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Home | Tag Archives: utep

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Pulitzer Prize Winner, former Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith to Visit UTEP

An accomplished academic whose accolades include a Pulitzer Prize and the title of former U.S. Poet Laureate will share her thoughts about race, inclusion and society’s shared responsibility toward a common future at The University of Texas at El Paso.

On Thursday, January 30 at 6:30 p.m. Tracy K. Smith, professor of creative writing and chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University, will participate in a reading of her poetry and Spanish translations of her 2018 book of poems, “Wade in the Water,” (“Atravesar el agua”) in UTEP’s Tomás Rivera Conference Center on the third floor of the campus’ Union Building East.

Organizers will follow the readings with a question-and-answer session with Smith led by Sasha Pimentel, associate professor of creative writing at UTEP.

Critics have lauded Smith for her ability to weave art, music, history and other disciplines throughout the liberal arts to create prose that engages readers. They have called her one of the most relevant poets of her generation.

She won the Pulitzer Prize in 2012 at age 39 for “Life on Mars,” one of her four books of poetry, and the Library of Congress appointed her in June 2017 the 22nd U.S. Poet Laureate. She served two one-year terms.

Smith said she was excited to share her work in a bilingual format alongside Andrea Cote Botero, the assistant professor of creative writing at UTEP who translated “Wade in the Water” into Spanish. The guest speaker said she plans to discuss how she and Cote rendered poems into Spanish.

Vaso Roto published the Spanish/English edition in December 2019. The official U.S. release of the bilingual publication will be at UTEP.

“‘Wade in the Water’ is a book concerned with questions of citizenship and social justice, which have been central to American life throughout history,” Smith said. “I’m grateful for the chance to engage in the conversation around such topics with readers in El Paso and elsewhere for whom Spanish is central to everyday life.”

In her book, Smith reflects on U.S. history and its present as told through “found poems,” or letters that African American soldiers sent to their relatives and to President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.

Cote said the technique allowed the writer to create a dialogue with voices from the past without erasing their original value. The UTEP educator said the book was an example of how difficult it is to create without input from others.

“I told (Smith) about the symbolic value of the border community of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, and she was very excited about performing in our community,” said Cote, who added that she hoped the bilingual presentation would create an interactive and informal cultural experience.

Margarita Mejía, a third-year creative writing graduate student, said she was a fan of Smith’s work because of the Spanish translation. The native of Colombia, who also is a published poet, said the bilingual prose opens Smith’s creative universe to another group of appreciative admirers.

“From a unique imagination and a feminine point of view, the author explores race, oppression, identity, body, and infamy in history, with a voice that strikes and redeems,” Mejía said.

Denis O’Hearn, Ph.D., dean of the College of Liberal Arts, said it was an honor for the college and the University to host Smith, whose other accolades include the 2006 James Laughlin Award and the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. She also has received an Academy of American Poets Fellowship as well as the Rona Jaffe Award and the Whiting Award.

“Our Creative Writing faculty includes some fine poets, maybe even a future poet laureate, so we will be sure and extend her the warmest of welcomes,” O’Hearn said.

Smith, who will sell and sign many of her books after the official program, also will meet with students from the Liberal Arts Honors Program, the African American Studies Program (AASP) and the Department of Creative Writing, which is one of the event’s main sponsors.

Other sponsors are UTEP’s College of Liberal Arts, the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects, the Department of English and the AASP, as well as the Humanities Collaborative at El Paso Community College-UTEP.

WHEN:          6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020.

WHERE:        Tomás Rivera Conference Center, Union Building East, 3rd floor.

C-USA announces UTEP’s Bailey, Bright and Koncos T&F Athletes of the Week

DALLAS – UTEP earned a trio of Conference USA Indoor Track and Field Athletes of the Week presented by Top of the World the league announced on Tuesday.

Senior Sean Bailey, sophomore Chantoba Bright and redshirt junior Karol Koncos competed at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational hosted by the University of New Mexico with much success this past weekend.

Bailey was named the C-USA Male Track Athlete of the Week for the first time in his career after posting a personal-best 46.51 in the 400m at the MLK Invite. The Spanish Town, Jamaica, product registered the no. 1 time in C-USA, while it ranked seventh nationally.

Bright was named the C-USA Female Field Athlete of the Week after winning her first collegiate event, leaping to a 6.01 in the long jump. The Wismar Linden, Guyana, product recorded the longest leap in C-USA. It’s Bright’s second career indoor athlete of the week honor.

