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Home | Tag Archives: utep miners (page 87)

Tag Archives: utep miners

UTEP Reminds Fans of Tailgating Policies ahead of Saturday’s Home Opener

The University of Texas at El Paso football team will kick off its seven-game home schedule against I-10 rival New Mexico State University at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3 at Sun Bowl Stadium.

UTEP officials say the tips and information concerning parking, tailgating and Sun Bowl Stadium policies are “designed to help guide fans’ event planning and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.”

Inner campus tailgates may start at 2 p.m. while outer lots may begin at 8 a.m. on game day. Tailgaters must enter the Sun Bowl Stadium by the end of the first quarter. One person may stay at each tailgating site during the game if there is a large setup.

Parking during game days is limited to one tailgate setup per parking space that includes the vehicle, canopies and cooking area. Spaces are first come, first served. Tailgating should take place within 4 feet in front of or behind your vehicle. No tailgating is allowed in UTEP parking garages and overnight parking with the exception of ticketed RVs is not allowed on University property.

Glass containers are not allowed anywhere on campus. Kegs, beer balls and other common-source containers are also prohibited on campus and in tailgating areas. No drinking games of any kind are allowed.

During UTEP game days, all laws pertaining to concealed campus carry apply. Sun Bowl Stadium is a concealed campus carry exclusion zone, and concealed handgun license carriers are not permitted to bring weapons into the venue.

For more information on concealed campus carry policies, visit sa.utep.edu/campuscarry

For more information on UTEP football game day policies, visit tailgate.utep.edu. For the 2016 UTEP football schedule, visit utepathletics.com

Miners Picked to Finish Fourth in Preseason Poll

The UTEP Miners were selected to finish fourth in the West Division in the 2016 Conference USA Preseason Media Football Poll the league announced on Thursday.

The Miners fell short last season of being bowl eligible finishing 5-7 overall. The squad had to overcome multiple injuries last season with 15 players having to sit out with season-ending injuries.

This season UTEP returns 47 letterwinners and 17 starters (8 offense/6 defense/3 special teams). After his third season as the head football coach, Sean Kugler made some changes to the coaching staff with the addition of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brent Pease, defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Tom Mason, wide receivers coach Theron Aych, cornerbacks coach Derrius Bell and assistant special teams coordinator, recruiting coordinator and safeties coach Don Yanowsky.

The Miners will be led by the return of Aaron Jones, who suffered an ankle injury last season. Jones currently ranks eighth on the program’s all-time rushing list and has accounted for 20 touchdowns in 23 games.

EAST DIVISION  

  1. Middle Tennessee
  2. WKU
  3. Marshall
  4. Florida Atlantic
  5. FIU
  6. Old Dominion
  7. Charlotte

WEST DIVISION 

  1. Southern Miss
  2. Louisiana Tech
  3. Rice
  4. UTEP
  5. UTSA
  6. North Texas

Five Miners Receive C-USA Preseason Honors

Five Miners earned a spot on the 2016 Conference USA Football preseason award list on Wednesday.

Leading the way on offense is Aaron Jones and Will Hernandez. Jones was recently named to the Doak Walker and Maxwell Award Watch List. The junior looks to make his return after suffering an ankle injury early in the season last year. Jones currently ranks eighth on the program’s all-time rushing list and has accounted for 20 touchdowns in 23 games.

Hernandez is a two-year starter for the Miners and looks to guide the offensive unit to another productive season. The unit is known for protecting the field, tying for sixth nationally in fewest sacks allowed per game.

On defense, captains Nick Usher and Alvin Jones garnered recognition. Usher will be making the move from defensive lineman to linebacker this season. Last season, the senior ranked second on the team in sacks with 3.5 for 21 yards. He also notched 46 tackles (27s/19a), 10 tackles for loss, one forced fumble, five quarterback hurries and a blocked kick.

In 2015, Jones led the team with 93 tackles (48s/45a), 14.5 tackles for loss (59 yards), 6.5 sacks (41 yards) and two safeties, while adding four quarterback hurries.

On special team, underclassman Warren Redix garnered punt returner honors. The all-around player was asked to step in on punt return late in the season and registered four punts for 24 yards.

UTEP will open the season at home against I-10 rival NM State on Sept. 3 at 6 p.m. MT. Call 747-6150 today to purchase UTEP season tickets.

Five Miners Conclude Play in NBA Summer League

Five former UTEP basketball players recently wrapped up their stints in the NBA Summer League.

Randy Culpepper (2007-11), Vince Hunter (2013-15), McKenzie Moore (2012-14), Julyan Stone (2007-11) and Julian Washburn (2011-15) all saw action in the Las Vegas Summer League.  Culpepper and Hunter were teammates on the Memphis Grizzlies squad.  Moore played for the Dallas Mavericks, Stone for the Milwaukee Bucks and Washburn for the San Antonio Spurs.

