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Home | Tag Archives: utep miners (page 102)

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Miners set to open 2016 Indoor Season at Lumberjack Team Challenge

The UTEP track and field team will kickoff the 2016 indoor campaign this Saturday at the Lumberjack Team Challenge in Flagstaff, Ariz., on the campus of Northern Arizona University.

35 athletes (20 women and 15 men) will make the trip for the Orange and Blue. This will be the first of five indoor meets before UTEP heads to Birmingham, Ala. (Feb 2425) for the conference championships.

2015 was a historic year for the women’s team, as it captured its first conference title in program history. The women’s team returns seven veteran point scorers from that team along with some talented newcomers.

Nickevea Wilson, the only indoor All American on the team, will start her final indoor season off in the triple jump. At last year’s conference meet, Wilson secured silver with a bound of 12.64m (41-5.75).

The duo of Ada Benjamin and Florence Uwakwe is one of the most lethal sprinter one-two punches in Conference USA. Benjamin (12 points) and Uwakwe (9 points) racked up 21 points for the Miners at last year’s conference meet. The duo will be running in the 400m dash at 11:35 a.m. (MT) alongside four other Miners (Brittney Adams, Imani Adams, Veronica Alvarez and Dreshanae Rolle).

Tyler Ragin and Israel Ramsay will both be pulling double duty by competing in the 60m dash (10:55 a.m.) and the long jump (9 a.m.). Yanique Bennett and Brittney Trought will make their debut for the Orange and Blue in the 200m dash (12:55 p.m.) alongside sophomore Alexis Roberts.

UTEP will send three throwers to Flagstaff: Samantha Hall will compete in the shot put and Adebola Akomolafe and Fayon Gonzales will participate in the weighted throw.

The triumvirate of Lilian Koech (800m run), Truphena Sum (mile) and Gladys Jerotich (3,000m/indoor debut) will hold down the distance events. Koech racked up 12 points at the Conference USA Championships last year as a freshman.

Rounding out the athletes for the women will be Bria Love and Lucia Mokrasova, both whom will be running the 60m hurdles. Mokrasova, a pentathlete, will also be competing in the long jump.

The men will have five scorers from last year’s third-place finishing conference team in action this weekend.

The duo of senior Daniel Tarango (fifth) and sophomore Esteban Montanez (sixth), both who scored at the 2015 Indoor Conference USA Championships in the 800m run, will compete in that event at 11:25 a.m.

Daniel Cheruiyot, Evans Kiprono and Antony Kosgei will be running the 3,000m run at 1:30 p.m. and freshman Jonah Koech will run the men’s mile 10:45 a.m.

The fivesome of Asa Guevara (debut), Carnell Horn, Carvellion Horn (debut), Tommy McCoy and Yinka Oyebanjo-Odofin will all compete in the 400m dash at 11:45 a.m.

Nicholas Colbert and Isak Washington will hold down the short sprints with the 60m dash at 11:05 a.m. and Sven Zellner will run the 60m hurdles at 12:05 p.m. Kevin Rincon will be the only thrower in action for the men; he will compete in the weighted throw.

Live results will be posted at For additional live updates of the meet, follow @UTEPTrack on Twitter.

Author: UTEP Athletics

Miners burn UAB Blazers 62-54; Improve to 13-1 overall, 4-0 in C-USA

Sparkle Taylor poured in 21 points off the bench and Cameasha Turner flirted with a triple-double (13 points, 11 rebounds and eight steals-tied 2nd most program history) to help lead the UTEP women’s basketball team to a thrilling 62-54 come-from-behind win in a nationally-televised contest (FOX Sports Regional Networks) against UAB at the Don Haskins Center Sunday evening.

Trailing 42-36 through three quarters, the Miners (13-1, 4-0 C-USA) found another gear to put together an incredible finish by outscoring UAB, 26-12, down the stretch. Defense was instrumental in the final period, with the Miners forcing nine turnovers that led to 12 points.

The sequence started with a big bang. The Miners ripped off a 16-3 run to grab a 51-45 lead (their first of the game) with 5:10 remaining in regulation. UAB regrouped long enough to get the deficit down to four (53-49) with 3:48 to play but the Orange and Blue blitzed the Blazers with seven straight points to put things out of reach.

“We played hard, this is a gutsy win against a very quality team,” UTEP head coach Keitha Adams said. “We just battled. The great thing is that we kept playing hard, and because we are playing hard we are having success.”

After shooting 28.5 percent (14-49) through three quarters, UTEP caught fire in the fourth. The Miners nailed 69 percent (9-13) of their shots in the final frame, in addition to going 8-10 at the charity stripe.

