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Home | Tag Archives: utep basketball (page 4)

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Charlotte takes advantage of UTEP’s poor shooting in 2nd half, takes game 68-64

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Daryl Edwards led all scorers with 24 points and Souley Boum tallied 20, but it wasn’t enough as UTEP (13-11, 4-7 Conference USA) fell at Charlotte (13-9, 7-4 C-USA), 68-64, on Thursday night in Halton Arena.

“We got off to a great start, the kind of start we’d like to have. We controlled the game for a better part of the game,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We had a couple bad turnovers down the stretch. We gave up some offensive rebounds and struggled with their ball-screen offense.”

The Miners shot 33.3 percent in second half (9-27) after firing 50.0 percent in the first, including a 6-for-13 effort from downtown. Overall in the game, UTEP shot 42.1 percent (24-57) and 34.6 percent (9-26) from the three-point line. Charlotte was efficient on offense, shooting 55.1 percent (27-49). It was the second consecutive game in which UTEP allowed an opponent shot over 50 percent.

UTEP came out of the locker room up 36-31 and built that lead into a 51-41 advantage after Boum made a layup on a fast break after a steal by Bryson Williams. However, the 49ers used a 15-2 run to take a 56-53 lead with 7:37 left in the game. The Miners only turned the ball over six times in the game. However, four of them came during the big 49er run.

Charlotte outrebounded UTEP, 34-24, while the Miners were dominated in the paint for a second consecutive game, being outscored 40-22.

Following an Edwards’s layup at the 6:37 mark, Charlotte clamped down on defense and held the Miners without a field goal for 4:37, while building a seven-point lead (63-56).

Despite the cold shooting, Edwards and Boum combined for a 4-for-4 effort from the free-throw line to make it a 63-60 game. Williams, who only scored eight points on the night, ended the field goal draught and made a layup, making the count 63-62 with 1:48 left in the game.

The Miners and 49ers went back-and-forth down the stretch, and after falling behind three points (65-62) on an Amidou Bamba basket, Lathon made a pair of free throws to make it a one-point contest with 20 seconds remaining.

Jordan Shepard followed with two free throws of his own after being intentionally fouled with 19 seconds to make it a three-point game (67-64). But Williams missed the second of two three-point attempts down the stretch and Jahmir Young clinched the game by hitting one of two free throws to make the count 68-64.

Edwards finished 8-of-12 from the field, including a 5-for-8 effort from downtown. Boum went 4-of-8 from beyond the arc (7-13 overall), while Williams struggled from the field (4-15). Efe Odigie got off to a hot start, making his first three field goals in the first half, but finished 3-for-8 from the field.

Lathon finished with six points and tied his career high with six assists. Eric Vila, Williams and Odigie each led the Miners with six rebounds.

In the first half following a basket by Drew Edwards to give Charlotte a 6-4 lead, Boum started a 12-0 run with a made three-point bucket, while Edwards ended it with a layup on a fast break after a steal by Nigel Hawkins that gave the Miners a 16-6 advantage. Overall, UTEP used a 14-2 run to take an 18-8 lead at the 12:38 mark. Efe Odigie scored six of the 14 points, while Edwards tallied five points.

The 49ers cut the lead to three points (18-15) after a 7-0 spurt. But the Miners answered that with a three by Edwards, who connected on four from downtown Charlotte.

UTEP built a nine-point lead (34-25) after Lathon hit his second field goal of the half, and Boum drained his second trey. UNCC answered with a 6-0 run, but Boum nailed a two-point field goal at the buzzer to give his squad a 36-31 lead at the half.

Lathon, who entered the game 0-for-17 from the field in league play, made his first field goal at the 6:38 mark of the first half.

Young led UNCC with 14 points and eight boards, while Edwards scored 13 points. Bamba (11 points) and Milos Supica (10) also hit double-digit figures.

Up next, UTEP will continue its road trip to Norfolk, Va., to battle Old Dominion (5-6 C-USA) on Saturday; ODU fell to UTSA, 85-81 in overtime, on Thursday night.

The Miners and Monarchs will tipoff at 5 p.m. MT/7 ET in Chartway Arena. The contest can be heard on 600 ESPN El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” calling the action, while the game will be streamed on ESPN+.

UTEP looks to regain winning ways vs. Charlotte at the Don Thursday night

The UTEP women’s basketball team (12-8, 5-4 C-USA) will look to regain its winning ways when it plays host to Charlotte (14-6, 5-4 C-USA) at 7 p.m. MT Thursday.

Fans are encouraged to wear pink to raise awareness in the battle against breast cancer, and 300 t-shirts will be given away to commemorate the occasion.

It is an important contest for both teams, with UTEP and Charlotte currently tied for sixth place in C-USA at 5-4.  It is the lone meeting on the season between the programs. UTEP is 10-4 at home (4-1 C-USA). Charlotte is 5-4 on the road (2-3 C-USA).

“Charlotte is a very interesting team because hey win and they’re good, but they don’t do some of the things you’d expect great teams to do. They don’t shoot the 3 particularly well and aren’t even really a good perimeter shooting team, but they find ways to score,” head coach Kevin Baker said. “They’re a great rebounding team, both offensively and defensively. They cause problems (on the boards), and are a little bit bigger than some of the teams in our conference. They present a lot of problems, and they are very, very athletic.”

Katarina Zec enters Thursday’s contest with 999 career points, meaning her first score of the night will make her the 14th member of UTEP’s 1,000-point club. 

