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Home | Tag Archives: utep miners (page 4)

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UTEP to ring in New Year with C-USA opener vs. FIU Thursday at the Don

The UTEP women’s basketball team (7-4) will christen Conference USA play at home against FIU (3-8) at 7 p.m. Thursday.

“It’s Conference USA time so we’ve got 18 tough ones, and it all starts vs. FIU. They are athletic, fast and dangerous. They aren’t a great rebounding team, but they are big and athletic. If they get hot, then they are a tough team to beat,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said.

The Miners are looking to take advantage of the fresh start presented by the conference slate and snap a three-game skid in the process. The three setbacks have been decided by a combined 23 points, including most recently falling to Tulsa, 58-51, on Dec. 29.

The Panthers have dropped two straight, including a 72-57 loss to Brown at home on Dec. 29.

UTEP is 11-3 in Conference USA openers since joining the league (2005-06), aided by winning nine of the last 10. The Miners are 2-0 under Kevin Baker in the situation, with a pair of road victories.

Overall UTEP stands 16-22 all time in conference lid lifters. After playing back-to-back league openers on the road and three of the past four, UTEP gets to christen conference play with consecutive home contests. 

UTEP enters league play at 7-4, which is much improved from a year ago. The Miners were 2-9 at this juncture in 2018-19, and eventually finished the year at 9-22. 

Five of UTEP’s victories have been by double figures, including three 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 Western Michigan (11/29) by 30 (76-46) and a 20-point (65-45) dispatching of NM State (11/23).

It marks the first time since 2013-14 that UTEP posted at least three nonconference wins against DI programs by 20+ points. That year the Miners had six such efforts prior to league action.

FIU is 3-8 on the year, but it stands 2-1 on the road. It heads into Thursday’s match-up having dropped back-to-back contests, including last time out falling at home to Brown, 72-57.

The Panthers have a balanced attack offensively with three different players in double figures for scoring. They are Jiselle Thomas (11.9 ppg), Fujika Nimmo (10.3 ppg) and Chelsea Guimaraes (10.2 ppg). Diene Diane (6.6 ppg) is the only other player pitching in more than 4.0 ppg. Guimaraes (8.0 rpg) is the top rebounder for the squad.

FIU does a solid job defending the three, ranking sixth in C-USA with a 29.5 3-point field-goal percentage defense. It is also seventh in the league for both blocked shots per game (3.1) and fewest fouls per contest (17.0). Problems have arisen in other areas, though, with the

Panthers last in C-USA for assists per game (9.8), field-goal percentage (38.1), rebound margin (-2.6), scoring margin (-11.8), scoring offense (55.2), turnover margin (-6.1) and turnovers forced per game (11.7). FIU returned four starters and seven letter winners overall from last year’s team (5-24, 2-14 C-USA).

UTEP leads the series with FIU, 10-2, including a perfect 5-0 mark in El Paso. Nine of the 10 match-ups have occurred since the Panthers joined Conference USA for the 2013-14 season.

Thursday’s game is the lone scheduled meeting on the year between the programs. UTEP is riding a four-contest winning streak in the series, including a 60-55 road conquest on Feb. 9, 2018, last season. 

Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.

The game will be streamed on CUSA.TV (subscription based) and broadcast locally on 600 ESPN El Paso with Steve Kaplowitz and Traci Miller on the call. 

UTEP men’s hoops to open C-USA play at FIU January 2

The UTEP basketball team will commence Conference USA action at FIU on Thursday, Jan. 2. Tipoff is set for 12 p.m. MT/10 a.m. ET at Ocean Bank Convocation Center in Miami, Florida

The Miners and Panthers each scratched out 9-4 nonconference marks. FIU recently had a six-game winning streak snapped at Minnesota, falling 89-62, on Dec. 28. The Panthers have also started 5-0 at home this season.

With league action starting, every program restarts its record to 0-0. But the Miners will have a tough challenge traveling to the Atlantic to begin their conference slate.

“Our guys are really excited about it,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We’ve already been on the road and have played at some difficult places this year. FIU is off to a great start and we know it’s going to be a high possession game and have to value taking care of the basketball, we have to do a good job at finishing, and we have to do a good job defensively. But our guys are excited and they like playing on the road. It’s a confident group that has gained valuable experience already.”

UTEP is coming off its trip across the Pacific as it competed at the Diamond Head Classic. The Miners opened the holiday tournament with a 67-63 loss to host Hawai’i, rebounded to edge Ball State, 71-70, (UTEP’s first win away from the Haskins Center in over a year) while coming up short against Boise State, 72-67, on Christmas Day.

Against FIU, the Miners have dominated the all-time series, 11-1, after their 85-78 victory last season in El Paso. UTEP will look to extend its undefeated record (6-0) against FIU in Miami Thursday afternoon, while the Miners are 9-1 versus the Panthers since FIU joined C-USA.

UTEP last played in Miami on Feb. 25, 2017, as it came out on top 90-76.

Bryson Williams leads the Miners and ranks second in C-USA in points per game (19.3). Williams averaged 18.3 points per game in Hawai’i, as one of his performances was a 33-point putout against the Rainbow Warriors. Williams was the first Miner to register multiple 30-point games during a single season since Randy Culpepper did so during the 2010-11 campaign.

The Miners’ second-leading scorer is Souley Boum (11.3 ppg), while Daryl Edwards (9.8 ppg) ranks third. Edwards recently scored all 14 of his points during the second half against the Broncos to lead the squad.

A pair of Miners came off the bench the last two games as Kaden Archie and Anthony Tarke showed promise heading into the league play. Archie is coming off back-to-back 11-point efforts. He dished out four assists, grabbed seven boards, and added a block and two steals. Tarke led the way with 14 rebounds (7.0 rpg) and four steals. He also recorded three assists, a blocked shot and scored 11 points.

FIU is led by one of the premier big men in the nation, Osasumwen Osaghae. The 6-9, 250-pound forward leads the nation in blocked shots (60) and blocked shots per game (4.6). The senior paces the squad in rebounds per game (8.3), while ranking second in points per game (13.3).

Osaghae’s 72.5 field-goal percentage (66-91) also ranks second in the nation and first in C-USA. Devon Andrews paces the Panthers at 16.5 points per game.

FIU leads C-USA in assists per game (17.1), while ranking 19th nationally. Its 7.6 blocked shot per game and total blocks (99) lead the nation, while its 10.5 steals per game ranks first in the league and fifth in the nation.

The fast-paced Panthers lead C-USA in multiple departments – scoring offense (82.4), three-point field goal defense (25.9), three-point field goals per game (9.8), three-point field goals made (127), total steals (136) and turnovers forced per game (18.3).

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

UTEP tripped up by Tulsa 58-51

UTEP forced 19 turnovers and held Tulsa to 31.6 percent (18-57) from the floor but it had some struggles of its own in a 58-51 home setback to Tulsa at the Don Haskins Center Sunday afternoon.

The Miners (7-4) committed 16 of their 22 turnovers in the first half and finished 13-25 at the charity stripe. UTEP connected on 34.0 percent (18-53) from the floor, which was hindered by going 2-11 (18.2 percent) in the final frame. Yet in spite of those challenges, the Orange and Blue went toe-to-toe with former WAC and Conference USA foe Tulsa (5-8).

