Photo by Ruben R. Ramirez | El Paso Herald Post

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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