UTEP Fends Off Pacific with 73-64 Road Victory
In a key non-conference matchup early into the season, UTEP went on the road and picked up a solid 73-64 win over Pacific on Friday evening.
Souley Boum led the Miners with 29 points on 9-of-14 shooting, while Jamal Bieniemy (18) and Alfred Hollins (12) scored in double figures. The Miners led for 73% of the contest and took control by the end of the first half.
The Miners were off to a bit of a rocky start in the first half. Pacific got off to a 10-5 lead, largely because of Jeremiah Bailey's early points. Boum helped the Miners respond with 10 of UTEP's 12 early points. After Pacific led 17-12, UTEP went on a 13-0 run to lead 25-17.
The Miners held onto a lead all the way up until the 2:41 mark when Pacific nailed a 3-pointer to tie the game, 31-31. UTEP would still go on to out-score Pacific 12-4 and led 43-35 at the break. Thanks to Boum's 18 first half points, UTEP had as much as a nine-point lead. The Miners shot 42% from the floor, 54% from 3-point range and 90% at the free throw line in the first half.
Out of the second half, the Miners controlled the entire final 20 minutes. They dealt with foul troubles with guys like Boum, Alfred Hollins and Jamari Sibley. They capitalized on good defense and pushed past having 18 turnovers throughout the game.
They never looked back after Pacific's head coach was called with a technical foul at the 13:46 mark. The Miners led by as much as 16 points when they were up 62-46. UTEP went on to win 73-64 and improved to 3-1 on the year.
The Miners shot 45% from the floor, 44% from 3-point range and 79% from the charity stripe. They forced 15 turnovers but had 18 of their own. They allowed 12 fast break points and racked up 28 total personal fouls.
Up next: UTEP will host UC Riverside on Monday in another key non-conference matchup. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Haskins Center and the game can be heard on 600 ESPN El Paso.