UTEP Director of Athletics Jim Senter announced on Monday that volleyball head coach Holly Watts will not return for the 2019 season.
“While the hard work and dedication is unquestioned, the results on the court did not meet expectations under Holly’s leadership,” Senter said. “We thank her for her service to UTEP and wish her well in the future.”
Watts finishes her UTEP tenure with a record of 48-127, including a 24-64 mark in Conference USA play.
The Miners last posted double-digit victories (14) in her first season as head coach in 2013.
UTEP qualified for the Conference USA Tournament twice in her six seasons as head coach, in 2013 and 2016. The Miners finished 5-21 in 2018 with a 2-12 C-USA record.
A native of Devine, Texas, Watts played at Texas from 1989-93 and was elected the team’s Most Valuable Player in 1993. Watts also played one season for the Texas basketball team (1993-94), averaging 15.4 minutes, 7.5 points, and 5.6 rebounds, with a .593 field goal percentage. Her efforts helped the Longhorns to an SWC title and top-25 ranking.
She began her coaching career at the University of Texas at Arlington (1994-96), while also founding and coaching the Texas Impact Volleyball Club team during that time. Watts moved on to Arkansas in 1996. The next 12 years (1996-2007) saw the Lady Razorbacks fashion a 272-129 mark, including 138-56 in the Southeastern Conference.
A national search will begin immediately to hire her successor.
UTEP cross country’s Linda Cheruiyot and Winny Koech were named to the 2018 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) NCAA Division I Cross Country All-Region team on Monday.
Cheruiyot will be making her first NCAA Championship appearance after qualifying at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships. The junior finished 10th overall, posting a personal-best time of 20:05.1 in the 6K race.
Cheruiyot also claimed the crown at the Conference USA Championships, helping the women’s team earn its first conference team title.
Koech has punched her ticket to the NCAA Championships for the third straight year. The junior has been a consistent force for the Miners, winning three meets this season.
Koech finished 13th overall at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships, posting a time of 20:10.1. She registered a silver-medal finish at the C-USA Championships, securing first-team honors.
The Miners will take the course on Saturday in Madison, Wi. in the NCAA Championships.
Zuzanna Puc poured in 18 points to pace a quartet of players in double figures as the UTEP women’s basketball team cruised to a 77-51 season-opening win against Alcorn State at the Don Haskins Center Saturday evening.
Redshirt-junior Ariona Gill (15 points), sophomore Jordan Jenkins (career-high 11 points, six assists) and Katarina Zec (11 points, personal-best tying nine rebounds) also got after it for the Miners (1-0). UTEP connected on 52.6 percent (30-57) from the floor, tied for the sixth-best rebounding margin (+27, 48-21) in program history and racked up 23 assists on 30 made field goals.
The Lady Braves (0-2) were held to 30.2 percent (16-53) shooting and committed 20 turnovers. Jada Hargrove finished with 10 points to lead her squad.
Freshman Conchi Satorre pitched in five points and a trio of boards in 10 minutes of action to lead the reserves in scoring.
“We definitely got better today,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “Our team improved. We were not perfect, it’s your typical first game of the year. Sometimes in your first game of the year you’re going to have 27 turnovers. I’m not proud of that, I’m not excited about that. But there’s way more positives out there that we can build on. We’re looking forward to CSU Bakersfield (on Wednesday).”
The Miners improved to 2-0 in season openers under Baker. They are now 25-20 all time in campaign lidlifters, including 21-8 when doing so in El Paso.
Alcorn State scored the first two points of the contest on a jumper, but UTEP punched back with a 12-0 surge over the next five minutes. Jenkins capped the run with a corner triple. The Lady Braves regrouped with an 8-2 push to get within four (14-10). A free throw from Neidy Ocuane and a triple by Gill sent it back to eight (18-10) before a late score from ASU made it 18-12 through 10 minutes of action.
UTEP started to open things up in the second quarter, ripping off six consecutive points to vault ahead by 14 (30-16) with 3:49 left in the frame. It was back-and-forth the rest of the way, with the Miners settling for a 12-point cushion (37-25) heading to halftime.