Koncos was named the C-USA Male Field Athlete of the Week, the first during his career, after hurling a 19.97m in the weight throw. The native of Vidina, Slovakia, tossed the longest weight throw in C-USA.

The Miners will return to action at the New Mexico Collegiate Classic in Albuquerque February 7-8.

Miners in 6th After Day 1 at Arizona Intercollegiate

TUCSON – The UTEP Men’s Golf team wrapped up the opening day of the Arizona Intercollegiate in sixth place on Monday at the Sewailo Golf Club in Tucson, Arizona.

As a team, the Miners finished the first round of the event in ninth place at 6-over-par with a team total of 290, while UTEP moved up three spots on the leaderboard during the second round, but was not able to finish play on Monday afternoon due to darkness. The Miners shot 4-over as a team through 17 holes in the second round, which will be concluded on Tuesday morning.

The Miners had two players finish tied for 21st individually with Eduardo Gonzalez and Greg Yellin each shooting 2-over par for the day. Gonzalez shot 3-over (74) in the first round before shooting 1-under through 17 holes in the second.

Santiago Castilla led the way in the opening round, finishing in a tie for 14th after shooting 1-under par (70) before shooting 4-over through 17 holes during the second round of golf. Yellin ended the day in a tie for 21st after shooting par (71) in the first round and 2-over with one hole left to play in the second.

Newcomer Danny Daniels finished the day tied for 28th after shooting 75 (+4) in the first round and 1-under with one hole remaining in the second round.

UTEP’s Oskar Ambrosius closed out the day tied for 55th after shooting 8-over with scores of 75 (+4) in the first round and 4-over through most of the second round. Jacob Presutti, who is competing as an individual at this week’s Arizona Intercollegiate, finished the opening round with a score of 81 (+10).

UTEP will wrap up the remainder of the second round on Tuesday morning before following up with the final round of play later in the day.

Miner fans can follow along with all the action with live scoring available on

For complete coverage of UTEP Men’s Golf, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPminergolf (Twitter) and @UTEPMensGolf (Instagram) or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics.

UTEP Volleyball announces Summer Team Camps

UTEP Volleyball and head coach Ben Wallis unveil the team summer camp offerings for the El Paso and southwest region.

“We are really looking forward to our two team camp and individual offerings this year,” Wallis said. “Last year we had a team tournament that got 28 teams in the span of a couple of months after we got hired. We are going to redo that team tournament. It was very competitive last year, so we are going to be able to offer our high school coaches from around the region two different opportunities.”

Interested participants can visit the UTEP camp page to sign up. For any questions or concerns, they may contact assistant coach/camp director Nikola Petrovic via email at

The sessions will occur on July 10-12. The cost of the camp will be $500 per team ($600 after April 1) with a maximum of 12 players per team. The camp will have a limit of 28 teams that will be allowed to sign up.

The UTEP Team Tournament is going to be of the most competitive summer tournaments in the region. It will feature teams from across the south west region, coming to compete for three days in a double pool play and bracket style tournament on the final day. They will break the teams into two divisions after the first day of pool play, and will whittle the teams down to one eventual champion on Sunday.

“The first opportunity will be a tournament where it will just be play, Wallis said. “Every team will come and we will put them in pools, building up to a bracket and a champion on Sunday.”

UTEP Volleyball will also offer the opportunity to teams across the southwest region to come and be trained in systematic approaches and tactics.

“This year we will also offer our I.T.C.,” Wallis explained. “Which is our instruction and training camp. We will bring coaches and their teams and we will train their teams for four days. We will give them opportunities to play, and develop their systems right. This will help them leading up to their seasons. We will give the El Paso and coaches from all over the opportunity to come here. We will train these teams and give them the chance to learn different tactics and systematic approaches. This will set those teams up for great success for the beginning of August.”

The camp will be from July 27-30, and payment information is available on the website. If you have and questions please contact coach Wallis via email at

These camps are open to and all entrants, limited only by number, grade level and/or gender.

For complete coverage of UTEP Volleyball, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPVB (Instagram) and @UTEP_VB (Twitter) or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics.