While the offense took some time to get things going, the defense was stellar throughout the entire tilt. UAB never scored more than 15 points in a quarter and finished at 35.1 percent (20-57) from the floor. The Blazers were harassed into 25 giveaways, including nine alone during the wild fourth quarters.

Jenzel Nash (14 points) buoyed the offensive efforts of Taylor and Turner while Tamara Seda posted seven points (one shy of career high). Turner led the charge on the glass with 11 boards for her first double-double this year. Nash pitched in six rebounds, including five alone at the defensive end.

The Miners’ bench outscored the Blazer back-ups, 32-18, thanks largely to the heroic efforts of Taylor.

Chelsee Black (16 points) and T’erra Lewis (14 poionts) led the charge for the Blazers on offense while Brittany Winborne and Deanna Kuzmanic each pitched in eight points. No one else on the squad had more than four.

UTEP will wrap up its three-game C-USA homestand against UTSA at 1:05 p.m. MST on Jan. 17. It will be the second straight nationally-televised tilt, with American Sports Network carrying the action.

Author: UTEP Athletics

Defense leads the way at home as Miners mop up Middle Tennessee 84-63

Fueled by big scoring nights from Jenzel Nash (career-high 26 points) and Cameasha Turner (season-high tying 20 points) and a tremendous team effort at the free-throw line and on defense, the UTEP women’s basketball team knocked off preseason Conference USA favorite Middle Tennessee, 84-73, at the Don Haskins Center Thursday evening.

The Miners (12-1, 3-0 C-USA) bolted out to a nine-point lead (25-16) after one quarter of play and never looked back on the way to picking up a wire-to-wire win against a talented Blue Raider (7-6, 1-1 C-USA) squad. The margin was 15 (40-25) at the break and MT was never able to get closer than five the rest of the way.

The Orange and Blue, who have received votes in four straight top-25 polls, are off to a 3-0 start in league play for the first time since 2012 and fourth occasion in program history. They shot a solid 41.0 percent (25-61) from the floor-while holding the visitors to 35.7 percent (20-56).

UTEP absolutely cashed in at the free-throw line. The 33 (out of 37) free throws made tied as the fifth most in program history. The Miners got after it on the glass (42-34), in addition to holding the Blue Raiders to 35.7 percent (20-56) from the floor.  Lawna Kennedy joined Nash and Turner in double figures with 10 points.

“I’m really proud of the team. We executed the game plan and hit our free throws as well. We worked hard studying Middle Tennessee and planning strategy. We put together a good scheme, the kids performed it. They followed the plan. Winning the boards was key; Middle Tennessee rebounds the ball so well.”

Lulu McKinney (nine points), Sparkle Taylor (seven points, seven rebounds) and Tamara Seda (three points, seven boards) made big contributions off the bench. Their efforts helped the Orange and Blue outscore the MT reserves, 21-16. UTEP got its fast-break game going (14-2) advantage and had a big cushion in points off turnovers (19-8) as well.

Turner, whose 20 points match her season high, was officially cooking. She nailed 6-9 from the floor while finishing 7-7 at the charity stripe. Middle Tennessee had no answer for Nash either. She drilled 8-17 shots and was 10-11 on her free-throw attempts.

Her biggest bucket of the night, an old-fashioned three-point play, came in crunch time. With Middle Tennessee in the midst of a 12-2 run to cut a 15-point Miner lead down to five (63-58, 5:54 4Q), Nash sliced through the defense for an acrobatic lay-up that sparked a game-closing 19-9 surge.

UTEP will not have long to rest on its laurels, as a quality UAB squad invades El Paso for a nationally-televised contest (Fox Sports) at 5 p.m. MST Sunday. Tickets for the game are only $5 for adults and $3 for kids and may be purchased by calling 915-747-5234.

Author: UTEP Athletics

Miners return to the ice, ask fans to ‘Orange Out’ the rink on Thursday

After a break for the holidays, the Miner hockey team resumes their inaugural season with key match ups against two in-state rival clubs.

The Miners are looking forward to their 2016 home opener on Thursday, January 7th as they take the Texas A&M Aggies.  The squad has already hit the ice for practice, and are asking fans to ‘orange out’ their home rink against the Aggies on Thursday. The Game is scheduled to start at 7:30.

After the Aggies, the Miners then welcome the University of Nuevo Leon January 22nd and 23rd; with Texas Tech will returning to El Paso for a two game series on February 5th and 6th.

Season ticket holders can pick up their A&M tickets at any time.  Please call 915-491-7879 for more info.