UTEP used a big run at the onset of the third quarter, essentially putting the game away in the process. The Miners unleashed a 16-2 surge to extend their advantage to 26 (53-27) with 5:26 left in the frame. ASU finally got on track a bit, allowing it to trim the deficit to 21 (60-39) heading to the fourth quarter.
It was a mere formality in the final frame, with UTEP extending its advantage to as many as 29 (72-43). Aiding in that was a 12-2 run, which was capped by a 3-pointer from Satorre.
UTEP will continue its season-opening five-game homestand when it plays host to CSU Bakersfield at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.
Brent Stockstill threw for 352 yards and four touchdowns, and Conference USA East Division leader Middle Tennessee won for the sixth time in seven games with a 48-32 victory at UTEP on Saturday afternoon.
Ty Lee recorded 10 catches for a career-high 158 yards for Middle Tennessee (7-3, 6-1 C-USA), which jumped out to a 14-0 lead and scored 27 of the game’s first 34 points.
The tone was set early as Middle Tennessee drove 75 yards on nine plays for a touchdown on its opening possession, then capitalized on a UTEP fumble to score again less than three minutes later.
“That was a pretty frenetic game for sure, a lot of stuff going on,” UTEP coach Dana Dimel said. “I obviously wasn’t happy with the way we started the ballgame. On the first drive we got them into a third and long, they converted (it) and got a nice drive going. They got the first score in. But then offensively, we had a turnover right after that and put them in good field position. So I wasn’t happy at all with our early execution. It allowed them to get some momentum on the road. You’ve got to come out and start faster and start a little more precise than we did tonight. And from then, we were just playing behind.”
The game got away from the Miners after they pulled within a touchdown (14-7) on a seven-yard rushing score by Quardraiz Wadley early in the second quarter. Middle Tennessee tacked on a couple more touchdowns in the quarter, and UTEP couldn’t get closer than 16 points in the second half.
The Miners did get the ball back down a couple of scores with 3:25 to go, but Kai Locksley was sacked twice on the series and UTEP was unable to pick up a first down.
“We made some runs in the game,” Dimel said. “We got some deficits there that were larger than what we’ve been in for quite a while, but again our team rebounded in those types of situations and showed a lot of fight and a lot of character. I really liked what they did as far as making plays and battling. Our defense was out there quite a bit, but they battled and they battled and did some really positive things even though to the naked eye it may not appear that way. And then our offense found some rhythm in the second half and responded, had some success.”
A late flurry gave the Miners (1-9, 1-5 C-USA) a season high for points. They have scored 30+ points in consecutive C-USA games for the first time since the 2014 season. UTEP scored 22 points in the fourth quarter.
Wadley had a big day for UTEP, rushing 15 times for 99 yards and two touchdowns while going over 1,000 yards (1,019) for his career.
Stockstill was precision-sharp for Middle Tennessee, completing 31-of-40 passes with no interceptions.
“He played as good of a game as any quarterback I’ve been around for quite a while,” Dimel said. “That kid really, really played a ballgame today. He put some passes in some spots and he had to go to his third, fourth and fifth progressions at times and he does it so quickly and gets out there. You can just tell that he grew up in the game, he’s talented and he’s got some moxie and some savvy to what he does.”
The Blue Raiders gained 491 yards to the Miners’ 333.
Locksley and Brandon Jones both saw action for the Miners at quarterback, combining to complete 18-of-39 passes for 218 yards. The tight ends had a huge afternoon for UTEP, as Josh Weeks (4-71) and David Lucero (4-62) were the top two receivers.
UTEP had a pair of double-figure tacklers in A.J. Hotchkins (14) and Nik Needham (10), while Reed Blankenship led Middle Tennessee with nine tackles and two pass breakups.
The special teams standout for the Miners was Terry Juniel with 95 kickoff return yards and 21 punt return yards. He now ranks ninth in school history with 1,103 kickoff return yards.
“Overall our execution can be better than what it was today, but our effort was tremendous,” Dimel said.
The Miners will play their final road game of 2018 next Saturday (Nov. 17) at WKU. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. MT and the game will be televised on beIN Sports.