UTEP Track and Field completes Final Day at MLK Invite

ALBUQUERQUE – Carolyne Chepkosgei finished in second place in the women’s mile run, and Sean Bailey took third in the men’s 400m dash, highlighting the final day at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

“Day two was better than day one. Lot of season bests,” UTEP Head Coach Mika Laaksonen said. “Much needed bye week coming up. We need to accomplish quite a bit during this week to be able to make strong move forward as a team in two weeks when we head back to Albuquerque.”

The men’s 4x400m relay also had a good showing, placing second with Bailey, James Flournoy, Shakeem Smith and Davion Bynaum, clocking in a 3:14.69.

Bailey posted a personal-best 46.51 in the 400m, while Chepkosgei recorded a 4:56.05 in the mile.

Freshman Kenneth Talavera finished fourth in the men’s mile run, posting a time of 4:18.01.

Shakeem Smith clocked an 8.06 in the men’s 60m hurdles preliminaries, while finishing fourth in the finals, matching his school record time of 7.90.

Karoline Daland placed eighth in the women’s 800m with a time of 2:16.61.

Chantoba Bright ran the women’s 60m dash preliminaries, posting a time of 7.71, followed by a seventh-place finish in the finals with a time of 7.74.

Sah-Jay Stevens posted a 13.98m toss in the women’s shot put, placing fifth.

Davion Bynuam placed sixth in the men’s 60m dash, posting a time of 6.80.

Coming up next for UTEP, they’ll return to Albuquerque to compete in the New Mexico Collegiate Classic on Feb. 7-8.

Gallery+Story: Miners rally to take down North Texas 67-63

From the 6-minute mark in the first quarter until 11 seconds were left in the fourth, North Texas had a firm grip on the lead over UTEP, but the Miners rallied in the final moments to steal a 67-63 victory from the Mean Green on Saturday afternoon at the Don Haskins Center.

Ninety seconds into Saturday’s game, UTEP had a 4-3 lead over North Texas. From that point until 11 seconds remaining in the game, the Miners trailed the Mean Green until Ariona Gill’s tip-in gave UTEP a 65-63 advantage and its first lead since early in the first quarter.

Gill also sunk the And-1 to give the Miners a 66-63 lead with 11 seconds left in the game. Katarina Zec, who went off for 18 points in the second half after being silenced in the first, also added a free throw with three seconds remaining to clinch the 67-63 victory for UTEP.

With the win, UTEP improved to 12-6 overall on the season with a 5-2 mark in Conference USA action, while North Texas fell to 9-11 and 3-5 in league play.

“I didn’t think we played our best game today and I thought North Texas really defended us well and shot the ball particularly well,” head coach Kevin Baker said following the win. “I think they elevated their game against us today. I was really impressed with how they played, but then I was impressed by how we just hung around and then put ourselves in position to win in the fourth. Sometimes you have to win that way in a game where you are kind of out of rhythm a little bit; you have to find a way to win.”

The Miners shot just 14 percent (2-14) in the opening frame, but never shot below 40 percent the rest of the way, finishing the game 23-of-47 from the field in the final three quarters.

North Texas led UTEP for more than 30 minutes in the game, including a 27-22 lead for the Mean Green at the halfway point, but the Miners fought back to outscore UNT 45-36 in the final two frames.

Defensively, UTEP entered the game ranked first in C-USA in turnovers forced and lived up to that ranking after forcing 23 Mean Green turnovers, including 15 in the first half.

“Sometimes you forget – I know I do – that we are a young team that is still learning,” Baker said. “We played an emotional game on Thursday and it was a game we really wanted to win. It sort of deflated us a little bit emotionally and I think it carried over into the first quarter in this game. And that’s unfortunate, but we have to figure out a way to not let that happen. When that game is behind us, we have to move on to the next. We didn’t play well in the first quarter, but they played pretty well, and I thought that was a double-edged sword. We played really, really good defense to get ourselves back into the game and that is what I am most proud of.”

UTEP dominated when it came to points in the paint after scoring 38 to UNT’s 16, but it was the Mean Green’s bench that came up huge with 33 points. The Miners also capitalized off 23 North Texas turnovers by scoring 24 points in response.

Katarina Zec (18 points) and Ariana Taylor (12 points) led the Miners offensively, while Ariona Gill grabbed 11 rebounds in the win, including eight on defense. Freshman Katia Gallegos also added nine points, six rebounds and five assists in Saturday’s win.