Author: UTEP Hockey


UTEP downs North Texas 84-75, sweep 1st two CUSA foes at home

Hooper Vint scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half and added 12 rebounds for his second career double-double as UTEP edged North Texas, 84-75, on Sunday afternoon at the Haskins Center.

The Miners (10-5, 2-0 C-USA) did what they had to do on the first weekend of Conference USA action – defend their home court.  UTEP is 2-0 in C-USA for the sixth time and has won its last 10 home games versus league opponents.

“We’re pleased to have gotten a win,” UTEP coach Tim Floyd said.  “Our guys got tested a couple of times at home.  We were in close gamesUNT vs UTEP-12 where we had to think and play, try to play with poise.”

After slipping past Rice by a point (61-60) on Friday, the Miners were once again involved in a game that went down to the wire.  In fact
, they trailed the Mean Green 71-70 with 4:05 remaining.  That was North Texas’ only lead of the game, and the Miners outscored the visitors 14-4 down the stretch to restore order.

“We held North Texas without a field goal the last four minutes and five seconds of the game and defensive boarded those misses that came off.  We put ourselves in position to get the right guys fouled and those guys made free throws for the most part,” Floyd said.

North Texas (6-9, 1-1 C-USA) finished just 16-for-32 at the stripe, undermining an efficient second half where it scored 44 points and shot 51.6 percent from the field.

The Miners led by 10 (41-31) at halftime.  North Texas made nine of its first 12 shots to start the second half and scored 22 points in a little over six minutes to get back in it.

After Deckie Johnson shot the Mean Green into the lead with a three-pointer, Lee Moore scored to put UTEP ahead for good.  Over the last 3:19 the Miners were 8-for-13 at the line and North Texas was 4-for-9.  Vint scored eight points during that stretch.

UNT vs UTEP-24Moore scored 15 points, Omega Harris 13 and Dominic Artis 11 for UTEP.  The Miners were beaten on the boards again (50-43), but they did close the gap in the final minutes behind Vint, Moore (eight rebounds) and Terry Winn (eight).

“We gave up too many second chance points again, although we did have a couple of nice rebounding efforts from Terry Winn and Hooper Vint,” Floyd said.  “I’m encouraged by that.”

The Miners limited North Texas’ Johnson and Ja’Michael Brown to eight and five points respectively.  Johnson was averaging a team-leading 14.6 ppg coming in and Brown scored 21 off the bench at UTSA on Friday.

The Mean Green’s J-Mychael Reese scored 17 points, but he shot 5-for-21 from the floor.  Jeremy Combs collected 20 points andUNT vs UTEP-19 19 rebounds to lead UNT.

“We knew he was the best rebounder in the league and he certainly played that way,” Floyd said.

The Miners shot 50 percent in the second half, 45.3 percent for the game.

“Overall I think we’ve just got to be pleased to get the win,” Floyd said.  “We got our offense going a little bit.  I thought we started moving it the last seven minutes.  I couldn’t believe how inefficient we were the first 12 minutes of the ball game.  We were at the rim over and over and over again.  Just little bunnies and we couldn’t make them.  We overhandled it a couple of times, 3-on-1 situations and turned it over.  It was frustrating and I felt like it was going to come back to get us.

“We knew that North Texas could come back because that’s what they did last week at UTSA [trailing 40-25 at halftime].  They are an explosive group and we wouldn’t want to see them in the conference tournament.”

Vint redeemed himself after having a rough night Friday.

“He struggled the first four minutes of the second half too [today],” Floyd said.  “He wasn’t as aggressive as he needs to be and I thought he got that way.  He caught it, he made better decisions on his kicks out of the post.”

UNT vs UTEP-22The Miners will hit the road to play two of C-USA’s top teams, Middle Tennessee and defending champ UAB, this week.  They’ll continue to seek out the winning rebounding formula.

“We focus on it every single day,” Floyd said.  “Coach Haskins had a saying about rebounding.  He said, ‘Recruit rebounders.’   Guys that have instincts, go chase it like a dog on a meat truck, they see the ball going on the board, they just go chase it down and go get it.  We’ve got to do a better job of that I would say, because we’re not chasing it.  We’re watching it.  We’re hoping the other guy gets it so I can run out and go to the offensive end.  We keep talking about it, keep blocking it out, keep working [on] having to rebound in practice.  That’s all you can do.”

The Middle Tennessee game will be televised on the American Sports Network Thursday at 5 p.m. MT.  CBS Sports Network has the UAB game on Saturday at noon MT.

