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Home | Tag Archives: utep miners (page 3)

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Gallery+Story: Late run lifts LA Tech over UTEP 64-61

Bryson Williams scored a game-high 17 points and Souley Boum scored 11 of his 12 points in the second half, but LA Tech (12-4, 3-1 Conference USA) used a 10-0 run down the stretch to hand UTEP (10-7, 1-3 C-USA) its first home loss, 64-61, on Saturday night in the Haskins Center.

“It was a really good game tonight, but obviously we don’t like the outcome of the game – being on the wrong side of it,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “It was another close ball game where we have to execute on both ends of the floor. We have to be able to get stops and we have to be able to come down and execute on the other end as well.”

The Miners rallied after being down 10 points early in the second half. Jordan Lathon made a pair of free throws to put the Miners up 61-54 with 3:19 left in the game, bringing crowd of 5,731 to its feet and into an uproar.

Derric Jean started the Bulldogs’ run on a driving layup. Following a missed Boum three-point attempt, Mubarak Muhammed made the count 61-58 on another LA Tech layup.

Cobe Williams connected on a pair of three throws with 1:38 left in the game, getting the Bulldogs within a point (61-60). Jean connected on another layup for the go-ahead basket (62-61) after a turnover by Eric Vila with 24 seconds remaining. Lathon tallied another UTEP crucial turnover with 15 seconds remaining and Amorie Archibald hit both his free throws after being fouled in the closing seconds.

UTEP had a chance to tie the contest as Williams missed a three-point attempt. Vila grabbed the offensive board for another chance to tie, but turned the ball over again after Williams snagged the ball to seal the victory.

LA Tech controlled the first half, shooting 43.3 percent to UTEP’s 36.4. The Bulldogs took a 34-28 lead into the locker and built that lead to 10 points (38-28) at the 19:13 mark in the second period.

“I thought in the first half, we gave away the ball too much,” Terry said. “We had 11 turnovers at the half and they were scoring and converting off our turnovers. It’s really hard to defend that. We have to do a better job at protecting the ball, continuing the keep working and keep plugging away.”

Despite the double-digit deficit, the Miners kept fighting on their home floor as Daryl Edwards gave some spark to the offense after nailing a three-pointer. Though DaQuan Bracey answered with a jumper to make it a nine-point game (40-31), Vila connected on his second three of the game, bringing the Miners within six points (40-34).

Vila’s trey was big as it started a 17-1 run. Edwards hit another three and Williams followed with a bucket in the paint, making the score 40-39.

“That run was all predicated on how hard we guarding and we were getting stops,” Terry said. “Then we were able to get out and play in transition.”

Boum gave the Miners a 42-41 lead on a three-point bucket, while Williams went on to score the next five points that included an and-1 play. Boum capped the run with a made free throw as the Miners took a 48-41 lead at the 10:59 mark.

After Williams was called for stepping out of bounds on baseline, a technical was called on Terry and LA Tech went on a 6-0 run, making the score 48-47. The two squads went back-and-forth as the two were tied 50-50 with 7:17 remaining. UTEP used an 11-4 to take the seven-point advantage before the Bulldogs locked down and shutdown the Miners’ offense the rest of the way.

Williams added five rebounds, a UTEP career-high three blocked shots and two steals, while Lathon led the team with nine rebounds. Edwards chipped in with nine points and led the team with three assists. Vila added six points on a pair of treys and grabbed seven boards.

Archibald led La Tech with 14 points, while Jean scored 13 and Bracey 12 points. Muhammed recorded 13 rebounds and eight points.

The Bulldogs took advantage of 17 Miners’ miscues that led to 24 points off turnovers.

UTEP continued its clutch free-throw shooting, making 20-of-23 (87 percent) on the night.

Up next, UTEP will host UTSA (8-9, 2-1 C-USA) on Wednesday, Jan. 15. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. in the Haskins Center. The contest will be streamed on ESPN+, while fans can listen to the action on 600 ESPN El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher and Steve Yellen calling the action.

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

UTEP dealt first league loss In high-scoring sffair st LA Tech 87-80

RUSTON, La. – ​UTEP shot 47.9 percent (23-48) from the floor and nailed a season-high 10 triples, but it sustained its first Conference USA loss of the year in an 87-80 setback at LA Tech Saturday afternoon.

“If you’re going to beat them here, you’ve got to do something special.” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “We were unable to get it done today, but I like the way we played. I was really impressed with the things we did out there. Our problem was in the first quarter we just kept turning it over. They hit shots when they needed to hit shots. I think we brought the best out of LA Tech tonight.”

The Miners (10-5, 3-1 C-USA) were hurt by committing 28 turnovers and allowing the Lady Techsters (9-5, 1-2 C-USA) to drill 53.8 percent (28-52) from the floor, including 50.0 percent (11-22) from 3-point range.

Freshman Katia Gallegos flirted with a double-double (15 points, seven assists) to pace a trio of players in double figures. Katarina Zec (13 points) and Ariana Taylor (11 points) buoyed her, while Sabine Lipe (nine points, three assists) and Jade Rochelle (eight points, two assists) led the efforts off the pine.

It was a seesaw battle with 11 ties and 14 lead changes. The game was knotted at 71 with 9:34 to play before LA Tech took control with an 8-0 surge. The Miners battled back, trimming the margin to three (81-78) after a Zec free throw with 3:19 remaining.

That was as close as they would get, with the Lady Techsters staving off every remaining push from the Orange and Blue to improve to 8-2 on the year at home.

