UTEP (1-2) takes on Clemson (2-1) in the consolation draw of the Old Spice Classic on Friday at 3:30 p.m. MT/5:30 p.m. ET at the HP Fieldhouse just outside of Orlando.
- ESPN2 will have national coverage of the game with Jon Sciambi (play-by-play) and Fran Fraschilla (analyst) calling the action.
- The Miners and the Tigers are meeting for the second straight year. UTEP upended Clemson, 61-48, 11 months ago in the opening round of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu.
- UTEP will conclude the tournament by facing either Marist or Vanderbilt on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. MT/11:30 a.m. ET or noon MT/2:00 p.m. ET.
- UTEP is playing in a Thanksgiving tournament for the third time in five years after participating in the 76 Classic in Anaheim in 2008 (1-2 record) and the Legends Classic in Atlantic City in 2010 (1-1 record).
- UTEP is 4-3 in neutral site games under coach Tim Floyd, including last night’s 68-61 loss to Oklahoma. The Miners were 3-1 on neutral floors last season.
- Clemson opened the season with wins over Presbyterian College (77-44) and Furman (72-55) before dropping a 57-49 decision to no. 17 Gonzaga last night.
- The Tigers led 24-23 at the half and were tied with the Zags (33-33) with 12:33 to play before Gonzaga pulled away down the stretch.
- Gonzaga shot 70 percent in the second half, connecting on 14-of-20 shots.
- Clemson, which shot 31 percent (27.6 in the second half), was led by freshman guard Adonis Filer who scored 10 points off the bench.
- The Tigers stayed in the game by committing only eight turnovers, outscoring Gonzaga 13-4 in points off turnovers and enjoying a 27-13 advantage in bench scoring.
- Clemson returns eight lettermen and two starters from last season.
- Seven of the 11 players who appeared in last year’s game versus UTEP are back -- senior forward/center Devin Booker, sophomore guard Carson Fields, sophomore guard Rod Hall, senior forward Milton Jennings, sophomore forward K.J. McDaniels, sophomore guard T.J. Sapp and sophomore forward Bernard Sullivan.
- McDaniels (13 points) and Jennings (12) both scored in double figures in a reserve role versus the Miners a year ago.
- The Miners are 4-1 all-time against Clemson.
- UTEP was 3-1 versus the Tigers in the Sun Bowl tournament in El Paso with wins during the 1963-64 (76-55), 1969-70 (1980-82) and 1982-83 (69-59) seasons. Clemson beat the Miners in the ‘78-79 edition of the event, 68-57.
- UTEP Coach Tim Floyd is 1-0 both against Clemson and Tigers coach Brad Brownell.
- UTEP is facing an ACC school for the third consecutive season, including a 71-61 loss to Georgia Tech in the 2010 Legends Classic.
THE LAST MEETING
- UTEP outscored Clemson 23-8 in the final 13 minutes, holding the Tigers to one field goal during that span, in a 61-48 upset of the Tigers at the 2011 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu.
- The Miners lost second-leading scorer Julian Washburn to a shoulder injury midway through the first half, and were without leading scorer Gabriel McCulley for long stretches in the second half. McCulley had three fouls at halftime and played only six minutes in the second period.
- Michael Perez scored 16 of his career-high 25 points in the final 20 minutes, and C.J. Cooper scored all 11 of his points after the break.
- The game was nip-and-tuck until Perez’s three-point play with 12:49 to go put the Miners ahead 41-40, and started a 13-2 run that ended with UTEP up 51-42 and 6:57 on the clock.
- Clemson shot 30 percent from the field. The Tigers’ top two scorers, Andre Young and Devin Booker, were a combined 3-for-18 from the floor including 0-for-9 in the second half.
- UTEP scored 37 points in the second half and shot 51.2 percent for the game. The Miners were also 10-of-12 at the line (.833).