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Home | Tag Archives: utep basketball (page 34)

Tag Archives: utep basketball

Morris Named Player of the Week; Miners Receive Top-25 Votes

UTEP senior guard Earvin Morris was selected the Conference USA Player of the Week on Monday, and the Miners picked up votes in both top-25 national polls.

UTEP, off to a 6-0 start for the first time in 15 years, received three votes in the Associated Press Poll and one in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

tx State at UTep-6Morris was named MVP of the Corpus Christi Coastal Classic after leading UTEP to the championship with a 99-90, double overtime victory over Colorado State.  He scored 22 of his 28 points after halftime as the Miners rallied from a 47-30 deficit at the break.

He made 10-of-17 shots and 7-of-8 free throws in 40 minutes while adding four rebounds and a blocked shot.

Morris’ three pointer with 23 seconds remaining in regulation tied the game at 73 and sent it into overtime.  He scored 15 points in the second half and seven in the overtime periods.

Morris scored eight of his 12 points in the second half against Southern Illinois, including a layup with 42 seconds left that pushed a one-point lead to three.  The Miners beat the Salukis 71-66.

Earlier in the week, Morris scored 12 points with six rebounds and four assists in a 72-54 win over Florida A&M.  Morris averaged 17.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.0 apg and 1.3 spg for the week with a .559 (19-for-34) field goal percentage, .300 (3-for-10) three-point field goal percentage and .733 (11-for-15) free throw percentage.

UTEP will play at I-10 rival NM State on Wednesday before hosting UT Arlington on Saturday.  Both games are at 7 p.m.

Author: UTEP Athletics

Miners mash Idaho State 67-54; Win Thanksgiving Classic Crown

Junior Jenzel Nash poured in a career-high 26 points to help propel UTEP past Idaho State, 67-54, in the championship game of the Fifth-Annual UTEP Thanksgiving Classic Saturday evening.

The Miners (5-0) nailed 11 three pointers (tied eighth all time), including four by Nash-who was named the tournament’s MVP- while also harassing the Bengals (2-4) into 22 turnovers. UTEP took great care of the ball by committing a season-low nine turnovers and had advantages in both bench scoring (16-4) and points off turnovers (17-8).

Idaho St vs Utep-10ISU drilled 43.4 percent (23-of-53) of its shots and controlled the boards (39-29), but the issues with ball security and an inability to slow down the Miners from distance doomed the visitors. Apiphany Woods led the way for her squad with 18 points. She was named to the All-Tournament team, along with Olivia Hackman (Southeast Missouri), Brittany Crain (UC Riverside), Starr Breedlove (UTEP) and Nash (UTEP).

“I’m proud of our team for how we played hard,” UTEP head coach Keitha Adams. “I’m proud of El Paso for showing up and we’re excited to win our tournament.”

UTEP dominated the second and fourth quarters, outscoring the Bengals by a combined count of 40-25 in those quarters. The ability to take it to another level proved too much for ISU to handle. UTEP led for 32:38 of the contest and never faced a deficit greater than three throughout the tilt.

Cameasha Turner (12 points) and Breedlove (11 points) joined Nash in double figures for scoring while Lulu McKinney came off the bench to tally seven points. But the night belonged to Nash, who filled up the stat line across the board. She was 8-of-15 from the floor, including 4-of-6 from distance, made all six of her free throws while also grabbing seven rebounds, recording five steals and dishing out a quartet of assists in 29 minutes of action.

The two sides traded baskets early on, and it was knotted at 14 at the conclusion of the first quarter. ISU vaulted ahead by one (18-17) earlyIdaho St vs Utep-16 in the second quarter but UTEP scored six of the game’s next eight points to regain the lead. As it turned out, the Orange and Blue would not relinquish that the rest of the way.

The margin ballooned to eight (36-28) heading into halftime and hit double figures early in the third quarter. The Bengals regrouped and fought to trim the deficit down to four (49-45) early in the fourth quarter.

