EL PASO, Texas – The UTEP men’s basketball team wrapped a 50-15 run around the break on the way to blasting visiting NAIA opponent Northern New Mexico College, 88-53, at the Don Haskins Center Tuesday evening. The win improved the Miners to a start of at least 2-1 for the third straight year.
Four different Miners reached double figures in scoring, in the form of Jamal Bieniemy (15 points), Tydus Verhoeven (season-high 12 points), Alfred Hollins (season-high 11 points) and Souley Boum (10 points). Verhoeven also grabbed a game and season-best seven rebounds. Bonke Maring and Keonte Kennedy each added nine points.
Ten different Miners scored to help UTEP put up its highest scoring output of the season, eclipsing the 85 against Western New Mexico in the opener on Nov. 9. The Orange and Blue took decent care of the ball with 14 while forcing 25 that led to 30 points. UTEP won the rebounding battle for the first team of the season, cleaning up the glass to the tune of 41-23.
UTEP connected on 49.3 percent (33-67) from the floor while taking care of business at the free-throw line by going 14-16 (87.5 percent).
“We wanted to win the glass and we outrebounded them by 18 with 17 offensive rebounds,” UTEP head coach Joe Golding said. “There were some good things we did. We moved the ball pretty well. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is, we’re trying to get better.”
UTEP vaulted out to a 7-0 lead and was up by eight (14-6) with 14:57 left in the half before the visitors whittled it down to one on a couple of occasions. That is as close as they would get, with the Miners using a half-closing 33-9 surge to carry a 25-point margin (51-26) into the locker room.
Nine different players scored in the opening frame, led by Boum and Verhoeven each tallying 10 points. UTEP also was a perfect 10-10 at the charity stripe over the first 20 minutes of action, thanks primarily to Boum knocking down all six of his tries at the line.
The Miners continued to pour it on in the second half, extending it to as many as 38 (77-39) with 9:35 to play in the contest. UTEP cruised down the stretch en route to the 35-point triumph.
UTEP hits the road for the second time this season, playing at Pacific at 8 p.m. MT Friday (Nov. 19). Jon Teicher (41st year) will be on the call, which can be followed on “The Home of UTEP Basketball” 600 ESPN El Paso and the UTEP Miners App.