North Texas had four players score in double figures, led by Summer Jones, who had 17 off the bench to go along with seven boards. Charlene Shepherd also came off the bench to score 16 with seven rebounds for the Mean Green, while Randi Thompson (11 points) and Anisha George (10 points) also paced North Texas offensively.

Next, the Miners will hit the road next week to take on Middle Tennessee (12-7, 4-3 C-USA) at 5:30 p.m. MT on Thursday, Jan. 30. From there, UTEP will travel to Birmingham, Alabama, to face UAB (13-7, 5-3 C-USA) at 1 p.m. MT on Saturday, Feb. 1.

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.

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

Miners fall to North Texas 67-57

DENTON, Texas – Souley Boum led UTEP with 21 points and Bryson Williams scored 18, but North Texas went 21-of-23 from the free-throw line and only turned the ball over six times on its way to a 67-57 win on Saturday in The Super Pit.

“We didn’t guard as well as we did at Rice,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “Regardless of the calls and guys sitting in the first half due to foul trouble, the guys coming into the game have to get down and guard. We had to stay in the same coverage that we’re trying to work. We just didn’t guard the way we needed to guard tonight.”

The Miners (12-9, 3-5 Conference USA) shot well from the foul line, going 14-for-16, but went 5-for-19 from the three-point line. The Mean Green (14-8, 8-1 C-USA) have won eight consecutive games after forcing 13 UTEP turnovers and scoring 11 points off those turnovers.

UTEP, after being down by as many as 16 points (52-36), made a run and got within seven points (54-47). Williams and Boum combined for 11 points during that 11-2 run.

After the Mean Green built another double-digit lead (58-47), the Miners got within five points (58-53) after Williams made a layup with 3:35 left in the game. But James Reese made a three-point shot, putting his team up, 61-53.

UTEP got within six points (61-55) after Boum made a pair of free throws, but couldn’t get any closer as North Texas went 8-for-8 from the line down the stretch.

Williams, after only scoring three points at Rice, made seven field goals, while going 3-for-4 from the line. Boum went 6-for-12 and 7-of-8 from the line. Williams led the way with six boards and two blocks, while Jordan Lathon led with four assists and grabbed five rebounds.

Umoja Gibson was only held to six points after scoring 27 on Thursday, but Zachary Simmons tallied a team-best 16 points and Javion Hamlet recorded 14 points for the Mean Green.

In the first half, North Texas used an 8-0 run to take a 27-16 lead at the 5:57 mark. But Boum stopped the run by drawing a foul on a driving layup and making the free throw for the and-1 play. After UNT turnover, Boum took advantage and hit a jumper under the basket. Boum had scored five consecutive points to get the Miners within six points (27-21).

However, North Texas, who made 12-of-12 free throws and shot 50.0 percent from the field during the first period, finished out the half on an 11-6 run to take a 38-27 lead into the locker room.

Next up for UTEP, Middle Tennessee (Jan. 30) and UAB (Feb. 1) at home.

Both contests will tipoff at 7 p.m. and can be heard on 600 ESPN El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher and Steve Yellen calling the action. Duke Keith and Leonard Owens will be on the mic for both contests streamed on ESPN+.

UTEP Tennis blitzes Western New Mexico in Spring Opener

The new-look UTEP tennis team started the 2020 spring season in fine fashion, dominating Western New Mexico 7-0 on Saturday afternoon at the El Paso Tennis and Swim Club.

The Miners, with a roster of 11 student-athletes including eight newcomers, secured the doubles point then swept six singles matches, all in straight sets.

“We started out a little slow at number one doubles, but two and three really stepped it up and won fairly easily,” UTEP coach Ivan Fernandez said.  “The first match is always a tough one, just because we’re trying to get the nerves out of the way and get the cobwebs out.  But we really came together as a team and were able to win all six singles.  I’m really proud of this group and I really do feel that as the season goes on, we’re just going to get better and better.”

The Miner doubles tandem of Maria Aveiga and Kathleen Percogona was the first to finish on court three, taking down the Mustangs’ Emma Oropeza and Julia Terrazas 6-1.

After WNMU notched a 6-1 triumph at no. 1 doubles, UTEP’s Eve Daniels and Lina Sáchica breezed past WNMU’s Kajsa Gedlitschka and Nicold Gonzalez 6-1 at no. 2 doubles to give the Miners the 1-0 lead entering the singles competition.