Photo gallery courtesy Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta, Chief Photographer, El Paso Herald-Post
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The UTEP rifle team fired a season-high aggregate (4611) in a match at fellow Patriot Rifle Conference member Ohio State (4651) on Saturday.
The Miners shot a season-high tying 2284 in smallbore before also matching their campaign best in air rifle (2329).
“Today was an exciting day,” UTEP head coach Austin Litherland said. “The team showed the hard work they have put into the range the past two weeks. A coach cannot ask any more from their athletes than to put their maximum effort into their sport. The girls also know that we still have two more matches left until the fall semester is up so we will continue to work on improving at the range.”
Freshman Morgahn Warner produced an aggregate of 1160, registering 575 in smallbore and a career-high 585 in air rifle.
Junior Mara Rouse fired a career-high tying aggregate of 1156, relying on a personal-best 577 in smallbore and 579 in air rifle.
Sophomore Jessica Boyce notched an aggregate of 1149, using 563 in smallbore and 586 in air rifle.
Senior Maranda Nelson compiled an aggregate of 1143, recording 568 in smallbore and 575 in air rifle.
Sophomore Samantha Miller checked in with an aggregate of 1141, tallying 564 in smallbore and 577 in air rifle.
Freshman Josephine John shot a career-high aggregate of 1134, using a personal-best 562 in smallbore and 577 in air rifle.
The Miners will look to build on the effort when they return home against Alaska-Fairbanks at 8:30 a.m. MT Thursday at the UTEP rifle range. Admission is free.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Evan Gilyard scored a team-high 23 points and Kobe Magee added 15, but NM State surged out to a four-point lead heading into the locker room after being down most of the first half.
“NM State pulled away and we just kind of stopped guarding them. Our defense kind of let us down towards the end of the first half,” first-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We got off to a great start from an offensive standpoint, but those guys [NM State] made some big shots to close out the first half the right way. At halftime the challenge was, for our young guys, ‘how are you going to come out and respond?’ We’re going to come back and put it on our defense, really come out and try to get a stop. We had to start the half the right way, set our defense and try to get back after it again.”
The Aggies (2-0) then took care of business during the second half in front of their home crowd to down the Miners (1-1), 96-69, on Friday night in the Pan American Center.
UTEP went up as many as nine points (18-9) to open the contest, while even taking a six-point lead (29-23) at the midway point during the first stanza. But NM State finished out on a 20-10 run to close out the half and take a 43-39 lead.
NM State outscored UTEP, 53-30, during the big second half.
The Miners got within six points (51-45) during the second period, but the Aggies used another run (8-0) to pull away for good.
Freshman Efe Odigie registered another double-digit performance after scoring 12 points, while also pulling down nine rebounds for the second straight game to open his UTEP career. Senior Paul Thomas tallied 10 points, while freshman Jordan Lathon chipped in with six and sophomore transfer Gilles Dekoninck connected on a three-point bucket during the first half.
Gilyard produced his first back-to-back 20-point effort in his career after leading the Miners in scoring with 24 points against UT Permian Basin on Nov. 6. Gilyard also drew a pair of charges during the contest.
“This year’s team will need [Gilyard’s] scoring,” Terry said. “Obviously, he’s an older guy who is able to do that and we’re allowing him to be able to do that for us. Nigel [Hawkins] will bring some scoring as well for us.”
Freshman Nigel Hawkins missed his second straight contest with hopes of making his UTEP debut soon.
UTEP will play at Pac-12 power Arizona on Wednesday, November 14. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. MT at the McKale Memorial Center.
The Miners will play in Tucson for the first time since the 2012-13 season, while facing the Wildcats for the first time since the 2014-15 campaign when the two tangled in the Don Haskins Center.
Provo, Utah – Juniors Linda Cheruiyot and Winny Koech earned a spot at the NCAA Championships on Friday after finishing in the top 15 at the 2018 NCAA Cross Country Mountain Region Championships.
“I am very proud of both the men and women’s teams for competing at the regional championships,” head coach Paul Ereng said. “The women’s team again performed very well, managing to advance Cheruiyot and Koech, who will represent our institution at the national championships.”
