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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 9, 3:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Curtis Culwell Center (7,000) -- Garland, Texas. Television: TWC Sports Channel. Home Record: UTEP 13-3, SMU 7-6. Away Record: UTEP 3-7, SMU 6-7. Neutral Record: UTEP 0-3, SMU 2-2. Conference Record: UTEP 9-6, SMU 5-10. Series Record: Texas-El Paso leads, 26-15.
GAME NOTES: The UTEP Miners haven't won back-to-back Conference USA road games since January 2011, but have a chance to accomplish that on Saturday when they take on the SMU Mustangs in the regular-season finale.
The Mustangs are playing the game in Garland as Moody Coliseum undergoes a $47 million renovation and expansion.
The Miners have clinched the No. 3 seed in next week's Conference USA Tournament. UTEP has earned a top-four seed and first round bye in the tournament for the fifth time in eight seasons. The Mustangs can finish anywhere from eighth through 10th in the seeding process for the tournament.
UTEP, which is wrapping up the regular season at SMU for the third consecutive year, is coming off a 56-54 loss at home against Memphis. Julian Washburn led the Miners with 19 points and Cedrick Lang added 10 points and seven boards in the setback.
Washburn (11.7 ppg), John Bohannon (10.8 ppg) and Konner Tucker (10.3 ppg) are all averaging double figures for the Miners. Bohannon (6.4 rpg) is the top rebounder, but the team has struggled by scoring just 62.7 points a game. That's the second-lowest mark in the league. On the positive side, they're allowing 60.4, which is tops in the conference. Tucker leads the conference by shooting 90.9 percent from the foul line.
The Mustangs will try to build off a 71-65 win at Tulsa Wednesday. Nick Russell led all scorers with 19 points. Cannen Cunningham tallied 17 points and five blocks. Shawn Williams and Ryan Manuel netted 13 and 11 points, respectively. Russell and Jalen Jones continue to be co-leaders on the team in scoring each at 14.3 points per game. Ryan Manuel (12.3 ppg) is also in double figures. Jones (7.7 rpg) is the leading rebounder. SMU is leading conference in field-goal percentage defense (.390) and free-throw percentage (.750), while ranking third in the league in scoring defense (62.6).
UTEP has won 18 of the last 20 matchups between the schools. The Miners are 14-2 versus SMU since joining Conference USA. UTEP won this year's first meeting, 63-54, on Jan. 19. Streeter had 18 points. Expect a tight contest with this one probably being decided in the final minute.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas-El Paso 63, SMU 61
03/09 10:34:27 ET
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