Earlier this month, Hunter and Washburn were teammates on the Los Angeles Clippers in the Orlando Summer League.  Hunter played in a total of eight Summer League games, and Washburn played in nine contests.

Below is a look at how the Miners fared in this year’s NBA Summer League.

Las Vegas Summer League

Randy Culpepper played in four games for the Memphis Grizzlies.  He averaged 6.5 points, 0.8 rebounds and 16.8 minutes, shooting 38.5 percent (10-for-26) from the field.  He scored 10 points each in his last two games versus Minnesota and Atlanta and added four steals versus the Hawks.

Vince Hunter made five appearances for the Grizzlies.  He averaged 11.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 21.8 minutes, shooting 57.1 percent (24-for-42) from the field.  He scored in double figures versus Milwaukee (17 points) and Atlanta (18 points), and pulled down 10 boards against Minnesota.

McKenzie Moore played in six games for the Dallas Mavericks.  He averaged 6.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 18.0 minutes, shooting 36.4 percent (12-for-33) from the field.  His top performances came versus Chicago (nine points) and Milwaukee (seven points/six rebounds/three steals).

Julyan Stone saw action in five contests for the Milwaukee Bucks.  He averaged 2.8 points, 1.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 18.6 minutes, shooting 23.5 percent (4-for-17) from the field.  Stone’s top game statistically came in the Summer League opener versus Cleveland with eight points, four assists and four steals.

Julian Washburn played in five games for the San Antonio Spurs.  He averaged 2.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 11.0 minutes, shooting 15.4 percent (2-for-13) from the field.  He corralled six rebounds against Memphis.

Orlando Summer League

Hunter played in three games for the Los Angeles Clippers.  He averaged 5.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 12.7 minutes, shooting 33 percent (5-for-15) from the floor.  Hunter tallied 11 points in the Clippers’ Summer League opener against Miami.

Washburn made four appearances for the Los Angeles Clippers.  He averaged 2.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 10.5 minutes with a .364 (4-for-11) field goal percentage.  Washburn put eight points on the board versus the New York Knicks.

1966 Texas Western Champions to be Recognized During NCAA Final Four

Members of the 1966 Texas Western College men’s basketball team are headed to Houston this weekend, where they will be part of Final Four activities and be recognized during halftime of the second semifinal game between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Syracuse Orange.

Friday, April 1

  • Team members will arrive in Houston and will have the opportunity to watch the Final Four teams’ practices. There will also be a Q & A session at NRG Stadium Friday afternoon with Louis Baudoin, David Lattin and Nevil Shed.
  • 1966 players will also have the opportunity to visit with members of the UTEP Alumni Association – Houston Chapter.

Saturday, April 2

  • A handful of designated players will participate in NCAA Powerade Youth Clinics in the morning at Strake Jesuit College Prep School.
  • That afternoon David Lattin will join Greg Gumbel and crew on the Turner Network pregame show at 1:30 p.m. (MT) to discuss the 1966 championship and his grandson’s current quest for the title. Khadeem Lattin plays for the Oklahoma Sooners.
  • Recognition on the NCAA national platform is scheduled for Saturday during the second game of the semifinals. They will be introduced during halftime. The game airs on TBS at 6:49 p.m. (MT).

Sunday, April 3

  • Players will be honored at the NCAA’s Celebration of Champions at the Buffalo Soldier National Museum.

Monday, April 4

  • The 1966 team, which was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007, has been invited to the announcement of the 2016 Hall of Fame class.
  • A 30-minute autograph session is scheduled for players during the NCAA Fan Fest at the George Brown Convention Center.
  • Players will attend a panel event, sponsored by Prime Sports, featuring Nevil Shed and David Lattin at NRG Stadium Monday before attending the NCAA   Championship Game.

The historic basketball group was last together in February on the UTEP campus, when they were recognized for the 50th anniversary of their historic win over Kentucky.

Story in Six Pics: UTEP tames ACU Wildcats 66-62

The Miners survived a late push by the Abilene Christian in the first round of the Woman’s NIT at the Haskins Center on Thursday. True to form, UTEP turned up the heat on defense and downed the ‘Cats 66-62. Andres Acosta was there and brings you his view in tonight’s Story in Six Pix.

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Tables Now Being Sold For 42nd Annual “Dinner With the Miners”

Tables are now being sold for the 42nd edition of “Dinner With the Miners,” the annual awards banquet for UTEP Athletics.  This year’s event, sponsored by the El Paso Downtown Lions Club, will be held on Tuesday, May 3 at the Wyndham El Paso Airport.

Coaches and student-athletes will be in attendance for each of UTEP’s 16 Division I sports, with Most Valuable Athlete awards being presented.  UTEP’s Male and Female Athlete of the Year will also be announced as well as the recipient of the Golden Miner Award, presented to UTEP’s top all-around student-athlete based on athletics, academics and community service.