UTEP, though, had an answer by outscoring ISU, 18-9, the rest of the way to cruise to its fifth double-digit victory in as many contests this year.

UTEP will return to action when it plays host to I-25 rival New Mexico at 4:15 p.m. MT Wednesday.

It is a special early tipoff in order for Miner fans to be able to cheer on the women against the Lobos before making the trip up I-25 to support the men’s team at New Mexico State.

Author: UTEP Athletics

Story in Six Pics: Miners take Tourney, beat Idaho State 67-54

The UTEP Miners move to 5 and 0 with a 67-54 victory over Idaho State in the Fifth Annual Thanksgiving Classic. UTEP’s Jenzel Nash was named Tournament MVP  and finished the game with 26 points. Andres Acosta was there and brings you tonight’s Story In Six Pics

Idaho St vs Utep-28







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Idaho St vs Utep-18Idaho St vs Utep-20 Idaho St vs Utep-16 Idaho St vs Utep-14 Idaho St vs Utep-13 Idaho St vs Utep-11 Idaho St vs Utep-10 Idaho St vs Utep-5 Idaho St vs Utep-3 Idaho St vs Utep-2 Idaho St vs Utep-30

Miners down Colorado State 99-90; take Corpus Christi Coastal Classic Crown

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – Earvin Morris scored 22 of his 28 points after halftime as UTEP rallied from a 17-point deficit and beat Colorado State, 99-90 in double overtime, to capture the championship of the Corpus Christi Coastal Classic on Saturday afternoon at the American Bank Center.

The Miners are 6-0 for the first time in 15 years and won an in-season tournament outside of their own Sun Bowl Invitational for the first time since December of 1984, when they finished first at the Saluki Shootout in Carbondale, Ill.

UTEP joined Virginia and TCU as champions of the three-year event.

Morris was named tournament MVP after making 10-of-17 shots and 7-of-8 free throws.  Lee Moore matched him with 28 points, 20 after halftime.  Hooper Vint added 13 points and nine rebounds, and Terry Winn scored 12 points.

Moore and Vint were named to the All-Tournament Team.

The Miners trailed 47-30 at halftime after Colorado State (5-1) made nine three pointers and enjoyed a 37-14 rebounding advantage.

 “We didn’t holler and scream at them,” UTEP coach Tim Floyd said of the halftime adjustments.  “We just said ‘Hey look, our offense is contributing to us getting killed on the boards, taking one pass shots and the long rebounds.  We’ve got to attack more and we’ll be more aggressive.

“I just think we were so thoroughly dominated in the first half that it was probably hard for [Colorado State coach Larry Eustachy] to get his guys to believe that we could come back.”

To the Miners’ credit, however, they opened the second half with 10 straight points to close the gap to 47-40.  Colorado State was able to push the lead back to 11 (61-50) with under nine minutes remaining, but UTEP kept chipping away.  Down 62-52, the Miners went on a 9-0 run and pulled within one (62-61) on a three-point play by Moore with 5:13 to go.

UTEP finally tied it at 66 on a free throw by Moore at the 3:35 mark.  After Colorado State reinstated a three-point lead (73-70) on a jumper by Emmanuel Omogbo with 1:24 to play, Morris buried a three pointer to send it to overtime.

The Miners took their first lead since 20-18 on a jumper by Morris with 4:13 left in overtime.  That put UTEP ahead 75-73.  The Miners had an 81-79 lead in the final 30 seconds of the first overtime, but the Rams’ Gian Clavell tied it with a layup and Dominic Artis missed a jumper with one second remaining.

UTEP never trailed in the second overtime.  The Miners scored the first four points on layups by Vint and Morris.  They went up by six (91-85) on two free throws by Moore with 2:26 on the clock.  Clavell answered with a three to cut the deficit in half.