There were seven ties and 11 lead changes, and UTEP led by three (46-43) with seven minutes to go. It wasn’t to be, though, with the Golden Hurricane peeling off an 8-0 run over the next five minutes. The Miners stopped the surge with a pair of Katia Gallegos free throws, but couldn’t get any closer than three points down the stretch.

Katarina Zec tallied 13 points to pace the squad while Gallegos netted 10 points and a game-high five assists. Ariona Gill flirted with a double-double (nine points, eight rebounds) while also tallying a trio of steals. Ariana Taylor put up seven points in her first start of the season.

“This was a bad loss for our program,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “We just didn’t show up today. We had 16 turnovers in the first half and missed 12 free throws. We just weren’t ourselves today. I can’t figure out why. This was a game we should have won and should have won going away. We just didn’t do it. When you play like that, you really don’t deserve to win.”

Kendrian Elliott posted a double-double (18 points, 12 rebounds) to pace the visitors. She was joined in double figures by Maddie Bittle.

Zec was locked in early, tallying six points in the first six minutes to help launch UTEP to an 8-2 advantage at 3:54 of the first quarter. The Miners remained up by six (13-7) with 1:38 left in the frame before Tulsa got a lay-up and free throw to cut the UTEP lead in half (13-10) through 10 minutes of action.

After the Orange and Blue pushed the differential back to five (20-15) with six minutes left in the half, Tulsa countered with a 13-2 push to put UTEP down by six. Zec beat the buzzer with a lay-up to trim the deficit to four (28-24) heading into the locker room. The Miners continued to fight back in the third frame, pulling even at 41 heading to the fourth quarter.

It was back-and-forth in the final frame before Tulsa used the aforementioned run to pull away.

The Miners will open Conference USA play at home against FIU at 7 p.m. MT on Thursday. 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.

UTEP to wrap up nonconference play at home vs. Tulsa on Sunday

The UTEP women’s basketball team (7-3) will close out nonconference play when it welcomes former C-USA and WAC foe Tulsa (4-8) to the Don Haskins Center for a 1 p.m. MT match-up at the Don Haskins Center Sunday.

UTEP enters the contest on a mini two-game skid, with the losses by a combined 15 points. Most recently the Miners fell at SMU, 60-56, on Dec. 19.

The Golden Hurricane snapped a six-game losing streak by besting Colorado State, 61-55, on Dec. 21.

“Tulsa will be a challenge for us because they have a good mixture of athleticism, solid guard play, and strong post play inside. We will need to play well to have success against them. But our young team is hungry, and is eager to bounce back,” head coach Kevin Baker shared.

UTEP enters its final nonconference game of the season at 7-3, which is a stark reversal from a year ago. The Miners were 2-8 at this juncture in 2018-19, and eventually finished the year at 9-22. 

Five of UTEP’s victories have been by double figures, including three 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 Western Michigan (11/29) by 30 (76-46) and a 20-point (65-45) dispatching of NM State (11/23).

It marks the first time since 2013-14 that UTEP posted at least three nonconference wins against DI programs by 20+ points. That year the Miners had six such efforts prior to league action.

Tulsa heads into its nonconference finale at 4-8 on the year, which has been hindered by going a combined 0-6 in road (0-4) and neutral (0-2) matches. The Golden Hurricane are coming off a 61-55 home win against Colorado State on Dec. 21. The effort snapped a six-game losing streak.

Tulsa is paced by Kendrian Elliott, who is nearly averaging a double-double with 16.2 points per game (sixth AAC/111th NCAA) and 8.8 rebounds per contest (sixth AAC/72nd NCAA). Elliott is shooting 60.8 percent from the floor, which leads the AAC is rates 21st nationally. She also posts a team-best 1.7 blocks per game (fourth AAC/76th NCAA).

Addison Richards (9.3 ppg) is also a consistent scoring threat. Tulsa is 3-0 on the year when scoring at least 65 points and 3-1 when leading at the half.

UTEP is 21-11 against Tulsa, aided by winning 15 of the past 16 in the series. The Miners and Golden Hurricane played at least once annually from 1999-2000 through the 2013-14 season, first as members together in the WAC and then in C-USA before TU departed for the American Athletic Conference.

TU knocked off the Miners, 66-45, in El Paso on Dec. 29, 2018, to snap UTEP’s 15-game winning streak in the series. UTEP is 12-4 when playing in El Paso, and is riding a 10-contest surge in the Sun City against Tulsa.

Katarina Zec (season-high 16 points) and Zuzanna Puc (13 points) each reached double figures in scoring but a slow start proved fatal in UTEP’s 66-45 setback at Tulsa on Dec. 29. The Miners dug themselves a 20-point hole (25-5) through 10 minutes of action and could never recovery against the Golden Hurricane.

UTEP won the second (11-10) and third quarters (18-14) before being outpaced slightly (17-11) in the final frame. The Orange and Blue were without their second-leading scorer (Ariona Gill), who missed the contest with an injury.

Freshman Sabine Lipe started in her place, contributing a career-best six assists and three boards. UTEP finished at 32.7 percent (18-55) from the floor, recording 13 assists on its 18 made field goals. It also took decent care of the ball with 15 turnovers, but the first quarter was too much to overcome.

Rebounding favored Tulsa slightly (36-33), but the Miners enjoyed a 26-20 cushion for points in the paint. Jade Rochelle set the tone for the Orange and Blue on the boards by grabbing a team-best seven caroms. In terms of scoring, Jordan Alexander (seven points), Ariana Taylor (five points) and Rochelle (four points) followed after Zec and Puc.

The game will be streamed on CUSA.TV (subscription based) and streamed through 600 ESPN El Paso with Adrian Broaddus and Traci Miller on the call. 

Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.

Boise State stops UTEP 72-67

HONOLULU, Hawai’i – Boise State’s Derrick Alston scored a game-high 23 points, leading the Broncos (8-5) past UTEP (9-4), 72-67, on Christmas Day at the the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic in the Stan Sheriff Center.

Daryl Edwards, who led the Miners with 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting, converted a layup in the paint that got the Miners within two points (67-65) with 54 seconds remaining in the game.

On the following possession with two seconds remaining on the shot clock, Alston got in front of his defender and hit a baseline jumper in the paint off a pass from Justinian Jessup underneath the basket with 25 seconds remaining in the contest coming out of a timeout and essentially clinching the victory.

“I told my guys today that the scrappiest team today, the team that wanted to get this done today with the 50-50 balls was going to come out today with a win. We gave [Boise State] some special situations around the basket that hurt us today,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “But I’ll give my guys credit. We battled throughout the game.”

Souley Boum (11 points), Kaden Archie (11 points) and Jordan Lathon (10 points) each hit double figures, while Anthony Tarke came off the bench with another solid outing. Tarke led the Miners with eight rebounds, including three offensive and chipped in with five points. Bryson Williams was held in check with six points, while Efe Odigie added six points and Eric Vila four points with five rebounds.

