POSTED: Saturday, November 5, 2011 - 10:08pm
UPDATED: Saturday, November 5, 2011 - 10:40pm
Malcolm Moore scored 15 points to lead four UTEP players in double figures as the Miners defeated Sul Ross State, 76-60, on Saturday night in the Don Haskins Center.
UTEP completed the exhibition portion of its 2011-12 schedule and will tip off the season at home versus 2011 NCAA Tournament participant UT San Antonio on Friday (Nov. 11) at 7 p.m.
Moore hit 6-of-8 shots from the field and added seven rebounds. Jalen Ragland chipped in with 12 points, while Jacques Streeter and Hooper Vint added 10 each. Vint had a game-high nine rebounds as the Miners enjoyed a 37-33 edge on the boards against the smaller Lobos. UTEP also outscored Sul Ross State 38-15 in the paint.
"There was improvement we could see based off of our last game [a 75-64 loss to Eastern New Mexico on Thursday]," UTEP coach Tim Floyd said. "We'll continue to get better and we'll have a better understanding of the concepts as time goes on. It was a positive to go out and force 27 turnovers. We had 18 turnovers, but only six in the second half."
The Miners scored 23 points off Lobo giveaways.
UTEP trailed by five points (15-10) midway through the first half before battling back to take a 35-28 lead at the break. After Sul Ross State closed to within three points (41-38) in the first four minutes of the second half, the Miners reeled off nine straight points to forge a 50-38 advantage and were in control the rest of the way. UTEP took its largest lead at 74-53 on a pair of free throws by Darius Nelson with two minutes to play.
Nine Miners played between 20 and 24 minutes as Floyd continues to analyze what he has to work with this season.
"I was watching and observing, trying to figure out who I can trust and who I wanted to use," he said. "Our goal for these games [the exhibitions] is to try to get everybody into the games and make a little improvement. We played a little bit better in the second half. We have a lot of things to talk about before UTSA."
The Miners shot 50 percent from the field but were 18-for-37 at the line.
Zach Rule led Sul Ross State with 18 points.