IRVING, Texas – UTEP men’s basketball swept the Conference USA weekly honors as Evan Gilyard was named Player of the Week and Efe Odigie was honored as Freshman of the Week announced by league officials on Monday.
Gilyard, ranked third in Conference USA in scoring (20.8 ppg), averaged 25.5 points per contest and 7.0 rebounds per game in UTEP’s last two games. Gilyard also set career numbers in the process with his sharpshooting.
Gilyard opened the week with a 29-point performance (matched career high) during the Miners’ victory against Eastern New Mexico.
The sophomore connected on a career-high 11 field goals from the field but really shined on the boards as he pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds, including five on the offensive side. Gilyard followed with his fourth 20-plus point effort (22 points) of the season in a hostile environment at The Pit. Gilyard went 5-of-9 from downtown and 3-of-4 from the charity stripe. Gilyard also recorded a steal and assist with a trio of rebounds against the Lobos.
Odigie, the only player averaging a double-double (14.8 ppg, 10.2 rpg) in Conference USA and the league leader in rebounding, averaged 13.0 boards per game and 12.5 points per contest during his last two games. Odigie ripped down a career-high and single-game C-USA best 17 rebounds on Nov. 19 during a win against Eastern New Mexico.
Odigie also scored 14 points, leading to his second consecutive double-double. At New Mexico, Odigie came up a rebound short of his third straight double-double. Odigie also recorded his first career assists (three) against the Greyhounds. Odigie scored 11 points against the Lobos on 4-of-5 from the field and 3-of-4 at the charity stripe, while connecting on a pair with ease down the stretch to keep the Miners in the ball game.
The big man played with urgency in the loud environment at The Pit, tallying a blocked shot, steal and five offensive rebounds. Odigie set the tone for the game when he dove for a loose ball in the opening minutes against the rival Lobos.
Monday’s honors were the third time since joining C-USA that the Miners received both Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week. Vince Hunter (FOTW) and John Bohannon (POTW) earned theirs on Dec. 30, 2013, while Cedrick Lang (FOTW) and Michael Perez (POTW) earned it on Dec. 26, 2011.