There was little drama in singles, as Vanessa Valdez (No. 1), Erandi Martinez (no. 2), Sáchica (no. 3), Daniels (no. 4), Percegona (no. 5) and Elena Dibattista (no. 6) all overwhelmed their opponents.

Sáchica and Daniels were the most dominant, dropping a combined three points to WNMU’s Nicold Gonzalez and Julia Terrazas, respectively.  Their efforts helped UTEP forge a 3-0 lead, and Dibattista clinched the team win with a 6-3, 6-3 conquest of Emma Oropeza.

“Abilene Christian and New Mexico are going to be very tough matches,” Fernandez said.  “They’re both very good teams.  We lost to both of them last year and we’re looking to turn that around.  I think as long as we compete hard and play together, we have an opportunity against both teams.  Our depth is what is going to get us through this season.  I have a lot of confidence in the team that we’ve built.”

The Miners (1-0) will continue their season-opening three-match homestand by taking on Abilene Christian next Saturday (Feb. 1) and long-time rival New Mexico next Sunday (Feb. 2) at the El Paso Tennis & Swim Club.

Both matches will start at noon.  Admission is free for all UTEP home tennis matches.

UTEP 7 – Western New Mexico 0


1. Camila Gomez/Julia Tozzi (WNMU) def. Elena Dibattista/Vanessa Valdez (UTEP) 6-1

2. Eve Daniels/Lina Sáchica (UTEP) def. Kajsa Gedlitschka/Nicold Gonzalez (WNMU) 6-1

3. Maria Aveiga/Kathleen Percegona (UTEP) def. Emma Oropeza/Julia Terrazas (WNMU) 6-1


Doubles Order of Finish: 3,1,2


1. V. Valdez (UTEP) d. J. Tozzi (WNMU) 6-3, 6-3

2. Erandi Martinez (UTEP) d. C. Gomez (WNMU) 6-1, 6-2

3. L. Sáchica (UTEP) d. N. Gonzalez (WNMU) 6-2, 6-0

4. E. Daniels (UTEP) d. J. Terrazas (WNMU) 6-0, 6-1

5. K. Percegona (UTEP) d. K. Gedlitschka (WNMU) 6-2, 6-3

6. E. Dibattista (UTEP) d. E. Oropeza (WNMU) 6-3, 6-3


Singles Order of Finish: 3,4,6,5,2,1

Records: UTEP 1-0, Western New Mexico 0-1

UTEP Rifle finishes first meet of Spring Season

COLUMBUS, Ohio – UTEP rifle turned in its second-best performance of the season, posting a 4594 aggregate at Lt. Hugh W. Wylie Range on Saturday morning.

“Today was a good day,” Head coach Austin Litherland said. “The girls performed well and we are heading in the right direction. We will hit the range to tune in positions and groups for our home match next weekend.”

The Miners were once again led by the terrific freshman, Jonna Warnken. Warnken picked up where she left off in the fall, registering a career-high 1168 on the day. She posted the second-highest smallbore score (581) of any shooter at the meet, becoming the first UTEP shooter to break the 580 mark in smallbore this year. Warnken also shot a 586 in air to pace the Orange and Blue.

Mara Rouse added an 1146 aggregate to the UTEP score. The senior shot 581 in air, and posted a 565 in smallbore. Amoret McCartney shot the second-best smallbore mark (568) for the Miners, and locked in an 1134 aggregate.

Samantha Miller was solid at the line today, shooting a 580 in air and posting an 1134 aggregate. Jennifer Windle recorded and 1132 final aggregate and Morgahn Warner shot a 552 in smallbore.

Ohio State turned in a 4663 final tally, and Air Force posted a 4655 aggregate.

Next up, the Miners will compete at home against Jacksonville State next Friday, January 31.

UTEP Professor admitted as Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry

Luis Echegoyen, Ph.D., professor of chemistry and biochemistry at The University of Texas at El Paso, was recently inducted as a 2019 Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).

For 178 years, the RSC has been dedicated to the advancement of chemical sciences by networking scientists and academics, creating partnerships, and strategically documenting and funding research that contributes to the development of society.

To be considered for fellowship, the applicant must have evidence of five years of experience in a senior position or have made a significant contribution to the chemical sciences.

“I want to thank all of my students and postdoctoral associates over the years who performed the research work that is being recognized by this appointment as Fellow of the RSC,” Echegoyen said.