LA Tech was led by Keiunna Walker’s double-double (28 points, 10 rebounds). Three other Lady Techsters also reached double digits in scoring, in the form of Grayson Bright (14 points), Raizel Guinto (13 points) and Amber Dixon (12 points).

UTEP jumped out to an 9-4 lead, including a mini 5-0 run by Zec, two minutes into the contest. LA Tech responded with 10 straight points and eventually led the Miners by six (21-15) with 46 seconds to play in the opening quarter. UTEP struck back with consecutive triples by Gallegos and Taylor, respectively, to pull even at 21 through 10 minutes of action.

The home side went back ahead midway through the second frame, with UTEP trailing by four (34-30). Once again, the Orange and Blue had an answer. This time it was with five straight points to regain an advantage at 35-34 with 1:31 left in the first half. It was back-and-forth the final 91 seconds of quarter, and UTEP entered the locker room armed with a two-point edge (38-36).

It was a high-scoring third quarter, with the two teams combining for 62 points in the frame. UTEP’s 30 points in the frame marked its highest scoring road quarter in program history. Overall it tied as the fifth-most points the Orange and Blue have ever tallied in a quarter.

After each team got a triple at the onset of the fourth quarter, LA Tech went on the aforementioned 8-0 that ultimately doomed the Orange and Blue.

UTEP will be idle for a week before it starts a three-game homestand when it plays host to UTSA at 1 p.m. on Jan. 18. Tickets are $5 for kids and $3 for adults, and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.

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 click here to visit the official home of UTEP Athletics

UTEP to battle LA Tech in the Haskins Center Saturday Night

UTEP men’s hoops will continue its home stand when it hosts LA Tech in Conference USA action on Saturday, January 11. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. in the Haskins Center.

“They’re coming off a loss [at UTSA] and we know we’ll get a team coming in here ready to play and we’ll get their best game,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We’ll have to execute, we’ll have to play hard and take pride in getting stops against a team that prides itself on shooting the ball. We’ll have to keep them off the glass as they rebound really well and they’re well-coached, they’re a good team.”

The Miners (10-6, 1-2 C-USA) are coming off a 76-64 victory over Southern Miss on January 9, where UTEP connected on a 34-of-37 free throws led by Souley Boum’s 14-for-14 effort.

Boum scored a game-high 26 points, including 19 during the second half. Bryson Williams added 20 points, while he was also perfect (10-10) from the charity stripe. Its 34 free throws made were the most for UTEP in a conference game since Jan. 31, 2009 versus Southern Miss (35).

The Bulldogs (11-4, 2-1 C-USA) are coming off an 89-73 loss at UTSA as the Roadrunners’ Jhivvan Jackson went off for 37 points. UTSA also hit a program-record 18 three-pointers. Kalob Ledoux and DaQuan Bracey each led LA Tech with 12 points, while Derric Jean chipped in with 11 points and led the way with seven boards.

The Bulldogs’ are one of the top defending teams in C-USA as they rank second in scoring defense (61.6) and first in field goal percentage defense (38.3). LA Tech ranks third in steals per game (8.7) and ranks first in scoring margin (16.3).

Saturday’s game will also feature “Youth Day”. Youth basketball teams of 15+ receive group ticket prices starting at $13. There will be a free pregame clinic for kids 12 and under.

To sign up email – paydirtpete@utep.edu. There will also be a free postgame autograph session with the team exclusively for all clinic participants. Call (915) 747-6065 to get group tickets.

Fans can also 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 contest 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.

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

UTEP looks to stay hot at LA Tech Saturday

The UTEP women’s basketball team (10-4, 3-0 C-USA) will look to sweep its opening road trip of league play when it squares off at LA Tech (8-5, 0-2 C-USA) at 1 p.m. MT/2 p.m. CT Saturday.

“They are well coached and do a lot of things well. They’re tough to guard in transition. They are a very dangerous team. They’re certainly a good enough team to make some noise in the conference and beat some people. We’ll have our hands full Saturday afternoon no matter what,” head coach Kevin Baker said.

The Miners are tied atop the league standings with defending regular season and tournament champion Rice at 3-0, with all three of their wins coming by double digits. Most recently UTEP tied the school record for most points in a conference road contest in the 89-72 victory at Southern Miss on Jan. 9.

The Lady Techsters have dropped consecutive games to begin league action, including an 82-73 setback against UTSA on Jan. 9. LA Tech is 7-2 at home, and the Miners are 2-1 on the road.

LA Tech leads the series, 13-6, but the Miners are 6-4 since the Lady Techsters joined Conference USA in 2013-14. LA Tech has a 6-1 advantage in Ruston, with UTEP’s lone road win in the series coming during the 2015-16 season. LA Tech has won back-to-back contests in the series, including toppling the Orange and Blue, 74-64, in El Paso last year.

The Lady Techsters won the first nine meetings between the schools, when both were members of the Western Athletic Conference. 

Eight of UTEP’s victories have been by double figures, including five 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, which tied as the 10th-biggest margin of victory in program history.

They’ve also taken down Florida Atlantic by 31, FIU by 30, Western Michigan by 30 and NM State by 20. Overall UTEP’s scoring margin (+12.6) ranks second in C-USA and 47th in the nation.

The game will be streamed on CUSA.TV (subscription based) and also through the 600 ESPN El Paso website with Brandon Cohn on the call.

UTEP soars to 89-72 road win At Southern Miss

HATTIESBURG, Ms. – ​Fueled by the highest scoring first half on the road in program history, UTEP surged to an 89-72 win at Southern Miss Thursday evening.

