Rebounding the Focus as Miners Host Talented Marshall
UTEP (7-6, 1-0 C-USA) and Marshall (8-8, 1-0 C-USA) shoot for 2-0 league starts in the Miners’ C-USA home opener on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Don Haskins Center.
- The Miners are seeking their fourth 2-0 start in eight years as a league member, having also achieved the feat during the 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons.
- UTEP is 6-1 in C-USA home openers with wins over East Carolina in 2006 (58-45), UAB in 2007 (76-63), SMU in 2008 (79-66) & 2010 (49-45), Tulsa in 2011 (69-59), Houston in 2012 (70-50) and a loss to Houston in 2009 (94-86).
- The Miners are 45-10 in C-USA home games since joining the league for the 2005-06 season (7-0 in 2006, 5-3 in 2007, 7-1 in 2008, 5-3 in 2009, 8-0 in 2010, 7-1 in 2011, 6-2 in 2012). The Miners have won 23 of their last 26 C-USA home games dating back to the 2008-09 campaign.
- UTEP is 15-4 in C-USA home games under third-year head coach Tim Floyd (13-3 regular season, 2-1 C-USA Tournament).
- UTEP is 20-3 in Conference USA home games in the month of January, including 9-0 over the last three seasons. The Miners have won 10 straight C-USA home games in January dating back to a 78-70 loss to Tulsa on Jan. 24, 2009.
- UTEP’s all-time Conference USA record is 69-42. Only Memphis (98) and UAB (74) have posted more C-USA victories since the league’s realignment for the 2005-06 season.
- UTEP has registered at least 10 Conference USA wins in three of the last four seasons.
- The Miners are 6-1 at home this season with the lone blemish coming at the hands of no. 21 UNLV, 62-60, on Dec. 17.
- Marshall ended a three-game losing skid by blasting Tulsa, 79-61, on Wednesday in Huntington.
- The Herd had a 19-0 run in the first half, turning a 6-5 deficit into a 24-6 lead.
- Marshall held Tulsa to 36.5 percent shooting and outrebounded the Golden Hurricane 47-32 led by senior forward Dennis Tinnon, who had 11 boards.
- Junior forward Elijah Pittman scored 19 points, while junior guard DeAndre Kane and junior swingman D.D. Scarver chipped in with 16 points each.
- The Herd is 0-4 on the road with losses to Villanova (80-68), Hofstra (103-100 in double overtime), Kentucky (82-54) and Ohio (94-57).
- Pittman, a transfer from Lamar State College-Port Arthur, leads the team in scoring (14.8 ppg).
- Kane (14.3 ppg), Scarver (14.2 ppg) and Tinnon (10.4 ppg) also have double-figure scoring averages. Scarver is a transfer from Trinity Valley Community College.
- Marshall is averaging 16 offensive rebounds per game to lead C-USA. Senior center Nigel Spikes has 60 offensive boards on the year (3.8 avg.), and Tinnon has 50 (3.1 avg.).
- Kane is tops in C-USA in assists (7.8 avg.) and ranks second in assist/turnover ratio (2.41) and minutes (35.9 avg.). Scarver is tied for the league lead in three-pointers made per game (2.5).
- Kane was the 2011 C-USA Freshman of the Year and was second team All-League a year ago. He has scored 1,245 career points.
- UTEP leads the series 7-2. The Miners are 7-1 against the Herd since joining Conference USA.
- Marshall ended a seven-game losing streak in the series with a 76-60 win over UTEP on Jan. 4, 2012 at the Cam Henderson Center.
- UTEP is 4-0 against Marshall in the Don Haskins Center. The Miners beat the Herd in the venue during the 2006-07 (88-64) and 2008-09 (74-67) and seasons, and added a pair of victories during the 2010-11 campaign (82-74 and 77-65). The latter was a quarterfinal game of the Conference USA Tournament.
- The Miners lost their first-ever matchup with Marshall, 64-62, on Dec. 8, 1972 at the Bayou Classic in Lafayette, La.
THE LAST MEETING
- Dennis Tinnon had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Marshall whipped UTEP on the boards in a 76-60 win on Jan. 4, 2012 in Huntington, W. Va.
- With 10:27 to go in the first half, the Miners led 18-10 and were outrebounding the Herd 7-3. But Marshall closed the half with a 29-16 run, securing 12 of the game’s 13 rebounds during that stretch.
- Shaquille Johnson keyed the spurt by scoring 10 of his 12 points during a span of 3:09 from the 7:01 mark to 3:52. Reserve Nigel Spikes was also a big contributor in the first half, scoring four of his eight points in the final three minutes -- including a tip dunk at the buzzer that sent the Herd to the locker room with a 39-34 lead.
- The Miners were unable to mount a rally after falling behind 53-38 with 13:14 to play on Dago Pena’s second straight three pointer. That capped an 11-2 run.
- The Herd outrebounded the Miners 42-23 and enjoyed an 18-8 edge in second chance points.
- Julian Washburn scored 15 points for the Miners, Jacques Streeter 12 and John Bohannon 11.
- UTEP shot 66.7 percent in the first half, then made just 8-of-29 shots over the final 20 minutes while being outscored 37-26.
- Cedrick Lang and Gabriel McCulley both fouled out after playing 18 and 23 minutes re- spectively, and Bohannon didn’t play the final 8:25 after going to the bench with four fouls.
- UTEP continues to honor past greats at its home games, a policy instituted upon coach Tim Floyd’s arrival for the 2010-11 season.
- On Saturday, the Miners will honor Gary Brewster (1972-76).
- Brewster was tabbed All-Western Athletic Conference twice (1975-76) during his career at UTEP, garnering first team honors as a junior and second team as a senior.
- He was first team All-District by the NABC in 1976 and second team in 1975.
- One of the toughest players in school history, he scored 1,213 points and pulled down 673 rebounds with 14 double-doubles during his time in El Paso.
- He ranks no. 15 on UTEP’s all-time scoring list, and no. 11 in rebounds. His career field goal percentage (.504) rates 13th.
- He is one of 21 players in school history to secure 1,000 points and 500 rebounds.
- Brewster accounted for nearly a quarter of UTEP’s points (15.4 ppg) and rebounds (8.3 rpg) during the 1974-75 season that ended with a 20-6 record and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
- Brewster was a third round selection by Buffalo in the 1976 NBA Draft. He later returned to UTEP to serve as an assistant coach under the legendary Don Haskins from 1991-96. He was on staff when the Miners made their march to the Sweet 16 of the 1992 NCAA Tournament.