Cheruiyot clocked in a personal best of 20:05.1 in the 6K, finishing 10th in the competitive field. This marks the first time that the distance runner has advanced to the NCAA Championships.
Koech punched her ticket to the national meet for the third straight year. The last Miner to make three appearances at the national meet was Risper Kimaiyo (2009-2012). Koech finished 13th out of 136 runners with a time of 20:10.1.
Carolyne Chepkosgei was the third Miner to cross the finish line, taking 33rd place with a time of 20:57.0.
Rounding out the women’s team were sophomore’s Andrea Lucero and Destiny White.
The young men’s team finished three runners in the top 70 out of 120 competitors.
Sophomore Cornelius Kapel was the Miners’ top runner, posting a personal-best time of 30:55.0 in the 10K.
Freshmen Boaz Ronoh (30:57.4) and Rodgers Korir (31:10.8) followed, finishing 59th and 67th overall, respectively.
Also taking the course was senior Antony Kosgei (32:32.6), freshman Isaiah Page (34:28.8), freshman Michael Sims (35:50.1) and freshman Daniel Maes (37:03.7).
Both teams finished 13th overall at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships.
Cheruiyot and Koech will close out the cross country season at the national meet in Madison, Wisconsin, on November 17.
The UTEP rifle team will compete at fellow Patriot Rifle Conference member Ohio State in a match beginning at 11:30 a.m. MT (1 p.m. ET) Saturday.
The Miners are coming off a season-high aggregate (4602) in a two-day match at Nevada (Oct. 27-28). UTEP registered 2273 in smallbore before firing a campaign-best 2329 in air rifle.
“We are excited to compete against Ohio State,” UTEP head coach Austin Litherland said. “The team had a weekend off from competing to make improvements to their shot process and positions. Our focus has been staying in the zone and one 10 at a time.”
Sophomore Jessica Boyce has paced the team in the fall, producing the top average on the squad for smallbore (569), air rifle (583) and aggregate (1152). Junior Mara Rouse follows in aggregate (1144), but freshman Morgahn Warner has come on strong of late to lift her aggregate average to 1142.
Warner has established career highs in each of the past two matches, with the most-recent performance (1165) serving as the top aggregate on the season for any Miner.
Senior Maranda Nelson checks in with an average aggregate of 1138, including a season and career-best 1161. That was achieved on Oct. 13, in a tri-angular meet with Air Force and Nevada.
Sophomore Samantha Miller has posted back-to-back career efforts, including an 1152 at Nevada (Oct. 27-28). The push has propelled her aggregate average to 1134. Freshman Josephine John has an aggregate average of 1122, aided by a career-high tying 1128 at Nevada (Oct. 27-28).
UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry, along with his revamped roster will experience their first Battle of I-10 on Friday (Nov. 9) as UTEP will face NM State for the first time this season.
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. in the Pan American Center.
“It’s obviously a great rivalry, one that we have tremendous respect for and respect for their program and what they’ve been able to do,” Terry said. “There’s obvious respect for coach (Chris) Jans and how he gets his guys prepared to compete at a very high level. I think it’s great for both of us to compete at a high level and continue to get better.”
The Miners and Aggies will face each other for the 216th time on Friday night, while the two will square off for a second time this season on Wednesday, November 28 in the Don Haskins Center.
The November 9 date is the earliest that the two programs will meet in the history of the rivalry, while it’s the second time since the 2014-15 season that UTEP will take on NM State in its second game of the season.
The Miners (1-0) are coming off a 90-63 victory over UT Permian Basin on Nov. 6, while Terry chalked up his first win as UTEP’s head coach. Terry started two freshmen in Efe Odigie and Jordan Lathon, while Kaosi Ezeagu played significant minutes off the bench. The trio combined for 39 points, the second-most combined points ever by UTEP freshmen in a season opener.
Odigie impressed in his UTEP debut, scoring 23 points and pulling down nine rebounds in 19 minutes of action. Odigie’s tied the most points ever by a UTEP freshman in a season opener. Terry’s other big man, Ezeagu, made a positive impression, scoring 10 points, tallying nine rebounds and blocking a pair of shots. Lathon led the Miners with 10 rebounds, dished out four assists, blocked two shots and chipped in with six points. Lathon was the first UTEP freshman with 10-plus boards in a season opener since 1978.
