UTEP junior center Matt Willms picked up his first Conference USA Player of the Week honor on Monday after leading the Miners in a couple of road games last week.
Willms averaged 26.0 points for the week and made 24-of-31 shots (77.4 percent). First, he scored a career-high 27 points in the Miners’ 65-62 loss at WKU on Thursday. Willms made 13-of-16 shots (81.3 percent) in that contest. He established career-highs for field goals made (13), field goals attempted (16) and minutes (35) in the game while adding four rebounds, a block and two steals.
The 27 points were the most by a UTEP big man since John Tofi scored 30 at Southern Miss on Feb. 11, 2006. It also marked the most points by a UTEP player this season. Willms followed that up with a 25-point, seven-rebound performance as UTEP handed Marshall its first home loss of the season, 91-68, on Saturday. He shot 11-for-15 (.733) from the field and added three assists and a steal over 29 minutes.
It marks the second time Willms has been recognized by C-USA. He was named the league’s Freshman of the Week on Nov. 11, 2013.
The Miners, who have won four of their last five games, will host league powers UAB (Thursday, 8 p.m.) and Middle Tennessee (Saturday, 6 p.m.) this week. Thursday is “Jeep Jackson Tribute Night,” and fans are asked to wear white.
The first 1,000 fans will receive a Jeep Jackson t-shirt, and the first 5,000 will receive a commemorative Jeep Jackson trading card.