Photo by Ruben R. Ramirez – El Paso Herald Post
UAB used a 14-0 run in the second half to go up 13 points and never looked back. The Blazers (14-9, 5-5 Conference USA) dominated the Miners (13-10, 4-6 C-USA) in the second half, on their way to a 69-55 win on Saturday night in the Haskins Center.
After the game was tied at 27 at the half, UAB shot 60.0 percent (15-25) from the field, outscoring UTEP, 42-28, in the second half.
“Even though we didn’t score, we have to be able to defend,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We have to compete at the end of the day and we didn’t do that tonight. I was disappointed that we didn’t play at the level we needed to.”
Bryson Williams led with a game-high 26 points, while Souley Boum was the other Miner with double figures (10 points).
UTEP scored a season-low 55 points on 19-of-46 shooting (41.3 percent), while UAB shot 54.0 percent from the field overall. The Blazers outscored the Miners in the paint, 36-16, and 20-14 on points off turnovers. After only eight turnovers on Thursday night against Middle Tennessee, UTEP doubled that number on Saturday night.
UAB’s 14-0 run started at the 17:11 mark after Williams gave UTEP a 30-29 lead. The Blazers took a 43-30 lead with 13:49 left in the contest.
At the 9:23 mark in the first half, UTEP took a 17-13 advantage off an Odigie layup on a fast break. After a missed jumper by Kaden Archie, UAB answered with 6-0 run capped by a Will Butler jumper.
Boum answered with one of three UTEP threes, giving UTEP a 20-19 edge at the 7:30 mark.
The Blazers took a 23-20 lead on a Butler jumper. The Miners answered with a 5-0 spurt, as Edwards drained a three and Boum hit a jumper off the glass for a two-point lead (25-23). The Blazers received baskets from Jordan Brinson and Tyreek Scott-Grayson to take a 27-25 lead.
However, Boum followed with a jumper in the paint on a fast break to tie the contest 27-27 going into the locker room.
Eight UAB players scored, led by Butler’s 17 points, and Jalen Benjamin’s 15. Tavin Lovan and Scott-Grayson each tallied 11 points.
Up next, the Miners will hit the road, playing at Charlotte (12-9, 6-4 C-USA) on Feb. 6 (5 p.m. MT/7 ET) and at Old Dominion (9-14, 6-4 C-USA) on Feb. 8 (5 p.m. MT/7 ET). Both contests can be heard on 600 ESPN El Paso, while both games will be streamed on ESPN+.
Video courtesy UTEP | Gallery by Ruben R. Ramirez – El Paso Herald Post