Alston proved too much for the Miners as the 6-9 guard added six assists and nine rebounds. Abu Kigab tallied 11 points and Robin Jorch recorded 10 points. Jessup dished out five assists, to go along with seven points.

“Alston is a hard guy to deal with,” Terry said. “He’s a long and athletic guard who’s very active. He can drive the ball and he’s a guy who can put the ball in the basket. He’s an all-league player.”

With the Miners down four points (34-30), Edwards pulled up and hit trey that led to seven consecutive points. Tarke added a fast break layup and Lathon threw down a dunk at the 17:40 mark that gave UTEP a 37-34 advantage.

However, the Broncos answered that run with an 8-0 run. Boise State built a nine-point lead (51-42) with 12:32 remaining in the contest behind seven points and a pair of assists from Alton.

But the relentless Miners stormed back to get within a point after going on a 13-5 run. Lathon started it by draining a three-point basket, while an Edwards’s layup got the Miners within four points (51-47). After a pair of Alston free throws, Williams connected on a jumper outside the paint, and Vila converted a layup in the paint to make the score 53-51. Jessup answered with a three-pointer, but Boum nailed one of his own, was fouled in the process, and sent the free throw into the hoop to make the count 56-55 with 7:40 remaining.

After Boise State built its lead back to five points (62-57), back-to-back buckets by Williams and Edwards made it another one-point (62-61) advantage with just over four minutes left in the game.

Though the Miners got within two points on a pair of occasions with under a minute to play, Boise State kept making key shots down the stretch, while a late turnover on a bad pass hurt UTEP.

The Miners were outrebounded 41-30, as Boise State crashed the glass with 13 offensive rebounds. The Broncos scored 17 second-chance points, and outscored the Miners in the paint, 44 points to 32.

UP NEXT

UTEP will open Conference USA play at FIU on Jan. 2 with tipoff set for 10 a.m. MT in Miami. Fla. The Miners will then battle Florida Atlantic on Jan. 4 in Boca Raton, with tipoff set for 2 p.m. MT. Both contests can be heard on 600 ESPN El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher calling the action. Both contests will also be streamed on ESPN+.

Miners top Ball State 71-70 at Hawai’i Diamond Head Classic

HONOLULU, Hawai’i – Bryson Williams scored a game-high 16 points, while Efe Odigie (12 points) and Kaden Archie (career-high 11 points) came off the bench to lead UTEP (9-3) past Ball State (6-6), 71-70, during a tight battle in the consolation round at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic on Monday night.

“I’m very proud of my guys tonight the way they came back and bounced back from a tough loss last night. I said to my guys this morning that we’re going to need everybody tonight and everybody was going to have to be ready to contribute for us,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We got that tonight in a big way from everybody.”

UTEP found itself down seven points early in the second half, but rallied behind big baskets. But probably none bigger than Odigie’s first career three-point bucket. The 6-9, 255-pound forward pulled up from the top of the key at the 10:33 mark and gave the Miners a go-ahead two-point lead with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game.

UTEP went on a 16-2 run during a stretch late in the game.

After Williams scored almost half of UTEP’s points the night before against Hawai’i, the scoring was more balanced versus Ball State. Nine Miners made buckets as Jordan Lathon, Daryl Edwards and Anthony Tarke each tallied six points. Tydus Verhoeven scored three points on an and-1 play, while Nigel Hawkins recorded two points. The bench contributed 31 points on Monday night after only eight points the night before.

The telling stat for UTEP were the rebounds. The Miners outrebounded the Cardinals, 37-21, after being outdone on the glass the previous three games. The Orange and Blue came up big on the offensive side as it registered a season high in offensive rebounds (12) and second-chance points (18).

Tarke and Williams each led the squad with six rebounds apiece, while Tarke snagged a season-high three steals. Tarke also recorded his first assists (two) of his UTEP career.

The other two big contributors were Archie and Odigie. Archie, who played a career-high 30 minutes, went 5-for-9 from the field and tallied five rebounds, including three offensive boards. He added a blocked shot and steal, and tied Nigel Hawkins for the team lead with three assists. Odigie went 4-for-5 from the field, and hit 3-of-4 from the charity stripe, while also grabbing four rebounds (two offensive).

The Miners built a nine-point lead (17-8) at the midway point of the first half after back-to-back Williams’s buckets – the first a three pointer, and the second a basket in the paint.

But Ball State outscored UTEP, 23-14, down the stretch to tie the contest at 31-31 at the half. The Cardinals’ K.J. Walton started their run with a made three-point basket, while Tahjai Teague hit a pair of free throws to make the count 17-12. After Tarke connected on an outside jumper off an assist from Hawkins, Jarron Coleman answered with an and-1 to get Ball State within four points (19-15).

In the second half, after going back-and-forth in the first six minutes of the period, Ball State piled up a seven-point lead. Williams gave the Miners a 38-36 advantage at the 16:37 mark with a basket in the paint. Teague hit a three pointer that gave Ball State a 39-38 lead. His basket started a 9-0 run that made the count 45-38 with 14:22 to go in the ball game.

The Miners offense woke up as Odigie snagged an offensive rebound that led to a basket (45-40). Archie followed with a layup to make it a three-point game, while Odigie hit a pair of free throws to make it a one-point game (45-44). Ishmael El-Amin scored on a field goal in the paint that gave his squad a three-point lead (47-44). But a pair of Odigie buckets, including his big three pointer, helped the Miners build a seven-point advantage (54-47) at the 8:54 mark behind a 16-2 run. UTEP even got the score up to a nine-point cushion (64-55) at the 3:47 mark after Tarke tallied his third offensive board and slammed it down with authority.

But again, Ball State was relentless in its pursuit to avoid going winless in the tournament. With the Miners leading 66-61 after Archie recorded a put-back off his third offensive board, Luke Bumbalough came up with a big trey to get within two points (66-64).

Ball State put the pressure on with a full-court press with under a minute to play, but the Miners made their way across mid-court, while making 5-of-6 from the charity stripe down the stretch. Williams sealed the deal with a pair of made free throws with two seconds, remaining to put the Miners up four points.

UTEP won its first game outside the Don Haskins Center since winning at North Texas on March 3, 2018.

UP NEXT

UTEP will end its holiday tournament on The Island against Boise State (7-5) on Christmas Day. The Miners and Broncos will tipoff at 10:30 a.m. Hawaii Time/1:30 p.m. MT on ESPNU.

Boise State is coming off an 85-69 victory against Portland during the early contest on Monday evening. Derrick Alston scored 32 points on 10-of-19 shooting, including an 8-for-9 effort from the free-throw line. He’s the second player after Williams to tally a 30-point performance in this year’s Classic. Alston added six assists while Justinian Jessup chipped in with 17 points. Marcus Dickinson recorded nine rebounds, while RJ Williams added seven off the glass.

The Broncos are led by Alston’s 21.7 points per game, and Jessup’s 15.2 average. Williams is averaging 8.3 rebounds per game and 12.3 points per contest.

Hawai’i downs UTEP 67-63 at Diamond Head Classic

Diamond Head Classic host Hawai’i rallied to beat UTEP 67-63 in the first round match up at the annual holiday tournament.