The Miners’ (10-4, 3-0 C-USA) 89 points tie as the most in league road contest in school history. They also did so in an 89-74 win at UCF on Feb. 24, 2008.

UTEP piled up 51 points to lead the Lady Eagles (9-4, 1-1 C-USA) by 20 at the break on the way to their third victory in as many league games. It marked just the second home loss of the campaign for USM, which slipped to 8-2 inside Reed Green Coliseum this year.

Freshman Katia Gallegos set career highs in scoring (23) and assists (eight) to lead the way. She was joined in double figures by fellow starters Katarina Zec (21 points), Ariana Taylor (14 points) and Ariona Gill (13 points). Avery Crouse pitched in six points and four assists. All five starters logged at least 30 minutes of action.

UTEP drilled 52.5 percent (32-61) from the floor, the fourth-highest percentage in a road conference contest in program annals. Furthermore, the Miners have scored at least 89 points in consecutive league games for the first time in program history. They piled up 96 points in the home win against Florida Atlantic (1/4/20) before erupting for 89 points against USM Thursday.

“We played extraordinarily well in the first half,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “That’s about as good as we’ve played all year and we needed that to win here at Southern Miss. I’m proud of the team. This team is playing really, really well right now, and I hope everybody jumps on board. These are a special group of kids. To come in on a road game and play as well as this, that says a lot.”

The Orange and Blue forced 16 turnovers that were converted into 28 points. UTEP also controlled the boards (39-28), with Taylor’s career-high nine rebounds setting the tone in the area.

UTEP raced out to a 17-8 lead just four minutes into the contest. Six different Miners scored during the surge, which was capped by a transition triple from Arina Khlopkova off a feed from Gallegos. USM fought back, trimming the Miner advantage to three (23-20) through 10 minutes of action.

A jumper from Gill followed by a triple by Gallegos powered a mini 5-0 push to start the second quarter, prompting a timeout by the home side. The difference was 11 (42-31) with 2:49 left in the stanza before UTEP ripped off nine straight points to close the stanza in style. UTEP’s 28 points in the second quarter marked its highest scoring frame on the road at the school.

The Miners extended their lead to as many as 27 (72-45) late in the third quarter, but the home side started to rally.

USM fought back to whittle the differential to within eight (82-70) with four minutes to play, but Gallegos wouldn’t let it get any closer. She hit six straight free throws before drilling a triple for good measure to help UTEP close out the contest on a 9-2 surge to win by 17.

UTEP will look to make it a sweep on its first league road trip of the year when it plays at LA Tech at 1 p.m. MT/2 p.m. CT Saturday.

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 click here to visit the official home of UTEP Athletics.

UTEP Softball Focusing on Trust, Communication in First Practice

The Miners reported for the first day of the spring semester on Thursday morning, with head coach T.J. Hubbard orchestrating his first practice in the Orange and Blue.

Coach Hubbard was hired as the third head coach in UTEP softball history last month on December 11. Today was his first opportunity to get on the diamond with his squad, and both him and the team were ecstatic to take the field.

“Today, the excitement and enthusiasm was great in our first session back,” Hubbard said. “I had a chance to meet the girls this morning, and have some brief introductions. The excitement and buzz on the field was awesome. The team is ready to get after it and I am excited to be here.”

Senior first baseman Bryanna Molina shared in the excitement, and was ready to begin with a clean slate in her final season for UTEP.

“It is awesome to be back,” Molina stated. “I think all of us during the break were texting each other and saying how bored we were, and how we wanted to get back out on the field. We couldn’t wait to start fresh. Since we have a new coach there is a fresh and new feel to the game. We are excited to be back.”

With a new coach comes a new system. Both Hubbard and the players are making this transition into new practice styles, terminology and routines. This comes with its fair share of adversity, but Molina knows this is nothing herself and the team can’t handle.

“It’s different but it is something that we can handle and get through,” Molina said. “We have to learn him and the way he coaches. He also has to learn the way we play. This is what practice is for though. We are ready to learn new things and get ready for the first game. We want to take it slow and take it step-by-step. We will get through it together.”

Coach Hubbard is singularly focused on pouring the foundation for the relationships he will have with his new team. As the Miners approach their first game less than a month away, Hubbard is emphasizing communication, relationships and trust building above all else.

“Some of the biggest points for me from a coaching perspective will be to really emphasize communication,” Hubbard said. “We are just getting to know each other, and obviously we are in a new place. We are trying to make the environment as comfortable, yet challenging, as possible so that they are prepared to play come February 7. The main focus is relationships, communication and being able to trust one another. Those are the three key points I am trying to focus on right now.”

The team is learning one another day-by-day, but will lean on the game they love to help bridge any gap that arises over the next month. The new era of UTEP softball is here, and the 2020 team is up to the task.

For complete coverage of UTEP Softball, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @utepsoftball (Instagram) and @UTEPSoftball (Twitter) or click here to visit the official home of UTEP Athletics.

UTEP reveals 2020 Football Schedule

A home opener versus Texas Tech and the Battle of I-10 returning to El Paso are just two of the marquee matchups that highlight the 2020 UTEP football schedule, which was announced on Wednesday.

“We’re excited about entering our third season and putting a team on the field that more closely reflects the style of play that we want to see,” head coach Dana Dimel said. “We’ll have a new quarterback in 2020, which is also exciting. We have a great home schedule this fall. We can’t wait to show off our new-look Sun Bowl Stadium in September with games versus Texas Tech from the Big 12 Conference and our long-time rival NM State. We have another state rival, North Texas, coming to El Paso as well as the defending Conference USA West Division champion UAB.”