Echegoyen has been a prominent figure in the College of Science at UTEP. His research has focused on carbon-based materials, nanoscience, fullerenes, and endohedral fullerene derivatives for organic photovoltaic (solar cell) applications.

The 2019 American Chemical Society President is the Welch Chair Professor of Chemistry at UTEP and was the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Physical Organic Chemistry from 2010 to 2018.

Echegoyen has won various awards and held positions of distinction including director of the Chemistry Division at the National Science Foundation (NSF), chair of the Department of Chemistry at Clemson University and member of the board of IMDEA-Nanoscience Center in Madrid.

He has published more than 420 research articles, 47 book chapters, more than 470 scientific invited lectures and presentations,

“It is always an honor and satisfaction to be recognized for your work, especially by a distinguished society such as the Royal Society of Chemistry,” Echegoyen said.

UTEP to wrap up homestand vs. North Texas Saturday afternoon

The UTEP women’s basketball team (11-6, 4-2 C-USA) will wrap up its three-game homestand by playing host to North Texas (9-10, 3-4 C-USA) at 1 p.m. MT Saturday.

“North Texas is good enough to  beat any team in our conference when they are playing well. They will be a tough match-up for the Miners as we look to bounce back on Saturday. But I really like the way we are playing right now, and we are all excited about the challenge,” head coach Kevin Baker said.

The Miners were tripped up by league-leading Rice, 69-61, on Jan. 23. The Mean Green were saddled with a 1-4 start to C-USA play, but they enter Saturday’s match-up at 3-4 in the league after winning back-to-back contests.

Most recently UNT blasted UTSA by 24 (79-55) on the road on Jan. 23. UTEP is 9-4 at home, including 3-1 in league action. The Mean Green are 2-4 on the road, including 1-2 in away match-ups in the league.

In 2018-19 the Miners were decimated by injuries and finished the year at 9-22. It is a much different story this year, with UTEP (11-6) having already surpassed its overall win total from a season ago. The Miners are 4-2 in league play, which places them alone in third place. They are also on the verge of matching last season’s conference win tally.

Last year they started conference action at 1-8 en route to finishing 5-11 in the league. 

Nine of UTEP’s victories have been by double figures, including six of at least 20 points. It is the most wins by 20+ points since 2013-14 (nine). The Miners had their largest differential (+45) under head coach Kevin Baker in a 92-47 drubbing of Alcorn State (11/16/19), which tied as the 10th-biggest margin of victory in program history.

They’ve also taken down UTSA (1/18/20) by 40 (94-54), Florida Atlantic (1/4/20) by 31 (96-65), FIU (1/2/20) by 30 (64-34), Western Michigan (11/29) by 30 (76-46) and NM State (11/23/19) by 20 (64-45). Overall UTEP’s scoring margin (+11.9) is second in C-USA and 46th in the country. 

UTEP has three wins by at least 30 points in league play, which is the most such victories in a single season in program history. In fact the Miners had achieved the feat seven times total prior to this year, with the 2003-04 team (twice) previously holding the standard for a single 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 Brandon Cohn and Traci Miller on the call. 

UTEP to battle first place North Texas in Denton on Saturday

DENTON, Texas – After coming off its first road victory in over a year, UTEP will look to start a road winning streak when it takes on league-leading North Texas on Saturday.

The Miners and Mean Green are set to tipoff at 4 p.m. MT/5 CT in The Super Pit.

“They play well inside and they have some gifted guards. [Javion] Hamlet is playing well for them so far,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “It’s going to be a tough game, they play hard and a lot of hard-nosed defense. It’ll definitely be a tough ball game on the road in the Denton.”

UTEP (12-8, 3-4 Conference USA) claimed its first road win of the season, defeating Rice 72-64 in Houston on Jan. 23. North Texas (13-8, 7-1 C-USA) won its seventh consecutive game, beating up on UTSA, 98-78, on Thursday night in Denton.

In the only meeting last season, North Texas defeated UTEP, 58-51, on Jan. 10, 2019. The Miners lead the all-time series, 10-4, while winning in Denton on March 3, 2018, their last time playing at The Super Pit. UTEP is 5-1 versus UNT in Denton.

Back to Thursday’s key win, Souley Boum led the charge, scoring a career-high 27 points and making 11-of-12 free throws versus the Owls. Boum added five boards, and assist and steal. Daryl Edwards also came up with a big performance, tallying a collegiate career-high 22 points on a career-high nine field goals.