“We had opportunities and there were times when we had the game the way we wanted it and going in the direction we wanted it,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We were up nine, but then had unforced turnovers that you can’t have and gave [Hawai’i] momentum, especially at their home.”

UTEP’s Bryson Williams tied his career high with 33 points for the Miners, adding to the Miners’ talley were Daryl Edwards with 12 points and 10 points from Souley Boum.

Williams not only tied his career high, but the redshirt junior scored his most points against a Division I opponent. He shot 13-of-26 from the field, while hitting a trio of three pointers and going a perfect 4-4 from the charity stripe.

The Miners led by as many as nine points (42-33) and eight points (51-43) at the 10:21 mark after Boum connected on a bucket in the paint. The Rainbow Warriors answered with a 7-0 run to get within a point, but Williams ended that run with an outside jumper.

Another Williams’s clutch outside jumper put UTEP up 58-54 with 4:18 left in the game. But Hawai’i, which answered any UTEP run, scored four consecutive points to tie the ball game at 58 with 3:16 to go.

Williams gave UTEP the lead again on a pair of free throws and Samuta Avea answered by making 2-of-3 free-throw attempts after being fouled on three-point attempt.

With the contest tied 60-60, Boum missed a three pointer and Bernardo Da Silva’s layup gave the Rainbow Warriors the lead for good.

With Hawai’i up four points, Williams connected on his third trey to get the Miners within a point (64-63), but Buggs answered with a pair of made free throws after being intentionally fouled. A costly turnover with 16 seconds left handed the game over to Hawai’i. Buggs was intentionally fouled again and made a free throw to make the count 67-63.

The Miners only turned the ball over five times in the first half, but ended the ball game with 17 total turnovers, including four with just over eight minutes remaining in the ball game.

The Miners led by as many as seven points in the first half, and closed out the period on a 6-0 run to take a 37-31 lead into the locker room. The Miners’ run started with a Williams layup, followed by a Hawai’i turnover in which Williams was credited with a steal. Williams was fouled on the possession as Mate Colina was called for a technical. Williams answered with a pair of made free throws to make the count 35-31. Vila hit a pair of free throws that gave UTEP the six-point lead.

Da Silva led UH with 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting off the bench (23 minutes) and Avea tallied 16 points. Buggs led UH with eight assists, while Raimo Zigmars dished out six.

Hawai’i outrebounded UTEP, 34-30, while each team registered eight steals.

UTEP’s Monday opponent, Ball State, fell to no. 22 Washington, 85-64, in the earlier contest. Tahjai Teague (14.2 ppg), Ishmael El-Amin (14.2 ppg) and Kyle Mallers (11.4 ppg) average double figures, while Teague leads the Cardinals in rebounds per game (8.2). Ball State recently won at Georgia Tech by 18 points (65-47) on Dec. 18 and beat up on IUPUI, 102-54, on Dec. 7.

Against the Huskies, Teague led the way with 20 points on 8-15 shooting and El-Amin chipped in with 13 points. Ball State hung with the no. 22-ranked team in the country, as the Cardinals were down 52-49 at the 15:27 mark. But the Huskies were too much down the stretch.

The Miners (8-3) will take on Ball State (6-5) on Monday night in the consolation round. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m. Hawaii Time/11:30 p.m. MT. The game will be televised on ESPNU, while “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher will call the action on 600 ESPN El Paso.

Click here to view the box score.  Click here to view the bracket.

UTEP to open Diamond Head Classic against host Hawai’i Sunday Night

HONOLULU, Hawai’i – UTEP is seeking its first road win in over a year. The Miners (8-2) will compete in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic against host and former Western Athletic Conference rival Hawai’i (7-3) on Sunday, December 22 in the Stan Sheriff Center.

The Miners and Rainbow Warriors will tipoff at 6:30 p.m. Hawaii Time/9:30 p.m. MT.

The Miners recently fell at Houston, 77-57, on Dec. 19. Bryson Williams led the way with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Souley Boum scored 13 points. Nigel Hawkins, a Houston product, chipped in with nine points and paced the squad with five assists. Fellow Houston native Efe Odigie scored four points and also pulled down seven boards.

UTEP last competed at the Diamond Head Classic in 2011 when it chalked up a 2-1 record. The Miners opened with a 61-48 victory over ACC’s Clemson on Dec. 22. UTEP followed with a loss to Kansas State, 78-70, the next day, but rebounded to defeat former UTEP coach Tony Barbee’s Auburn squad, 83-76, on Christmas day.

Michael Perez was named to the all-tournament team after averaging 17.7 points per game, including a 25-point performance versus Clemson, and dishing out seven assists overall. During the Miners’ victory against Auburn, John Bohannon led the way with 20 points and nine boards, while Perez added 18 points.

Hawai’i has won four of its last five contests and is coming off a 94-73 victory over Samford in the Stan Sheriff Center on Dec. 15. Eddie Stansberry led the way with 23 points. Zigmars Raimo led the Rainbow Warriors with 11 rebounds, while Justin Webster came off the bench to score 15 points.

Hawai’i’s lone loss during the five-game stretch came against Oregon on Dec. 7 by the score of 89-64. Hawai’i defeated New Orleans, 79-71, on Nov. 24, San Francisco, 85-75, on Nov. 29 and Hawaii Pacific, 58-41, on Dec. 1 – all in the Stan Sheriff Center.

Stansberry leads UH and ranks second in the Big West at 19.7 points per game and has connected on 42.7 percent (38-89) of his three pointers, which leads the Big West. His 3.8 three pointers per game leads the conference and ranks fourth nationally.

Samuta Avea ranks second in points per game (11.1) and Drew Buggs third (10.9). Raimo leads the team in rebounds per game (7.2) and averages 9.3 points per contest.

UTEP leads the all-time series 35-17. UTEP and Hawai’i last played on March 10, 2005 in the WAC Tournament in Reno, Nev. The Miners won the contest, 80-62, on their way to the NCAA Tournament.

The two programs last met in Honolulu on Feb. 21, 2005 when the Miners defeated the Warriors, 71-67. The Miner have won four straight meetings. The Rainbow Warriors last defeated UTEP on Jan. 2, 2004, by the score of 85-63 in Honolulu.

UTEP and Hawai’i first met on Jan. 19, 1980 in El Paso, while the Miners played their first game on The Island on Feb. 14, 1980.

“The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher will call the action on 600 ESPN El Paso, while the game will be televised on ESPN2 with Roxy Bernstein calling play-by-play and Cory Alexander providing color analysis.

Houston downs UTEP 77-57

HOUSTON – Bryson Williams tied a game high with 17 points and Souley Boum chipped in with 13, but Caleb Mills’s and Nate Hinton’s 17 points apiece led Houston to a 77-57 victory over UTEP on Thursday night at the Fertitta Center.

“That was a big play. We battled our way back and put ourselves into position down the stretch to try to win the ball game,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “You can’t taunt and get in the face of an opponent. It was the right call and you can’t get caught up in talking. You got to play the game. It didn’t cost us the game, but it was a costly play in the game.”

The Miners (8-2), after being down by as many as 14 points early in the second half, got within five points (54-49) after a Boum driving layup at the 7:50 mark. But the Cougars (7-3) answered with a 16-0 run to put the game away after Boum was called for a technical foul following the bucket.