The Miners will kick off the 2020 season by hosting the Red Raiders of Texas Tech on Saturday, Sept. 5 at the Sun Bowl in El Paso. Following the season opener, UTEP will hit the road for back-to-back non-conference contests at Nevada (Sept. 12) and Texas (Sept. 19).

“We play at Nevada and Texas in September,” Dimel said. “Those are games that our fans may want to travel to. We also play at UTSA and Rice, so there will be multiple opportunities for our fans to hit the road with us and cheer on their Miners.”

On Sept. 26, the Miners return home to face off against NM State for the 98th meeting in the Battle of I-10. UTEP leads the all-time series 57-38-2 over the Aggies.

The 14-team Conference USA alignment for the 2020 campaign will again feature each team playing eight conference games, along with four non-league contests.  A total of 168 games are featured over 13 regular season playing weeks.

Each Conference USA school will play every team in its division once for six games, while playing two cross-over opponents from the opposite division.  Each team will reverse the location of its 2019 division and cross-division opponents, with intra-division foes finishing a two-year cycle.  The conference is in the fourth year of a rotation between cross-division opponents that will rotate every two years until 2024, when each school has played every opponent in the opposite division once home and away.

After wrapping up non-conference play in the month of September, UTEP will enjoy an open date before jumping head first into Conference USA action at Louisiana Tech on Oct. 10. The road contest versus the Bulldogs will mark the first of eight straight league contests for the Miners.

“The structure of the schedule is good,” Dimel said. “I think it works out well with the bye week coming right after the NM State game. That’s always a huge, emotional game for us and the bye week will allow us to get refocused and geared up for the start of conference play.”

UTEP will host C-USA West Division foe Southern Miss at the Sun Bowl on Oct. 17 before crossing over to the East Division for a road contest at Charlotte (Oct. 24) the following week.

Beginning on Halloween, the Miners will play the five remaining regular season games in the state of Texas, beginning with a pair of home contests versus North Texas (Oct. 31) and FIU (Nov. 7).

Dimel and Co. will then travel to UTSA on Nov. 14 before returning to El Paso for the final home game of the season on Nov. 21 versus UAB.

The 2020 regular-season finale is slated for Nov. 28 when the Miners travel to Houston to face the Rice Owls.

Overall, nine of UTEP’s 12 games next season will be played in the state of Texas.

It is important to note that all games are subject to date changes and some dates are expected to move in the coming weeks in order to accommodate national television.  A schedule of televised games will be released at a later date.

Conference USA’s 16th annual Championship Game, pitting the champions of the East and West Divisions, is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 5.

UTEP season ticket information will be released later this spring.

For complete coverage of UTEP Football, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPFB (Twitter/Instagram) or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at UTEPMiners.com.

2020 UTEP FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Sept. 5             TEXAS TECH

Sept. 12           at Nevada

Sept. 19           at Texas

Sept. 26           NM STATE

Oct. 3               BYE

Oct. 10             at Louisiana Tech*

Oct. 17            SOUTHERN MISS*

Oct. 24             at Charlotte*

Oct. 31            NORTH TEXAS*

Nov. 7             FIU*

Nov. 14            at UTSA*

Nov. 21           UAB*

Nov. 28            at Rice*

Home games in BOLD

*Conference USA game

Miners return to the Haskins Center to face Southern Miss Thursday night

The UTEP men’s basketball teamwill make their return to their home court when they host Southern Miss on Thursday, January 9. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

UTEP (9-6, 0-2 Conference USA) and Southern Miss (4-11, 0-2 C-USA) are off to winless starts in league action. The Miners came up short, losing at FIU, 69-67, and at Florida Atlantic, 59-56. The Golden Eagles lost a pair to LA Tech, 80-49, in Hattiesburg and 78-50 in Ruston, La.

The Miners are 8-0 in El Paso this season, while Southern Miss is 0-8 (0-5 on the road) away from Hattiesburg. UTEP has started the season 8-0 at home for the first time since the 2003-04 season.

The last time a Miner team started its home season with more than eight straight wins was in 1988-89 when they went undefeated (18-0) in the Haskins Center.

Second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry, who was admitted to a Miami area hospital on Jan. 1, will make his return to the bench for the Miners after missing two games.

“I’m excited about being here. I’m excited about getting a chance to be back with our team, and getting our team up and going,” Terry said. “Our team is excited about continuing to compete.”

Even though one road team was victorious (North Texas at Marshall on Jan. 4) to open C-USA play this past weekend, Terry thinks home court advantage in league play isn’t necessarily an advantage.

“Being at home is not enough. I think in our league, on any given night, if you’re not ready to play anybody can beat anybody,” Terry said. “We know being at home isn’t enough and we have to outcompete teams for 40 minutes.”

But with UTEP coming off narrow losses on the road, the Miners can gain the home advantage by working on details.

“We need to get better in practice every day and challenge each other the get better in practice every day,” Terry said. “But there is a lot of basketball to be played and we have to do that every 40 minutes by 40 minutes. We need to take care of the ball and clean some things up. We need to fix our rebounding and work harder for those.”

Jordan Lathon will also make his return to the program after announcing his return to the program Jan. 6. The sophomore guard missed time due to a family matter. Lathon leads the Miners with 37 assists in 13 games started.