Author: UTEP Athletics

Miners melt Mean Green 75-67, move to 2-0 in C-USA play

DENTON, Texas– UTEP shot 50 percent from the floor (28-56) while forcing 22 turnovers on the way to an exhilarating 75-67 road victory at North Texas late Sunday afternoon. The Miners (11-1, 2-0 C-USA) led for 31:11 of the action but that doesn’t accurately portray the effort required to down the Mean Green (6-6, 1-1 C-USA) and pick up their second win in three days.

Starr Breedlove set a career high for points (25) and rebounds (seven) while also grabbing four steals to give her a school-record-tying six straight contests with at least four thefts. She had plenty of support, though, with Lawna Kennedy coming off the bench to tally a career-high 13 points. Cameasha Turner (11 points), Jenzel Nash (11 points) and Sparkle Taylor (10 points) also hit double figures in scoring for the Orange and Blue.

There were three ties and eight lead changes, including three changes in the final five minutes of action. The momentum finally switched for good when the Miners deployed their patented full-court press. Trailing 61-60 with 2:43 to play, UTEP forced five turnovers down the stretch to help fuel a contest-closing 15-6 run.

Defense powered the surge, which started with six straight points to put UTEP up 66-61 with 2:16 left. UNT finally broke the press and two-and-a half minute scoreless drought with a lay-up from Kelsey Criner to trim the Miner lead to three (66-63), but it could get no closer.

Breedlove scored 11 points in the sequence for the Miners, who are off to a 2-0 start in C-USA for the fifth straight year.

“We went to a full-court press and that got us to be more aggressive and some steals and some easy baskets,” UTEP head coach Keitha Adams said. “The kids played hard. I’m really proud of how we played today. When our guards are playing great defense, it makes our team go. I’m really proud of our effort. It was a hard-fought game between two teams that really went at it. Our full-court press in the last four to five minutes was key. We executed better on offense and were more disciplined. North Texas has a good team. They made us earn it.”

Teadra Jones scored 19 points while Bria Frierson (13 points) and Candice Adams (12 points) also reached double figures in scoring to lead the way for the Mean Green. UNT shot a solid 45.3 percent (24-53) from the floor and outrebounded UTEP (35-32) but it was done in by the Miners’ pressure defense and depth.

UTEP’s reserves outscored the Mean Green back-ups, 16-6, while the Orange and Blue also had a 22-16 advantage in points off turnovers.

Both teams scored on their opening possessions before UTEP ripped off eight straight points to grab a 10-2 advantage at 7:21 of the first quarter. The battle-tested Mean Green squad, which boasts a road win over national powerhouse Oklahoma, fought back with five straight to make it 10-7. UTEP used its own 5-0 surge to help regain control, and its advantage was seven (21-14) through 10 minutes.

The Miners gradually extended their advantage to double figures (37-26, 2:40 second quarter) before UNT ripped off nine straight points to make it 37-35 with 33 seconds left. McKinney stopped the bleeding with a clutch jumper to make it a four-point game at the half (39-35)

The Mean Green unleashed an 11-2 run over the first five minutes of the third quarter to flip the script. UTEP stayed true to form, though, countering with a 14-5 surge to regain a four-point lead (55-51) heading to the fourth. It was back-and-forth in the final frame before the Miners finally took control for good.

UTEP will kick off a three-game homestand when it plays host to preseason C-USA favorite Middle Tennessee at 7:05 p.m. MST Thursday. The Miners will also lock up with UAB (5 p.m., Jan. 10) and UTSA (1 p.m., Jan. 17) during the stretch in the Sun City.

Additionally Coach Adams will have her third radio show of the year from 6-7 p.m. on Tuesday. It will be held at Mesa Street Bar and Grill (3800 North Mesa Street, Suite D1), with fans invited to join Coach Adams and host Steve Kaplowitz.

Author: UTEP Athletics

Dominic Artis’ game-winning layup lifts UTEP over Rice 61-60

Dominic Artis scored the game-winning layup with 12 seconds left, giving UTEP a 61-60 win over Rice in the Conference USA opener for both teams on Friday at the Don Haskins Center.

Artis’ bucket came 11 seconds after Marcus Evans gave the Owls (5-9, 0-1 C-USA) their only lead of the game, 60-59, on a jumper.  Evans, the national freshman scoring leader, posted 11 of his 13 points in the second half.

UTEP (9-5, 1-0 C-USA) won its C-USA opener for the ninth time in 11 years.

“We feel very fortunate with the win,” UTEP coach Tim Floyd said.  “They got the ball with the opportunity to beat us.  I thought they did a great job.  They really executed and played with great offensive and defensive discipline.  They pounded us on the glass.”

