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Home | Tag Archives: WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational

Tag Archives: WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational

UTEP to take on North Carolina A&T in 58th Annual WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational

The UTEP Miners (6-1) will open the 58th Annual WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational with a contest against North Carolina A&T (3-7) on Monday night in the Haskins Center.

Kent State (8-1) and UC Irvine (5-5) will commence the nation’s oldest collegiate holiday basketball tournament with a 5 p.m. tipoff.

UTEP is looking to win its first Sun Bowl Tournament Championship since 2014 when it defeated Kent State, 78-75, on Dec. 22.

The Miners and Aggies is slated for a 7 p.m. start and can be heard on 600 ESPN El Paso as “The Voice of the UTEP Miners” Jon Teicher will call the action along with Steve Yellen with color analysis. The contest will also be streamed on CUSA.TV.

UTEP is 6-0 at home for the first time since the 2007-08 season after defeating Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 59-50, on Dec. 7.

The Miners’ defense only allowed 16 points in the second half, while Bryson Williams, who was named the Conference USA Men’s Basketball Player of the Week on Dec. 9, led the way with 19 points and seven rebounds. The redshirt junior added a trio of dimes with three steals and a blocked shot.

Williams has averaged 26.3 points and 9.0 rebounds per game during the last three contests. He’s connected on 73.2 percent (30-41) of his buckets, while making 4-of-6 three-pointers and shooting an outstanding 88.2 percent (15-17) from the charity stripe.

Overall, Williams is shooting 70.4 percent from the field, ranking second in C-USA and fifth nationally. The Fresno, Calif., product also ranks ninth in C-USA in free-throws made (30), 10th in free-throw percentage (81.1) and third in defensive rebounds per game (6.1).

Souley Boum has been another bright spot for the Miners as the redshirt sophomore is ranked tied first nationally in free-throw percentage. Boum has been perfect (21-21) from the line to jumpstart his UTEP career. It’s the longest streak by a Miners since Omega Harris who made 22 straight foul shots during the 2017-18 season.

The Miners have made 76.4 percent (113-148) of their free throws, ranking third in the conference and 31st in the nation.

UTEP’s opponent North Carolina A&T is coming off an 83-52 loss at Bradley on Dec. 7. The Aggies’ most recent victory came against Longwood (52-41) on Dec. 4. A&T has also defeated Charleston Southern, 63-49, on Nov. 8 and Nicholls, 66-54, on Nov. 22.

North Carolina A&T senior Ronald Jackson leads his squad in points per game (12.2), while the 6-8 forward also paces the team in rebounds per game (8.5). Junior guard Kameron Langley leads the Aggies with 45 assists, ranks second in rebounds per game (5.3) and is tied for the team lead with 14 steals. Junior guard Tyler Maye ranks second on the team in points per game (9.3), while tallying 14 steals.

Video+Story: Meet the Sun Queen – Elizabeth Vega

Ahead of the upcoming Sun Bowl Parade, Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl Game and all the events, officials with the Sun Bowl Association premiered a short video to introduce the community to the 2019-2020 Sun Queen, Elizabeth Vega.

Vega is the daughter of Angela Olivas and Manuel Vega. She is a 2016 graduate of Coronado High School and the International Baccalaureate Program where she graduated in the top 10 percent of her class.

Her philanthropy began in high school when she formed Packages for Patriots, assembling care packages for Fort Bliss soldiers returning from deployment.

Vega’s college education commenced at the University of Arizona where she was appointed as the Vice President of IT for the Eller College of Management Dean’s Council and was the recipient of the Rising Star Award her outstanding achievements in academics.

She was a Pre-Professional Academic Communities of Excellence (P.A.C.E.) member, serving as a mentor for incoming Eller College of Management pre-business freshmen. She has since continued her education at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Now a senior majoring in Marketing, she has maintained a 4.0 and has been named to the Dean’s list at both Arizona and UTEP.

Outside of her education and career goals, Elizabeth has made it her mission to volunteer her time throughout El Paso. She assisted in bell ringing during the holiday season to encourage donations towards the Salvation Army. She helped with the demolition and clean up for a new location for the El Pasoans Food Bank.

At the Make-a-Wish Walk for Wishes, she directed participants and cheered them on along the route. She worked with Rebuilding Together El Paso to repaint and repair the house of a community member as a part of National Rebuilding Day.

While Elizabeth has worked at UTEP and El Paso Locomotive FC, volunteered throughout the city, and served as a 2018 Sun Princess, she has gained a greater understanding of the city of El Paso.