Bryson Williams leads UTEP in points per game (18.4) and rebounds per game (6.7) and recorded his third double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) at Florida Atlantic on Jan. 4. Kaden Archie, who made his first collegiate start at FAU, is averaging 8.3 points per game and has 10 rebounds during his last four games. Archie shot 3-of-5 from the field, including a three and went 2-for-2 from the line, scoring nine points versus the Owls.

Southern Miss got off to a slow start this season under first-year head coach Jay Ladner. The Golden Eagles finished 4-9 in nonconference play as they have faced to tough competition in Gonzaga, Seton Hall, Alabama, Iowa State and Texas Tech. Gabe Watson is USM’s leading scorer (13.1 ppg), while Tyler Stevenson (11.9 ppg), Boban Jacdonmi (10.8 ppg) and LaDavius Draine (10.7 ppg) each average double-figures. Jacdonmi paces the squad at 5.7 rebounds per game, while Jay Malone has a team-high 62 assists (4.1 apg).

UTEP owns a 16-14 edge in the series. Southern Miss defeated the Miners, 77-47, in Hattiesburg on Feb. 16, 2019 during the lone meeting last season. The Golden Eagles have won 10 of the last 15 matchups and nine of the last 13.

The two programs last met in the Haskins Center on Feb. 24, 2018 with the Miners cruising past the Golden Eagles, 73-44. UTEP is 12-2 versus Southern Miss in El Paso, including 9-1 since joining Conference USA.

Overall the Miners are 13-12 against the Golden Eagles since becoming a member of C-USA. The Miners and Golden Eagles first met on Dec. 29, 1950 in the Sun Carnival Classic.

Fans can also 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 contest 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.

UTEP opens road portion of C-USA slate at Southern Miss Thursday

The UTEP women’s basketball team (9-4, 2-0 C-USA) will face its first road test of conference play when it squares off at Southern Miss (9-3, 1-0 C-USA) at 5 p.m. MT Thursday.

The game is the first of two on the road for the Miners, who will also play at LA Tech at 1 p.m. MT Saturday.

Southern Miss and LA Tech are a combined 15-2 at home on the year. UTEP is 1-1 on the road. The Miners enter the match-up with momentum, having won back-to-back conference contests by 30+ points for the first time in program history.

UTEP is off to a 2-0 start in C-USA action for the first occasion since 2016, including blasting Florida Atlantic, 96-65, last time out at home on Jan. 4. The 96 points were the most under head coach Kevin Baker, and rate as the fourth-highest total in a conference contest in program annals.

USM has won back-to-back contests, including holding off LA Tech, 66-60, at home on Jan. 4. UTEP (2-0), Rice (2-0) and Southern Miss (1-0) are the lone teams without a loss in league action after the opening week of play.

“They press, they get after you a bit. They’re a great offensive rebounding team. They’re not the best shooting team we’ve played all year, but they are a great offensive rebounding threat. They have a great scorer inside and a great point guard who will keep us busy and keep us challenged,” head coach Kevin Baker said.

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 (9-4) having already matched its overall win total from a season ago. The Miners are also off to a 2-0 start in C-USA action. Last year they began league play at 1-8 en route to finishing 5-11 in conference action.

Seven of UTEP’s victories have been by double figures, including five 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 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 a NM State (11/23/19) by 20 (64-45).

Overall UTEP’s scoring margin (+12.3) ranks second in C-USA and 55th in the nation.

UTEP leads the series, 13-9, but Southern Miss has a 5-4 cushion when playing in Hattiesburg. Southern Miss has claimed two straight and four of the past five, including a 64-63 win in El Paso on Feb. 16, 2019, in the lone meetings between the programs last year. Twenty one of the 22 match-ups between the programs have come since 2005-06 when UTEP joined C-USA.

For the first time since the 1982-83 season (prior records incomplete), the Miners scored at least 90 points in a contest without having an individual player tally at least 15 points. UTEP exploded for 96 points in the win against Florida Atlantic (1/4/20), with DeJaNae Roebuck and Ariona Gill sharing the team lead with 14 points each.

UTEP is getting after it on defense in 2019-20, ranking among the league and national leaders for several defensive categories. The Miners top the country in 3-point field-goal percentage defense (21.2). They are also making waves with turnovers forced per game (21.1-first/24th), scoring defense (56.0-third/32nd) and field-goal percentage defense (35.6-fourth/40th).

All of those figures were aided when UTEP set the program record for fewest points allowed in a conference contest by holding FIU to 34 points on Jan. 2.

The game will be streamed on CUSA.TV (subscription based) and also through the 600 ESPN El Paso website with Brandon Cohn on the call. 

Video+Gallery+Story: Domination at the Don: UTEP upends Florida Atlantic 96-65

UTEP bolted out to the largest halftime lead in a conference game in program history on the way to drilling Florida Atlantic, 96-65, at the Don Haskins Center Saturday afternoon.

The 96 points are the most by the Miners under head coach Kevin Baker and rate as the fourth-highest total in a conference game in program annals. UTEP scored at least 22 points in each quarter and shot better than 47 percent in all four frames as well.

“It was good to see us come out on attack and be really, really aggressive,” Baker said. “We knew we were going to have to guard them really aggressively because they have such a good team. It was a great defensive effort today for us, and that bled over into our offense. Our defense got us the ability to run a little bit, and we are always better in transition.”

The Miners (9-4, 2-0 C-USA) led by 22 (47-25) at the break and never let the Owls (7-6, 1-1 C-USA back into the game as they improved to 2-0 in league play for the first time since 2016.

Additionally, UTEP has won consecutive league contests by at least 30 points for the first occasion in program history. The Miners blasted FIU, 64-34, on Jan. 2, and followed that up with the 31-point vanquishing of the Owls Saturday.