UTEP has three wins by at least 30 points in league play, which is the most such victories in a single season in program history. In fact the Miners had achieved the feat seven times total prior to this year, with the 2003-04 team (twice) previously holding the standard for a single season. 

The Miners’ first four league wins were by an average of 29.5 points, but UTEP showed it has the ability to take care of business in a close contest against North Texas. The Miners rallied from a 10-point deficit on the way to holding off the Mean Green, 67-63, on Jan. 25.

It also marked the first time this season that the Orange and Blue overcame deficits at the half (down five) and through three quarters (down three) to win a game. 

Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234. The Miners are looking to snap a two-game skid while the 49ers enter the match-up having won three in a row and four of six.

It will be streamed on ESPN+ (subscription based) with Colin Deaver and Izabela Piekarska on the call. It will also be streamed through 600 ESPN El Paso with Steve Kaplowitz and Traci Miller describing the action.

Miners face tough defensive Charlotte squad on Thursday Night

UTEP will head East to start a two-game road trip, starting with Charlotte on Thursday night. The Miners (13-10, 4-6 Conference USA) and 49ers (12-9, 6-4 C-USA) will tipoff at 5 p.m. MT/7 ET in Halton Arena.

The Miners are coming off a loss to UAB (69-55) on Feb. 1 in which the Blazers dominated the second half. UTEP allowed a season-high 54.0 percent from the field, while UAB also shot 60.0 percent during the second half.

Bryson Williams was named the C-USA Player of the Week for a third time this season. The redshirt junior averaged 27.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game last week. Williams tallied this fifth double-double (28 points, 10 rebounds) against Middle Tennessee, while Efe Odigie (15 points, 10 rebounds) also recorded a double-double against MT, his first of the season and 12th in his career.

The 49ers lead the all-time series 5-4, and is 3-1 versus UTEP in Charlotte. The two programs split last season. UTEP won 57-53 on Jan. 26, 2019 in the Haskins Center, while Charlotte won the second meeting 68-58 in Halton Arena on March 3.

Charlotte is 12-9 after only winning eight games last season. The 49ers are currently on a two-game skid, falling at LA Tech, 72-59, and being upset at Southern Miss (74-68 OT). Charlotte swept its last pair of home games, beating Florida Atlantic (70-68) on Jan. 23 and FIU (75-49) on Jan. 25. Earlier in the season, the 49ers defeated the ACC’s Wake Forest, 67-65, on Nov. 17.

Redshirt junior Jordan Shepard leads the team in points per game (14.1) and assists (79). Shepard, a 6-4 guard, scored a season-high 27 points against Valparaiso, while his season most in assists was seven at Southern Miss. Freshman Jahmir Young averages 11.8 points per game, while the 6-1 guards leads the team at 4.9 rebounds per contest.

Graduate student Drew Edwards, a 6-4 guard, is the third 49er to average double figures (10.2 ppg) and averages 4.2 boards per game. The 49ers have a stingy defense, as their scoring defense (63.4) ranks fourth in Conference USA and 41st nationally. Charlotte was allowed 58 or less points in eight contests, while only yielding under 50 points in five of those games.

Charlotte averages 8.1 steals per game, ranking third in conference and 44th nationally.

The Miners will finish the road trip with a contest at Old Dominion on Feb. 8.

The Miners and 49ers game can be heard on 600 ESPN El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher calling the action. The contest will also be streamed on ESPN+.

UTEP’s Bryson Williams earns third C-USA Player of the Week Honor

Bryson Williams was named the Conference USA Player of the Week presented by Top of the World as announced by league officials Monday afternoon. It’s the third C-USA Player of the Week honor for the redshirt junior forward.

Williams’s third player of the week honor is the most by a UTEP player since Vince Hunter earned the award four times during the 2014-15 campaign. Williams is also the fifth Miner, joining Stefon Jackson (three in 2005-06, two in 2007-08), Randy Culpepper (three in 2009-10), Vince Hunter (four in 2014-15) and John Bohannon (two in 2013-14), to earn multiple player of the week awards during a single season.

Williams earned C-USA Player of the Week honors on Dec. 9 and Jan. 20 (co-Player of the Week).

Williams scored 28 points and pulled down 10 boards on his way to a fifth double-double of the season and leading UTEP past MT, 67-66, on Jan. 30. Williams went 5-for-5 from the free-throw line, while making 11 field goals along with a three-point bucket. Williams added two assists, two blocks and a steal against the Blue Raiders.

Overall, Williams averaged 27.0 points and 9.0 rebounds during the two-game stretch. The Fresno, Calif., product shot 50.0 percent (20-40) from the field (2-5 three-pointers) and went 12-for-14 from the foul line.

Williams scored 26 points against UAB and came up two rebounds short of another double-double. Williams scored the Miners’ first four points on a pair of dunks against the Blazers. Williams ranks second in Conference USA in scoring (19.3 ppg) and fifth in rebounding (7.0 rpg).

Williams matches UTSA’s Jhivvan Jackson (Dec. 16, Dec. 23, Jan. 13) with three C-USA Player of the Week recognitions.

Williams and the Miners will play at Charlotte (Feb. 6) and Old Dominion (Feb. 8).

Video+Gallery+Story: UAB Blazers burn Miners 69-55

UAB used a 14-0 run in the second half to go up 13 points and never looked back. The Blazers (14-9, 5-5 Conference USA) dominated the Miners (13-10, 4-6 C-USA) in the second half, on their way to a 69-55 win on Saturday night in the Haskins Center.

After the game was tied at 27 at the half, UAB shot 60.0 percent (15-25) from the field, outscoring UTEP, 42-28, in the second half.