The social hour begins at 5 p.m., with dinner and the program to follow at 6:15 p.m.

Prices are $275 for three seats at a shared table with two student-athletes/coaches, and $500 for six seats at a shared table with four student-athletes/coaches.  Funds raised are allocated to the UTEP student-athlete scholarship fund.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please call Jim Peak at (915) 581-0490.

UTEP Softball to Play at Classic in Vegas

The UTEP softball team will travel to Las Vegas, Nev. to compete at the DeMarini Desert Classic on Feb. 19-21. The Miners will play in Fabulous Las Vegas for the third consecutive year and will take on Nevada (3:45 p.m. PT), host school UNLV (8:15 p.m.) on Feb. 19, Utah State (11:15 a.m.) and San Jose State (6 p.m.) on Saturday, and will conclude the weekend against Grand Canyon (1:30 p.m.) on Sunday.

Last season, the Miners picked up a pair of wins, defeating Portland State, 8-5, and Indiana, 4-1, on the first day of the weekend classic. UTEP is 2-8 in Las Vegas during the last two years.

Breaking Down the DeMarini Desert Classic

UTEP will play on two fields, Eller Media Stadium on the campus at UNLV and at Stephanie Lynn Craig Park (SLC). The Miners’ will play Nevada, UNLV and San Jose State at Eller Media Stadium, while taking on Utah State and Grand Canyon at SLC Park. UTEP will be the designated home team against Nevada and San Jose State.

Last Weekend

UTEP (2-3) opened the 2016 campaign with a 4-1 loss to Incarnate Word, but bounced back to trounce UIW, 13-3 in five frames. The Miners put up 11 runs on 10 hits during an epic second inning against the Cardinals. The Orange and Blue connected on five home runs against UIW, the second most in a single game in program history. At the NM State Invitational, the Orange and Blue scored three runs in the top seventh to defeat UIW, while losing a pair of contests to rival NM State, 4-1, on Feb. 13 and, 12-4 (five innings) on Valentine’s Day.

All-Time Series vs. Nevada

Nevada leads the all-time series 9-2. The Wolf Pack defeated the Miners, 6-3, last season at the Wilson/DeMarini Desert Classic on Feb. 14. Kiki Pepi went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run, while Hope Moreno connected on her first collegiate long ball. UTEP’s last victory over Nevada came on March 27, 2008, an 8-1 final. The Miners’ other victory came on April 29, 2004 when both programs were in the Western Athletic Conference.

Scouting Nevada

The Wolf Pack went 3-2 at the Kajikawa Classic on Feb. 12-14, defeating Bradley (7-6), Indiana (5-3) and East Carolina (2-1) along the way. Nevada is hitting .254 as team with three jacks and 17 runs scored. Aaliyah Gibson is hitting .615 with a home run and a pair of RBI. Amanda Weis leads the team with four RBI. In the circle, the pitching staff has a 3.71 ERA in 34.0 innings. Chase Redington (1-0) has a 2.10 ERA in 6.2 innings, while Brooke Bolinger (1-1) has hurled 18.2 frames with nine strikeouts.

All-Time Series vs. UNLV

UNLV leads the all-time series 3-0. The Runnin’ Rebels edged the Miners, 2-0, in a pitching duel on Feb. 15, 2015 at Eller Media Stadium. Kaitlin Fifield tossed 6.0 solid innings, allowing both runs and fanning six. UTEP could only muster up four hits, to UNLV’s seven. The two other meetings happened in 2004 and 2005.

Scouting UNLV

The Runnin’ Rebels began their 2016 campaign with a 4-2 record after competing in the Sportco Kickoff Classic. The Rebels defeated Lamar, 3-2, Syracuse, 6-1, Utah Valley, 11-1 (5), and South Dakota, 7-3, while losing to Texas Tech, 7-3, and no. 20 Washington, 9-0 (6). Sophomore Janine Petmecky leads the Rebels with a .706 batting average while Emily Haslinger leads with seven RBI, but only hit .188. Haslinger and Petmecky both hit one home run. Morgan Ettinger notched a 3-0 record, as she leads UNLV with a 2.05 ERA in 13.2 innings.

All-Time Series vs. Utah State

Utah State won its only meeting against UTEP, a 12-5 triumph on Feb. 5, 2005 at the Alexis Resort Kick-off Classic in Las Vegas, Nev. The Miners had a 5-2 lead before the Aggies scored three runs in the fourth frame and seven runs on three hits and three errors in the sixth inning to seal the victory.

Scouting Utah State

The Aggies forged a 2-4 record at the Kajikawa Classic (Feb. 11-14). Utah State lost its firs four contests, but rebounded to win its next two, defeating Bradley (6-2) and Maryland (5-0). Sarah Chow leads the team in batting (.471) and hits (eight), while Victoria Saucedo leads in RBI (six) and Alleyah Armendariz leads with a pair of long balls. April Brown leads the pitching staff with 13.2 innings and ERA (4.61), while Noelle Johnson has fanned 15 batters in 11.2 frames.