Moore missed a three, the Rams secured the defensive rebound, and Prentiss Nixon missed the potential game-tying three pointer.  Tevin Caldwell secured the defensive rebound, Earvin Morris was fouled with 1:42 remaining and the Miners iced it with free throws down the stretch.

“Our guys did a nice job in the first four minutes [of the second half] of getting stops which led to run outs,” Floyd said.  “And we look up and we’ve gone from 17 down to 11 down.  We thought ‘OK, maybe we’ve got a shot here.’  So I’m real proud of them.

“We’ve got a lot of things that we still need to get better at.  We got thoroughly pummeled on the glass, 73-47.  I’ve never been in a game where two guys on the other team had 12 and 10 boards at halftime.  We’ve got to simply get better on the glass some way or another.   We’ve got to figure that out.  I think we can learn a lot from this game though, and that’s the beautiful thing about it.  That’s a very good, well-coached Colorado State team and it’s a quality win for us.”

The Rams, who won at Northern Iowa earlier this year right before the Panthers knocked off top-ranked North Carolina, were led by Clavell who scored 35 points with 10 rebounds.  Omogbo had 15 points and 20 boards.  Tiel Daniels and Joe De Ciman chipped in with 16 and 12 rebounds respectively.

UTEP outscored Colorado State 43-26 in the second half and stopped the Rams’ three-point shooting barrage.  They were 9-for-23 from beyond the arc in the first half, 3-for-18 thereafter.

The Miners once again flashed their depth with Artis, Morris and Winn in foul trouble over the course of the game.

“We were able to get great minutes from Trey Touchet off the bench and Paul Thomas off the bench in critical times,” Floyd said.  “Those two freshmen were outstanding, and Christian Romine for a couple of minutes.  And then I thought we played with poise defensively with those fouls.  Containment was a little better.”

The Miners passed the first leg of a demanding six-game stretch that features upcoming games against I-10 rival NM State (twice), Washington State on the road and UT Arlington at home. The Mavericks have already won at Ohio State and Memphis.

Floyd was asked what he learned about his team in come-from-behind victories over Southern Illinois and Colorado State.

“I just think they learned how to play down 17 and you can learn also from the other team that if you’re up 17, sometimes it’s not enough,” he said.  “You’ve got to go back and you’ve got to continue to play.”

The Miners will put their unbeaten mark on the line when they play at NM State on Wednesday at 7 p.m., their first road game of the season.

Author: UTEP Athletics

Miners reach title game, dispatch Southern Illinois 71-66

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – Hooper Vint and Terry Winn established career-highs with 18 and 15 points respectively, leading UTEP to a 71-66 victory over Southern Illinois Friday and a berth in the Corpus Christi Coastal Classic championship game.

UTEP (5-0) meets Colorado State (5-0) in the championship game of the Corpus Christi Coastal Classic on Saturday afternoon at the American Bank Center. The game will be televised on the American Sports Network and can be seen on KFOX-TV in El Paso.

Southern Illinois lost for the first time in six games as UTEP rallied from a three-point deficit in the final two minutes.

“We did some nice things,” UTEP coach Tim Floyd said.  “It was our first real test against a good club.  This is a good Southern Illinois team and we are real pleased with the win.”

The Miners survived on a day when Dominic Artis was in foul trouble, played only 20 minutes and had no assists.  They held Saluki star Anthony Beane to nine points, 14 below his season average, on 4-for-12 shooting.

“We got great effort from a lot of people tonight,” Floyd said.  “Earvin Morris and Jake Flaggert did a good job on a terrific guard and took Beane out of the game in terms of only getting nine points.  I thought we had a great understanding in a tight game of not fouling and in turn getting ourself to the line.”

The Miners finished 24-for-38 at the stripe to Southern Illinois’ 9-for-9.

The first half featured five ties and eight lead changes.  Flaggert gave the Miners a bit of breathing room when he nailed a three-pointer right before the buzzer sounded.  That sent UTEP to the locker room leading 34-30.

