POSTED: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - 6:26pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - 11:51pm
The Miners were 6-3 in December after posting a 1-4 mark in November. UTEP’s improvement from one month to the next mostly coincides with the return of senior forward Gabriel McCulley. They will need to be on top of their game Wednesday when they open conference play on the road against Marshall (9-4).
The Herd is 7-2 at the Cam Henderson Center this season with the losses coming to Ohio and Akron.
Sophomore guard DeAndre Kane, the 2011 C-USA Freshman of the Year, is averaging a team-leading 16.7 points per game. Senior guard Damier Pitts is collecting 14.5 ppg and junior forward Dennis Tinnon, a transfer from Kansas City Community College, averages a near double-double with 9.9 ppg and 10.4 rpg.
Marshall’s +10.6 rebound margin leads C-USA. The Herd averages 17.7 offensive boards per game, also tops in the league.
UTEP leads the series 7-1 and is 3-0 ver- sus the Herd at the Cam Henderson Center. The Miners won in Huntington 53-51 on a putback at the buzzer by Jason Williams during the 2005-06 season, squeezed out a 79-76 victory during the 2007-08 campaign and prevailed 80-76 two years ago to clinch the C-USA regular season title. The Miners are 7-0 versus the Herd since joining C-USA, the only team they haven’t lost to since joining the league. UTEP beat Marshall twice in the Haskins Center during March of last year, 82-74 and 77-65. The latter was a quarterfinal game in the C-USA Tournament.