All-Time Series vs. San Jose State

San Jose State leads the all-time series 8-4. The Spartans defeated the Miners, 10-8, on March 1, 2014 at the Libby Matson Tournament in Stockton, Calif. Alanna Leasau went 3-for-3 with a pair of RBI and a runs scored, while Kayla Black was 1-for-3 with three RBI. Prior that contest in 2014, UTEP had won three consecutive contests against San Jose State.

Scouting San Jose State

The Spartans went 1-5 at the Kajikawa Classic (Feb. 11-13) to open the 2016 season. San Jose State’s lone victory came against Virgina, a 10-1 (six innings) run-rule final. The Spartans opened the weekend with a pair of 8-0 losses to BYU and Arizona State. The team is hitting .223, while scoring 13 runs. Brittany Abacherli had three hits, three RBI and a two-run homer during San Jose State’s two contests on Feb. 13.

All-Time Series vs. Grand Canyon

The Feb. 21 contest will mark the first meeting between the two programs.

Scouting Grand Canyon

The Antelopes enter the 2016 season with a 6-0 record after punching out six straight victories during a three-day stretch as they took the GCU Kickoff Tournament by storm. The Antelopes defeated UMBC, 18-0, Idaho State, 12-4, and Loyola Marymount, 8-0.

On the second day of the tournament, the Antelopes held the lead to win 15-12 against Idaho State off of a two-run walk off home run hit by freshman Nikki Gonzalez. GCU has a team batting percentage of .483 with Bianca Boling leading with a .600 average. Shea Smith aids the Antelopes with 13 RBI and a .525 batting average. In the circle, Taylor Nowlin leads GCU with a 2.55 ERA in 11.0 innings.

UTEP’s Overall Team Batting

UTEP is hitting .315 to start the new campaign, ranking third in Conference USA. The Miners also lead the league with their six home runs. The team hit five long balls during the opening day second contest against Incarnate Word, which is the second-most hit in a single game in school history. UTEP ranks second in total bases (67), fourth in RBI (22) and is tied for the league lead (UTSA) with a pair of triples.

Court is in Session

Sophomore Courtney Clayton, who was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team, has picked up where she left off in 2015. The Cornelius, Ore., native hit .389 (7-for-18) with a pair of jacks, seven RBI (tied second in C-USA), a double, six runs scored and her first career triple to commence the new campaign.

Clayton currently leads the Miners in total bases (16), is tied for the team lead in RBI and runs scored, while ranking second in slugging percentage (.889). During UTEP’s 13-3 run rule victory over Incarnate Word, Clayton tied her career high in RBI (four), while establishing a career best in hits on a 4-for-4 night. In that same game, Clayton tallied her four RBI on a two-run home run and a two-run single during an 11-run second inning.

Ruff Ryder

Sophomore Kaitlin Ryder shut opposing pitchers down during opening weekend. The Chatsworth, Calif., native currently leads Conference USA in hitting with an outstanding .615 average (8-for-13), while ranking third in slugging percentage (1.154) and second in on-base percentage (.688). Ryder established career highs in hits (3-for-3) and runs scored (three) during UTEP’s 13-3 win over Incarnate Word, including a first inning two-run dinger. Ryder has three RBI, a triple (matching last season’s total) and a team-leading two doubles.

Pearson Moving Up

Senior pitcher Danielle Pearson made her first start on Feb. 13, defeating Incarnate Word 5-3. The Orlando, Fla., native hurled a complete game, tied her career best with six Ks, while picking up her first win of 2016 and 19th-career victory. Pearson currently ranks third on the all-time win’s list in program history, while ranked tied third with 94 appearances. Pearson will finish her UTEP career ranked second all-time innings pitched. So far, she’s pitched 397 frames. Stacie Townsend is the all-time leader with 722.1 innings pitched.

Kiki Pepped Up

Junior Kiki Pepi is hitting .294 with a pair of home runs, seven RBI (tied second in Conference USA) and a .706 slugging percentage. The San Diego, Calif., native had a career night against Incarnate Word on opening day, hitting a career-high two home runs and tallying five RBI. In fact, her two jacks and five RBI all came during an 11-run second inning against the Cardinals. Pepi connected on a two-run double during the fifth inning against rival NM State on Feb. 14.

Fifield in the Circle

Junior Kaitlin Fifield leads the pitching staff in innings pitched (11.0) and Ks (nine). Though the El Paso native doesn’t have a win early in the season, Fifield pitched a solid outing during UTEP’s 4-1 loss to Incarnate Word. Fifield threw a complete game, while fanning seven batters (two shy of tying career high). Of the four runs allowed, one was earned, as three errors paved the way for three unearned runs to cross the dish. Fifield is 0-2 with a 3.18 ERA

UTEP Football Hires Cornerbacks Coach

Head coach Sean Kugler announced the addition of Derrius Bell to the football coaching staff on Tuesday.