The Miners built a nine-point lead (56-47), their largest of the game, with under 10 minutes remaining but couldn’t shake the Salukis.  Southern Illinois went on a 12-2 run and regained the lead, 64-62, on a layup by Sean O’Brien with 3:02 to play.  O’Brien had game-highs with 25 points and 11 rebounds.

After Lee Moore split two free throws, O’Brien scored again at the 2:23 mark to increase the Salukis’ advantage to three (66-63).

That turned out to be Southern Illinois’ final points of the game as the Miners pitched a shutout the rest of the way.  Winn scored the next four points – off a layup and two free throws – to push UTEP back ahead 67-66.  The Salukis scored on the other end to apparently go up 68-67, but following an official review it was determined that the basket came after the shot clock ran out.

Earvin Morris scored with 42 seconds left for a 69-66 UTEP lead and, after SIU’s Austin Weiher missed a three, Vint closed it out on two free throws with 18 seconds remaining.

“We played with a great deal of poise with Lee Moore at the point when Dominic Artis was out of the game for significant periods of time,” Floyd said.  “I thought he did a great job of getting us into play.  Terry Winn and Hooper Vint were outstanding, both on the glass and offensively.  I thought we played really unselfish.  And we got quality minutes from a lot of guys on our team tonight.”

Moore dished out a game-high seven assists and Trey Touchet turned in an error-free performance over nine minutes, helping the Miners weather the storm with their starting point guard on the bench.

 “We were able to get into play offensively and defensively,” Floyd said.  “Dominic is such a dynamic guard, but we needed it.  It was a really good lesson for us to draw back on in the future in terms of how we’re going to play without him in the game.”

Winn scored in double figures for the second straight game while adding 10 rebounds for his first career double-double.  He has gone to the line 20 times in the last two games, including 10 more on Friday.

“He was a guy that was determined to go rebound it,” Floyd said.  “We’ve said it for years, the guys that rebound it end up scoring and helping in other areas.  I thought he did a nice job late switching out to Beane.  We had a couple of situations where we deviated from our attack and switched.  I thought overall his concentration was good.  He’s a young player.  This is his third college game.  And he is getting better.”

As for Vint, he is 5-for-5 scoring in double figures this season and also picked up a career-best nine rebounds for the second straight game on Friday.

“It’s just really a big deal for that kid,” Floyd said.  “He has played sparingly over four years.  He has been patient.  He is what the college experience should be about.  Staying here, persevering, not transferring, continuing to work, trying to get better, graduating, and he’s making great strides as a basketball player right now and we’re really proud of him.”

Colorado State and Portland squared off on Friday night for the right to challenge the Miners for a championship.

“It will be a good game for us,” Floyd said.  “You schedule these tournaments because your conference tournament becomes this, where you have to play back-to-back nights.  We did it a week ago, and we didn’t do it very well.  We played a good half [against Florida A&M], we didn’t play a good second half when we had to follow up on back-to-back nights.  So I hope that we can have a good film session tonight after this ballgame, a good breakfast tomorrow morning, and talk about who our opponent is and see if we can get some things into the game off the chalkboard.

“It’s a good group.  I think they’re resilient.  We had chances to lose this game tonight.  I’m just glad that we didn’t and we’re learning how to win.”

Author: UTEP Athletics

UTEP basketball coaches earn high marks

UTEP’s Tim Floyd earned a no. 19 ranking among “Top 25 X’s & O’s Head Coaches,” and Bob Cantu was named the no. 24 assistant coach in the country by on Tuesday.

The website does a comprehensive ranking of men’s college basketball coaches (at all levels) in a variety of categories, utilizing both a national voting panel and analytical data.

Layola at UTEP-42Floyd is in his 23rd year as a collegiate head coach and has compiled a record of 434-243.  He is 106-63 in his sixth season at UTEP.  Floyd’s teams have posted 20 winning seasons with eight trips to the NCAA Tournament and five trips to the NIT.

