Texas-El Paso (6-5) at Colorado State (11-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 2, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Moby Arena (8,745) -- Fort Collins, Colorado. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: UTEP 6-1, CSU 7-0. Away Record: UTEP 0-1, CSU 2-2. Neutral Record: UTEP 0-3, CSU 2-0. Conference Record: UTEP 0-0, CSU 0-0. Series Record: Texas-El Paso leads, 46-25.
GAME NOTES: Enjoying a 20-game home win streak, the Colorado State Rams try to continue their dominance in Fort Collins on Wednesday when they entertain the Miners of Texas-El Paso in non-conference play.
Overall, the Rams are an impressive 11-2 on the campaign thus far, bowing to only Colorado and Illinois-Chicago in back-to-back dates in early December. Since then the team has ripped off five straight victories, the latest coming on Saturday versus Adams State, 80-55, at home.
Not only has Colorado State been a consistent winner at home over the last two seasons, the current overall win streak has the team winning by no less than 17 points per game, the strongest run for the program since the 1970-71 campaign.
As for the Miners, this game is one of two that the program will play outside of Conference USA, the other coming against Houston Baptist in a little under two weeks. Not only is this game the first for UTEP since a 68-52 win over Nebraska on Dec. 23, it is also the first for the team away from El Paso since Nov. 25.
UTEP leads the all-time series by a count of 46-25, although CSU has won six straight over the Miners.
Against Nebraska at the Don Haskins Center, the Miners held the Cornhuskers to just 16 points in the first half and 37.3 percent shooting from the floor for the entire game. Konner Tucker and Jacques Streeter led the way on offense for the hosts as they each scored 17 points, the former connecting on 5-of-7 shots behind the 3-point line, the team converting 8-of-17 beyond the arc collectively. Tucker, who is only now getting back into action after sitting out with a broken bone in his shooting hand, has already jumped ahead of everyone on the squad in terms of 3-pointers made with 15-of-24 shooting in a mere four games. Tucker is first on the team in scoring with 15.0 ppg, followed by Julian Washburn (12.9 ppg) and John Bohannon (12.3 ppg), while Streeter (8.7 ppg) is the one directing the offense with his five assists per contest.
It didn't take long for the Rams to gain firm control of their meeting with Adams State a few days back, as four of the five starters scored in double figures in the 25-point decision. Colton Iverson and Dorian Green both tallied 17 points, followed by Greg Smith and Wes Eikmeier with 11 points apiece as the team shot 48.3 percent from the field and ruled the glass, 51-41, in order to combat 14 turnovers. While he was the lone starter not to score in double figures, Pierce Hornung did contribute to the win with seven points, eight rebounds and three assists. Hornung, who has steadily increased his scoring average every season with the Rams, is now up to 10.2 ppg and the same goes for his rebounding which leads the program at 9.9 per outing. Also playing strong on the inside is Iverson with his 14.5 ppg and 8.9 rpg, while shooting 58.1 percent from the floor.
Thanks to Iverson and Hornung, the Rams enjoy one of the top rebounding advantages (plus-14.2 rpg) of any team in the country, and that should be enough to set down an opponent like the Miners.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Colorado State 69, Texas-El Paso 63
01/02 10:32:19 ET