Freshman Katia Gallegos posted her first career double-double (11 points, career-high 11 rebounds) while also dishing out a game-best six assists to set the tone for the home side. Junior DeJaNae Roebuck (career-high 14 points) provided a spark off the bench while senior Ariona Gill nearly recorded a double-double after finishing with 14 points and nine boards. All 12 players who dressed scored in the game.

Overall the Miners finished at 52.3 percent (34-65) from the field, aided by a sizzling 69.2 percent (9-13) in the second quarter. It was a much different story for the Owls, who were limited to 34.6 percent (18-52) from the floor. UTEP also forced 20 turnovers that led to 25 points.

Arina Khlopkova and Sabine Lipe both netted nine points. Michelle Pruitt finished with eight and Katarina Zec at seven. UTEP pounded FAU, 52-14, for points in the paint while also holding a 15-4 advantage on second-chance points. The Miners controlled the boards, 45-31.

It was back-and-forth over the first five minutes, with UTEP leading by three (11-8) at the halfway point of the opening frame. The Miners kicked it into high gear, wrapping a 28-3 run around the quarter break to vault out by 28 (39-11) with five minutes left in the half.

The game-changing surge included 19 straight points by the home side. FAU put together a push late in the half to get within 22 at the break, but the damage had been done.

UTEP continued to control as the game wore on, eventually leading by as many as 34.

Three players reached double figures in scoring for the Owls, including Alexa Zaph’s squad-best 12 points.

UTEP will open up the road portion of its league schedule when it plays at Southern Miss at 5 p.m. MT/6 p.m. CT on Thursday.

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 click here to visit the official home of UTEP Athletics.

Photo gallery by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta – El Paso Herald Post | Video by UTEP

Miscues mire Miners as Florida Atlantic edges UTEP 59-56

BOCA RATON – Efe Odigie buried a three-point bucket with 4:36 remaining in the contest, putting UTEP up by seven points; but Miner miscues down the stretch extended their road-losing streak as Florida Atlantic (10-4, 2-0 Conference USA) rallied past UTEP (9-6, 0-2 C-USA), 59-56, on Saturday afternoon at RoofClaim.com Arena.

Bryson Williams recorded his second career double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds), while Odigie tied for the team lead with 13 points – all in the second half.

Odigie added five boards and a blocked shot. Nigel Hawkins scored all 10 of his points during the first half and Kaden Archie, who made his first start of the season, tallied nine points.

There were six lead changes, while the score was tied 11 times during the back-and-forth contest. However, the Miners turned the ball over 19 times to FAU’s 11. The Owls recorded eight steals that led to 18 points off turnovers.

The Miners took a 53-46 leads off Odigie’s second three-pointer of the season that fired up the bench. But Karlis Silins answered with a three of his own that started a 13-3 run in the final minutes after a turnover by Hawkins at the 3:19 mark.

Odigie drew a foul and made one-of-two free throws to make the count 54-49, but another Silins three-pointer got the Owls within two points. After another UTEP turnover, this time by Williams, Cornelius Taylor tied the game on a layup with 1:19 left.

Archie gave his squad a 56-54 lead after draining a pair of free throws with 41 seconds remaining in the ball game.

The Owls took the go-ahead lead off Madiaw Niang’s and-1, while Richardson Maitre made two free throws to essentially seal the win.

The Miners had a look with seconds remaining, as Williams missed a three-point attempt. Daryl Edwards pulled down the offensive board, but the time expired before Hawkins threw up a desperate three-pointer.

In the first half, Miners fell by as many as eight points (24-16) with 5:45 left in the half. Hawkins started a 15-4 run with a made jumper. With UTEP down 26-22, Hawkins buried a pair of free throws, while Edwards tied the game with a layup off the glass with 2:55 left. Hawkins then gave his squad a 28-26 advantage after driving the to the hoop and making an acrobatic layup.

With the game tied, Archie nailed a three-point bucket with 26 seconds remaining, giving UTEP a 31-28 lead going into the locker room.

UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry wasn’t on the sideline for the second consecutive game. He’s set to return on Thursday.

Up next, UTEP will return to the Haskins Center to host Southern Miss on Jan. 9 and LA Tech on Jan. 11. Both contests are slated for a 7 p.m. tipoff.

The games can be heard on 600 ESPN El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher and Steven Yellen also calling the action.

UTEP aims For 2-0 league start vs. Florida Atlantic Saturday

The UTEP women’s basketball team (8-4, 1-0 C-USA) will look to sweep its opening weekend of Conference USA play when it locks up with Florida Atlantic (7-5, 1-0 C-USA) at 1 p.m. MT Saturday.

In addition to the game, there will be a post-game clinic, and youth teams (15 or more) can get a $2 ticket rate. Otherwise tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.

“They play so fast, they turn the tempo up in the game. They really get up and down and try to score in transition. When they can’t score in transition, even their halfcourt offense is really fast and uses really good timing. We’re going to have our hands full on how we can defend them. Hopefully they’re going to have their hands full as well. I think it should be a really good college basketball game,” head coach Kevin Baker said.

Both teams enter at 1-0 in league play, with each winning handily. The Miners blasted FIU, 64-34, on Jan. 2 while the Owls rolled past UTSA, 80-53. UTEP is 7-3 at home and FAU is 3-2 on the road.

A UTEP victory would afford it a 2-0 start to league play for the first time since 2016.