The Cougars hit the glass hard, outrebounding the Miners 49-34 – with 16 of those being offensive rebounds. The tough UH defense also came up with 11 blocked shots.

Nigel Hawkins, a Houston product, scored nine points and led the Miners with five assists. Efe Odigie (four points), another native of Houston, tied for the team lead with seven rebounds, while Williams matched that number on the boards.

Houston opened up a 6-0 lead as UTEP struggled to find offense early in the contest. Williams put his squad on the board with a three-point basket, while Hawkins tied the game (6-6) with a trey at the 14:01 mark. After Mills answered with a three of his own, Jordan Lathon tied the game at 9-9 with the Miners’ third trey at the 13:29 mark.

After the back-and-forth three-point fest, the Cougars went on a 14-0 run to gain a 23-9 lead with 9:50 remaining in the period. The Miners fought their way back, getting within three points (28-25) at the 3:03 mark.

UTEP’s 16-5 run started with a Boum steal and fast break layup. Williams converted an alley-oop dunk off a Hawkins’s assist to make the count 25-13. After a DeJon Jarreau made free throw and a Chris Harris Jr. second-chance layup, Williams hit another trey and followed with a two-point basket to get the Miners within 10 points (28-18). His five consecutive points started a 9-0 run that was followed by a Hawkins three-point play.

With the score 28-21 and momentum going UTEP’s way, Boum scored four consecutive points on a pair of buckets in the paint to make the count, 28-25.

But the Miners couldn’t get any closer as Houston finished out the half on a 9-2 run and putting UTEP down 37-27 heading into the locker room.

Hinton produced a double-double, grabbing 10 rebounds, while Brison Gresham also registerd a double-double, scoring 10 points and leading UH with 12 boards. Jarreau dished out a game-high nine assists, while scoring seven points.

Edwards scored six points on a pair of three pointers, while Deon Stroud came off the bench and tallied five points.

The Miners have lost 15 consecutive road games after Thursday’s setback. Their last road win came on March 3, 2018 at North Texas.

Up next, UTEP will travel to Honolulu, Hawai’i to compete in the Diamond Head Classic Dec. 22-25. The Miners, who are searching for that elusive road win, will open the holiday tournament against host school Hawai’i (7-3) on Sunday, Dec. 22.

UTEP Battles in narrow loss at SMU 60-56

DALLAS – Katarina Zec (12 points) and Ariana Taylor (season-high 10 points) both reached double figures in scoring while Ariona Gill (eight points, 11 rebounds) flirted with a double-double in UTEP’s hard-fought 60-56 setback at SMU Thursday evening.

The Miners (7-3) forced 18 turnovers and held the Mustangs (5-4) to 39.0 percent (23-59) from the floor. UTEP shot a similar percentage, but couldn’t compensate for a discrepancy on free throws. SMU finished 12-22 at the charity stripe, including 10-14 in the final frame. UTEP was 3-6 at the line, and did not attempt a free throw during the second half despite holding a 32-24 advantage for points in the paint.

Another factor was rebounds, with the Mustangs controlling the glass by a count of 43-33. UTEP recorded 17 assists on 24 field goals, with Gill dishing out a career-high five helpers. She also set a career best with five steals.

“Defensively we played well enough to win,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “Tonight was just one of those nights where we simply couldn’t make a shot. We got great looks, but could not finish. I loved our fight, and we still almost found a way to win.

The Miners started quickly with back-to-back baskets from Zec before SMU countered with an 10-1 run to put UTEP down five (10-5). Tia Bradshaw floated home a shot in transition to end the surge. It was nearly even the rest of the frame, with the Miners trailing by four (16-12) through 10 minutes of action.

It was back-and-forth through most of the second quarter before a 5-0 run by the home side put UTEP down eight (30-22) inside of one minute. The Miners had a good response, using a jumper from Taylor and a lay-up by Gill to cut the margin to four (30-26) heading to halftime.

After a score on the opening possession of the third quarter by SMU, the Miners peeled off six straight points to pull ahead (33-32) for the first time since it was 4-0. It was a seesaw battle the remainder of the frame, with UTEP by two (44-42) with the contest going into the fourth quarter.

The Miners remained down by two (50-48) with 7:56 to play before four straight SMU free throws put UTEP down by six (54-48) with 4:44 left in the contest. UTEP didn’t flinch, getting back-to-back lay-ups from Tatyana Modawar and Avery Crouse, respectively, to get within two (54-52) and prompt a timeout by the Mustangs. The Miners got another stop out of the break before Gill made a lay-up to tie the tilt (54-54) with 3:09 remaining in regulation.

UTEP couldn’t quite complete the comeback, with SMU closing the contest on a 6-2 push. All six Mustang points in the sequence came at the charity stripe

The Miners will break for the holidays before wrapping up nonconference play at home against Tulsa at 1 p.m. MT on Dec. 29. 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.

UTEP takes on Houston for first time in six years

HOUSTON – UTEP, after improving its home record to a perfect 8-0, will look to chalk up its first road win in over a year as the Miners (8-1) will play in Houston (6-3) on Thursday, December 19. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. MT/7 CT in the Fertitta Center.

The Miners and Cougars will face each other for the first time since March 13, 2013 during the second round of the Conference USA Tournament. UTEP won, 80-69, and leads the all-time series 16-10.

The Miners are coming off their first WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational championship in five years after they defeated a tough UC Irvine squad, 67-61, on Tuesday night.

Bryson Williams, who was named the tournament MVP, averaged 21.5 points, including a game-high 22 against UCI. Williams connected on a collegiate career-high 11 free throws on 14 attempts. Jordan Lathon earned the Don Haskins Trophy after his efforts during the championship game. The sophomore matched his season high with 13 points and tied a career best with six assists, while grabbing five rebounds to tie for the team lead with Tydus Verhoeven. Souley Boum averaged 19.5 points during the two-day span, including 26 points on Monday night, which tied his collegiate career best. Boum was named to the all-tournament team.

UTEP, which has matched its win total from a season ago, is off to its best start since jumping out to a 9-1 mark during the 2003-04 season. The Miners only blemish was a three-point setback at NM State on Dec. 3. The Miners’ last road victory came at North Texas on Jan. 3, 2018.

Nigel Hawkins and Efe Odigie, a pair of Houston products, are making their way back to their hometown. Hawkins played at Cypress Falls High School, while Odigie competed at Pro-Vision Academy.

Houston is coming off a 61-55 loss against Oklahoma State on Dec. 15. The Cougars, before their loss against the Cowboys, had won four-straight. Prior to the win streak, Houston fell at then-no. 11 Oregon on Nov. 22.

Quentin Grimes, a 6-5 guard, leads the team at 15.0 points per game, ranking fifth in the American Conference. Nate Hinton, 6-10 center, averages 9.2 boards per game, ranking third in the conference and 53rd nationally.

Like the Miners, the Cougars don’t turn the ball over much. Houston has only turned the ball over 110 times, ranking first in the American Conference and 23rd nationally.