“Even though we didn’t score, we have to be able to defend,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We have to compete at the end of the day and we didn’t do that tonight. I was disappointed that we didn’t play at the level we needed to.”

Bryson Williams led with a game-high 26 points, while Souley Boum was the other Miner with double figures (10 points).

UTEP scored a season-low 55 points on 19-of-46 shooting (41.3 percent), while UAB shot 54.0 percent from the field overall. The Blazers outscored the Miners in the paint, 36-16, and 20-14 on points off turnovers. After only eight turnovers on Thursday night against Middle Tennessee, UTEP doubled that number on Saturday night.

UAB’s 14-0 run started at the 17:11 mark after Williams gave UTEP a 30-29 lead. The Blazers took a 43-30 lead with 13:49 left in the contest.

At the 9:23 mark in the first half, UTEP took a 17-13 advantage off an Odigie layup on a fast break. After a missed jumper by Kaden Archie, UAB answered with 6-0 run capped by a Will Butler jumper.

Boum answered with one of three UTEP threes, giving UTEP a 20-19 edge at the 7:30 mark.

The Blazers took a 23-20 lead on a Butler jumper. The Miners answered with a 5-0 spurt, as Edwards drained a three and Boum hit a jumper off the glass for a two-point lead (25-23). The Blazers received baskets from Jordan Brinson and Tyreek Scott-Grayson to take a 27-25 lead.

However, Boum followed with a jumper in the paint on a fast break to tie the contest 27-27 going into the locker room.

Eight UAB players scored, led by Butler’s 17 points, and Jalen Benjamin’s 15. Tavin Lovan and Scott-Grayson each tallied 11 points.

Up next, the Miners will hit the road, playing at Charlotte (12-9, 6-4 C-USA) on Feb. 6 (5 p.m. MT/7 ET) and at Old Dominion (9-14, 6-4 C-USA) on Feb. 8 (5 p.m. MT/7 ET). Both contests can be heard on 600 ESPN El Paso, while both games will be streamed on ESPN+.

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

UTEP suffers setback at UAB 63-51

BIRMINGHAM, Al. – Avery Crouse (11 points), Katarina Zec (11 points) and Ariona Gill (10 points) all hit double figures in scoring, but an off shooting day loomed large in UTEP’s 63-51 setback at UAB Saturday afternoon.

The Miners (12-8, 5-4 C-USA) finished at 29.5 percent from the floor (18-61), which was hindered by shooting 18.5 percent (5-27) over the first 20 minutes. The Blazers (15-7, 7-3 C-USA) capitalized, putting UTEP in a 17-point hole (36-19) at the half. The Miners fought back after the break to get within eight (55-47) with four minutes left, but they couldn’t complete the comeback.

The nation’s second-best 3-point shooting team lived up to its billing by connecting on 43.5 percent (10-23) from beyond-the-arc. Overall UAB finished at 47.1 percent (24-51) from the floor. Rachel Childress was the catalyst with 26 points on 10-13 shooting, including 4-5 from distance.

Still UTEP’s defensive efforts were to be lauded after holding the top scoring offense in the league to 15 points shy of its seasonal average (78).

“I was really pleased with our defense,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “We really defended well. We held them to 63, but as luck would have it, in the first half we couldn’t throw it in the ocean. That’s how it’s been for our team lately.”

UTEP took good care of the ball with a season-low eight turnovers and also drilled 75.0 percent (12-16) at the charity stripe, but those weren’t enough to make up for shortcomings in other areas.

UAB jumped out to a 7-0 advantage three minutes into the contest before Ariana Taylor knocked down a jumper to get the Miners on the board. The Blazers scored the next four points in the game to make it a double-digit differential, which it remained through 10 minutes of action (16-4).

Arina Khlopkova drilled a jumper at the onset of the second frame only to have the Blazers counter with six unanswered points. After the deficit swelled to 17 (24-7), the Miners used a pair of free throws from Crouse and a triple by Zec to trim the differential to 12 (24-12). UAB had another response, and the Miners trailed by 17 (36-19) at the half.

The deficit was still 17 (45-28) midway through the third quarter before UTEP started to make a move. The Miners chipped away to get it down to 11 (50-39) before settling for trailing by 13 (52-39) heading to the final frame.

UTEP opened up the fourth quarter on an 8-3 surge to trail by single digits (55-47) for the initial occasion since the opening frame. Childress drilled a jumper to reinstate a double-digit margin for the home side, and UTEP could get no closer the rest of the way.

UTEP will return home to play host to Charlotte at 7 p.m. MT Thursday. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to raise awareness in the battle against breast cancer.

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 hosts UAB in key C-USA contest Saturday Night

UTEP will play host to UAB for the first time since 2017 on Saturday, while both programs are coming off victories this past Thursday.

The Miners (13-9, 4-5 Conference USA) and Blazers (13-9, 4-5 C-USA) are tied for eighth-place with UTSA and Marshall in a jumbled league. UTEP and UAB are set tipoff at 7 p.m. in the Haskins Center.

Saturday’s contest will also feature the Mike Slive Foundation once again partnering with C-USA on the Block Cancer initiative to raise awareness for prostate cancer. The teams will wear blue Block Cancer shooting shirts, and coached will don blue ties and Foundation lapel pins.

During the game, fans will see signage and videos that focus on increasing awareness for prostate cancer. Fans will also have the opportunity to donate only at

UAB leads the all-time series 11-9, while the Miners are 7-2 versus the Blazers in the Haskins Center. UTEP last defeated UAB on Feb. 2, 2017, 63-59, in El Paso. That was also the last time the Blazers made a trip to the Sun City.

