the loss. New Mexico opened the campaign with an 87-84 win at Cal State Northridge, and chalked up win no. 2 with a 90-83 triumph over Iona at The Pit.
The Lobos are averaging over 90 points per game and giving up over 88 points per contest. As a team, they are shooting about 45 percent from downtown (34-76). Manigault leads the team at 18.7 points per game, while Jackson is putting up 17.3 points per contest. Jackson also paces the squad in rebounds per game (8.7), while Mathis (16.0 ppg) has dished out a team-leading seven assists.
Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m. and the contest can be seen on the Mountain West Network.