Bell comes to UTEP after serving on the SMU staff for three seasons. Bell will be working with the Miners cornerbacks.

Bell served as the Mustangs defensive coordinator of quality control from 2013-2014. Prior to being promoted to quality control, Bell was a graduate assistant under Miners’ defensive coordinator Tom Mason.

In 2012, he was instrumental in the Mustangs defensive journey, posting two shutouts and tying an NCAA interception record, ranking 15th in rush defense with just 118 yards per game, while also tying for third in takeaways (37), ranking second in fumble recoveries for touch­down (16) and led the nation in interceptions for touchdown (eight).

Bell not only aided Mason for three seasons but also played for him at SMU. He lettered for the Mustangs for three season (2007-2009) and appeared in over 20 games. During his playing career, he notched 66 tackles and two interceptions. As a sophomore he started in 11 games and totaled 53 stops, 5.5 tackles for loss and nine pass breakups. In 2007, saw action in nine games as a true freshman.

Prior to heading to SMU, Bell rated the 12th-best corner prospect by ESPN.com. As a senior at Hillcrest High School, he recorded 59 tackles, three picks and seven pass breakups. Bell also made an impact on special teams and offense, notching two kickoff returns for touchdowns and catching 13 passes for 158 yards and a score.

Bell received his degree from SMU in 2011. His older brother Dustin Bell played corner for the Miners two seasons (2008-2009).

Season tickets and prices will be released and go on sale for the 2016 season in early March. Football season ticket renewal invoices will go out in mid-March. For more information or to purchase season tickets, please call the UTEP Season Ticket Office at (915) 747-6150.

UTEP Rally Falls Short as Aggies down Miners 12-4

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The UTEP softball team scored four runs in the top of the fifth inning, to cut a 9-0 deficit to five runs, but NM State answered with a trio of runs to claim a 12-4 victory in five innings on Sunday at the NM State Softball Complex.

With the Aggies (5-0) leading 5-0 in the fourth inning, pinch hitter Corrin Green connected on a grand slam over center to take a commanding lead.

The Miners (2-3), however, answered with four runs of their own after only registering two hits the first four frames.

Ariel Blair led off the inning with a walk, followed by a Taylor Sargent single up the middle. The runners then advanced on a Morgan Rasmason sac bunt. Lindsey Sokoloski, who has contributed right away in her first year, recorded her first RBI in a UTEP uniform on a pinch-hit single to third base, plating Blair for the Miners’ first run of the day.

Courtney Clayton put the Miners on the board again, as she reached on a fielder’s choice, scoring Sargent. Kaitlin Ryder reached first on a two-out error and Kiki Pepi doubled to right center to bring her squad within five runs. A groundout would eventually end the inning.

Pepi finished the afternoon 2-for-3, while Hope Moreno added a hit for the Miners.

UTEP will travel to Las Vegas, Nev. to play at the DeMarini Desert Classic. The Miners will open the weekend with a contest against Nevada (4:45 p.m. MT) and host school UNLV (9:15 p.m.) on Feb. 19. Saturday will feature games against Utah State (12:15 p.m.) and San Jose State (7 p.m.), while concluding against Boise State on Sunday (2:30 p.m.).

Miners hold off Owl’s Late Rally for 89-82 Win

BOCA RATON, FLA. – Lee Moore scored 17 points to lead a season-high six UTEP players in double figures as the Miners held off a late Florida Atlantic rally and beat the Owls, 89-82 on Saturday in Boca Raton, Fla.

UTEP (15-11, 7-6 C-USA) won its fourth straight game, swept its Sunshine State tour and moved over .500 in Conference USA play for the first time since early January.

Dominic Artis had another near triple-double for the Miners with 13 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.  Omega Harris and Earvin Morris scored 14 points apiece, Hooper Vint had 13 and Terry Winn had 11.

“We’re pleased to get the win,” UTEP coach Tim Floyd said.   “We are better in three areas than we were a week ago on the road.  Not turning it over more than our opponents, which had been a problem area on the road.  We outrebounded our opponent, which had been a problem area on the road.  And free throw attempts had been a problem area on the road.  We handled those three areas much better.”

The Miners committed 13 turnovers to the Owls’ 16 and outscored FAU (7-19, 5-8 C-USA) 27-13 in points off turnovers.  UTEP outrebounded FAU 38-31 behind Artis and Winn, who snared eight boards.  And the Miners finished 20-for-27 at the charity stripe, while the Owls were 14-for-17.

After scoring the first 15 points in the initial matchup between the teams on Jan. 21, the Miners bolted to an 8-0 lead in the first three minutes on Saturday.  Morris hit two three-pointers right out of the gate and scored 14 points (four triples) in the first half before exiting with foul trouble.  Morris did his first-half damage in only nine minutes.