UTEP posted another solid night at the free-throw line, hitting 19-of-25 (76.0 percent). The Miners have made 83.7 percent (103-123) of their free throws during the last five games, while hitting over 80 percent in their seven conference contests. Overall, UTEP is ranked second in C-USA and 23rd nationally in free-throw percentage (76.6).

The Miners turned the ball over a season-low seven times, while yielding only two fast break points against the Owls after allowing 21 at UTSA.

The Mean Green are one of the better defensive squads in the league, ranking second in scoring defense (62.3). Prior to the Jan. 23 game versus UTSA, North Texas kept its opponents to under 60 points in five consecutive contests. Overall, the Mean Green allowed fewer than 60 points in 10 games during the 2019-20 campaign.

Umoja Gibson, a 6-1 redshirt sophomore guard, leads the way at 14.9 points per game, while Javion Hamlet (12.7 ppg) ranks second. The 6-4 redshirt junior guard leads UNT and ranks second in C-USA in assists per game (4.7) and total assists (99). Deng Geu, a 6-8 graduate transfer, paces the team in rebounds per game (5.7), while chipping in with 8.0 points per contest.

North Texas’ lone league loss came at WKU, 93-84, on Jan. 2 to open C-USA action.

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

UTEP Alumni Association seeing nominees for Alumni Awards

The University of Texas at El Paso Alumni Association and the Office of Alumni Relations are calling for nominations of excellent alumni for the University’s prestigious Distinguished Alumni and Gold Nugget awards.

“As part of this long-standing tradition, the selected honorees will be invited to this year’s Homecoming festivities in the fall and will be asked to participate in a number of activities, including celebratory receptions, the Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner and the Homecoming football game,” UTEP officials shared.

The deadline to submit nominations is Friday, Feb. 21, 2020.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor bestowed on exceptional alumni by the University. The Gold Nugget awards are presented to outstanding alumni by UTEP’s individual colleges and schools.

Nominations are open to any UTEP graduates who have distinguished themselves in their professions and lives by giving back to their communities and alma mater, and who serve as an inspiration for future generations of Miners.

For additional information about the nomination process, please call 915-747-6361. To download the nomination form, visit this website.

Video+Story presented by GECU: Rachel Schaeffer returns to motivate, inspire UTEP Softball

UTEP alumna Rachel Schaeffer returned to the Helen of Troy Softball Complex 11 years after her playing days had ended.

Schaeffer was one of the pioneers of UTEP softball, taking the field a year into the program’s existence. She walked away from UTEP with her bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate. She is now a physical therapist in the El Paso area.

Schaeffer was not highly touted entering her collegiate career in the Orange and Blue. She only played in 18 games her freshman season, but she quickly earned the respect of her teammates and coaches with her toughness and work ethic. The catcher ended up starting 135 games after her freshman campaign, and blasted six homers in her junior season.

“I wasn’t necessarily the best one,” Schaeffer said. “But I feel like how hard I worked and played through injury. I had two herniated disks and still continued to play through that. People respected me for that, and felt like they could work through their injuries as well.”

Freshman Ashley Williams is battling her own adversity after suffering a season-ending injury during the fall. Schaeffer’s speech really struck a chord with her, and gave her a blueprint on how to persevere.

“She was very inspirational,” Williams said. “She was injured and had health issues, and this year I am not playing because I am injured. She said it is a year to learn, and a goal of mine is to sit back and learn.”

Schaeffer also touched on the Miners’ current situation, and gave her insight on how important building trust is with head coach T.J. Hubbard taking over so close to the season.

“The number value is trust,” Schaeffer explained. “Because if you don’t trust your teammates, then you wont get very far. You also have to trust your coaches. I know having a new coach in the spring is a little bit of a challenge, but if you can trust the vision that he has along with the assistant coaches then you will be able to move forward.”

Sophomore Pate Cathey took her words to heart, and appreciated Schaeffer’s insight and advice.

“The biggest thing I took away was her value of trust and accountability,” Cathey said. “We have tried to create a good culture of trust because we are out here 24/7. Our teammates are our family, so being able to build that trust, especially in the sport of softball, is really important on and off the field.”

UTEP will begin its season on Feb. 7 in Las Cruces, N.M., at 9:30 a.m., against Arkansas. This will be coach Hubbard’s debut in the Orange and Blue, and will mark the official start of the Hubbard era.