The Miners rode a 9-2 run to a 33-23 lead late in the first half.  UTEP was up 37-29 at the break after shooting 44.8 percent from the field and 45.5 percent (5-for-11) from three-point range.

UTEP scored the first five points of the second half and took its largest lead of 13 (42-29) on a layup by Terry Winn with 18:50remaining.  The Miners were up 47-35 a couple of minutes later, but things started to unravel when Hooper Vint picked up his third foul, followed by a technical, with 16:05 left.

“We had a technical that I thought affected the ball game,” Floyd said.  “I was really disappointed in the self-discipline of our guy who is a fifth year senior, getting a technical and he deserved it … we had to sit him for 12 minutes.  I thought he came back in and wasn’t right.  He turned it over.  He’s a better player than that, a much better player than that and should be setting the tone for our other guys in terms of how we’re going to go approach things both at home and on the road.”

The Miners scored two points in the next seven and a half minutes, allowing Rice to creep within five (49-44).  The Miners totaled 24 points in the second half, making 8-of-24 shots (33.3 percent) and 1-of-6 three pointers.

Lee Moore broke the dry spell with two free throws at the 8:25 mark.  But Rice hung around, drawing within two (59-57) on a three-pointer by Egor Koulechov with  2:44 to go.

Evans scored the next three points to put the Owls into the lead before Artis won it late.  Evans missed a jumper in the final seconds, Winn blocked Andrew Drone’s putback attempt and the Miners held on.

“The encouraging thing in the game was I thought Evans was limited and that was our deal,” Floyd said.  “We wanted to do a job on Evans, who is one of the premier freshmen in the United States.  I thought Dominic did a good job in that area and I thought the job that Lee Moore did on him in the first half was great.”

Evans (13 points, 4-for-11 FGs) and Koulechov (11 points, 3-for-12 FGs) were held to 24 points, nearly 15 below their combined season average.  Max Guercy and Bishop Mency both scored 11 points for Rice, and Drone had nine boards as the Owls won the rebounding battle 42-31.

“Mency made a couple of plays,” Floyd said.  “I thought Drone got his head up when Hooper was out of the game.  They were smart, they went to him, they kept pounding us inside and consequently they pounded us on the glass. “

Moore led four Miners in double figures with 15 points.  Artis and Winn scored 14 apiece and Omega Harris had 12.  Winn added eight rebounds and two blocks.

Rice at Utep-17
Dominic Artis

It wasn’t always pretty, but a needed home victory with North Texas coming to town on Sunday at 3 p.m.  The Mean Green rallied in the second half to win at UTSA, 70-66, on Friday.

“I feel like we’re 0-1 but we’re 1-0,” Floyd said.  “I recommended that young coach for a job a year ago because I want him out of our league.  I think he’s pretty good.  We fought the fight here today and if we weren’t at home, I don’t know that we could’ve gotten the win.”

Artis finished 5-for-11 from the field, including the game winner.

“It was a big basket, a really big basket,” Floyd said.  “We didn’t want to call a timeout.  We wanted to try to play out of flow because it seems to be where we’re at our best.  We didn’t want to give them an opportunity to change defenses.  They’re a multi defensive team.  They’ve got a trap package, they’ve got a zone package.  I didn’t want us to get on our heels with a timeout.  Those are things that we talk about.  We get in those situations late where we’re going to try to go get something at the rim, particularly given that there were 10 fouls on the opponent.”

Tickets for Sunday’s game, starting at $8, are available by calling 747-5234.

Author: UTEP Athletics

Miners steam Rice on the road 60-54

HOUSTON, Texas– Starr Breedlove (15 points), Jenzel Nash (12 points) and Sparkle Taylor (10 points) all reached double figures in scoring, and UTEP defended with a vigor in dispatching Rice, 60-54, on the road in the Conference USA opener for both squads Friday afternoon.

The Miners (10-1, 1-0 C-USA) have now won seven straight league lid lifters but the Owls (1-11, 0-1 C-USA) made them work for it. Trailing 37-36 after three quarters, UTEP stormed back down the stretch to pick up the win. The Miners opened up the final quarter on a 13-7 run on the way to outscoring the home side, 24-17, over the final 10 minutes. Included in the sequence were the first six points in the quarter to afford the visitors a lead they would not relinquish.

It was a defensive-minded contest, with both the Miners (21-60, 35.0%, 17 turnovers) and Owls (17-52, 32.7%, 17 turnovers) making offensive execution difficult with their pressure. But UTEP found some separation through its effort on the glass (44-35), in addition to holding a 16-6 advantage in points off turnovers and an 18-9 cushion for second-chance points.

