Texas-El Paso (4-2) vs. (23) Iowa (6-0)|
Friday, November 29, 7 p.m. (ET)
The Sports Network
By Phil Neuffer, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Imperial Arena (3,900) -- Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Television: AXS. Home Record: UTEP 3-1, Iowa 5-0. Away Record: UTEP 0-1, Iowa
0-0. Neutral Record: UTEP 1-1, Iowa 1-0. Conference Record: UTEP 0-0, Iowa
0-0. Series Record: Tied, 2-2.
GAME NOTES: The 23rd-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes will look to march into the Battle 4
Atlantis title game when they square off with the Texas-El Paso Miners at
Imperial Arena on Friday.
The Hawkeyes showed real resolve in the first round on Thursday as they
rallied back after trailing most of the game, to claim a 77-74 overtime
victory over Xavier. The win was the sixth straight to start the year for
Iowa, which is in the national rankings for the first time since 2006.
A blistering shooting night carried UTEP to a surprising, 78-70, victory over
Tennessee in the first round of the tournament on Thursday. The win was the
third in four games for the Miners, who are now 4-2 this season.
UTEP won the only other meeting between these squads, 84-82, during the
1987 NCAA Tournament.
The victor of this game moves on to face the winner of the Kansas/Villanova
semifinal in the tournament's championship game.
The Miners knocked down 58 percent of their shots from the field in their
victory over the Volunteers. The Miners led by as many as 15 points in the
contest thanks to the torrid shooting, as well as a 23-13 edge in points off
Even though the Miners haven't had the level of success they had against
Tennessee most nights, they are still an impressive unit. UTEP is making good
on 47.8 percent of its field goal tries, scoring just over 75 points per game.
UTEP is also a solid defensive squad, limiting foes to 36.1 percent shooting.
McKenzie Moore (15 ppg, 4.6 rpg) tops the scorer's list for the Miners and
does so efficiently, netting 54 percent of his shots from the floor. Moore
finished with a team-high 19 points against Tennessee. Julian Washburn (10.7
ppg) and John Bohannon (10.6 ppg) are other reliable scorers for the team.
In the second half the Hawkeyes led by as many as 15 points against the
Musketeers. Iowa was able to make its comeback thanks to strong defense down
the stretch as it held Xavier to just 36.4 percent shooting after halftime and
a 1-of-9 showing in the extra session.
The Hawkeyes' impressive start has been fueled by strong offense and even
strong defense. Iowa is holding teams to just 57.8 points per game on 32.5
percent shooting. On the other end the Hawkeyes are ranked 14th in the country
in points (90 pg) and 13th in assists (18 pg). Roy Devyn Marble (17.2 ppg, 3.5
apg) is a versatile swingman that can play in the back and frontcourts with
equal success. Devyn-Marble is also an effective defender as he leads the team
with 19 steals. Aaron White (13.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg) anchors the team from the
interior, while Jarrod Uthoff (9.8 ppg) is one of eight other players scoring
at least five points per game.
UTEP won't be able to sink shots at such an high rate against Iowa. Expect the
Hawkeyes to keep their hot streak going and capture yet another win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Iowa 79, Texas-El Paso 68
11/29 10:43:58 ET