“Coach Floyd is well known for practice porousness,” the site says.  “One of the best SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysts in the game.”

Cantu is in his 19th year as a college coach and third at UTEP after serving as interim head coach at USC for the final 15 games of the 2012-13 season.  He has participated in 10 postseason tournaments as a collegiate coach.

“There is a reason great basketball minds like Bibby, Floyd and O’Neill hired and kept Cantu on staff, eventually leading him to an interim head coach tag at USC; plain and simple, this guy is good!!!,” the site says.

The Miners (3-0) will host Florida A&M on Tuesday at 7 p.m. as part of the Corpus Christi Coastal Classic.​

Author: UTEP Athletics

Miners move to 3-0 with 88-66 win over Alcorn State

UTEP shook off a sluggish start and scored 52 second-half points in a runaway win over Alcorn State, 88-66,on Sunday night at the Don Haskins Center.

The Miners (3-0) opened the Corpus Christi Coastal Classic with a victory.  UTEP will host Florida A&M on Tuesday at 7:05 part of the tournament before playing a pair of games in Corpus Christi next weekend.

Dominic Artis registered 19 points, nine assists and four steals for the Miners, who shot 49.2 percent from the field while enjoying their top performance of the season at the free throw line.  UTEP made its first 15 foul shots and finished 20-for-25 (80 percent) at the stripe.

Artis was the catalyst as the Miners pushed a 10-point halftime lead to 23 in the first eight minutes of the second half.

Alcorn St at Utep-31“I thought he was outstanding,” UTEP coach Tim Floyd said.  “I thought he played his best 10 minutes of basketball for us to start the second half.  Every basket was off of one of his assists.  Great penetration, great attack, got us into offense, moved it, guys had so much space as a result of his ability to penetrate and kick and find guys.  He was great in the open floor.”

A 21-6 run expanded a 32-26 UTEP lead late in the first half to 53-32.  The Miners kept the margin around 20 the rest of the night.

Earvin Morris scored 18 points, Lee Moore 15 and Hooper Vint 12 for UTEP.  The ball moved, as the Miners collected 23 assists with only 10 turnovers.

Marquis Vance led Alcorn State (0-2) with 16 points and 11 rebounds.  The Braves yielded 22 points off turnovers to the Miners.

The depleted Miner frontcourt was dealt another blow when promising freshman Brodricks Jones went down in the second half with an apparent knee injury.

“Things are changing before our eyes,” Floyd said.  “Tevin [Caldwell’s] concussion, I don’t know when he’ll be back.  Matt Willms probably is done for the year.  The early prognosis on Brodricks Jones is not good.  Worst case scenario ACL, best case scenario meniscus.  We’llAlcorn St at Utep-17 certainly hope for the best with the MRI, but that’s the early feel.

“We’ve got a lot of issues.  That being said, we’re going to go compete it and we’re going to fight it.  We’ve got a lot of new guys out there on the floor.  Christian Romine will no longer be redshirted.  He’ll be back at practice like he has been but we’ll be hearing his voice more, because we’re going to be counting on him.  We’ll be pounding him a little bit, trying to get him to where he can front a post and defend and rebound and just try to grow.  He really needed a redshirt year, but we’ll have to maybe wait on that a year.”

The Miners were outrebounded 39-38 but did score 19 second-chance points off nine offensive rebounds.  Paul Thomas, Terry Winn and Vint snagged six boards apiece.

“I thought Paul Thomas was better tonight rebounding it,” Floyd said.  “Hooper Vint was much better rebounding it.  But we’ve still got to go another notch.  We’ve got to get a guy that is not pleased with getting five or six boards, find that guy that can go out and get us 10 or 11.”

And so the Miners will go back to work Monday, and continue to make adjustments as their roster evolves.