Vega’s reign is now part of the long history of the Sun Queen and the Sun Court Coronation.  The Sun Court has been a part of the Sun Bowl since the first-ever college Sun Bowl game played in 1936.

Coronation played a huge social role in the “Sun Carnival”, the week-long pageantry associated with the Sun Bowl.

According to the 1938 Sun Bowl game program, “The social side of the Sun Carnival centers around the Coronation of the Sun Queen with her Lady-In-Waiting and Royal Court of Princesses from all the cities of the Sun Empire and the Grand Ball tendered by the Association in honor of Her Majesty and Court.”

Today, the Sun Court serves as ambassadors for the city of El Paso. The ladies of the court volunteer at various community events and make appearances at the Marathon All-America Golf Classic, Oscar Leeser’s Hyundai of El Paso Sun Bowl Parade, Weststar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational, Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl, Helen of Troy Charm Camp and many other events throughout the year.

From the beauty of the Franklin mountains, the richness of the culture, and the hospitality of El Pasoans, it truly is a place like no other.  The Sun Bowl is an organization that exemplifies these qualities to every visitor while also giving back to the community.

Elizabeth is honored to represent both the Sun Bowl Association and the City of El Paso as the 2019 Sun Bowl Queen.

For more information about all the festivities and events, visit the Sun Bowl Association’s website.

Miners Hit Season-High 12-Three Pointers; Shoot Past Cowboys 76-65

UTEP connected on a season-high 12 three pointers and registered a season-best 78 percent (14-18) on free throws, as the Miners (5-6) defeated Wyoming (3-9), 76-65, in the consolation game at the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational on Saturday night in the Don Haskins Center.

“I was really proud of our guys with the way they came out tonight on a short turn around.” first-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “Our staff did a great job getting our guys prepared in term of the preparation to be here. I thought that we really challenged our guys with today is finishing out this first part of the season the right way with a win. Last night I thought we had the right scheme, we made some shot tonight that we missed yesterday, so what a difference it is to see when your shots go down. We’re going to be fine against the zone defense, we play with a lot of confidence and that will help us down the road.”

After an abysmal night shooting (37.8 percent) the previous game against Norfolk State on Friday, the Miners rebounded and hit 12-of-27 three’s and 25-of-53 overall (47.2 percent) from the field. UTEP also recorded 18 assists, the second most dished out this season.

Efe Odigie recorded his fifth career double-double of his young career, producing 12 points and 11 rebounds, while adding an assist to the stat line.

Evan Gilyard came off the bench for a second consecutive game and gave his squad another 20-point effort on 6-of-10 shooting – all three-point buckets. Gilyard also went 2-for-2 from the charity stripe and recorded four assists, the second most this season.

Nigel Hawkins went into double figures (13 points) for the second consecutive game and fourth time this season. Hawkins hit three three-point shots and went 4-for-6 from the free-throw line.

Jordan Lathon, after a season-low one point on Friday, responded with 10 points, three rebounds and tied for the team lead with four dimes. Lathon scored seven of those points during the second half and five with just under 1:30 to go in the contest.

Paul Thomas also dished out four dimes, while adding 10 points and four rebounds.

The Miners and Cowboys traded punches for the first 10 minutes of the contest. Wyoming took an early 7-1 advantage after a pair of made free throws by A.J. Banks.

The Miners responded with a 7-0 run that started with an Odigie jumper at the 17:53 mark and ended with a Thomas jumper as UTEP took an 8-7 edge.

After the Cowboys reclaimed the lead at 15-13 on two made free throws by TJ Taylor at the midway point of the first period, Ountae Campbell nailed a jumper off an assist by Lathon to tie the game and that started a 9-0 run in which UTEP would take a 22-15 lead and never looked back.

The Miners built the first-half lead to 11 points (32-21) with over three minutes remaining in the half after Hawkins hit a three-point bucket off an assist by Gilyard.

Wyoming, however, wouldn’t go away after UTEP took an 18-point lead (63-45). The Cowboys got within nine points (69-60) with 1:55 remaining in the contest, but the Miners defended well and made their free throws down the stretch.

Campbell made his second consecutive start, playing 23 minutes and chipping in with six points and career highs in assists (three), steals (three) and rebounds (five). Kobe Magee played 10 minutes, contributing with three points and Kaosi Ezeagu scored a pair.

Wyoming was led by potent scorer Justin James’s team-leading 22 points and recorded seven rebounds. Banks added 18 points.