Florida Atlantic cut the deficit to two (14-12) on a three-pointer by Jeantal Cylla but the Miners answered with a 10-1 run to go up 24-13.  Vint came off the bench to score six points during that stretch.

UTEP enjoyed three separate 17-point leads in the first half – the last at 47-30 on a Harris layup with 2:24 on the clock.

Florida Atlantic scored the last four points of the first half and the first three of the second half to pull within 10 (47-37).  The Miners scored the next five points to push it to 15 (52-37).

UTEP took its biggest lead of the game at 75-57 on a layup by Moore with 9:29 remaining.  Moore scored seven consecutive points for the Miners from the 10:08 mark of the second half to 8:22.

UTEP led 85-73 with four minutes remaining, but the Owls had one last run in them.  They scored nine consecutive points – including seven from Solomon Poole – to cut the lead to three (85-82) with 2:32 to play.

Florida Atlantic had two opportunities to draw closer but Marquan Botley missed a three-pointer and Poole turned it over on the next possession.  Trey Touchet made two free throws with 11 seconds remaining and, after Botley missed a layup, Harris made two foul shots to account for the final score.

“We got really solid play from a lot of guys offensively,” Floyd said.  “We let the game get away from us and lost our poise defensively late.  But I’m pleased that we were able to finish the game against a team that has been much improved since we saw them earlier in the year.”

Adonis Filer led FAU with 18 points.  Cylla and Botley scored 16 and 15 respectively.

The Miners shot 50 percent (51.6) for the fourth time in five games and made 5-of-10 three-point attempts.  UTEP has scored 80+ points 11 times this season, including in four consecutive games.

The Miners will return home to face Southern Miss (Thursday, 7:05 p.m.) and LA Tech (Saturday, 4 p.m.) as they look to continue their march up the C-USA standings.  Thursday is Motown Night, and Saturday is the annual Noche Latina game.

Miners rally tops Western Kentucky in OT 93-89

From the start, as the sold-out crowd stood quietly singing the National Anthem along with a solo trumpet player, as the members of the 1966 Texas Western National Championship looked on, it was a very special afternoon at the Don Haskins Center.

And there was a game to be played as well.

While the Miners looked down and out in the second half – trailing the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers by as many as 19 points – the crowd and the spirit of the championship team – seemingly willed the current Miners to first come from behind in regulation to tie WKU 77-77, then to a 93 to 89 win in overtime.

As was the case in the 1966 championship run – and in countless seasons afterwards – Head Coach Tim Floyd and UTEP turned to aggressive defense to get the job done.

“We’re down 70 to 55 at the eight minute mark and we decide to go back to our press (defense), which we ran early in the ball game and it helped us earlier,” UTEP head coach said, “Earvin (Morris) made the three and we got a layup and all of a sudden we had it down to 10, I think our guys understood how quickly they can turn this with a little poise,” Floyd said.

With the 12,000 Miner fans helping to ignite a comeback, the Miners response included a career high 32 points from Earvin Morris, while Lee Moore would score all of his 23 points in the second half.

Morris was bright all game long connecting on 11 of 24 shots from the field, but it was Moore’s second half performance that sealed the comeback win for the Miners going two of six from behind the three point line and hitting all five of his free throw attempts.

“Just staying aggressive, I felt like I was being aggressive early in the first half, but my shots weren’t really falling,” Morris said. “It just paid off…we know we’re putting in the work in the gym, our shots are going to fall.”

The Toppers edged out the Miners with 30 defensive rebounds to UTEP’s 20 offensive boards, but UTEP would capitalize on turnovers – scoring 24 of their 93 points off of them.

It was a game unlike any other this season or in any other season before, as UTEP celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Texas Western National Championship Team.

“I do think our guys were a little tight and nervous in the first half, but all those things are good and I think these kids, more importantly, which is what is all about are going to remember this game for the rest of their lives and remember why it was important and tell their kids why it was important.”

In attendance were the Haskins family, along with several members from the 1966 team. During time outs, the video board would display former coaches congratulating the Miners, as well a message from President Barak Obama during the halftime ceremony.

“It was great to actually meet them and get to see them and get a couple of signatures, that meant the world to me,” Morris said. “They did it here, they showed us how to win. We just wanted to come out and make sure that we got this victory for them to celebrate their championship.”

Floyd, who was mentored by the late Don Haskins, said he and his team were aware of the importance the game and event meant.

“We want them to understand that there was a lot of guys that played here that were great players, that are proud of this program, proud of what they did to help change college basketball,” Floyd said. “We hope that it helps them conduct themselves properly at all times, but also play with some pride.”

Miners win at WKU 85-78, Take 1st Place in C-USA

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Five different Miners reached double figures in scoring and UTEP turned up the defensive pressure late to emerge with an 85-78 win at Western Kentucky Saturday afternoon.

