UTEP Beats Tech: How Big Is the Win?
But how good a win is UTEP's 82-71 victory over a now 5-6 Texas Tech team coached by Son of General, Pat Knight?
If the way the Red Raiders ran their offense in the first half is any indication, this is a solid win. Not as huge as the win over Michigan might turn out to be, but the Red Raiders are still in the Big XII and were still shooting close 70-percent-plus from the field in the first 10 minutes of this contest.
Tim Floyd's Miners hung tough, shot well themselves and led, 42-40, at the half.
More importantly, according to their head coach, the Miners began to tighten the clamps defensively, not allowing the Red Raiders to start their offense.
And then there was Randy Culpepper.
The Conference USA Player of the Year hit a couple of amazing three-point shots early in the second half, then, with Tech rallying late in the game, made plays like this one of another great in-bound play -- something the Miners have done particularly well this season...
If he wasn't scoring, Culpepper was passing, as the Miners evaded Tech's defense here -- Culpepper almost setting the ball, volleyball-style, to John Bohannon for a breakaway dunk that signaled the end for the Red Raiders.
Floyd was pleased with the big win and talked about that defensive pressure, Julyan Stone's double-double and team-high five assists, the difficulty of defending Pat Knight's ultra-organized offense...and, of course, Culpepper, who is the kind of player who inspires both love and hate in his coaches...