As far as UTEP’s returning letterwinners, Paul Thomas energized the Miner faithful and his teammates with a thunderous dunk over a UT Permian Basin defender during the second half. The senior scored 10 points, blocked a shot, tallied a pair of dimes and three rebounds.
Evan Gilyard led the Miners with 24 points on 6-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc. The sophomore sensation scored 16 of his points during the second half, while connecting on 5-of-7 three-point buckets. Gilyard tied for the team lead with fellow sophomore Kobe Magee as each dished out five assists. Magee was the first Miner to play the full 40 minutes in season opener since Nov. 21, 2000.
After heading to the locker room up four points (38-34), Terry’s squad came out with more intensity during the second half and outscored the Falcons, 52-29, after hitting on more than 65 percent of their field goals. Overall, UTEP connected on over 52 percent of its field goals, while going 11-for-23 from three-point range. The Miners also dished out 19 assists, combined for six blocks and outrebounded their opponent, 42-40. UTEP’s 42 free throw attempts were its third-most in a season opener.
The Aggies (1-0) also won on opening night, defeating North Dakota State, 73-56. Redshirt senior JoJo Zamora led the team with 16 points in 19 minutes, while junior Terrell Brown scored 13 points off the bench. Junior Clayton Henry led NM State with seven rebounds and chipped in with eight points. The Aggies recorded eight assists and outrebounded NDSU 47-31.
UTEP and NM State is the longest-running series in school history, as the Aggies lead the series 112-103.
Last season during the first meeting on Nov. 25 in Las Cruces, Thomas (30 minutes) and Gilyard (33 minutes) tied for the team lead with 14 points each and registered five rebounds apiece.
During the second meeting in El Paso, Thomas recorded nine points and three rebounds, while Magee, after only playing one minute in the first meeting, upped his minutes to eight in the second game.
The UTEP volleyball team (5-20, 2-11 C-USA) fell at North Texas (14-15, 10-3 C-USA) in four sets (16-25, 25-20, 9-25, 17-25), on Thursday evening.
Macey Austin was a standout in Thursday night’s match with 18 kills, hitting at a .325 clip and adding six digs. Austin produced a remarkable second set, tallying 10 kills to boost the Miners to the set victory.
Kristen Fritsche notched 32 assists and eight digs, while Briana Bustillos paced UTEP with 15 digs. Martine Kragholm helped the Orange and Blue out block the Mean Green with six total blocks on the night.
The Miners and Mean Green had back and forth action to begin the first set. With the score tied at 8-8, North Texas would string together a 7-1 run that gave it a 15-9 advantage on its home court. The run gave the Mean Green all of the cushion they needed to secure the set, 25-16.
Austin asserted her dominance in the second set with 10 kills, as her teammates could sense she was in the zone. Her effort helped the Miners claim the set, 25-20.
North Texas in the third set built up a large run that allowed it to control the entirety of the game, 25-9.
The Mean Green picked up where they left off in the third set, taking control early and throughout the fourth set. The Miners fought hard behind stellar and strong play from Austin, but ultimately fell,
Macey Austin recorded her 994th kill of her career, only needing six to reach the 1,000 kill plateau
The Miners will hit the road for the final match of the season against UTSA (18-7, 10-3 C-USA) on Saturday at 11 a.m. MT.
The UTEP cross country team is heading to Provo, Utah, to compete at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships at the East Bay Golf Course on Friday.
The women’s team will take the course first in the 6K run at 11 a.m. MT, followed by the men’s 10K race set for 12 p.m.
Five of the 20 women’s Mountain Region teams head into this week’s meet nationally ranked (No. 1 New Mexico, No. 4 Colorado, No. 9 BYU, No. 22 Southern Utah and No. 28 Northern Arizona).
The women are coming off a stellar showing at the 2018 Conference USA Championships. The Miners claimed their first conference title in program history with four of the top-six spots on the leaderboard.