Alcorn St at Utep-6“We’ll have a long session tomorrow in the office to try to review how we’re going to go play … having Hooper Vint as your only big guy out there, things change,” Floyd said.  “Maybe it alters the way we have to go approach playing, playing more zone, playing more conservative defensively.  But we’ll figure it out and see if we can still hang around some ballgames and go compete it up.

“I like our team, I like our players.  [Jake] Flaggert is going to give us the ability to play four guards at times.  We may have to start that way so we’ve got Terry and Paul and Hooper to all play inside with Terry being a very small and undersized [center] at times.  But we’ll figure it out.

“It’s where we are.  I think if you asked those kids in the locker room if they thought we’d still go win games, they’d tell you yes, and we believe that as well.  We’re just going to be smaller than any Miner team you’ve seen here for a while because we have lost two of our three centers right off the bat.  Hooper is a guy that right now doesn’t have the stamina to go out and play 36, 38 minutes a game.  So we’ve got to figure it out behind him.”

Author: UTEP Athletics

Miners bounce Bobcats 77-62; Improve to 2-0, will play again Sunday

Earvin Morris scored 17 points in his return to the UTEP lineup, and the Miners made 11-of-19 threes in a 77-62 triumph over Texas State on Saturday at the Don Haskins Center.

Morris went 4-for-7 from long range after sitting out UTEP’s first three games of the season – including two exhibitions – and Jake Flaggert was 3-for-4 from beyond the arc as the Miners moved to 2-0 on the young season.

UTEP went on an 11-0 run early in the second half, turning a 44-41 lead into a 55-41 cushion.  Texas State (1-1) closed to within five points (61-56) on a three-pointer by Ethan Montalvo with 6:44 remaining.  Freshman Brodricks Jones scored the next four points as the Miners pushed the lead back to nine points, and the Bobcats couldn’t get closer than eight the rest of the way.

Flaggert buried threes on back-to-back possessions to increase the margin to 12 points (71-59) and effectively put Texas State away.

tx State at UTep-6“First time we’ve been really tested,” UTEP coach Tim Floyd said.  “I thought that was a solid basketball team that we played against.  It’s a really well-coached team.  They had a real plan and a purpose and they bothered us by doing a lot of things in the game.  They really exposed some things that we have to continue to work on and get better at.”

Lee Moore matched Morris with a game-high 17 points.  Dominic Artis filled up the stat sheet for the second straight game with 11 points, six rebounds, nine assists and two steals.  Hooper Vint added 10 points.

“I thought Dominic Artis was really good,” Floyd said.  “I think we got decent minutes out of our bench.  Buddha [Brodricks Jones] and Paul Thomas had to come in and give us some minutes, and Terry Winn had to give us some minutes.  All three are freshmen and it looks like we’re going to have to rely on them for a while.”

That’s because the Miners took a double hit on the injury front Saturday.

“Tevin Caldwell was concussed,” Floyd said.  “He’ll go through the protocol and we’ll find out when he can play again.  Matt Willms is in paintx State at UTep-4 right now with his foot.  We are really concerned that maybe we’ve lost him.   So it’s a very, very difficult night from that aspect.”

Floyd said the plan originally was to redshirt freshman Christian Romine, but that could change depending on Willms’ status moving forward.

Willms and Caldwell were limited to 10 and four minutes, respectively.  Thomas and Jones led the Miner rookies with 16 and 15 minutes.

“We had a lot of new players out there playing a lot of minutes,” Floyd said.

After Texas State jumped out to a 5-0 lead, the Miners went on an 18-5 run to go ahead 18-10.  The Bobcats tied it at 21 on two free throws by Emani Gant at the 7:31 mark of the second half, but Flaggert answered with a three.  Morris scored the last eight points of the half for the Miners, who took a 37-30 lead into the locker room.

“We shot the ball well,” Floyd said.  “I thought Jake Flaggert, the three threes that he made, were critical.  Earvin certainly shot the ball well.  But I don’t know what our identity would have been after tonight’s game, other than that we made 11-of-19 threes.  We shot the three well.  I told [the media] last week that I thought we could and we did today.  Thank goodness that we did make some threes, because we wouldn’t have won the game had we not.”