UTEP will open Conference USA play on January 3 at UTSA with tipoff set for 6 p.m. MT.

The Miners will return to the Haskins Center for a three-game home stand as they’ll host UTSA (January 5), North Texas (January 10) and Rice (January 12). Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. in all three contests.

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

Story+Gallery: Norfolk State Uses Hot Shooting to Down UTEP 75-62

Efe Odigie (18 points) came up a rebound short of another double-double, Paul Thomas recorded a career-high 17 rebounds and an injured Evan Gilyard came off the bench to lead the Miners with 20 points. But Norfolk State shot 50 percent (24-48) from the field to defeat UTEP, 75-62, on Friday night during the first round of the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational.

“We haven’t gotten real comfortable for whatever reason this year playing against zone,” first-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We spend a lot of time working on our shooting, and we spend a lot of time working on our free-throw shooting. At the end of the day you have to come in and you have to do it in the lights. You have to carry your routine over to the game. Our guard play tonight was not very good, and it was problematic for us. In the first half, we had 12 turnovers against really no pressure, and really against a flat 2-3 defense that wasn’t very good in my opinion. We allowed it to be effective by not scoring the way we needed to against it.”

UTEP will take on Wyoming in the third-place game at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Miners got off to a slow start during the first half, shooting 6-for-23. Though UTEP rebounded to shoot 11-for-22 in the second period, it couldn’t keep up with Norfolk State’s hot shooting. The Miners shot 3-of-19 from three-point territory and 25-for-41 from the free throw line.

After being down 29-23 at the half and 34-25 at the 17:35 mark, the Miners went on a 7-0 run that started with a trio of Gilyard made free throws and back-to-back layups by Odigie to make the score 34-32. But Norfolk State answered with a 10-2 run to take a 44-34 lead and control in the second half. The Spartans would lead by as many as 18 points.

Gilyard made a jumper at the 11:36 mark to make the score 44-39, but that was the closest UTEP would get.

Gilyard played 27 minutes after missing UTEP’s previous contest with an injury. UTEP’s leading scorer at 18.2 points per game this season, shot 6-for-11 from the field, while draining all three of the Miners’ treys.

Freshman Nigel Hawkins scored 15 points, his third career double-digit scoring game as he tied a season high in minutes played (37). Hawkins was 7-of-11 from the charity stripe, while tallying five rebounds. Jordan Lathon led the team with three assists and tallied three rebounds. The Miners missed Lathon’s scoring as he finished with one point after averaging over 18 points per game his previous three contests.

The Miners outrebounded their opponent, 40-23, but the Spartans took advantage of 17 turnovers to tally 21 points off those.

Mastadi Pitt led Norfolk State with 24 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field, including a 4-for-5 effort from three-point range and Derrik Jamerson chipped in with 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting. The Spartans connected on 11-of-24 three pointers.

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

Game one Gallery by Johnny Yturales  – El Paso Herald Post

UTEP to Take on Norfolk State in Sun Bowl Tourney

The UTEP Miners will open the 57th Annual WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational against Norfolk State on Friday at 7 p.m. in the Haskins Center.

Joining UTEP (4-5) and Norfolk State (4-8) in the tournament are Wyoming (3-7) and East Tennessee State (8-4), who will square off at 5 p.m. on Friday. The consolation game is on Saturday at 5, with the championship to follow at 7.

“[Norfolk State] can really push the ball, score points and play transition defense. They have a couple guys who can make shots. Their older players, [Nic] Thomas and [Derrik] Jamerson can really shoot the ball,” UTEP first-year head coach Rodney Terry said.

Following Sunday’s victory over UC Riverside, Terry had four days to prepare his young squad for their first tournament experience of the season.

“We’ll take it minute-by-minute and really, as a four-minute game by four-minute game,” Terry said. “We really try to chart how we’re doing every four minutes and you have to do that for 40 minutes.”

The Miners and Spartans will face each other for the third time overall – all in the Sun Bowl Tournament.

UTEP last faced Norfolk State in the 54th edition of the holiday event, as the Spartans downed the Miners, 85-76, on Dec. 21, 2015. In their first meeting, the Miners defeated Norfolk State, 93-56, on Dec. 28, 2009 in a first round game in the Sun Bowl Invitational.

The Miners have won 31 Sun Bowl Tournament titles, but not since 2014 when they defeated Kent State, 78-75, to claim the championship on December 22.