Houston rebounds the ball well, averaging 43.2 rebounds per game (ranks sixth nationally), while it’s +11.2 rebounding margin also ranks sixth.

UTEP is 4-1 when opponents outrebound it.

The game can be heard on 600 ESPN El Paso as “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher will call the action. The Miners and Cougars can also be seen on ESPN3 with David Saltzman calling the action and Reid Getty providing color analysis.

Video+Gallery+Story: UTEP Football head coach Dana Dimel announces 2020 signing class

On Wednesday, UTEP head coach Dana Dimel revealed his 2020 signing class in the Larry K. Durham Center.

During the news conference, Dimel announced the addition of 8 on the defensive side of the field and 3 on the offensive side .

Our very own Ruben R. Ramirez was there and we bring you his coverage of the news conference with this gallery and video.

It was a busy Wednesday morning for the UTEP Football program as the coaching staff inked a total of 11 signees to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period on National Signing Day.

The UTEP staff welcomed in 11 future Miners in the first of two signing periods for the 2020 recruiting class. The first NLI made its way to El Paso around 6 a.m. MT with 10 more products signing on to become Miners before noon.

The 2020 signing class features 11 fresh faces as head coach Dana Dimel and his staff brought in a defensive-minded class with eight players added on defense and three offensive signees.

UTEP added seven players who hail from the junior college ranks, all of which are on the defensive side of the ball, and four high school products. All four signees out of high school hail from the state of Texas, while one JUCO product also hails from the Lone Star state. Other signees from Wednesday are products of Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Tennessee and Iowa.

“We put a lot of focus on the defensive side of the ball with this early signing period,” Dimel said on Wednesday afternoon. “We should end up with eight midyear junior college transfers and all eight of them will be on the defensive side of the football. We started off with our concerns of trying to create a better pass rush on the edge. The whole athleticism of our team has improved immensely with this signing class. We will continue to do that as we fill in the rest in February. These guys fit the culture that I am accustomed to having when we have had success, and that’s guys that do everything the way it is supposed to be done on and off the field.”

The first two National Letters of Intent were announced at 6:42 a.m. MT on Wednesday morning when a pair of teammates from Kilgore College signed on to become Miners in defensive linemen Kelton Moss (Jonesboro, La.) and Jadrian Taylor (Lufkin, Texas).

From there, the new faces quickly began to roll in with seven more NLI’s arriving before 8 a.m. MT, including OL Ian James (Aubrey HS/Aubrey, Texas), DT Keenan Stewart (Iowa Western CC/Cedar Rapids, Iowa), LB Tyrice Knight (Independence CC/Lakeland, Fla.), RB Willie Eldridge (Cy Ranch HS/Houston, Texas), DB Verenzo Holmes (NW Mississippi CC/Grovetown, Ga.), ATH Khalil Warfield (Antonian College Prep/San Antonio, Texas) and DL Deylon Williams (Independence CC/Smyrna, Tenn.).

The next future Miner signed on to play for UTEP at 9:34 a.m. MT when DB Dennis Barnes’ (Fort Scott CC/Jefferson City, Mo.) NLI arrived, while the action concluded not too long after when DT Dresden McIver (Veterans Memorial HS/San Antonio, Texas) sent in his NLI at 11:09 a.m. MT to wrap up a busy morning for the football program.

Since the 2019 season wrapped up on Nov. 30, the UTEP staff has been hard at work recruiting the next batch of Miners to don the orange and blue, a process that ended with much success for Dimel and the future of the program.

“In our first full recruiting weekend after the season, we got everybody we wanted that was in and committed to us on that day,” Dimel, who is entering his third season at the helm of the Miners, said of the recruiting process over the past few weeks. “It was the same thing in week two. We got 100 percent on the guys we targeted and had in for visits and offers. We got in 100 percent of the offers. That is really outstanding, so we are really proud of that. We feel like we have shored up a lot of our defensive concerns and should have a really good young offensive line. We also feel like we have really helped our special teams units moving forward, which is such an important part of winning football games.”

While the Miners focused heavily on the defensive side of the ball during this signing period, Dimel noted that the staff will also target some key offensive positions leading up to the February signing period.

“With the new legislation being put in with having a signing period here in December, it is very positive for us, but we are also liking the one coming up in February as well,” Dimel said. “We put the emphasis on defense with this signing class. We do have two other offensive linemen, a tight end, two wide receivers and a linebacker that are committed to the program, but those are guys who will be talked about in our February signing day gettogether as well as an additional 7-10 other plays who will be announced then. That is where our numbers lie.”

During his Wednesday press conference, Dimel also noted the importance of the junior college players who signed with UTEP in regards to having an immediate impact for the Miners as early as this upcoming spring.

“This is an opportunity to get some good players that can be here in the spring so we can start to mold them and they can really help us turn the corner,” Dimel said. “But also, it goes back to when we came in and where we were. When I got here, there were a lot of juniors and seniors, but not very many freshmen and sophomores on the roster. Sometimes that is where you have to go the junior college route because you have to fill those voids that were in the recruiting, so that is one of the main reasons we went with the junior college guys.”

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.

Gallery and Video by Ruben R. Ramirez – El Paso Herald Post

 

2020 UTEP FOOTBALL SIGNEES

 

Dennis Barnes – DB, 5-11, 170

Jefferson City, Mo. (Fort Scott CC)

  • Played two seasons at Fort Scott Community College in Fort Scott, Kansas, where he saw action in 16 total games as a defensive back for the Greyhounds.
  • In 2019, he saw action in seven games for the Greyhounds and registered 25 total tackles (22 solo), while averaging 3.6 tackles per game last season.
  • He ranked second on the team with two interceptions on the year (returned for 5 yards) and led the team with 7 pass break-ups over the course of last season.
  • During the 2017 season, he played in nine games for the Greyhounds, while registering 4.0 total tackles (3 solo) and 1 interception during his freshman campaign.
  • Coached by Kale Pick during his time at Fort Scott.
  • Graduated high school from Jefferson City High School in Jefferson City, Missouri, in 2017.

 

 

Willie Eldridge – RB, 5-11, 195

Houston, Texas (Cy Ranch HS)

  • Expected to graduate from Cy Ranch High School in Cypress, Texas, in 2020.
  • Rated as a 3-star recruit by both 247sports.com and Rivals.
  • Chose UTEP over offers from Army, Texas Tech, BYU, New Mexico, Vanderbilt, Utah, Southern Miss and others.
  • Lettered in football for the Mustangs, while amassing nearly 2,000 rushing yards and 27 total touchdowns over the course of his junior and senior seasons.
  • Coached by Sean McAuliffe during his time at Cypress Ranch.