Texas State, which won the rebounding battle 32-31 but was limited to 35.8 percent shooting, was led by Montalvo who scored 16 points with four three pointers.

The Miners are back in action Sunday night at 7 against Alcorn State in the Haskins Center as they open the Corpus Christi Coastal Classic.

Tomorrow’s game will be good for us because it’s not unlike conference tournaments where you have to play back-to-back nights,” Floyd said.  “We have to go out and play again tomorrow against a team that was sitting here waiting on us, so we’ll see how that goes.”

Short-handed Miners take care of Cameron 78 to 69

College athletics is a constant revolving door. One player leaves, another enters. It paves the way for new faces to shine, and others to leave their glory days behind them.

That was supposed to be the story for the 2015-16 UTEP Miner men’s basketball team. It got a little exaggerated Saturday when they played the Cameron Aggies in their first exhibition game.

After losing four starters from last year, the Miners added to the list when Head Coach Tim Floyd (family), Earvin Morris, Terry Winn and Christian Romine (one-game team suspensions), Omega Harris (academic ineligibility) and Dominic Artis (eligibility) all sat out.

Cameron at Utep-23So exit potential starters and role players, and enter Lee Moore. Fresh off a 31-point performance in the Orange and White scrimmage last week, the 6-4 guard finished with a game-high 28 points and 11 rebounds, including a 9-0 run of his own in the final minutes to give the Miners a 78-69 victory over Cameron.

Moore, who was unavailable for comment following the game, led a group that included two returners, six newcomers and two redshirt players who saw action two years ago.

“We knew Lee was a good player,” said assistant coach Phil Johnson, who stepped in for Floyd when he learned of his sister’s passing the morning of the game. “I felt like we were trying to figure out a way to score a basket and we needed him. I thought he had to touch the ball somehow.”

Despite the game not counting towards the overall record, naturally, the Miners were still going for the win. Moore made that point in a back-and-forth affair that UTEP actually trailed for the majority of it, including 67-65 with 5:03 to go.

The Miners quickly turned that around as they then went on an 11-0 run, including the last nine-straight points coming from Moore.  MooreCameron at Utep-18 showed spurts of his offensive versatility in the first half, including the team’s only three in an overall woeful three-point shooting night (2-of-13). He led all scorers with 15 in the first half points and scored 10 of the final 11 points of the frame.

Senior guard Victor Mbachu finished the game with 14 points, the only other Miner in double-figure scoring. He stepped in for a squad that saw a lot of four-guard play throughout the game.

“I think early I was forcing a little too much and as the game went on, I think I just let it come to me more, be more patient,” Mbachu said. Johnson said that because the team played small ball so often, inevitably, they struggled on the glass despite out-rebounding Cameron 43-34.

Matt Willms, one of two returning Miners who suited out, played just seven minutes as he rests his ailing foot. It was reported initially that he was going to miss the entire season, but has decided to play through it. Johnson said his minutes will be monitored closely all season. “We talked about it at half if we wanted to play him and we really tried to watch him. In an exhibition game I don’t think there’s a real need,” Johnson said.

“Obviously, we want to win but there’s no need to play him a lot of minutes and risk anything.” The Miners relied heavily on the other returnee, center Hooper Vint, who finished with eight points and six rebounds, and freshman Paul Thomas, who had seven points, seven rebounds.

“Paul is a really good player for us … he’s realy athletic, he can drive, he can pop and shoot it, he can play defense for us,” Vint said. “I think he’s going to play a lot for us this year because he’s looked good in practice.”

 Cameron at Utep-1 Cameron at Utep-6 Cameron at Utep-8   Cameron at Utep-30 Cameron at Utep-14 Cameron at Utep-19

Matchups Set For Corpus Christi Coastal Classic

UTEP will face Southern Illinois, and either Colorado State or Portland at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi Nov. 27-28.

