LA Tech 73 – UTEP 55: Miners Can’t Complete Sweep, Fall to Bulldogs
Despite holding onto a lead for the entire game on Friday, the UTEP men’s basketball team played from behind throughout Saturday’s contest, falling 73-55 to LA Tech and splitting another series in C-USA play.
Unlike Friday’s contest, the Miners shot 35% from the floor (17-of-49), including 6-for-21 from 3-point range, and totaled 16 turnovers. LA Tech scored 28 points in the paint and dominated UTEP on the glass (41-29).
LA Tech opened up the game by flashing an aggressive defense that forced five UTEP turnovers in the first 5:28 of the game. The Miners started the game 3-for-10 from the floor. It was a grind to get any points on the board.
The Miners found themselves in an early rut, when the Bulldogs led by as much as 16 points in the first (32-16). They totaled 11 turnovers and allowed LA Tech to score 24 first half points in the paint.
To help ease the deficit, UTEP went on a 7-0 run to close out the half trailing 32-23.
The Miners carried their 7-0 run and built it to an 11-0 run, extending into the second half. They cut it the game to a five-point contest in the second half (37-32), but LA Tech’s 7-0 run propelled them back up to 12 points, leading 46-34 at the 11:51 mark.
Around the 10-minute point, Williams ended up racking two quick fouls, including a technical, and fouled out at the midway point of the second half. He struggled mightily on Saturday, scoring eight points on 2-of-7 shooting, including four turnovers.
LA Tech proceeded to go on a 15-2 run over the next five minutes, stretching their lead to as much as 24 points (64-40). The Miners struggled to get going offensively and they simply couldn’t hang in defensively, especially when Tydus Verhoeven fouled out around the five minute point.
LA Tech held strong all the way through, winning the game, 73-55, and splitting the series at the Haskins Center.
Souley Boum led the Miners with 23 points on 6-of-15 shooting. No other Miner player made it into double figures.
Up next: UTEP (7-7, 3-5 C-USA will play a home-and-home series with UTSA on Thursday, Jan. 28 (5 p.m.) on the road, and then Saturday, Jan. 30 at home (7 p.m. MT). UTSA (7-8, 3-5 C-USA) is coming off a series sweep against Southern Miss.