Leading the way for UTEP was junior Linda Cheruiyot, who took the conference crown with a time of 16:56.12 in the 5K. She was the first Miner to win the C-USA individual title since 2012.
Teammate Winny Koech was closely behind Cheruiyot, notching a second-place finish at the conference championships. The junior won the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational with a time of 20:00.9 in the 6K.
Carolyne Chepkosgei and Lilian Koech have been consistent runners for the Miners. Chepkosgei earned C-USA first-team honors and registered a fifth-place finish of 20:19.5 at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational in the 6K. Koech garnered conference first-team recognition with a time of 17:15.86.
Six of the 17 men’s Mountain Region teams will enter the meet nationally ranked (No. 1 Northern Arizona, No. 2 BYU, No. 8 Colorado, No. 13 Air Force, No. 14 Colorado State and No. 18 Wyoming.)
Leading the way for the men is freshman Boaz Ronoh, who finished second overall at the C-USA Championships with a time of 24:11.38 in the 8K.
Also highlighting the men’s squad is Rodgers Korir. The freshman clocked in a personal best of 24:12.9 at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational in the 8K. He also received C-USA first-team honors after posting a fifth-place finish at the conference meet.
Teams that finish first and second in each region automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships while the remaining teams await the decision concerning 13 national at-large bids. The at-large selection is determined through a review of regular-season competition and finish at regional championships.
After teams have been determined, 38 additional individuals per gender are selected to compete at the NCAA Championships. Among individuals not selected as members of qualifying teams in the above process, the top four finishers at each regional meet are automatically selected (each must have finished within the top 25 of the region).
At-large selection: Two additional athletes will be selected from the remainder of the national pool (and must have finished in the regional top 25) as at-large individuals.
The race will be streamed online at FloTrack.org. Live stats, the course map and other general information can be found on byucougars.com
UTEP used a big second half, while getting solid production from its freshmen to open the 2018-19 campaign with a 90-63 victory over UT Permian Basin on Tuesday night at the Don Haskins Center.
“There’s a lot of teaching going on right now, whether we’re in the locker room or on the floor. It’s a great time for our guys to continue to learn and get better in all aspects. Every minute that you’re on the floor, its matters,” first-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “I was pleased with our effort in the second half and I didn’t think we had the same intensity and effort defensively in the first half. I’m getting my guys to know how important it is to not want to coach effort, you want to coach execution.”
Freshmen Efe Odigie, Jordan Lathon and Kaosi Ezeagu all executed in their first game as Miners.
Odigie poured in 23 points in his debut, matching the most ever by a UTEP freshman in a season opener (Gary Brewster scored 23 points on Nov. 24, 1972). Odigie also gathered nine rebounds. Lathon (six points, four assists) led the team with 10 rebounds in his debut, as it was the most by a UTEP freshman in a season opener since Terry White had 12 on Nov. 24, 1978, and Ezeagu scored 10 points, ripped down nine boards and blocked a pair of shots.
The Miners opened the contest with a 12-3 run, but would head into the locker room only up 38-34 after the Falcons’ Jamani Glover hit a jumper with under 20 seconds remaining in the half.
However, UTEP would respond and outscore its opponent 52-29 during the next 20 minutes.
Evan Gilyard hit 5-of-7 three-pointers during a 16-point second half, as the sophomore led the Miners with 24 points. Odigie chipped in with 14 points during the second half while Ezeagu tallied seven second-half points.
Gilles Dekoninck, a transfer from Fresno State, impressed in his UTEP debut as the sophomore connected on a pair of three-point baskets on his way to a 14-point performance in 29 minutes of action off the bench. Sophomore Kobe Magee played all 40 minutes, while tying for the team lead in assists (five) with Gilyard.
During the first five minutes of the second half, the Falcons answered on pretty much every UTEP. After a made three-pointer by the Falcons’ DeMarco Jackson to make the score 51-46, Lathon connected on a jumper that started a 23-9 run that put the Miners up 74-55 and never looked back.
During the contest with very few big bodies on the bench, Terry switched out Odigie (19 minutes) and Ezeagu (17 minutes) multiple times during the contest.