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

Behind Boum’s career night, Miners end road losing streak defeating Rice 72-64

HOUSTON – Souley Boum scored a career-high 27 points and Daryl Edwards scored a colligate career-high 22 points as the UTEP Miners ended a 19-game road losing streak and defeated Rice, 72-64, in Tudor Fieldhouse on Thursday night.

“[The road win] was really big for us,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We had been really close [on the road]. We had opportunities to close some games out on the road early in conference play and haven’t been able to do that. But we worked really hard the last couple days, trying to get back to our identity in terms of guarding hard, taking transition baskets away and executing on offense.”

The Miners (12-8, 3-4 Conference USA) shot 45.3 percent from the field, their highest percentage in seven games, while the Owls (9-12, 1-7 C-USA) shot 36.4 percent, the lowest the UTEP defense had allowed in four games. UTEP also yielded only two fast break points after allowing 21 at UTSA on Jan. 18.

UTEP took the go-ahead lead at the 6:09 mark on a Boum three-point bucket, following 15 lead changes.

Boum shot 6-of-12 from the field, and went 11-for-12 from the charity stripe. Boum connected on four of UTEP’s five three-point buckets.

“[Boum] had been working hard on his shooting and he got some great looks tonight,” Terry said. “We needed him to make shots and he’s the guy we need to come in and be aggressive with the basketball. He did that for us tonight.”

Edwards shot 9-of-19 from the field, including a made three-point basket. Edwards scored eight points in the first period as his first six came in the paint. Edwards started the second half with an and-1 after drawing a foul in the paint, while his next bucket was inside. Overall, 14 of Edwards’s 22 points came in the paint.

“We knew we could drive to the basket after working the ball around,” Terry said. “Our guys did a great job driving the ball and attacking in the paint tonight.”

Eric Vila, despite not scoring, came up big on the boards, grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds. Nigel Hawkins added eight points and four rebounds, while Kaden Archie, Tydus Verhoeven and Deon Stroud each scored four points. Bryson Williams chipped in with three points and six boards, playing limited minutes in foul trouble.

Rice took a 52-50 lead after Robert Martin connected on a layup at the 9:32 mark. Edwards answered with a three, giving the Miners a one-point edge (53-52). Ako Adams made one of his five three-pointers to give his squad a 55-53 lead at the 7:23 mark.

UTEP then went on an 11-4 run that started with a Boum trey coming out of a timeout to give the Miners the go-ahead lead, 56-55, with 6:09 left in the contest. The Miners built that into a seven-point advantage (64-57) with 1:49 remaining.

Vila and Edwards each recorded offensive rebounds during the run. Vila snagged an Edwards’s missed three-pointer and dished it back to Edwards who converted a layup to give UTEP a 60-57 lead. At the 1:49 mark, Edwards missed the second of two free throws, grabbed his own miss under the basket and connected on a layup that gave UTEP the seven-point lead.

Rice got within four points (64-60) with 50 seconds remaining in the game on a Josh Parrish layup. But the Miners went 8-for-10 from the line down the stretch to maintain the lead.

The UTEP defense stepped up in the last four minutes of the ball game as Rice went scoreless for over 2:30 before Trey Murphy III made a free throw at the 1:32 mark. During that span, Williams blocked a Chris Mullins’s jumper outside the paint, and the Miners forced a shot-clock violation.

UTEP took a 36-34 lead into the locker room, as it was the most points scored during the first half since Dec. 22 at Hawai’i (37 points).

UTEP scored 26 points in the paint versus Rice’s 20, while the Miners’ bench outscored the Owls 35-31. UTEP converted 12-fastbreak points, its most during a victory this season since scoring 12 on Nov. 5. The Miners also shot 76.0 percent (19-25) from the line.

The Miners only shot 17.9 percent (5-28) from the three-point line, while they hit 76.0 percent (19-25) of their two-point buckets.

Robert Martin came off the bench and led the Owls with 20 points, Adams tallied 17 points and Parrish chipped in with 10 points.

Up next, UTEP will have a tough road test at North Texas (13-8. 7-1 C-USA) on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. MT/5 CT at the Super Pit in Denton.

The Mean Green have won seven consecutive games, including a 98-78 win against UTSA on Thursday night. UNT’s lone league loss came at WKU, 93-84 on January 2.

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