With the win the Miners (19-2, 10-1 C-USA) take sole possession of first place in Conference USA while also snapping the Lady Toppers’ (18-4, 9-2 C-USA) 15-game home winning streak. It is the first home setback for WKU since Jan. 31, 2015.

“I think we showed a lot of heart and character today,” UTEP head coach Keitha Adams said. “We played a really great team on their home court and just dug down deep. It’s a great feeling when your kids play that hard. We have all kinds of respect for Western Kentucky, which makes it just a great win. It was a big game, and we knew that we were playing for something today.”

Starr Breedlove (21 points, seven assists, career-high six steals) led the way but she had plenty of help. Fellow senior Cameasha Turner tallied 17 points and five boards while Lulu McKinney came off the bench to contribute 14 points, aided by making 4-6 from three-point range. McKinney also dished out six assists.

RS-sophomore Tamara Seda provided a big presence inside with a career-high 11 points to go along with four rebounds while Sparkle Taylor pitched in 10 points from the pine as well.

UTEP shot 52.4 percent (33-63) from the floor, and compiled 18 assists while only making 10 turnovers.

WKU was led by 29 points from Tashia Brown, with Kendall Noble (12 points) and Ivy Brown (12 points) also hitting double figures.

The Lady Toppers nailed 54.5 (30-55) percent from the floor and won the boards (32-28) but they had issues with the Miners’ pressure at key junctures.

WKU committed 15 turnovers, which led to 23 UTEP points. The Miners also had big advantage in second-chance points (15-6) and bench scoring (37-17).

Spurred on by an energetic crowd, WKU bolted out to 13-point lead (22-9) early with 42 second to play in the first quarter. UTEP didn’t flinch, but rather quietly continued to chip away.

McKinney got things going with the first of her four triples in the game, which was followed by a jumper by Turner to make it 25-20 WKU with 8:04 remaining in the second quarter.

The home side extended its advantage back to double figures but UTEP didn’t go away. Outstanding execution on an out of bounds play resulted in a classic three-point play for Turner to bring the Miners within six (46-40) heading to halftime.

The momentum carried into the third quarter, with UTEP ripping off seven straight points to take its first lead of the game at 54-50 with 6:16 left in the frame. WKU countered by pouring in nine straight points in the blink of the eye but Turner made a driving layup to slow the surge.

The two sides traded baskets and runs in the fourth quarter, and there was a sense that whichever team could string together some stops on defense would be the one to emerge victorious.

Much to the disdain of the faithful in E.A. Diddle Arena, that proved to be UTEP. The Miners held WKU to just one field goal in the final 3:41, fueling a game-closing 10-2 run.

Breedlove hit a three to start the defining surge, which was followed by a Turner free throw.

WKU got a jumper to get within one (79-78) with 1:12 to play but McKinney, with her dad in the stands, nailed a straight on triple to extend UTEP’s lead to four. Out of a timeoutChrishauna Parker got a steal and Breedlove hit a free throw. Breedlove then sealed the game with another steal and coast-to-coast score.

UTEP will be back in action at home against FIU at 7:05 p.m. MT Thursday. There will be free admission to the game as part of the annual “National Girls and Women In Sports Celebration.”

Final Stats

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Miners Out-Muscle Marshall at The Don 112-108

Dominic Artis scored 25 of his career-high 33 points in the second half as UTEP outraced Marshall, 112-108, with members of the 1966 national championship team in attendance for the 50th anniversary festivities on Thursday.

The Miners (12-11, 4-6 C-USA) battled back from 14 down over the final 18 minutes in one of the most exciting games ever played in the Don Haskins Center.  It marked the first time that UTEP was involved in a regulation game where two teams scored 100 points since Jan. 9, 1961, when it lost at Arizona State 119-103.  That was the year before the legendary Don Haskins took the helm of the program.

“Surely coach Haskins wasn’t watching that defense [tonight],” coach Tim Floyd said with a smile afterwards.  “Good gosh.  Fifty-year anniversary and we set it back 50 years defensively.  But I’m proud of our guys.  They played with a lot of heart, a lot of fight.”

The 112 points were the third-most scored in school history and the most since Dec. 30, 2000, when UTEP routed New Mexico Highlands 121-86 in “the Don.”  The 65 second-half points were the second-most in the record book behind the 78 versus Highlands.

Artis became the first Miner player to score 30 points in a game since Randy Culpepper tallied 33 versus Houston on Feb. 19, 2011.  But he had more than enough support from Earvin Morris (20 points), Lee Moore (17), Omega Harris (15) and Terry Winn, who scored all 13 of his points in the second half.

“We had several guys that really played well offensively,” Floyd said.  “We start with Dominic, and Lee Moore really got the ball to the rim in the second half.  Earvin Morris, who had really struggled, had six assists and one turnover and 20 points.  They moved the ball and as a result we scored.  Terry gave us a lift in the second half.”

