Photo by Ruben R. Ramirez | El Paso Herald Post
UTEP officials announced Saturday that, due to a positive COVID-19 test and subsequent contact tracing within the UTEP men’s basketball program, Sunday and Monday’s contests at Florida Atlantic have been canceled.
Program officials add that details of the Miners’ return to competition will be announced at a later date.
***PREVIOUS STORY BELOW (2/17)
Due to changes in travel accommodations stemming from the winter storms in the state of Texas, the UTEP-Florida Atlantic series will be moved to Sunday, February 21 and Monday, February 22.
The Miners and Owls will tipoff at 3 p.m. MT/5 ET on Sunday, and 4 p.m. MT/6 ET on Monday. Both contests will be streamed on ESPN+ and can be heard on the home of UTEP Basketball 600 ESPN El Paso.
UTEP (10-10, 6-8 Conference USA) defeated FIU 75-59 after using a 16-3 run to jump out to a big lead in the first half on Feb. 12. The following night was a different story as FIU led for 30:34, but the Miners surged to a 77-68 victory following an 18-2 run late in the contest.
UTEP also used a 32-for-39 effort from the charity stripe to rally against the Panthers in game two. After turning the ball over 17 times the first 26 minutes, the Miners cleaned up their miscues and didn’t tally a turnover the next 14 minutes of action.
UTEP is tied with Rice (6-8) for fifth place and three games ahead of Southern Miss (3-11) in the West Division standings.
Florida Atlantic (8-9, 3-5 C-USA) has lost three straight games following a sweep at UTSA on Feb. 12 (84-80) and 13 (86-75).
Prior to the series against the Roadrunners, the Owls had four straight games postponed due to COVID-19 protocols (at Marshall on Jan. 28 and 30, and versus WKU on Feb. 7 and 8). The three-game losing skid started at Charlotte 74-71 on Jan. 23 before the postponed contests.
Souley Boum produced another stellar weekend, leading the Miners to their first sweep of the season against the Panthers. In his most recent outing, Boum scored 28 points on career highs in free throws made (15) and attempted (17). After missing a pair at the 16:09 mark of the second half, Boum responded with a 13-for-13 effort down the stretch.
Boum ranks first in C-USA in made free throws (116). Boum’s 17 attempts were the most since Stefon Jackson’s 20 free-throw attempts against Marshall on Feb. 14, 2009. Boum has scored 20 or more points in seven of the last eight games. The junior is averaging 22.5 points in his last games, totaling 180 points. Boum is shooting over 34 percent 3-pointers and over 82 percent from the foul line over the last eight games.
Christian Agnew has been a key contributor off the bench as the junior transfer scored a season-high 17 points in 26 minutes off the bench. The night prior, ‘Saucy’ scored 12 points.
After going scoreless at UAB, Agnew responded with a 7-for-12 effort from the floor (2-of-3 from beyond the arc), while going 13-for-16 (81.3 percent) from the foul line during the FIU series. Agnew registered season highs in free throws made (8) and attempted (10) on Feb. 13.
Defensively, the Miners have yielded just over 63 points per game in the last five contests after giving up 86 at UTSA on Jan. 28.
Florida Atlantic ranks second in C-USA and 27th nationally is scoring offense (80.4), while ranking sixth in scoring defense (68.4). The Owls shoot 46.7 percent from the field, ranking third in the league and 53rd nationally. FAU ranks first in the conference and 40th nationally in three-point field-goal percentage (37.5).
The Owls are averaging 9.8 3-pointers per game, ranking third in C-USA and 22nd nationally. FAU’s 13.6 offensive rebounds per game ranks first in conference and 12th nationally. The Owls rank first in C-USA and 10th nationally in rebounds per game (40.9) and rebound margin (9.0).
Jailyn Ingram leads the team in scoring at 13.6 points on 47.8 percent (32-67) shooting from downtown and 46.2 percent shooting from the floor. Michael Forrest is averaging 11.7 points per game and leads the Owls with 43 made 3-pointers on 122 attempts. Bryan Greenlee averages 10.3 points on 45.2 percent (33-73) shooting threes.
UTEP leads the all-time series 5-4, however FAU has won the last three meetings. The Miners are 3-1 in Boca Raton after last season’s 59-56 loss in FAU Arena. UTEP last won in Boca on Feb. 23, 2017 by the score of 60-55.
Bryson Williams recorded a double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) in last years’ meeting.