The Miners squeaked by Middle Tennessee, 67-66, on Jan. 30, holding off a late rally. Bryson Williams (28 points, 10 rebounds) and Efe Odigie (15 points, 10 rebounds) each posted a double-double. For Williams, it was his fifth career double-double and eighth during his collegiate career.

Odigie registered his first of the season and 12th career double-double.

Deon Stroud made his first collegiate start, chipping in with seven points, while Nigel Hawkins tallied four points, five boards and a team-high four assists against the Blue Raiders.

Williams upped his average to 19.0 points per game, which ranks second in C-USA, while his 53.9 field-goal percentage also ranks second. Souley Boum has hit 90.7 percent of his free throws, ranking first in C-USA and 10th nationally.

UTEP only turned the ball over eight times against MT, its second-lowest total this season. The Miners turned the ball over a season-low seven times at Rice last week. In fact, the Miners are averaging only 9.8 turnovers per game the last four contests after averaging over 15 turnovers the first 18 games.

The Blazers, down two points (36-34) at the half at UTSA, outscored the Roadrunners 42-32 in the second period to claim a 76-68 win. Tavin Lovan led UAB with 19 points, while Will Butler tallied 18 and Antonio Ralat chipped in with 11 points.

UAB leads C-USA in rebounding margin (+7.3), while ranking third in rebounds per game (38.2). Jalen Benjamin leads the team at 12.4 points per game, while Lovan averages 11.5 points per contest.

Benjamin ranks third in C-USA in free-throw percentage (87.5). Six players average over 4.0 rebounds per game, as Makhtar Gueye leads the way at 5.5.

The Miners and Blazers are pretty much even across the board. UTEP averages 68.4 points per game, while UAB averages 65.9. UAB ranks fourth in C-USA in scoring defense (63.6), as UTEP ranks sixth (65.3). The Blazers yield 40.6 percent on field goals, and the Miners give up 41.0 percent on field goals.

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

Fans can listen live on 600 ESPN El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher (play-by-play) and former UTEP basketball player Steve Yellen (color analysis) calling the action.

The Miners and Blazers will also be streamed on ESPN+ with El Paso Athletics Hall of Famer Duke Keith (play-by-play) and Miner great Leonard Owens (color analysis) on the mic.

Video+Gallery+Story: UTEP edges Middle Tennessee 67-66

Bryson Williams (28 points, 10 rebounds) and Efe Odigie (15 points, 10 rebounds) each recorded a double-double while leading UTEP to a narrow, 67-66, triumph over Middle Tennessee on Thursday night in the Haskins Center.

The Miners (13-9, 4-5 Conference USA) only gave up the ball eight times, while forcing 15 turnovers by the Blue Raiders (5-17, 1-8 C-USA). UTEP outscored MT, 12-5 on points off turnovers. The Miners also recorded nine offensive boards, tallying 10 second-chance points.

UTEP overcame four Blue Raiders in double-figures and improved to 11-1 at The Don. It’s also the most wins in the Sun City since the 2015-16 campaign (14). UTEP surpassed their C-USA win total from a season ago, while its 13 overall victories are the most since the 2016-17 campaign.

“We knew it was going to be a ball game,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We had to come in and really try to defend really hard tonight, and have physical block outs. We knew [Middle Tennessee] was averaging 12 offensive rebounds a game and we did a really good job holding those guys to six offensive rebounds. They could really shoot the basketball and they’re a much better team than what their record shows. Their personnel is really good.”

Reggie Scurry, after tallying 16 offensive rebounds in three games against the Miners last year, was held to zero on Thursday night and only two defensive rebounds.

“We did a really good job on Scurry, who really hurt us last year in every ball game. We did a really good job on him,” Terry said.

MT’s Jo’Vontae Green (19 points), Antonio Green (12 points), Jayce Johnson (10 points) and Tyson Jackson (10) each went for double-figure points.

Williams registered his fifth double-double of the season and shot 5-for-5 from the foul line, while Odigie notched his first double-double of the season and 12th during his career. The last time two Miners recorded a double-double each was on Nov. 19, 2018. Odigie went 6-of-12 from the field, including a made three-point shot. He’s now 3-for-3 from downtown on the season.

“[Odigie] was scary in practice the last couple of days,” Terry said. “He gave us a great look from the scout team and he carried that over into the game. He had the energy tonight and practiced like that the last couple days.”

Deon Stroud made his first start in his collegiate career, chipping in with seven points on 3-of-4 shooting, including a three-point play early in the second half. Stroud scored UTEP’s first points on a two-handed dunk.

Daryl Edwards hit a pair of treys in the second half, scoring six points, while Souley Boum recorded three assists and scored all five of his points during the second period. Nigel Hawkins tallied four points, five rebounds and a team-leading four assists, and Kaden Archie added two points.

The Miners couldn’t pull away from the Blue Raiders as they took a trio of five-point leads during the second half. The game had eight ties and 11 lead changes.

“I’m happy with the win, even though I thought we could’ve closed it out better,” Terry said. “But nevertheless, a win’s a win. We’ll take them any way we can get them right now.”

With UTEP down 42-41, Edwards hit a three that started a 7-1 run. Williams capped the run with a pair of made free throws, giving the Miners a 48-43 lead. However, MT answered with a 6-0 to take a 49-48 edge after a Millner three.