“Both of those guys are developing and early in their careers, they’re getting the opportunity to play significant minutes and at the level we want to play on both ends of the floor,” Terry said.
Despite fouling out, senior Paul Thomas scored 10 points, blocked a shot, recorded two assists and three boards.
“Paul is our most experienced guy that we have playing for us this year,” Terry said. “We need him on the floor defensively and offensively, and he’s got to learn how to play and stay out of foul trouble. We need him out on floor and we need his leadership.”
As a team, the Miners dished out 19 dimes, blocked six shots and made 11 three-pointers. Freshmen guards Brandon Averitt and Jakobe Dill (blocked shot) also saw action on the floor.
The 90 points scored was the most ever by a UTEP team during its head coaches’ debut. Doc Sadler’s squad opened his UTEP coaching career with 83 points on Nov. 21, 2004, while Billy Gillispie’s team put up 75 points on Nov. 23, 2002.
“I have a lot of respect for their program and respect for their coach,” Terry said. “He gets those guys to play hard, play the right way; they play like junkyard dogs and they’re tough. We’re going to get out there and match their energy and compete at a very high level. We’re excited about the opportunity for us to try to continue to get better against a program that has been established and has had an opportunity to be in postseason play, which we’re striving to get to.”
The Miners will get their first test of the season on Friday night in Las Cruces when they face NM State. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. in the Pan American Center.
UTEP football’s Quardraiz Wadley was named to the honorable-mention list for the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award National Player of the Week, the organization announced Tuesday
The junior helped the Miners to a 34-26 win at Rice on Nov. 3. Wadley rushed for 91 yards, averaging 4.6 yards per carry, in the victory.
Wadley put the Miners on the board first with a 12-yard run. Later in the second quarter he added another 12-yard rushing touchdown to extend UTEP’s lead to 20-0. His longest rush of the game came late in the fourth quarter, when he dashed for 25 yards.
Through nine games, the junior has compiled a total of 475 yards rushing yards. His season high came against NM State (Sept. 22), when he registered 111 yards on the ground. He has also contributed to the Orange and Blue offense by picking up 90 receiving yards.
SMU quarterback Ben Hicks was named The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award National Player of the Week, while Josh Adkins (QB, NM State), Eno Benjamin (RB, ASU), David Blough (QB, Purdue), Corey Dauphine (RB, Tulane), J.K. Dobbins (RB, Ohio State), Caleb Evans (QB, ULM), Willie Jones III (QB, Texas State), Lee Morris (WR, Oklahoma) and Aca’Cedric Ware (RB, USC) earned-honorable mention recognition alongside Wadley.
UTEP meets Middle Tennessee on “Fan Appreciation Day” Saturday. Early kickoff is set for 1 p.m. in the Sun Bowl. Special fan rewards will be given away throughout the game, and fans are invited to come on the field postgame. The first 2,500 fans will receive free hats. Purchase of a football ticket gains free admittance to the UTEP women’s basketball season opener versus Alcorn State that evening (7 p.m.) in the Haskins Center. For tickets, please call 747-5234.
UTEP relied on a balanced scoring attack to dispatch Division II St. Mary’s (Texas) ,70-51, in an exhibition game at the Don Haskins Center Sunday afternoon.
Junior Zuzanna Puc (15 points), senior Jordan Alexander (13 points) and junior Katarina Zec (10 points) all hit double figures in scoring while sophomore transfer Alexa Hoy (nine points) and sophomore Jordan Jenkins (eight points) also got things going offensively.
UTEP connected on 44.4 percent (24-54) of its shots from the floor, including banging home 8-17 (47.1 percent) from 3-point range. The visitors were held to a readout of 30.5 percent (18-59) from the field while also committing 18 turnovers. UTEP converted those giveaways into 18 points. It also had a significant advantage for points in the paint (32-14).
Kaitlin Walla (16 points) and Arysia Porter (10 points) paced the Rattlers.
“We are a lot better this week than we were last week. That was the goal,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “It was very noticeable that we were playing better basketball in a week’s time. I’m pleased with that. We rebounded the ball better in the second half. I’m pleased about that. If we keep getting better at this rate, then I think we got something going.”