The Miners also got a boost from the bench with 16 points, compared to seven from Rice’s reserves. Senior Lawna Kennedy led the way in that department with a season-high six points, including a perfect 4-4 at the charity stripe.

“It was an ugly win but we’re glad to get out of there with the win,” UTEP head coach Keitha Adams said. “Our defense turned it up, and got some key steals. Road wins are great wins, and we’ll take it and move forward. We know we have to play better. We had some careless turnovers and some other things to work on.”

Senior Agata Dobrowolska paced the squad with seven rebounds. She was particularly effective on the offensive end with four, including three in the final 2:07 of the game that led to some big points for the Orange and Blue. Turner (six), Tamara Seda (five) and McKinney (four) also got after it on the glass.

Breedlove was impactful on the contest, and not just with her scoring. She tormented Rice with her pressure defense, making a career-high tying five steals, which helped lead to some easy baskets for the Orange and Blue.

Maya Hawkins tallied a game-high 16 points to pace the Owls, but she needed 15 shots to do so. Wendy Knight pitched in 11 while Alyssa Lang netted nine. Rice did an outstanding job at the free-throw line by making 78.9% (15-19) but it wasn’t enough to compensate for its shortcomings in other areas.

UTEP bolted out to a 7-2 lead four minutes into the contest and continued to lead by that difference (9-4) with 3:23 to play in the opening period. The Owls regrouped nicely, clawing within one (12-11) through 10 minutes of action. UTEP pushed the advantage out to as many as eight in the second quarter before settling for a five-point (26-21) halftime advantage.

The Miners looked to be in good shape, leading 36-28 with 2:25 to go in the third quarter before Rice ripped off nine straight points to pull ahead through three quarters. UTEP regrouped nicely, though, on the way to notching the road victory.

The Miners can’t rest on their laurels, though, as they have a quick turnaround by playing at North Texas at 2 p.m. MST Sunday. Duke Keith will be on the call for the game for 600 ESPN El Paso, KROD-AM Radio.

Author: UTEP Athletics

Miners sink UT Rio Grande Valley 85-64

Dominic Artis scored a career-high 21 points on seven three-pointers, as UTEP closed out its non-conference schedule with an 85-64 waxing of UT Rio Grande Valley on Tuesday at the Don Haskins Center.

Artis added eight rebounds and eight assists as the Miners won for the second straight game to take an 8-5 mark into Conference USA play, which begins this weekend at the Haskins Center.

Artis became the seventh Miner to hit seven three-pointers in a game, joining Miguel Ayala, Randy Culpepper, Omar Duran, Antoine Gillespie, Mark Ingles and Jarvis Mullahon.  The seven threes were two shy of the school game record.

Hooper Vint collected his first career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Terry Winn contributed 17 points and seven boards in just 14 minutes of work.  Lee Moore posted solid all-around numbers with nine points, seven rebounds and nine assists.

Artis and Moore combined for 17 assists and only one turnover.

DSC_2945“I thought our guard play was very good tonight,” UTEP coach Tim Floyd said.  “It always looks better when the ball is going in the basket.  You look at Lee Moore and Dominic Artis’ assist-to-turnover ratio.  The ball is just moving so well right now and as a result, this team that I told people could shoot it and you all thought I was crazy early, looks like we can shoot it because we are getting really open looks.”

The Miners shot 46.5 percent from the field and 44.4 percent (8-for-18) from three-point range.  They assisted on 26 of their 33 field goals.

Artis continues to close in on posting what would be only the second triple-double in school history.

“He’s a good player,” Floyd said.  “We tend to forget that he and Lee both sat out a year ago and did not play.  It has taken him a little while and I think he’s playing with more confidence.  I think they are both in better condition.  I think that is helping them as well.  I was pleased with Dominic defensively tonight and doing what we ask him to do.  We have had our battles with all of these new guys on the perimeter.  But I do sense that he took a step forward tonight.”

The Miners had runs of 9-0, 8-0 and 6-0 in the first half on their way to a 43-35 advantage at the break.  UTEP trailed just three times in the first 20 minutes at 3-2, 6-3 and 27-25.  After the Vaqueros’ Dakota Slaughter drained a three pointer to put his team up by two, Artis made back-to-back three-pointers to spur an 18-8 surge to end the period.

The Miners pushed the lead out to 17 points (66-49) midway through the second half.  The Vaqueros (3-11) scored eight straight to cut it to nine before UTEP ended the game with a flurry.  The Miners scored 17 points in the final four minutes.