UTEP answered that run with its own 6-0 spurt. Williams hit a three, while Boum converted one of the Miners’ three three-point plays that put UTEP up 54-49 with 9:24 to play.

After a back-and-forth late stretch, UTEP took its biggest lead of the night 67-61 lead with nine seconds remaining after Hawkins buried a pair of free throws. But the pesky Blue Raiders made it a three-point contest (67-64) after Millner hit his third trey of the game.

Lathon, after being intentionally fouled, missed a pair of free throws that led the Green shooting a desperation deep three, in which Jackson tipped in the miss to make it a one-point game with one second.

However, time expired and UTEP escaped with the one-point victory.

Middle Tennessee jumped out to a 22-9 lead after Jo’vontae Millner connected on his second three in the half, followed by a two-point bucket at the 13:45 mark.

“We needed to set the tone with our defense, and we didn’t do that the first four minutes,” Terry said. “They [Middle Tennessee] came out and put their will on us to start the ball game. They made shots and scored points in the paint. But we stepped us to get back in the ball game.”

UTEP answered with a 15-0 run that stared with a made jumper by Williams. He scored six of those points, while Odigie drained a three-pointer. MT would take a six-point lead (32-28), but UTEP scored six of the next eight points to end the half and go into the locker room tied at 34-34.

Up next,  UTEP will host UAB on Saturday, Feb. 1. The Miners and Blazers are set to tipoff at 7 p.m. in the Haskins Center.

The game can be heard on 600 ESPN El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher and Steve Yellen calling the action. The contest will also be streamed on ESPN+ with Duke Keith and Leonard Owens on the mic.

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

Bryson Williams | Photo by Jorge Salgado

UTEP falls short At Middle Tennessee 76-60

MURFREESBORO, Tn. – Ariona Gill posted a double-double (20 points, 12 rebounds), but UTEP dug itself an early hole and could never recover in a 76-60 setback at Middle Tennessee Thursday.

“We weren’t playing well at all and couldn’t get anything going (in the first half),” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “We just kept hanging in there and you look up at one point it’s a seven-point game. We were playing our ‘b-level game’ instead of an ‘a-level game. There’s a lot of reasons for me to be frustrated right now because we didn’t play well, but more reasons for us to be excited about who we have and the kind of character we have.”

The Miners (12-7, 5-3 C-USA) trailed by four (14-10) late in the opening frame before the Lady Raiders (14-7, 6-3 C-USA) unleashed a game-altering 17-0 run that carried into the second quarter to put UTEP down by 21 (31-10).

The Miners battled back to get within 14 at the half (41-27) and then within seven (65-58) in the fourth quarter, but MT was able to hold off the rally.

UTEP finished at 37.1 percent from the floor, including 21.1 percent (4-19) on 3-point tosses. An off night (10-20, 50 percent) at the charity stripe and 24 turnovers also affected the outcome. Avery Crouse buoyed Gill with nine points and a career-best nine boards. Katarina Zec pitched in eight points and nine rebounds.

Tia Bradshaw led the effort from the reserves with a career-high tying eight points to go along with a personal-best five caroms.

The Miners kept MT to 39.7 percent (23-58), including 28.6 percent (6-21) from 3-point range. MT compensated for that by going 24-29 (82.8 percent) at the free-throw line. UTEP won the boards (49-33), but it wasn’t enough to make up for other discrepancies.

“This is a tough venue to play in,” Baker said. “It feels like the whole world is against you, but they’re really not. Our young team learned a lot today.”

UTEP struck first with a triple by Ariana Taylor, but MT countered with a 10-3 push. Six of the points came at the charity stripe, putting the Miners down by five (10-5) midway through the opening frame. It was a four-point differential (14-10) after Gill completed an old-fashioned 3-point play with 2:26 left in the first quarter, but MT came alive.

The Lady Raiders wrapped a 17-0 run around the quarter break to put UTEP down by 21 (31-10) with 8:22 to go in the opening half. It remained a 21-point differential (35-14) midway through the quarter before the Orange and Blue ripped off seven straight points to get the deficit down to 14 (35-21).

It was back-and-forth the remaining of the half, with the Miners still trailing by 14 (41-27) heading into halftime.

UTEP scored the first five points of the third quarter, including a fastbreak lay-up by Crouse, to cut the deficit down to nine (41-32) with 6:48 remaining in the frame. It was still a nine-point affair (43-34) with 5:06 left before MT used a 9-2 push to inch the differential out to 16 (52-36). UTEP trailed by 15 (56-41) after three quarters of action.

The Orange and Blue battled to within eight (57-48) with 6:19 left in the contest, but MT answered with a 5-0 run. UTEP continued to fight and trimmed the margin to seven (65-58) with 2:04 on the clock. To their credit the Lady Raiders had another response, this occasion with nine in a row to put the contest away.

UTEP will wrap up its week on the road with a tilt at UAB at 1 p.m. MT/2 p.m. CT Saturday. The contest will be streamed on CUSATV (subscription based).

It will also be broadcast locally in El Paso on 600 ESPN El Paso with Brandon Cohn on the call.

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 begins two game home stand, hosts Middle Tennessee on Thursday Night

After a road split last week, the UTEP men’s basketball team will look to even its Conference USA record as the Miners are set to host a pair of games against Middle Tennessee on Thursday night and UAB on Saturday, February 1.

UTEP, after playing nine of its last 12 games away from the Haskins Center, will play six of its last 10 regular season games in the Sun City.

The Miners (12-9, 3-5 C-USA) recently claimed their first road win in over a year, defeating Rice 72-64 in Houston on Jan. 23. UTEP fell in the following contest at North Texas, 67-57, to drop to two games under .500 in league action.

