UTEP 76 – ASU 63: Miners Shock Sun Devils in Tempe
For the first time in nearly seven years, UTEP has won a road non-conference game.
On Wednesday evening, they made that win even more special by shocking Pac-12 affiliate Arizona State, 76-63, in Tempe, Ariz.
Senior forward Bryson Williams (22 points, 10 rebounds), junior guard Souley Boum (18) and junior forward Tydus Verhoeven (10) combined for 50 points in their upset victory. Williams and Boum chipped in with 27 second half points. Though the team racked up 20 turnovers and allowed Josh Christopher to pour 24 points, the Miners dominated the Sun Devils down the stretch.
"I'm really proud of my team," third year UTEP coach Rodney Terry said. "Their preparation this past week had been good and spot on. This is a great group to work with. I love this team."
UTEP (3-2) was down 41-33 at the end of a back-and-forth first half. Arizona State used a big half from their forward Josh Christopher and they forced UTEP 10 turnovers.
Boum helped springboard the Miners on a 9-0 run to start the second half, cutting the Sun Devils' lead to 41-39. With the help of three straight buckets by Williams in the, the Miners were able to retake the lead, 53-49.
At the 8:20 mark, UTEP was able to break away on a 6-0 run, leading by 10 at 66-56. Arizona State went on a 7-2 run, cutting it to a 68-63 UTEP lead. Then, the Miners clamped down defensively and held the Sun Devils scoreless through the final five minutes. UTEP closed the game out on a 8-0 run.
The Miners crushed the Sun Devils with a +20 rebounding margin (46-26), including nine offensive rebounds. Forward Tydus Verhoeven totaled nine boards, four coming on the offensive end. They were previously out-rebounded 46-25 on Saturday against Arizona.
North Alabama transfer Christian Agnew made his Miner debut following the news of the NCAA granting the immediate eligibility waiver for all athletes on Wednesday. He had five points, two rebounds, an assist and a steal in 18 minutes off the bench.
UTEP shot an admirable 48.3 percent from the floor and shot 50 percent in the second half. Defensively, they held ASU to shooting 1-of-18 from 3-point range. The Sun Devils scored 40 points in the paint and saw Christopher lead all scorers with 24 points on 10-of-20 shooting.
The Miners’ road win against Power 5 team in ASU was the second in the last 20 years.
Next up: UTEP will host Benedictine University at Mesa (0-1) on Sunday, Dec. 20 at the Haskins Center without fans in attendance. The Miners start C-USA play on Jan. 1 on the road against Southern Miss. They are expected to have one more non-conference game after their game on Sunday against Benedictine University at Mesa.