Miners Open Exhibition Season With Loss
POSTED: Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 10:44pm
UPDATED: Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 11:01pm
Curtis Wilkinson had a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Eastern New Mexico placed four players in double figure scoring in a 75-64 exhibition victory over the UTEP Miners on Thursday at the Don Haskins Center.
The Greyhounds started the second half with an 18-4 run to build a 58-36 lead, then withstood a late rally by the Miners, who closed the gap to 11 points (63-52) with 9:27 to play but couldn’t get any closer.
“We looked like a team that had one guy on the floor who played last year,” UTEP coach Tim Floyd said. “We knew our youth would be an issue, and it is going to be an issue particularly this early in the year. As a result, I’m not going to read too much into it too early.”
ENMU hit nine three pointers and outrebounded the Miners 43-34. UTEP shot 39.6 percent from the field and also struggled from the free throw line (19-for-32).
“I thought their shots were basically in the paint and if they weren’t they had uncontested looks outside. Individually our defense was poor and collectively it was not real good,” Floyd said. “Offensively we were plain vanilla. We ran one offense all night long. We have other things that we will run throughout the course of the season that we elected not to use in this particular game, because the core of what we’re going to do is what we were in. They’ve got to be able to do something right and learn from it and have some tools to go take from this and try to build on it. It will be a helpful film session for our guys.”
The Miners took their largest lead at 16-12 on a three pointer by Jalen Ragland with 12:03 remaining in the first half. Stefan Mirabal, who scored 16 points, gave the Greyhounds the lead for good, 18-16, on a three pointer with 11:35 left in the period.
Freshman Cedrick Lang posted 13 points and 11 rebounds to lead UTEP, and sophomore Michael Perez added 11 points. Freshmen Darius Nelson and Julian Washburn chipped in with nine points each.
The Miners continue to play without injured senior Gabriel McCulley, and sophomore John Bohannon is serving a two-game suspension.
The Miners will host Sul Ross State on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. before tipping off the regular season at home on Friday, Feb. 11 versus 2011 NCAA Tournament participant UT San Antonio at 7:05.