The Blue Raiders (5-16, 1-7 C-USA) won their first conference contest, edging Southern Miss, 65-63, on Jan. 25. Prior to the victory against the Golden Eagles, MT had lost 11 consecutive games.

Middle Tennessee leads the all-time series 7-3, while UTEP is 2-1 in the Haskins Center versus MT. The Blue Raiders and Miners met three times last year, as MT swept the season series. MT defeated UTEP, 75-72 in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on Jan. 9, 2019, won in the Haskins Center, 69-53, on March 6, and 48-47 back in the Murfreesboro on March 9 to close out the campaign.

The Blue Raiders have won five consecutive games against the Miners, dating back to March 10, 2017 at the Conference USA Tournament. UTEP last defeated Middle Tennessee on Feb 4, 2017 by the score of 57-54 in the Haskins Center.

Souley Boum produced his best two-game stretch during his collegiate career Jan. 23-25 at Rice and North Texas. The redshirt sophomore averaged 24.0 points per game, while shooting 18-for-20 from the foul line, 12-of-24 from the field and 40.0 percent from the three-point line.

Boum scored a career-high 27 points at Rice, shooting 40.0 percent from downtown and 6-of-12 overall from the field. The Oakland product continued his hot free-throw shooting, going 11-of-12 from the line versus the Owls, and chipping in with five rebounds, an assist and steal. Against the Mean Green, Boum led the way with a game-high 21 points.

Boum is also one of the premier free-throw shooters in the nation as his 90.6 percent clip rates 11th nationally and first in C-USA.

Boum has given the Miners a spark coming off the bench the last seven games, averaging 16.1 points per game during that span. During his first 14 games in the starting lineup, Boum averaged 10.9 points per game.

Overall, UTEP is shooting 77.0 percent from the foul line, ranking second in C-USA and 16th nationally. The Miners also rank second in C-USA with 328-made free throws and 35th nationally.

MT is led by redshirt junior CJ Jones. The 6-5 guard averages 16.3 points per contest, ranking fourth in C-USA. Jones is averaging 15.5 points per game in C-USA only games. Antonio Green ranks second on the squad with his 12.7 points per game.

Second-year MT Head Coach Nick McDevitt is been getting solid production during from his scorers in league play. Four players, including Jones, are averaging double figures. Green is averaging 11.5 points per game, while Donovan Sims (11.3 ppg) and Jayce Johnson (10.1 ppg) also average double-figures.

MT averages 71.7 points per game and gives up 76.4 points per contest. Opponents are shooting 46.2 percent, which ranks 14th in C-USA.

The Miners and Blue Raiders are set to tipoff at 7 p.m. in the Haskins Center. The game can be heard on 600 ESPN El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher calling the action with former UTEP basketball player Steve Yellen.

The contest will also be streamed on ESPN+ with El Paso Athletics Hall of Famer Duke Keith and Miner great Leonard Owens on the mic.

UTEP takes to the road vs. Middle Tennessee Thursday

The UTEP women’s basketball team (12-6, 5-2 C-USA) will open up a demanding stretch of playing five of the next seven games on the road when it competes at perennial league power Middle Tennessee (13-7, 5-3 C-USA) at 5:30 p.m. MT Thursday.

“Middle Tennessee is a solid team again this season in our conference, and they are led by some very strong guard play,” head coach Kevin Baker shares. “They are good at what they do, extremely well coached, and we know that it will be a challenge playing at their place.  But we are excited about how we are playing, and we feel like it will be a great game.”

The Miners will face UAB (13-7, 5-3 C-USA) on the second contest of the trip Saturday. UTEP is alone in third place in the C-USA standings at 5-2 while the Lady Raiders and Blazers share fourth with a mark of 5-3 in league action. MT and UAB are a combined 17-4 at home on the year. UTEP is 2-2 on the road.

The Miners enter Thursday’s contest following a come-from-behind 67-63 vanquishing of North Texas on Jan. 25. MT also is coming off a victory, having downed Southern Miss, 77-69, on the road on Jan. 25.

UTEP still has 11 games remaining in the regular season, but thus far the Miners have greatly exceeded the expectations based upon the Conference USA Coaches’ Preseason Poll.

UTEP enters Thursday’s contest at 5-2 in the league and alone in third place. It was tabbed to finish 12th according to a vote by the league’s head coaches in the preseason. 

In 2018-19 the Miners were decimated by injuries and finished the year at 9-22. It is a much different story this year, with UTEP (12-6) having surpassed its overall win total from a season ago.

The Miners are 5-2 in league play, which places them alone in third place and also matches their C-USA victory count from last year.

UTEP has three wins by at least 30 points in league play, which is the most such victories in a single season in program history. In fact the Miners had achieved the feat seven times total prior to this year, with the 2003-04 team (twice) previously holding the standard for a single season. 

Middle Tennessee holds a 6-1 advantage in the series with the Miners, with all of the match-ups coming since the Lady Raiders joined C-USA. MT is 3-0 against UTEP at home, and has won four straight in the series.

The Lady Raiders ousted the Miners from the 2019 C-USA Championships, 66-44, in the quarterfinals on March 14, 2019, in the most-recent meeting between the programs. 

The game will be streamed on ESPN3, with Jake Rose (PXP) and Madison Blevins (Analyst) describing the action. It will also be streamed through the 600 ESPN El Paso website with Brandon Cohn on the call. 