 

Verenzo Holmes – DB, 5-11, 190

Grovetown, Ga. (NW Mississippi CC)

  • Played in 11 games for the NW Mississippi Rangers during the 2019 season.
  • Registered 20 total tackles (14 solo), 1.0 TFL (8 yards) and 5 pass breakups.
  • Spent the 2017-18 seasons at Ball State.
  • In 2017, he played in 11 games at defensive back, while making two starts on the season, totaling 10 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1.0 sack and a forced fumble.
  • Redshirted the 2018 season at Ball State.
  • Played for coach Damien Postell at Grovetown High in Georgia.
  • The 247Sports three-star athlete registered 70 tackles, five tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions, and 16 pass break-ups as a senior.
  • Also accounted for 678 all-purpose yards as a receiver and kick returner.
  • Was part of the 2015 Aquinas team that reached the Georgia Class A Private state championship game.
  • Holds the school record for longest kick return, 99 yards, accomplished on the opening kickoff of the championship game.
  • First team all-state honoree.
  • Received interest from Cincinnati, Middle Tennessee, Southern Miss and WKU, among others.
  • Off the field, an A-B Honor Roll member.

 

 

Ian James – OL, 6-5, 275

Aubrey, Texas (Aubrey HS)

  • Expected to graduate from Aubrey High School in 2020.
  • Rated as a 2-star offensive tackle by 247sports.com.
  • Helped guide the Chaparrals to playoff appearances all four years during his prep days.
  • Earned District 3-4AAAA Division II second team all-district honors as a senior.
  • Named academic all-state by the Texas High School Coaches Association in 2018 for his efforts in the classroom and on the gridiron.
  • Coached by Keith Ivy.

 

 

Tyrice Knight – LB, 6-1, 235

Lakeland, Fla. (Independence CC)

  • Spent the 2019 season at Independence Community College.
  • Played in 10 games for the Pirates, while ranking second on the team with 58 total tackles (29 solo) and 5.8 tackles per game.
  • Also recorded 4.0 TFL (9 yards), 4 pass break-ups and 5 interceptions for 163 INT return yards and 2 touchdowns.
  • Had two interceptions for 119 yards and a touchdown to help lead Indy to a 49-20 win over Butler in 2019.
  • Graduated from Lake Gibson HS in 2018 after earning all-state honors during his prep days with the Braves.

 

Dresden McIver – DT, 6-0, 278

San Antonio, Texas (Veterans Memorial HS)

  • Expected to graduate from Veterans Memorial High School in 2020.
  • Rated as a 3-star defensive tackle by 247sports.com.
  • Lettered all four years for the Patriots.
  • Helped guide Veterans to back-to-back appearances in the Region IV-5A Division I playoffs as both a junior and senior.
  • Totaled 62 tackles (36 solo) and an average of 6.2 tackles per game.
  • Chose UTEP over offers from Stephen F. Austin and Mary Hardin-Baylor.
  • Coached by Richard Mendoza.

 

Kelton Moss – DT, 6-2, 295

Jonesboro, La. (Kilgore College)

  • Spent the past two seasons at Kilgore College.
  • Excelled at Kilgore as a 2019 Second Team All-America selection by the NJCAA.
  • Also earned SWJCFC First Team All-Conference accolades this past season.
  • Recorded 59 tackles (36 solo), 9 TFL (23 yards), five sacks and three forced fumbles in 2019.
  • As a freshman in 2018, he played in 12 games for the Rangers, while recording 52 tackles (30 solo), 3 sacks (23 yards), 3 forced fumbles and an interception.
  • Helped lead the Rangers to a combined 18-4 record in his two seasons at Kilgore.
  • Graduated from Jonesboro-Hodge High School in Jonesboro, Louisiana, in 2018.
  • Earned all-state honors for the Tigers during his prep days at Jonesboro-Hodge.

 

 

Keenan Stewart – DT, 6-2, 300

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Iowa Western CC)

  • Spent the past two seasons at Iowa Western Community College.
  • Played in 12 games for the Reivers this past season.
  • Registered 43 total tackles (19 solo) with 10.5 TFL (42 yards) in 2019.
  • Also totaled 5 sacks for 28 yards to go along with 3 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
  • Redshirted the 2018 season after seeing action in just one game and registering one tackle.
  • Graduated from Jefferson High School in 2018.
  • Named Class 4A District 5 Defensive Player of the Year as a senior at Jefferson.

 

 

Jadrian Taylor – DE, 6-1, 235

Lufkin, Texas (Kilgore College)

  • Spent the past two seasons at Kilgore College, where he helped guide the Rangers to an 18-4 combined record over that span.
  • Earned SWJCFC Honorable Mention accolades in 2019.
  • Saw action in 10 games in 2019, while recording 35 tackles (24 solo), 6.5 sacks (60 yards), 2 tackles for loss and one forced fumble.
  • In 2018, he played in 11 games as a freshman at Kilgore, while recording 18 tackles (11 solo), 1.6 tackles per game, 1.5 sacks (15 yards) and a forced fumble.
  • Graduated from Lufkin High School in 2017.

 

Khalil Warfield – ATH, 6-2, 205

San Antonio, Texas (Antonian College Prep)

  • Expected to graduate from Antonian College Prep in 2020.
  • Earned First Team All-District honors as an athlete for TAPPS Division I-District 3 as a senior.
  • Finished his final season as a dual-threat quarterback for the Apaches with 2,671 yards and 31 touchdowns.
  • Was named to the San Antonio All-Star Team following his senior season.
  • Helped lead the Apaches to a 9-4 record and an appearance in the semifinals of the TAPPS Division I High School Football Playoffs as a senior.
  • Multi-sport athlete who lettered in football, basketball and track and field during his prep days.
  • Chose UTEP over offers from Southern Miss and Incarnate Word.
  • Coached by Van Fuschak.

 

Deylon Williams – DL, 6-2, 245

Smyrna, Tenn. (Independence CC)

  • Spent the 2019 season at Independence Community College where he played in 10 games for the Pirates.
  • Ranked fourth on the team with 48 total tackles (29 solo) last season, while also averaging 4.8 tackles per game.
  • Had two sacks for a loss of 11 yards in 2019.
  • Ranked second on the team with 15 tackles for loss (41 yards).
  • Forced two fumbles and had one fumble recovery as a redshirt sophomore for Indy.
  • Spent the 2017-18 seasons at UT Martin, where he redshirted as a true freshman before playing in six games in 2018 and registering three total tackles.
  • Prepped at Smyrna High School, playing for head coach Matt Williams.
  • Guided the Bulldogs to a 6-5 record with a playoff berth in 2016.
  • Posted 81 total tackles – including 55 solo stops.
  • Averaged 8.1 tackles per game.
  • Recorded a sack and a fumble recovery as a senior.
  • Missed his entire junior season due to injury.
  • Finished his career with 149 total tackles, one sack, an interception and a fumble recovery.
  • Ranked as a two-star recruit by Rivals.
  • Tabbed Region 4-6A All-Region Offensive Player of the Year and first team offense.
  • Named to the Daily News Journal All-Area second team.
  • Named to the All-Region 2-6A team.
  • Played in the 2016 Toyota East vs. West All-Star Game.
  • Played in the 15th annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl High School All-Star Football game.

UTEP to take on former league rival SMU Thursday

After a break for finals the UTEP women’s basketball team (7-2) will return to action by playing at former WAC and Conference USA member SMU (4-4) at 4 p.m. MT on Thursday.

“SMU is a very dangerous team because they are so athletic. They do not always score on a first shot. They hit the offensive boards hard. They will also be a tough road test for our team. But we have been playing well , and I expect a great game,” head coach Kevin Baker shared.