Shaquille Hines scored 15 points for UTRGV, which made 6-of-14 three pointers in the first half but just 1-of-11 in the final 20 minutes.

“The group we played against really shot it well tonight,” Floyd said.  “I think their percentage dropped dramatically in the second half fromFullSizeRender (5) the three-point line, but they just wore it out in the first half.  Our guys did a nice job of extending to their shooters in the second half, extending our pressure a little bit, and that helped us.”

The Miners received their third double-double of the season from Vint, who was playing with a heavy heart.

“I thought Hooper had a nice game,” Floyd said.  “He had a tough loss, [he] lost a very, very close personal friend, one of his two or three best friends in the world, yesterday morning in that boating accident in Oklahoma that you read about on the front page of USA Today on a duck hunting trip.  This kid was in the home visit when we recruited Hooper, he came out here and visited him a couple of times since he has been out here in El Paso.  So he’s playing in a different place right now emotionally and mentally and I thought he handled it very well.”

UTEP outrebounded UTRGV 54-36 (22 offensive rebounds) and scored 47 points in the paint and 28 off turnovers.

The Miners will open Conference USA play at home on Friday at 7 against Rice.  The game will feature a special halftime performance by the Russian Bar Trio.  RB3 has appeared on America’s Got Talent Season 3, The Oprah Show and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Tickets are available by calling 747-5234.​

Author:  UTEP Athletics

Aggies sweep Miners in 20-point win at the Don

On a night that would see one team win their first game in the past four attempts; the rivalry that is the Battle of I-10 added another page to the chapter, one UTEP would prefer to forget, falling to NM State 73 to 53 at the Don Haskins Center.

The Aggies jumped to 14-0 lead before the Miners made their first shot after going 0 for 7 from the field.

“We got ourselves in a hell of a hole by turning the ball over four straight times, I like the way we tried to fight back. We played some box, it helped us get back in it,” UTEP head coach, Tim Floyd said. “We got some spirited play from Omega Harris off the bench.”

The Aggies would maintain a double-digit lead for the majority of the first half, until the Miners went on a 16-5 run and take their first leadNMSU at UTEP-24 of the game, 31-29, with 57 seconds left in the half off a three-point shot from Harris.

It was Harris’ first game of the season making a positive contribution off the bench, scoring 23 of the team’s 39 bench points.

UTEP head coach, Tim Floyd said Harris will eventually be a starter, but it was the lone bright spot on the night.

Lee Moore and Terry Winn struggled to find any rhythm throughout the game shooting a combined 3 of 20 from the field for seven points.

Floyd was asked if Moore’s play would hinder his status as a starter going forward, ‘playing his way out’ of the lineup.

NMSU at UTEP-4“We’re learning something about our guys every night out. You’re asking me what I think. Do I think this guy can play his way out?” Floyd said. “I don’t know, I don’t know who this guy is right now, we’re going to find out. This is where you suck them up, you play hard, you play with confidence…if you miss a few shots, get in the gym and spend an extra hour in the gym shooting. That’s all I know to do.”

UTEP led the Aggies 17 to 14 in rebounding in the first half, but ended the night losing the battle 38 to 27; getting out-muscled on the defensive end.

“My entire career we’ve been able to take a really good player out of the game on the perimeter, we have not been able to do that since we played (Gian) Clavell from Colorado State,” Floyd said. “We’re going to have to get back to it, if it truly is important then we’re going to have to get back to finding somebody, not necessarily changing what we’re doing, but finding somebody that can that’s on our roster, come in and do that. Our guys are simply not making enough shots offensively.”

The Aggies would regain the lead by one before the half, but the Miners managed to erase the 14-0 lead their rival had to begin the game.

UTEP’s bench play was vital in the surging comeback, outscoring NMSU’s bench 28-1 in the first half. But the comeback win would never happen as the Aggies kept pulling away as the second had winded down.

“This is basketball, it’s a game of runs. We knew they were going to go on a run. They went on a pretty good one and cut it to one,” AggiesNMSU at UTEP-45 guard, Ian Baker said. “At half time, he (coach Mavin Menzies) just told us to keep doing what we’re doing and they’ll break eventually.”

What was once a one-point lead turned into a 20-point advantage for the Aggies downing the Miners 73-53 and ending their three-game losing streak while the Miners lose their fourth-consecutive game.

Baker led all scorers with 26 points going six of seven from behind the three-point line.

“Honestly the thing that had me going was my mother came in from D.C. She was at the game tonight. I just wanted to give her something to remember while she was there, that was kind of in the back of my mind the whole game,” Baker said. “At the same time, I wanted to get the second win against UTEP, I want to at least split with our rivalry game.”