Alexander snagged a squad-best six rebounds while Zec was credited with a team-leading four assists. Junior transfer Jade Rochelle came off the bench to score five points and secure five boards in 18 minutes of action. All 10 Miners who dressed garnered at least seven minutes of playing time.
UTEP won the rebounding battle,39-37, which was made possible by a 25-13 advantage on the glass in the second half.
The Orange and Blue scored the first eight points of the game to help fuel a 12-2 run over the opening four minutes of the contest. The Rattlers halted it with a 3-pointer from Walla to get within seven (12-5), but UTEP responded with a 10-3 surge to close out the first quarter up by 14 (22-8).
Puc finished a short jumper in the paint off a feed from Ariona Gill to extend the margin to 16 (24-8) early in the second frame. St. Mary’s battled back behind a 19-9 run to reduce the margin to six (33-27). A pair of Alexander free throws afforded the home side an eight-point cushion (35-27) heading into the locker room.
The differential was back to six (37-31) with 8:31 left in the third quarter before UTEP found another gear. The Orange and Blue ripped off a 12-2 run to vault out by 16 (49-33) midway through the frame. The visitors didn’t get closer than 10 the rest of the way out, with the Miner lead ballooning to 21 late in the contest.
UTEP will tip off its 45th season in program history when it plays host to Alcorn State at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Fans who purchase a ticket to the UTEP football team’s match-up vs. Middle Tennessee (1 p.m.) on Saturday may also use the ticket for admission into the contest against Alcorn State (7 p.m.) Otherwise tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and may be bought by calling (915) 747-5234.
The UTEP volleyball team (4-19, 1-10 C-USA) sweeps Charlotte (19-4, 10-0 C-USA) in five sets (25-21, 26-24, 25-15), on Sunday afternoon at Memorial Gym.
Macey Austin led the way for UTEP with a double-double (14 kills and 12 digs). Serena Patterson locked in nine kills and 13 digs, while Cheyenne Jones added nine kills and five total blocks.
In their final match of their careers in Memorial Gym seniors Maddie Morgan, Kylie Baumgartner and Ashley Grzebeniak produced winning performances. Morgan recorded seven kills and four total blocks and Baumgartner tallied four kills and two total blocks.
Grzebeniak had a crucial kill in the final stages of the deciding third set that secured the victory for the Miners. Setter Kristen Fritsche distributed 38 assists to her teammates and Briana Bustillos dug a team-high 17 balls.
The Miners came out firing on all cylinders in the first set, beginning with a 4-1 advantage, led by three kills from Austin and one from Baumgartner. The 49ers would respond tying up the set at 11-11.
An 8-2 run from Charlotte helped give it a 16-13 lead in the middle of the set. The Miners would immediately rectify the situation with a 6-0 run giving them a 19-16 cushion. UTEP would ride this momentum to a set victory, 25-21, behind Austin’s six kills and a blistering .455 hitting percentage.
In the second set, UTEP kept up the pace with a 9-4 lead that forced an early Charlotte timeout. The Miners were producing incredible offensive efficiency, registering a .323 hitting percentage that propelled them to an 18-11 advantage. The 49ers would rally cutting the UTEP edge to three, 21-18, which forced a timeout from the home squad.
Charlotte would maintain the pressure tying the set at 23-23. The Miners would hold off the Charlotte rally and take the set, 26-24, after a kill from Jones.
Once again, UTEP came out hot with a 6-2 run to begin the third set. The Miners would build on this to develop a 16-9 advantage that was highlighted by a block assist from Morgan and Jones. The Orange and Blue would never look back claiming the set, match and Senior Day, 25-15.
Kylie Baumgartner is now fifth all-time in total blocks (341)
First home victory and sweep of the season for the Miners
First home-sweep victory since Oct. 29, 2017, versus Middle Tennessee
The Miners will hit the road for the final two matches of the season against North Texas (12-15, 8-3 C-USA) on Thursday at 5 p.m. MT and UTSA (18-7, 10-3 C-USA) on Saturday at 11 p.m. MT.