Texas-San Antonio (6-11) at Texas-El Paso (13-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 25, 4 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Don Haskins Center (12,222) -- El Paso, Texas.
Television: CSS. Home Record: UTSA 5-5, UTEP 9-3. Away Record: UTSA 1-6, UTEP
3-1. Neutral Record: UTSA 0-0, UTEP 1-2. Conference Record: UTSA 2-2, UTEP
3-1. Series Record: Texas-El Paso leads, 4-1.
GAME NOTES: A pair of Conference USA teams trending in opposite directions
will meet up at the Don Haskins Center on Saturday afternoon, as the surging
Texas-El Paso Miners host the slumping Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners.
UTSA will wrap up a three-game road swing with this matchup and began the trip
with losses at UAB (78-65) on Jan. 16 and most recently at Middle Tennessee
(80-58) last Saturday. The Roadrunners, who are 6-11 overall and 2-2 in
conference play, have gone just 1-6 away from home this season.
Meanwhile, UTEP has enjoyed three straight victories since dropping its C-USA
opener to surge to 3-1 in the league and 13-6 overall. The Miners' latest
contest ended in a thrilling 63-61 victory at UAB, and now they return home to
El Paso, where they've won nine of 12 bouts.
These newly-formed conference rivals last met in November of 2011, when UTSA
downed UTEP, 73-64. The Miners still hold a 4-1 advantage in the all-time
The Roadrunners fell into a quick 13-0 hole against Middle Tennessee less than
six minutes into their most recent tilt and were never a factor from that
point forward en route to the 22-point setback. They shot a lowly 33.3 percent
from the field and finished with just as many turnovers as field goals (16).
Devon Agusi was one of the few bright spots in the loss, scoring 18 points on
4-of-9 from the field and 10-of-11 at the foul line. Kaj-Bjorn Sherman came
off the bench to register 12 points, while Jordan Sims finished with 11 points
on 3-of-8 from 3-point range.
UTSA's offensive production has been respectable this season, as it shoots
43.7 percent from the field for 70.7 ppg, but it has suffered a disappointing
fate due to its porous defense, which yields 78.7 ppg on 47.6 percent
shooting. Its dreadful -4.6 turnover margin certainly doesn't help matters
much either. Keon Lewis nets a team-high 14.3 ppg, and while his field goal
percentage is far from impressive (.407), he makes up for it with an 81.1
percent showing at the stripe. Agusi (12.2 ppg), Sims (11.1 ppg) and Hyjii
Thomas (10.9 ppg) also net in double figures.
After leading for the majority of the second half last Saturday, the Miners
found themselves down by one late in the game before John Bohannon delivered
the game-winning bucket with 1:58 to play. They shot 44.4 percent from the
field on the evening, which just barely outpaced UAB (.423), and they
outscored the Blazers from beyond the arc, 18-6. C.J. Cooper connected on four
of those 3-pointers on his way to 17 points. Vince Hunter was strong in the
paint with 18 points and nine rebounds, as was Bohannon with 11 points and
UTEP's success this season has come on the back of its outstanding defense, as
it allows its opponents to connect on a mere 37.6 percent of its field-goal
tries for 64.3 ppg. The strong play on the defensive end of the court helps
the team mask its scoring deficiencies (69.0 ppg), especially since McKenzie
Moore (13.1 ppg) was dismissed from the team a few weeks back. The scoring
load is shouldered mostly by Julian Washburn (11.7 ppg), Hunter (11.4 ppg, 6.8
rpg) and Bohannon (11.1 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.9 bpg). Washburn makes field goals at
just 39.5 percent efficiency, but both Hunter and Bohannon clock in at greater
than 55 percent shooting.
UTEP has had very little issue dismissing lesser competition this season,
especially on its home floor, meaning it should be on its way to an easy
triumph against the floundering Roadrunners.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas-El Paso 76, Texas-San Antonio 62
01/25 10:21:09 ET
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