Both programs entered the night with three-game losing streaks: NMSU’s last win was against the Miners on Dec. 2 which also was UTEP’s first loss of the season after beginning the season with six consecutive victories.

The win for the Aggies is also their first non-conference road win since Dec. 17 2013. NMSU improves to 6-5 while dropping the Miners to 6-4.

UTEP has a quick turnaround as they host the Sun Bowl invitational and take on Norfolk State on Monday, while the Aggies also have two days to prepare for Oral Roberts.

UTEP knocks off UNLV 60-52; Miners now 9-1

LONG BEACH, Calif.  – Sparkle Taylor came off the bench to pour in a season-high 19 points, and UTEP gave UNLV fits with its defense in 60-52 victory to close out play at the 2015 Long Beach Classic Saturday evening.

The Miners (9-1) won the rebounding battle (46-41), held the Lady Rebels (7-3) to 31.7 percent (19-60) from the floor and forced 21 turnovers to pick up an impressive victory less than 24 hours after sustaining their first setback of the season.

“It was a great bounce-back win,” UTEP head coach Keitha Adams said. “This was a great team victory, and the bench did an outstanding job. I’m very proud of the team.”

Lulu McKinney contributed 12 points from the pine to join Taylor in double figures while Tamara Seda equaled her career high (eight points) in her second career start. Cameasha Turner pitched in five points while pulling down eight boards to pace the Miners in that department. Jenzel Nash flirted with a double-double (seven points, seven boards). Taylor also got after it on the glass with six while freshman Najala Howell pitched in five points and five boards (career high) in 19 minutes of action.

UTEP’s benched outscored the Lady Rebels, 39-3.

UNLV jumped out to an early 9-4 advantage (6:08 1Q) before the Orange and Blue took over. They peeled off 12 consecutive points to grab a 16-9 advantage through 10 minutes of action. Turner got things going by draining a long triple, which was followed by a trey from McKinney. Howell then sunk a pair of free throws, which was followed by consecutive lay-ups by McKinney and Howell.

The Lady Rebels halted the sequence with a lay-up on their first possession of the second quarter before the Miners ripped off eight straight points to grab a 13-point (24-11) lead with 3:40 to play. The advantage was 12 (28-16) at the break.

The Miners played one of their best quarters of the season to start the second half. UTEP nailed 61.5 percent (8-13) of its shots in the period-while holding the Lady Rebels to 18.8 percent (3-16). The result was a 20-10 difference in the stanza, giving the Miners a seemingly insurmountable 48-26 lead heading to the start of the fourth quarter.

The difference remained 22 (60-38) with 5:04 to play in the contest. Undeterred the Lady Rebels dug deep and played their finest basketball of the evening. They scored 14 consecutive points to make UTEP sweat a bit down the stretch, but it proved to be too little too late.

The Miners will now take a break for Christmas before returning to action at home in the non-conference finale against Eastern New Mexico at 7 p.m. MST on Dec. 28.

Author: UTEP Athletics

Three Miners Earn Phil Steele’s All-Conference Honors

Cleveland, Ohio – Alvin Jones, Will Hernandez and Jay Mattox were named to the Phil Steele’s 2015 Postseason All-Conference USA third team on Thursday.

Leading the way for the Miners defense this season is El Paso native Jones. The sophomore guided the team in tackles (93), solo stops (48), sacks (6.5), tackles for loss (14.5) and two safeties. The linebacker is tied for first in the league in tackles for loss and rates sixth in sacks.

The El Paso native recorded a three-sack performance against UTSA tying second most in a single game in C-USA. Jones tallied a career-high 5.0 tackles for loss at NMSU which is the second-most during a single contest in C-USA.

On offense, Hernandez paved the way for the offensive unit that only allowed 12 sacks in 12 games. The line concluded the season ranked first in the league and is seventh nationally in fewest sacks allowed. The unit didn’t surrender any sacks in four contests versus LA Tech, Southern Miss, Rice, and Incarnate Word.

On special teams, Mattox was 15-for-19 on field goal conversions and rates third in the league in field goal percentage (78.9). The kicker led the Miners in points with 68 and was 23-24 in extra attempts. The junior also averaged 63.9 on kickoffs with 31 touchbacks this season. Mattox hit a career-long 50-yard field goal against UIW which tied for the third longest in C-USA.

He ranks third in program history with 203 kicking points and second in PATs with 98.

All three Miners will return next season.

Author: UTEP Athletics

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