Gallery+Story: Miners rally to take down North Texas 67-63

From the 6-minute mark in the first quarter until 11 seconds were left in the fourth, North Texas had a firm grip on the lead over UTEP, but the Miners rallied in the final moments to steal a 67-63 victory from the Mean Green on Saturday afternoon at the Don Haskins Center.

Ninety seconds into Saturday’s game, UTEP had a 4-3 lead over North Texas. From that point until 11 seconds remaining in the game, the Miners trailed the Mean Green until Ariona Gill’s tip-in gave UTEP a 65-63 advantage and its first lead since early in the first quarter.

Gill also sunk the And-1 to give the Miners a 66-63 lead with 11 seconds left in the game. Katarina Zec, who went off for 18 points in the second half after being silenced in the first, also added a free throw with three seconds remaining to clinch the 67-63 victory for UTEP.

With the win, UTEP improved to 12-6 overall on the season with a 5-2 mark in Conference USA action, while North Texas fell to 9-11 and 3-5 in league play.

“I didn’t think we played our best game today and I thought North Texas really defended us well and shot the ball particularly well,” head coach Kevin Baker said following the win. “I think they elevated their game against us today. I was really impressed with how they played, but then I was impressed by how we just hung around and then put ourselves in position to win in the fourth. Sometimes you have to win that way in a game where you are kind of out of rhythm a little bit; you have to find a way to win.”

The Miners shot just 14 percent (2-14) in the opening frame, but never shot below 40 percent the rest of the way, finishing the game 23-of-47 from the field in the final three quarters.

North Texas led UTEP for more than 30 minutes in the game, including a 27-22 lead for the Mean Green at the halfway point, but the Miners fought back to outscore UNT 45-36 in the final two frames.

Defensively, UTEP entered the game ranked first in C-USA in turnovers forced and lived up to that ranking after forcing 23 Mean Green turnovers, including 15 in the first half.

“Sometimes you forget – I know I do – that we are a young team that is still learning,” Baker said. “We played an emotional game on Thursday and it was a game we really wanted to win. It sort of deflated us a little bit emotionally and I think it carried over into the first quarter in this game. And that’s unfortunate, but we have to figure out a way to not let that happen. When that game is behind us, we have to move on to the next. We didn’t play well in the first quarter, but they played pretty well, and I thought that was a double-edged sword. We played really, really good defense to get ourselves back into the game and that is what I am most proud of.”

UTEP dominated when it came to points in the paint after scoring 38 to UNT’s 16, but it was the Mean Green’s bench that came up huge with 33 points. The Miners also capitalized off 23 North Texas turnovers by scoring 24 points in response.

Katarina Zec (18 points) and Ariana Taylor (12 points) led the Miners offensively, while Ariona Gill grabbed 11 rebounds in the win, including eight on defense. Freshman Katia Gallegos also added nine points, six rebounds and five assists in Saturday’s win.

North Texas had four players score in double figures, led by Summer Jones, who had 17 off the bench to go along with seven boards. Charlene Shepherd also came off the bench to score 16 with seven rebounds for the Mean Green, while Randi Thompson (11 points) and Anisha George (10 points) also paced North Texas offensively.

Next, the Miners will hit the road next week to take on Middle Tennessee (12-7, 4-3 C-USA) at 5:30 p.m. MT on Thursday, Jan. 30. From there, UTEP will travel to Birmingham, Alabama, to face UAB (13-7, 5-3 C-USA) at 1 p.m. MT on Saturday, Feb. 1.

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

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

Miners fall to North Texas 67-57

DENTON, Texas – Souley Boum led UTEP with 21 points and Bryson Williams scored 18, but North Texas went 21-of-23 from the free-throw line and only turned the ball over six times on its way to a 67-57 win on Saturday in The Super Pit.

“We didn’t guard as well as we did at Rice,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “Regardless of the calls and guys sitting in the first half due to foul trouble, the guys coming into the game have to get down and guard. We had to stay in the same coverage that we’re trying to work. We just didn’t guard the way we needed to guard tonight.”

The Miners (12-9, 3-5 Conference USA) shot well from the foul line, going 14-for-16, but went 5-for-19 from the three-point line. The Mean Green (14-8, 8-1 C-USA) have won eight consecutive games after forcing 13 UTEP turnovers and scoring 11 points off those turnovers.

UTEP, after being down by as many as 16 points (52-36), made a run and got within seven points (54-47). Williams and Boum combined for 11 points during that 11-2 run.

After the Mean Green built another double-digit lead (58-47), the Miners got within five points (58-53) after Williams made a layup with 3:35 left in the game. But James Reese made a three-point shot, putting his team up, 61-53.

UTEP got within six points (61-55) after Boum made a pair of free throws, but couldn’t get any closer as North Texas went 8-for-8 from the line down the stretch.

Williams, after only scoring three points at Rice, made seven field goals, while going 3-for-4 from the line. Boum went 6-for-12 and 7-of-8 from the line. Williams led the way with six boards and two blocks, while Jordan Lathon led with four assists and grabbed five rebounds.

Umoja Gibson was only held to six points after scoring 27 on Thursday, but Zachary Simmons tallied a team-best 16 points and Javion Hamlet recorded 14 points for the Mean Green.

In the first half, North Texas used an 8-0 run to take a 27-16 lead at the 5:57 mark. But Boum stopped the run by drawing a foul on a driving layup and making the free throw for the and-1 play. After UNT turnover, Boum took advantage and hit a jumper under the basket. Boum had scored five consecutive points to get the Miners within six points (27-21).

