• January 23, 2022
 Gallery+Story: UTEP powers past Southern Miss 87-54

Photo by Ruben R. Ramirez – El Paso Herald Post

Gallery+Story: UTEP powers past Southern Miss 87-54

El Paso, Texas- The UTEP Miners Men’s Basketball Team broke a three game losing streak by picking up their first win in Conference USA play of the 2021-2022 season Saturday night defeating the Southern Miss Golden Eagles 87-54.

The home win at the Don Haskins Center was the eighth win of the season as the Miners are now 8-7 on the year and 1-2 in conference play.

The Miners took the lead in the first minute and 20 seconds and never looked back in a game that was highlighted with individual and team season highs for the Miners. Everything seemed to go for the Miners as they put on a performance that was much needed for a team that has struggled to get rolling and put a complete 40 minutes together this season.

The 3,800+ fans in attendance tonight saw a high scoring affair for UTEP that was highlighted by 15 3-point baskets, good enough to tie the school record.

It is the fourth time in school history this record is tied by a Miners team. 

  Here’s what happened

  • UTEP got off to a red hot start on Saturday night. After Southern Miss scored one of their first two free throws of the game the Miners went on a 15-0 run over the course of three minutes and 40 seconds. In the first seven minutes of the game UTEP shot 70% from the field and was three for three from three point range.

 

  • The Miners cruised for the remainder of the first half leading by as many as 23 points over the Golden Eagles. All the players on the bench saw minutes of playing time. Jamal Bieniemy led the way for the Miners with 14 points and four assists for UTEP.

 

  • The first half ended with UTEP leading 44-23 at halftime. The Miners 44 points to end the first 20 minutes of the game were the most points the Miners have scored against a division one opponent all season long. 

 

  • Jorell Saterfield stood out at the start of the second half scoring a quick eight points in the first few possessions to start the final 20 minutes of the game. These quick buckets for the sophomore from Chicago, Illinois locked up what was a career high for him in points (Saterfield finished with 16 points for the game.). 

 

  • The Miners ended the game with 24 assists tonight, also a season high. This type of effort with validity to Miners head coach Joe Golding’s comments in recent games that his team’s ball movement is improving. 

 

What was said

After the game, scoring leaders for tonight’s game Souley Boum (17 points) and Jamal Bieniemy (19 points) spoke with the media. Bieniemy said, “We know we are a much better team than what we showed on Thursday. We knew we had to get to practice and get better. We showed it tonight.”

Boum added, “We knew we had to get a win. Coming off of three straight losses, we knew we had to get one and protect. We wanted to come out and give a better effort.”

Both players were in agreement that the confidence tonight grew and spread throughout the team as the game progressed. They also agreed that they have to continue to practice hard in order to continue to improve. 

Golding said his team played hard and competed calling the victory “well deserved” for his team. Golding added, “Shots went in tonight. They didn’t go in the other night but playing hard never changes.”

As for the shots going in for UTEP, Golding elaborated by saying, “We made shots. I think they were good shots. I think our ball movement is getting better….tonight we saw some shots go in early and I think that gave us some confidence.”

As for areas of improvement moving forward, the Miners head coach quickly pointed out, “Offensive rebounds, I thought in the second half we got beat on the glass. We got exposed on some ball screams and let those guys get downhill on us. So I think those two things we got to continue to harp on and continue to get better.” 

What’s next

UTEP will now have to prepare for a pair of road games on the east coast. The Miners will face Charlotte on Thursday evening and then square off against Old Dominion Saturday evening. Both games are scheduled to tip off at 5 p.m. MST and will be streamed on ESPN+. 

For all things UTEP, click here; for our complete coverage of the Miners, click here.

Author: Joe Rodriguez  | Photog: Ruben R. Ramirez – El Paso Herald Post

Rodriguez is a life long El Pasoan. Joe has covered sports locally across the Borderland since 2007 for various media outlet both in El Paso and Ciudad Juarez as a personal passion as he is a professional in the world of healthcare (Physiatry). His favorite sports include soccer, auto racing, golf and horse racing.

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