The Miners are coming off a 68-56 victory over UC Riverside on Dec. 16 in which UTEP’s leading scorer Evan Gilyard (18.0 ppg) did not play. It marked the third time this season that the Miners allowed less than 60 points.

The UTEP defense has tightened up, as it’s yielding 60 points per game over the last four contests after giving up 76 points on average in the first five games of the season. The Miners rank fifth in Conference USA in field goal percentage defense (.422).

The UTEP freshmen have impressed thus far as Efe Odigie has led the way, posting his fourth double-double on a career-high 24 points with 11 rebounds versus UCR. Odigie added a career-best three steals in 29 minutes of action. Odigie shot 9-of-15 from the field, including an impressive 6-for-7 effort from the charity stripe.

Odigie leads the Miners and ranks second in C-USA at 9.0 rebounds per game, and ranks second on the squad in points per contest (15.7). Odigie has been special as he’s the first UTEP freshman to open a career with nine consecutive double-digit scoring performances.

Fellow freshmen Jordan Lathon and Nigel Hawkins put up solid numbers on Sunday against the Highlanders. Lathon scored 14 points, his third consecutive double-digit performance, while upping his season average to over 10 points per contest.

Lathon also tallied three steals for the second time this season, and has 11 takeaways over the last five contests. Hawkins finished with nine points and three rebounds. Hawkins shot 5-of-6 from the free throw line and is shooting over 72 percent (21-29) from the line on the season.

Sophomore Kobe Magee dished out a season-high seven assists against UCR in 23 minutes of action. Magee also hit a big three-point bucket with just over three minutes remaining in the ball game, putting his team up 59-53. Magee’s trey was part of a 15-6 run to end the game that lifted the Miners over the Highlanders.

Ountae Campbell, a junior transfer who became eligible prior to the Nov. 28 game against NM State, played a season-high 36 minutes. Campbell scored a season-high seven points and connected on a three pointer that started the late run for the Miners when the score was 53-50. Paul Thomas hit shots down the stretch, finishing with nine points and six rebounds, along with three assists.

Norfolk State opened the season with a 63-44 loss at no. 18 Michigan on Nov. 6 and is on a three-game losing skid after a 94-89 double overtime win against Hampton. The Spartans fell at Kent State (78-76), at Rider (81-71) and most recently on Dec. 16 at Loyola Chicago (80-49).

Redshirt junior Thomas leads the team at 14.9 points per game, while 6-6 redshirt senior forward Jordan Butler paces the squad at 5.4 rebounds per game. Alex Long, a 6-8 senior forward, ranks second in points per game (9.5) and rebounds per contest (4.3).

Teams Announced for WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational

The Sun Bowl Association and WestStar Bank are pleased to announce the teams coming to El Paso for the 56th Annual WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational, which will be held in the Don Haskins Center, Thursday and Friday, December 21-22.

“This tournament has become a tradition and the history of teams and players that have come through El Paso is tremendous,” Sun Bowl Association Executive Director Bernie Olivas said. “Our basketball committee, which is led by Barry Kobren, continues to seek out and work towards bringing quality teams to the Haskins Center and El Paso.”

The four-team tournament includes North Carolina-Wilmington, North Dakota State, Howard University and UTEP. This marks the first appearance for UNCW and Howard, the second showing for NDSU and of course the Miners have played in every tournament.

“We are thrilled about this year’s field.  We are hoping to continue our plan of bringing in the best teams we can find,” Sun Bowl basketball committee chairman Barry Kobren said.  “Two of our teams from last year went on to win their conferences and play in the NIT.  We think we will see that same success again this year.”

Akron won the 2016 WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational by defeating UC-Irvine in game one and beating Maryland Eastern Shore in the title game.

Akron went on to win the MAC regular season title and made it to the second round of the NIT, while UC-Irvine won the Big West Conference regular season title and also made it to the second round of the NIT.

UC-Irvine takes WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational over Norfolk 82-60

Junior center Mamadou Ndiaye had 21 points and junior guard Luke Nelson scored 17 to lead UC Irvine over Norfolk State, 80-62, in the championship game of the 54th annual WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational in El Paso, Texas, Tuesday night.

Senior forward Mike Best and junior guard Jaron Martin added 10 each as the Anteaters improved to 10-4 overall, the program’s best start since a similar record to open the 2002-03 season.

Tuesday’s victory was the 100th career win for sixth-year head coach Russell Turner at UCI.