However, North Texas, who made 12-of-12 free throws and shot 50.0 percent from the field during the first period, finished out the half on an 11-6 run to take a 38-27 lead into the locker room.

Next up for UTEP, Middle Tennessee (Jan. 30) and UAB (Feb. 1) at home.

Both contests will tipoff at 7 p.m. and can be heard on 600 ESPN El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher and Steve Yellen calling the action. Duke Keith and Leonard Owens will be on the mic for both contests streamed on ESPN+.

UTEP to wrap up homestand vs. North Texas Saturday afternoon

The UTEP women’s basketball team (11-6, 4-2 C-USA) will wrap up its three-game homestand by playing host to North Texas (9-10, 3-4 C-USA) at 1 p.m. MT Saturday.

“North Texas is good enough to  beat any team in our conference when they are playing well. They will be a tough match-up for the Miners as we look to bounce back on Saturday. But I really like the way we are playing right now, and we are all excited about the challenge,” head coach Kevin Baker said.

The Miners were tripped up by league-leading Rice, 69-61, on Jan. 23. The Mean Green were saddled with a 1-4 start to C-USA play, but they enter Saturday’s match-up at 3-4 in the league after winning back-to-back contests.

Most recently UNT blasted UTSA by 24 (79-55) on the road on Jan. 23. UTEP is 9-4 at home, including 3-1 in league action. The Mean Green are 2-4 on the road, including 1-2 in away match-ups in the league.

In 2018-19 the Miners were decimated by injuries and finished the year at 9-22. It is a much different story this year, with UTEP (11-6) having already surpassed its overall win total from a season ago. The Miners are 4-2 in league play, which places them alone in third place. They are also on the verge of matching last season’s conference win tally.

Last year they started conference action at 1-8 en route to finishing 5-11 in the league. 

Nine of UTEP’s victories have been by double figures, including six of at least 20 points. It is the most wins by 20+ points since 2013-14 (nine). The Miners had their largest differential (+45) under head coach Kevin Baker in a 92-47 drubbing of Alcorn State (11/16/19), which tied as the 10th-biggest margin of victory in program history.

They’ve also taken down UTSA (1/18/20) by 40 (94-54), Florida Atlantic (1/4/20) by 31 (96-65), FIU (1/2/20) by 30 (64-34), Western Michigan (11/29) by 30 (76-46) and NM State (11/23/19) by 20 (64-45). Overall UTEP’s scoring margin (+11.9) is second in C-USA and 46th in the country. 

UTEP has three wins by at least 30 points in league play, which is the most such victories in a single season in program history. In fact the Miners had achieved the feat seven times total prior to this year, with the 2003-04 team (twice) previously holding the standard for a single season. 

Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234. The game will be streamed on CUSA.TV (subscription based) and broadcast locally on 600 ESPN El Paso with Brandon Cohn and Traci Miller on the call. 

UTEP to battle first place North Texas in Denton on Saturday

DENTON, Texas – After coming off its first road victory in over a year, UTEP will look to start a road winning streak when it takes on league-leading North Texas on Saturday.

The Miners and Mean Green are set to tipoff at 4 p.m. MT/5 CT in The Super Pit.

“They play well inside and they have some gifted guards. [Javion] Hamlet is playing well for them so far,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “It’s going to be a tough game, they play hard and a lot of hard-nosed defense. It’ll definitely be a tough ball game on the road in the Denton.”

UTEP (12-8, 3-4 Conference USA) claimed its first road win of the season, defeating Rice 72-64 in Houston on Jan. 23. North Texas (13-8, 7-1 C-USA) won its seventh consecutive game, beating up on UTSA, 98-78, on Thursday night in Denton.

In the only meeting last season, North Texas defeated UTEP, 58-51, on Jan. 10, 2019. The Miners lead the all-time series, 10-4, while winning in Denton on March 3, 2018, their last time playing at The Super Pit. UTEP is 5-1 versus UNT in Denton.

Back to Thursday’s key win, Souley Boum led the charge, scoring a career-high 27 points and making 11-of-12 free throws versus the Owls. Boum added five boards, and assist and steal. Daryl Edwards also came up with a big performance, tallying a collegiate career-high 22 points on a career-high nine field goals.

UTEP posted another solid night at the free-throw line, hitting 19-of-25 (76.0 percent). The Miners have made 83.7 percent (103-123) of their free throws during the last five games, while hitting over 80 percent in their seven conference contests. Overall, UTEP is ranked second in C-USA and 23rd nationally in free-throw percentage (76.6).

The Miners turned the ball over a season-low seven times, while yielding only two fast break points against the Owls after allowing 21 at UTSA.

The Mean Green are one of the better defensive squads in the league, ranking second in scoring defense (62.3). Prior to the Jan. 23 game versus UTSA, North Texas kept its opponents to under 60 points in five consecutive contests. Overall, the Mean Green allowed fewer than 60 points in 10 games during the 2019-20 campaign.

Umoja Gibson, a 6-1 redshirt sophomore guard, leads the way at 14.9 points per game, while Javion Hamlet (12.7 ppg) ranks second. The 6-4 redshirt junior guard leads UNT and ranks second in C-USA in assists per game (4.7) and total assists (99). Deng Geu, a 6-8 graduate transfer, paces the team in rebounds per game (5.7), while chipping in with 8.0 points per contest.

North Texas’ lone league loss came at WKU, 93-84, on Jan. 2 to open C-USA action.

“The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher will call the action on 600 ESPN El Paso, while the Miners and Mean Green will be streamed on ESPN+.

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