The field and matchups are set for the 2015 Corpus Christi Coastal Classic. The UTEP men’s basketball team will battle Southern Illinois at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi on Nov. 27 at 5 p.m. CT (4 p.m. MT). The Miners will face either Colorado State or Portland on Nov. 28 at a time to be determined (either 5 p.m. CT/4 p.m. MT or 7:30 p.m. CT/6:30 p.m. MT).

UTEP will play a total of four games in the tournament, including hosting Alcorn State on Nov. 22 and Florida A&M on Nov. 24.

Other tournament participants are Abilene Christian and Oakland.

Southern Illinois returns three starters off last year’s team that finished 12-21 overall and 4-14 in the Missouri Valley Conference. Headlining the returnees is senior guard Anthony Beane, who averaged 16.1 points and was named All-Conference.

Other starters returning are junior forward Sean O’Brien (7.4 points, 4.9 rebounds) and junior guard Tyler Smithpeters (4.3 points, .368 from 3-point). Junior Center Bola Olaniyan (4.6 points, 4.5 rebounds) is expected to compete with senior Ibby Djimde (2.4 points, 1.1 rebounds) for another starting spot.

A pair of junior college transfers (Mike Rodriguez and Leo Vincent) are expected to contend for the starting point guard position. Barry Hinson is the Missouri Valley Conference’s winningest active coach with 209 victories in 12 seasons between Missouri State and SIU.

Coming off of a program-best 27-7 record that culminated in an NIT bid, the Rams’ fifth postseason berth in the last six years, Colorado State enters 2015-16 looking to continue one of the most successful eras in school history under fourth-year head coach Larry Eustachy.

The Rams return five lettermen, including a pair of senior starters in guard Joe De Ciman and center Tiel Daniels. In addition to De Ciman and Daniels, the Rams also bring back key contributors from last season in senior guard Gian Clavell, junior guard John Gillon (2015 Mountain West Sixth Man of the Year) and senior forward Fred Richardson III.

Additionally, the Rams earned a boost when it was announced this offseason that senior point guard Antwan Scott would be eligible for the 2015-16 season after being granted an extension of eligibility waiver by the NCAA.

Portland Head Coach Eric Reveno returns an experienced backcourt and seven lettermen from a 2014-15 squad that finished 17-16 overall and earned an invitation to the Postseason Tournament. Junior point guard Alec Wintering is a two-year starter and was an All-West Coast Conference second team selection last season after averaging 12.3 points and dishing out 5.7 assists per game.

Senior combo guard Bryce Pressley, also a two-year starter, ranks sixth in Portland career three-point field goal percentage (.411). The Pilots also return sophomores Jason Todd and Gabe Taylor. Todd started four games late in the season and shot 44 percent from three-point range, while Taylor scored a season-high 14 points against BYU in the WCC Tournament semifinals. Fellow sophomores Philipp Hartwich and D’Marques Tyson also played crucial minutes last year.

Portland bolstered the roster with a pair of impact junior college transfers in forward Jarrel Marshall (Palm Beach State) and Ray Barreno (New Mexico Junior College), along with five true freshmen.

Other third round matchups at Corpus Christi on Nov. 27 are Alcorn State vs. Oakland (noon CT/11 a.m. MT), Abilene Christian vs. Florida A&M (2:30 p.m. CT/1:30 p.m. MT) and Colorado State vs. Portland (7:30 p.m. CT/6:30 p.m. MT).

Tickets for the final rounds in Corpus Christi can be purchased by visiting the American Bank Center Box Office, or purchase by dialing (800) 745-3000. For ADA seating please call (361) 826-4170.

UTEP Basketball season tickets are also on sale now by calling (915) 747-6150. The Miners return six letterwinners from last year’s 22-win squad that tied for second place in Conference USA, while introducing a top-flight recruiting class.

Author: UTEP Athletics

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