UTEP bested FIU, 64-34, on Jan. 2 to move to 12-3 in Conference USA openers since joining the league (2005-06), including a perfect 3-0 under Kevin Baker in the situation. Overall UTEP now stands 17-22 all time in conference lid lifters. 

The Miners enter Saturday’s match-up at 8-4 on the year, putting it on the cusp of match its total win total from a year ago. In 2018-19 the Miners finished 9-22. 

Six of UTEP’s victories have been by double figures, including four of at least 20 points. The Miners had their largest differential (+45) under head coach Kevin Baker in a 92-47 drubbing of Alcorn State (11/16), in addition to toppling FIU (1/2/20) by 30 (64-34), Western Michigan (11/29) by 30 (76-46) and a 20-point (65-45) dispatching of NM State (11/23). 

UTEP leads the series, 6-3, including 3-1 in El Paso. After FAU won the first two match-ups, UTEP has gone 6-1 against the Owls. All nine meetings have come since FAU joined Conference USA.

The Miners have claimed back-to-back contests in the series, including a 70-44 road conquest of FAU on Feb. 7, 2019, last year.

The game will be streamed on CUSA.TV (subscription based) and also through 600 ESPN El Paso website with Steve Kaplowitz on the call. 

UTEP continues Florida road trip at FAU Saturday Afternoon

BOCA RATON – UTEP will take on Florida Atlantic in its second Conference USA contest on Saturday, January 4.

“The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher will call the action on 600 ESPN El Paso, while the Miners and Owls will be streamed on ESPN+. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. MT at RoofClaim.com Arena.

The Miners (9-5, 0-1 C-USA) are still seeking out their first road victory in over a year after coming up short at FIU (69-67) on Jan. 2 in Miami. UTEP’s last road win came on March 3, 2018 at North Texas.

The Owls (9-5, 1-0 C-USA) shut down the nation’s leading scorer Jhivvan Jackson to eight points, while coming up with a 79-64 home victory against UTSA on Thursday evening. FAU improved to 8-1 at home.

UTEP leads the all-time series 5-3 and holds a 3-0 record against Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton. The Miners and Owls last met in the Sunshine State on Feb. 23, 2017, with UTEP winning 60-55.

The two programs first met on Jan. 21, 2016 in El Paso. In last season’s lone meeting, the Owls defeated the Miners, 61-48, on Feb. 7 in El Paso.

Daryl Edwards is coming off his best performance as a Miner as the graduate transfer scored a season-high 20 points on a season-best four three-pointers against FIU on Thursday afternoon.

Edwards’s 15-second half points weren’t enough as the Miners’ rally came up short. UTEP found itself down 36-26 at the half as turnovers (13) and the Panthers’ elite three-point shooting (7-13) set the Miners back. But UTEP adjusted and opened the second half with an 18-8 run that tied the score at 44.

The Miners finally took their first lead at 60-59 after a pair of Nigel Hawkins’s free throws at the 6:16 mark. Edwards followed with a three-point shot that put his squad up three points (63-60) at the 5:19 mark. But FIU outscored UTEP 9-4 down the stretch.

Even though FIU went 1-of-4 from the line with under 20 seconds remaining, the Miners couldn’t capitalize on those misses as a pair of late turnovers halted the rally.

Bryson Williams added 12 points and led the team with nine rebounds, while Deon Stroud played the first half, scoring 10 points and pulling down four boards (all offensive).

Hawkins made his first start of the season at the point guard position, scoring nine points (all in the second half) and adding four assists with four rebounds. Anthony Tarke also broke into the starting five, leading with two steals and pulling down eight rebounds.

UTEP registered a season-high 14 offensive rebounds, while its 16 assists were the most versus a league opponent since Jan. 6, 2018 (17 at LA Tech).

Jailyn Ingram led FAU with 15 points and Michael Forrest came off the bench, chipping in with 13 points during the Owls’ victory over the Roadrunners. Second-year head coach Dusty May’s lineup produced eight players scoring six or more points, while four were in double figures. FAU’s bench tallied 34 points.

Cornelius Taylor paces the squad in points per game (10.8) and assists (27), while Forrest (10.5 ppg) ranks second. The Owls average 37.7 rebounds per game as Madiaw Niang leads the team at 5.0 per game.

Nine players average 2.0 rebounds per game or more, while five of those players average at least over 3.1 boards per contest. FAU averages 11.6 offensive rebounds per game, ranking second in C-USA and 85 nationally. Its plus-4.7 rebounding margin ranks second in the league and 74 nationally.

FAU averages 72.6 points per game and gives up 66.1 points per contest. The Owls are 5-1 in their last six contests after Thursday’s victory.

Gallery+Story: Miners flatten FIU 64-34 to start C-USA Play

UTEP vaulted out to a 16-point cushion (26-10) after the first quarter and never looked back on the way to blasting FIU, 64-34, in the Conference USA opener for both schools at the Don Haskins Center Thursday evening.

“That was a great team win and a great team effort,” Baker said. “Any time you can hold a team to in the 30’s for scoring you’ve done a good job. We really guarded to the scouting report well. (Assistant) Coach Anthony Anderson did a great job with the scout, and the team did a great job executing it on the defensive end of things. We were very aggressive on offense. We scored 26 points in the first quarter. That’s the way this team needs to play.”

The Miners (8-4, 1-0 C-USA) allowed the fewest points in a conference game in program history on the way to toppling the Panthers (3-9, 0-1 C-USA) by 30.