Norfolk St VS UC Irvine-13Nelson, who scored 16 points in Monday’s win over Sam Houston State, was named the tournament MVP after averaging 16.5 points in the two victories.  He added four rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals in Tuesday’s victory.

Ndiaye, who also had nine rebounds and five blocked shots in the championship game, was named to the all-tournament team.

Redshirt freshman forward Jonathan Galloway also pulled down a career-high nine boards and scored seven points.  Senior guard Alex Young had six assists as he is one shy of tying Raimonds Miglinieks for the UCI career record at 475.

Senior guard Aaron Wright scored six points and recorded five rebounds, three steals and two assists.  SeniorDominique Dunning added five points and three assists while junior post Ioannis Dimakopoulos scored four points.

Norfolk St VS UC Irvine-10Tuesday’s title came one year to the day since the Anteaters won the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic in Las Vegas last Dec. 22.

Jeff Short led Norfolk State (5-8) with a game-high 24 points Tuesday while Charles Oliver added 18.

Trailing 12-10 early in the game, UCI went on a 22-4 run over a span of less than 10 minutes to take a 16-point lead at 32-16 on a three by Nelson with 5:42 left in the first half.

UCI, which led 39-23 at halftime, built its largest lead of the night at 77-52 on a basket by Ndiaye with 4:43 remaining.

The Anteaters, who outrebounded the Spartans, 47-33, shot 53 percent in the first half and 47 percent for the game.  Norfolk State shot 28 percent from the field as UCI improved to 8-0 this season when limiting the opposition to under 40 percent.

UCI travels to No. 2 Kansas next Tuesday for a 6:00 p.m. (PT) game on ESPNU.

Author: UC-Irvine Athletics

2015 WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational set for tip-off Monday

The 54th edition of the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational is set for tip-off on Dec. 21-22, with four games scheduled to be played at the Don Haskins Center.

Game 1 is Monday, Dec. 21 at 5 p.m. (MT) with Sam Houston State taking on UC-Irvine. Game 2 follows at 7 p.m. (MT) as Norfolk State faces UTEP.

The winners of Game 1 and Game 2 meet on Tuesday at 7 p.m. for the championship game, and the consolation game is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 22.

Tickets for the 2015 WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational are on sale at the Sun Bowl Association office or the ticket office at the Don Haskins Center.

Scouting Sam Houston State

The Bearkats (4-5) out of the Southland Conference will be making their second appearance at the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational, as they went 1-1 in the 2010 tournament. This season, Sam Houston State has garnered wins against St. Thomas, Bethune Cookman, Sul Ross, LeTourneau and lost an overtime decision to Southern Illinois. The Bearkats also faced Texas Tech and SMU, who both were top-20 teams, on the road.

Sam Houston State averages 78.4 points per game and is being led by junior guard Dakari Henderson, who puts up 15.5 points per game.

Scouting UC-Irvine

The Anteaters from the Big West Conference are currently 7-4 and face Chapman on Friday, before heading to El Paso to make their first appearance at the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational. UC-Irvine is among the favorites to win the Big West this season, mainly in part of 7-foot-6 junior center Mamadou Ndiaye’s play. Ndiaye is leading the team in points and rebounds, as he’s averaging 12.3 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per game.

UC-Irvine defeated ACC opponent Boston College, 80-67, on Nov. 27 and took down Utah State, 73-63, last Saturday.

Scouting Norfolk State 

The Spartans of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference look to go into their second WestStar Bank Don Haskins Invitational appearance with momentum as they face Evansville on Thursday night. Norfolk State currently garners a 4-6 record with wins against Washington Adventist, Northern Arizona, Mercy College and Coppin State. The Spartans are led by redshirt senior guard Jeff Short, who is averaging 16.0 points per game this season.

Scouting UTEP

The Miners, of Conference USA, average 78.0 points per game and will face New Mexico State at home on Saturday before making their record 31st WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational appearance. They will also look to snap a three-game losing streak against NMSU. UTEP is currently 6-3 and has garnered solid wins against Southern Illinois (Nov. 27) and Colorado State (Nov. 28).

Junior guard Lee Moore leads UTEP with 16.3 points per game, as senior center Hooper Vint leads the team in rebounds with 6.0 per game.

Follow the Hyundai Sun Bowl in its social media platforms: Facebook (Hyundai Sun Bowl), Twitter (HyundaiSunBowl), Instagram (Hyundaisunbowl) and Snapchat (sunbowl2015).

Author: Sun Bowl

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