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Miner men to host Southern Miss in C-USA Tournament

Miner men to host Southern Miss in C-USA Tournament
KTSM
UTEP
Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 1:12pm

Fifth seed UTEP (23-9) takes on fourth seed Southern Miss (26-5) in the C-USA Championship quarterfinals on Thursday at 6 p.m. MT.

UTEP is 10-8 in C-USA Championship games, reaching the semifinals in 2006, 2008 & 2013 and the final in 2010 & 2011. The Miners are 3-1 in C-USA Championship games in the Don Haskins Center with a runner-up showing in 2011.

The Miners’ all-time conference tournament record is 37-23 (includes a forfeit against Hawaii in the 1996 WAC Tournament). UTEP captured WAC Tournament crowns in 1984, 1986, 1989, 1990 and 2005.

A five seed has captured the Conference USA Championship twice, with both teams having to win four games in four days to achieve the feat. Marquette turned the trick in 1997 (beating DePaul, Memphis, Cincinnati and Charlotte), and Charlotte did so in 1999 (beating Houston, Southern Miss, Cincinnati and Louisville).

CONFERENCE TOURNEYS AT HOME
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UTEP is hosting the Conference USA Championship for the second time in four years. In 2011, the Miners beat Marshall in the quarterfinals (77-65) and Tulsa in the semis (66-54) before losing to Memphis in the final (67-66).
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UTEP hosted WAC Tournament games in 1984, 1985 and 1990. The Miners played in the championship game three times and won the title in 1984 and 1990.
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The Miners are 9-2 all-time in conference tournament games in the Haskins Center.
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The host team has won the Conference USA tournament nine times in the 18-year history of the event.

FLOYD & CONFERENCE TOURNAMENTS
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UTEP’s Tim Floyd is 26-16 in his 20th conference tournament with three titles and nine berths in the title game.
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The titles came in 1990 at New Orleans, 1996 at Iowa State and 2009 at USC. His teams were conference tournament runner-up in 1989, 1991 and 1993 (New Orleans), 1995 (Iowa State), 2007 (USC) and 2011 (UTEP).

THE SERIES
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UTEP owns a 12-8 advantage in the series, but Southern Miss has won four of the last five matchups and three straight.
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The Miners are 9-6 versus the Golden Eagles since joining Conference USA.
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The teams are meeting in the C-USA Championship for the third time and the second straight year. The third-seeded Miners knocked off the 11th-seeded Golden Eagles, 66-47, on March 9, 2006 in Memphis. The two seed Golden Eagles topped the third seed Miners, 85-67, on March 15, 2013 in Tulsa.
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UTEP’s Tim Floyd is 2-5 when coaching against Southern Miss.

UTEP-SOUTHERN MISS SEASON SERIES
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Aaron Brown and Matt Bingaya established career-highs with 24 and 21 points respectively, as Southern Miss rallied on its home floor once again to beat UTEP, 77-68, on Feb. 22 in Hat- tiesburg.
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In their last three trips to Hattiesburg, the Min- ers have outscored the Golden Eagles 89-73 in the first half and have gotten outscored 113-69 in the second half while losing second-half leads of nine points or more each time.
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The Golden Eagles outscored the Miners 46- 30 in the second half after trailing by as many as 12 points in the first 20 minutes.
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The Miners took their largest lead, 31-19, on a Julian Washburn dunk with 3:25 remaining in the first half. Southern Miss outscored the Miners 7-3 in the last minute and a half of the period, trimming an 11-point deficit down to seven (38- 31).
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Two Miners -- Cedrick Lang and Matt Willms -- picked up their third and fourth fouls in the first few minutes of the second half.
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Then the Golden Eagles started raining in three pointers – particularly from Brown, who fin- ished 5-for-9 from beyond the arc (3-for-5 in the second half). Neil Watson’s three pointer, with 12:32 to go, put Southern Miss in the lead (51- 49) for the first time since it was 16-15.
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UTEP went up 57-56 on a Vince Hunter free throw with 8:34 left. That was the Miners’ last lead of the game.
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A crucial juncture started with 5:34 remaining, when the Golden Eagles, ahead by two (62-60), triggered an 8-2 run with a jumper by Deonte Houston. Jerrold Brooks and Brown both hit three pointers during the spurt. UTEP was down 70-62 with 3:40 on the clock and all but out of it.
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Southern Miss shot 53.6 percent in the second half and made 6-of-10 three pointers. Southern Miss, with no player taller than 6-7, outrebound- ing the Miners 32-29, leading to 14 second chance points. The Golden Eagles also scored 15 of their 22 points off turnovers in the second half.
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Hunter led UTEP with a career-high tying 26 points (18 in the first half).

FLOYD’S SOUTHERN MISS CONNECTION
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UTEP Coach Tim Floyd’s hometown is Hat- tiesburg, Miss.
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Floyd’s late father, Lee, coached the Golden Eagles for 14 seasons (1949-54 and 1962-71) and is the second-winningest coach in school history with 246 victories.
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Floyd spent two seasons as a walk-on at Southern Miss before finishing his collegiate playing career at Louisiana Tech.
 

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