The Miners had a four-game winning streak snapped by No. 20/19 Arizona, 54-43, on Dec. 7. The Mustangs are coming off a 66-51 vanquishing of North Dakota on Dec. 9.

It will mark the second and final nonconference road game for UTEP, which emerged victorious at I-10 rival NM State, 63-57, on Nov. 13. SMU is 3-3 at home, including a victory over defending C-USA Champion Rice.

A win would afford UTEP its first 2-0 start on the road since 2011-12 and fourth overall in program history. Incredibly enough the 2011-12 team holds the school standard for best road start at 3-0; it went on to finish 11-1 on the road. UTEP was also 2-0 on the road in 1998-99 and 2006-07.

Thursday’s game will be streamed live online through PonyUpTV.

UTEP is off to a 7-2 start on the year, which is a stark reversal from a year ago. The Miners were 2-7 at this juncture in 2018-19, and eventually finished the year at 9-22. UTEP could match its overall win total from a year ago before conference play begins if it is able to pick up a road win at SMU and then knock off Tulsa at home. 

Five of UTEP’s victories have been by double figures, including three 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 Western Michigan (11/29) by 30 (76-46) and a 20-point (65-45) dispatching of NM State (11/23).

It marks the first time since 2013-14 that UTEP posted at least three nonconference wins against DI programs by 20+ points. That year the Miners had six such efforts prior to league action.

Fans are encouraged to connect with the Miners on Facebook (UTEP Women’s Basketball), Instagram (@utepwbb) and Twitter (@UTEPWBB). 

Up next, the Miners will be break for the holidays before wrapping up nonconference play at home against Tulsa at 1 p.m. MT on Dec. 29. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.

Game in Many Pics: UTEP downs UC Irvine 67-61 to take Haskins Tourney Crown

For the first time since 2014, the Miners were victorious Tuesday evening in their own holiday tournament, named for their Hall of Fame Coach.

With the 67-61 victory over UC Irvine at the Haskins Center, UTEP improved to 8 and 1 on the season.

The Miners upped their home mark to 7-0 after defeating North Carolina A&T, 72-54, Monday night. With the win Tuesday night, the unblemished 8-win home record is the best start since the 2003-04 season.

The Miners now prepare for a Thursday match up with Houston.

“We did a great job of attacking the paint and putting pressure on the basket. When you do those kinds of things, it gives itself an opportunity to go to the foul line,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We got to the line 36 times and we did a pretty good job shooting free throws tonight, making 28 of those. That was a big part of the game.”

UTEP set season highs in made free throws (28) and free-throw attempts (36) for a 77.8 percent clip.

Our very own Ruben R. Ramirez and Johnny Yturales were at the game and we bring you their view of the contest in this ‘Game in Many Pics.’

Gallery by Ruben R. Ramirez | Johnny Yturales – El Paso Herald Post

Video+Gallery+Story: Boum, Williams combine for 47 points in UTEP’s 72-54 win

Souley Boum nailed a collegiate career-high five three pointers, while tying his career best with 26 points and Bryson Williams registered his second double-double (21 points, 10 rebounds) of the season as the UTEP Miners (7-1) downed North Carolina A&T (3-8), 72-54, in the first round of the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational on Monday night.

“I thought our guys came out tonight and really executed against a combination of defenses,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We knew we would see some 1-3-1 and I thought our guys did a nice job seeing the 1-3-1 in a game situation. We did a great job of handling that in the first half. We saw a 2-3 zone in our previous game, which was good for us for 40 minutes. I thought tonight we were much better against the 2-3 zone. We got great looks all night long, whether we were attacking in the middle of the zone, or whether we were getting it into the interior.”

The Miners improved the 7-0 in the Haskins Center, making it the best start in the Sun City since the 2003-04 season. UTEP finally got going from three-point land, as it made a season-high 13-of-27 (48.1 percent).

The Orange and Blue set the season high in the first half with eight-made treys.

UTEP will now take on UC Irvine (7-5) in the championship game Tuesday night with tipoff set for 7 p.m. The Anteaters upset Kent State (8-2), 74-68, in the earlier contest.

Boum produced all-around numbers, going 8-for-11 from the field that included a 5-for-8 effort from downtown. The redshirt sophomore also went 5-for-6 from the charity stripe. Boum missed his first free throw of the season after starting his UTEP career 24-of-24 from the line.

“Souley has been a guy we expected all year who we counted on to make shots for us and score the basketball,” Terry said. “That’s what he did at San Francisco. He was all-freshman in the WCC and we were glad to see him make some shots.”

Williams scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half. The redshirt junior went 4-for-5 from the field, and shooting a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line. Overall, Williams made 6-of-9 from the field and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Williams is 9-for-13 (69.2) from three-point range this season after going 1-for-4 in his first two years at Fresno State.

“I’ve been working on (three-point shooting) since I got to UTEP,” Williams said. “After not playing for a year, I was just constantly shooting in the gym and it all took care of itself.”

Daryl Edwards added nine points, including back-to-back three pointers in the first half that put the Miners up 18-8.

The Aggies, however, would rally. They answered with a 7-0 run sparked by a made three-point bucket by Ronald Jackson (13 points) that got his squad within three points (18-15).

Even after a pair of made free throws by Nigel Hawkins that put UTEP up 22-15, North Carolina A&T would not go away.

The Aggies assembled a 13-5 run that was capped by two Kameron Langley’s made free throws at the 3:03 mark, putting them up 28-27.

But Boum’s late three gave UTEP a 30-28 lead and never looked back. The Miners ran into the locker room up eight points (37-29) after finishing out the first half on a 10-1 run.

The second-half scoring opened up after NC A&T got within six points (39-33) after a jumper by Devin Haygood at the 17:08 mark. The Miners used an 18-3 run to go up 57-36 and essentially clinching the seventh home victory of the season.

Jordan Lathon and Edwards each tallied four of UTEP’s 18 dimes, while Lathon added six rebounds and a late three-point bucket.

The Miners allowed less than 60 points for the fifth time this season, while the Aggies only shot 34.5 percent from the field. It was the sixth time this season UTEP allowed less than 39 percent shooting from the field. UTEP also outrebounded North Carolina A&T, 43-32.

“I thought we were good defensively for stretches,” Terry said. “But I didn’t think we were good for 40 minutes. However, I thought we really turned the game in the second half with our defense.”

UTEP will play UC Irvine in Tuesday’s championship game as the Anteaters have won four of their last five games. Collin Welp leads UCI in points per game (14.3) and rebounds per contest (6.4). Eyassu Worku averages 10.9 points per game.

Welp led the way with 18 points on Monday night, while Eyassu chipped in with 15 points and six assists, and Brad Greene with 16 points. UCI outrebounded Kent State, 35-32, and recorded six steals.

“It’s a program I’m very familiar with,” Terry said. “Russ (Turner) is a great coach and he’s built a solid program. We’re trying the build a program here, and he’s built one there that has a chance to go to the NCAA Tournament every year. We’re going to play to play some good senior guards and have played in postseason play. Their interior players are really good as well and they put a lot pressure on the basket. He’s always had really big teams and they execute well. It’s going to be a great challenge for us.”

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

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