Furthermore UTEP moved to 3-0 in league lidlifters under head coach Kevin Baker. ​

The Orange and Blue kept FIU to 24.5 percent (12-49), including a combined 4-29 in a dominating second half. UTEP also controlled the boards (47-36), thanks in part to Ariona Gill’s double-double (12 points, 10 rebounds). Katarina Zec posted a game-high 16 points on 6-9 shooting, including 3-6 from distance.

Ariana Taylor (nine points), Michelle Pruitt (eight points) and Katia Gallegos (seven points, five assists) also got after it.

But the night belonged to the defense, with FIU being held to 13 total points in the second half. UTEP’s pressure defense gave the visitors fits as they committed 23 turnovers. UTEP also dominated in the paint, outscoring the Panthers, 30-12.

It was back-and-forth over the first six minutes of the contest before UTEP found another level. The Miners closed the quarter on a 15-1 run to turn a two-point margin (11-9) into a 16-point cushion (26-10) through 10 minutes of action. It was a defensive-minded second quarter, and UTEP headed into halftime up by 15 ()

Any aspirations of a comeback by the visitors went by the wayside in the third quarter, with UTEP outpacing the Panthers, 20-5 in the frame. That included a 15-0 surge during seven minutes of the frame, effectively putting the contest out of reach.

The Miners will wrap up their opening homestand of Conference USA play when they welcome Florida Atlantic to the Don Haskins Center for a 1 p.m. MT match-up on Saturday.  There will be a post-game clinic. and youth teams (15 or more) can get a $2 ticket rate. Otherwise tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.

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.

Galley by Ruben R. Ramirez – El Paso Herald Post

Turnovers doom Miners, FIU edges UTEP 69-67

MIAMI – With the Miners (9-5, 0-1 Conference USA) up three points with just over five minutes remaining in the game, the Panthers (10-4, 1-0 C-USA) rallied, outscoring UTEP 9-4 down the stretch to claim a 69-67 victory to open league action Thursday afternoon at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center.

For the Miners, Daryl Edwards led with a game-high 20 points, while Bryson Williams tallied 12 points and nine boards.

UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry missed the game due to an illness and was admitted to the hospital in the Miami area the night before. First-year assistant coach Kenton Paulino took his place on the sideline.

“Coach Terry wanted to be here, and he’s doing much, much better,” Paulino said. “[The hospital] wanted to hold him for a certain period of time and they wouldn’t let him go. But he’s ready to get back to work.”

UTEP outscored FIU 41-33 in the second half after falling 10 points down at the half. UTEP turned the ball over 13 times during the first period, but shortened that to only four in the second half. FIU shot 53.8 percent (7-13) from three-point range in the first half, while finishing 9-of-21 for the game (42.9 percent).

After FIU led the entire first half, there were seven ties and four lead changes during the second period.

“We didn’t play nowhere what were capable of playing in the first half,” Paulino said. “We gave away 20 minutes, as we didn’t do a good job at taking care of the ball in the first half. We talked about guarding the three-point line and [FIU] got a lot of good looks. But we made adjustments and fought back in the second half to make it a close contest.”

The Miners outrebounded the Panthers, 43-37, while grabbing a season-high 14 offensive boards. The Orange and Blue dished out 16 assists, which was the most in a league game since Jan. 6, 2018 (17 at La Tech).

Edwards had the hot hand, shooting 7-of-11 from the field and 4-of-6 from South Beach.

Deon Stroud came off the bench in the first half, scoring 10 points, and pulling down four rebounds – all on the offensive end. Souley Boum recorded seven rebounds with a trio of assists, while Eric Vila led the squad with five assists and chipped in with five points and six rebounds.

Nigel Hawkins and Anthony Tarke made their first starts of the campaign. Hawkins tallied nine points, to go along with four assists and four rebounds. Tarke registered eight rebounds and two steals.

UTEP opened up the second half with an 18-8 run, tying the ball game at 44 after a made jumper by Williams off an Edwards’s assist at the 12:50 mark. Boum started the second half with a layup after a turnover by Devon Andrews, while an Isaiah Banks’s missed jumper led to a Hawkins’s three-pointer, getting UTEP within five points (36-31).

After FIU big man Osasumwen Osaghae gave the Panthers a 40-31 lead, Edwards started a 13-4 run after nailing a three-point bucket. Boum followed with a layup, making the count 40-36. Vila made a jumper after an Eric Lovett made free-throw, and Williams made the score 43-40 on a layup.

Cameron Corcoran made the first of two free throws and Edwards followed with back-to-back baskets to tie the game 44-44.

FIU built a seven-point lead (56-49) following a pair of made free throws by Trejon Jacob. However, the fighting Miners used an 14-4 run to take a three-point edge (63-60) as Hawkins (four points) and Edwards (10 points) combined for all 14 points during the run.

Hawkins began the run with a layup off an assist by Edwards, and Edwards finished the run with a three-pointers with 5:19 left in the contest.

Andrews tied the game at 63 on an and-1, while Banks gave FIU the go-ahead two-point (65-63) advantage with a layup at the 2:52 mark.

Though the Miners cut their turnovers down in the second period, two of them were recorded with under four minutes remaining in the contest.

Andrews missed a pair of free throws with seven seconds left and the score 69-66, but Antonio Daye, Jr. fouled Hawkins. He made the first, missed the second but Banks came down with the rebound to secure the victory.

Andrews led FIU with 16 points, while Osaghae ripped down 12 boards to go along with his nine points and four blocked shots.

Up next, UTEP will look for its first road win when it takes on Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton on Saturday, Jan. 4. The Miners and Owls are set to tipoff at 2 p.m. MT/4 ET.

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