The Miners shot 61.8 percent in the second half, outscoring the Herd 65-53 to wipe out a 55-47 deficit.  UTEP started to make its move with 12:11 remaining, trailing 80-71.  Artis made a three-pointer to begin a 10-0 run that put the Miners ahead (81-80) for the first time since late in the first half.  Artis scored seven of the 10 points during the run.

After UTEP extended its lead to seven (92-85), the Herd came storming back.  A 10-2 spurt ended with a three-point play by Ryan Taylor.  Marshall was back in front 95-94 with 5:40 to go.

The Herd still led by one (108-107) with 1:08 to play after Jon Elmore hit a couple of free throws.  Moore broke the tie – and gave UTEP the lead for good – on two foul shots of his own with 51 seconds left.  The Miners scored their last six points at the line over the final 1:26 with reserve Tevin Caldwell taking an active role, securing two crucial offensive boards off missed free throws to extend possessions.

The second half alone featured nine ties and 15 lead changes.

James Kelly led the Herd (11-12, 7-3 C-USA) with 26 points.  Elmore and Taylor contributed 21 and 20 respectively.

“We never could get our arms around them defensively,” Floyd said.  “They’re hard to guard. There’s a reason why they were scoring 95 a game through the first six games of league play.  It’s a good team.  Really good team.  They’ll be hard to beat on a neutral floor in the conference tournament for anybody when you can score like that.”

The game was fairly even statistically. UTEP shot 56.1 percent, Marshall 53.5 percent.  Rebounds were 36-35 in favor of the Herd.  Both teams made 11 three-pointers.

“We got to the foul line more than they did, and that helped,” Floyd said.  “We had two fewer turnovers.  I guess that helps.  We hung around on the boards, which as you know has been a real issue for us.  Dominic Artis is becoming the guy that we thought we were getting here the last two games.  He has played very aggressively and that has helped us.  I would say those things were all very important.”

Artis followed up a near triple-double at LA Tech with the 33 points, nine rebounds and three assists.

“He’s just more aggressive toward the rim,” Floyd said.  “He’s not settling for all jump shots, although he did get it going from the perimeter there.  He made three or four jump shots in a row.  He got his head up.  I thought the minutes that Lee Moore had driving Kelly were really important and helped us there in the second half.  We were able to get baskets.”

Floyd was appreciative of the crowd of 6,993.

“I thought they were just awesome, absolutely awesome,” he said.  “Hopefully they’ll come out here as inspired [Saturday].  That’s why it’s such a great basketball job.  The fans love it here.  They really like their ball.”

The Miners will salute the ’66 champs at the WKU game on Saturday at 3 p.m.  Tickets are still available by calling 747-5234 or visiting ticketmaster.com

UTEP’s Kugler talks speed, balance for Miners’ Signing Day 2016

Thanks to the 2016 recruiting class, the UTEP football team just got much faster.

Head Coach Sean Kugler said the team upgraded its speed after receiving 24 total letters of intent, and emphasizing the importance of recruiting local talent. That talent includes 19 recruits from Texas, including seven from El Paso.

“The guys that we got, we’re very excited about. Seven players, that gives us 17 that we’ve signed since we’ve been here as a staff,” Kugler said. “That will continue, that’s where recruiting starts for us. We just don’t pay lip service to it, it means something to us. I really have a goal to have a player from every single high school in El Paso on this team at some point.”

The seven El Paso recruits are the most under Kugler in his four seasons at the helm and the most for UTEP since 1999.

The Miners got help on both sides of the ball by signing 12 defensive players and 12 offensive players. Something Kugler wanted from this class.

“We do want to be more balanced offensively and it does start with getting playmakers that can do different things,” Kugler said. “We’ve added several different types of playmakers.”

Of those playmakers, the Miners were able to land three of the top recruits in El Paso in Eastwood quarterback Mark Torrez, fellow Trooper receiver Richie Rodriguez and defensive back Eric Foster from Americas.

Kugler showed excitement when talking about the offensive line recruits the program signed saying the team got that added depth they were looking for.

Another recruit Kugler praised was running back Quadraiz Wadley from Kennedale, Texas, who he said reminds him of his current running back Aaron Jones.  Jones missed most of the 2015 season with an ankle injury.

The Miners will now prepare for their spring camp to commence on March 14 at Glory Field.

“It’s a long process and it take a lot, sometimes you don’t find out until the night before, sometimes you find out the day of,” Kugler said.

He added, “There’s some heartaches too, you lose some guys and you put a lot of work into, but it’s very rewarding to put in all that work and have the young men stay loyal to your program. Unfortunately some kids aren’t that loyal and they switch sides, but if they’re not wholeheartedly here, we don’t want them in our program anyway. We want the guys that want to be Miners.”

To read about all of UTEP’s 2016 Signing Class, click HERE

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