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Miners to host Denver Sunday night

Miners to host Denver Sunday night
KTSM
UTEP
Sunday, December 29, 2013 - 4:11pm

UTEP (9-5) and Denver (6-6) meet in the championship game of the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational on Sunday at 7 p.m. This is the 52nd edition of the Sun Bowl tournament.

The Miners rallied from a 10-point deficit in the final five minutes to nip Western Illinois, 67-64, on Saturday night. Earlier in the evening, Denver topped Alcorn State 67-49.
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UTEP is shooting for its 30th Sun Bowl Invitational title and second consecutive.
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Denver posted 22 wins last season and tied for the WAC regular season title with a 16-2 mark. The Pioneers advanced to the second round of the NIT.
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Denver has won six of its last eight games following an 0-4 start, including victories over Colorado State (80-70), Wyoming (64-61) and Belmont (90-62).
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The Miners have a four-game winning streak, their longest since Feb. 8-22, 2012. The last time UTEP posted five consecutive victories was from Feb. 26-March 11, 2011.

THE SERIES
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UTEP leads the series 3-1, including 1-0 in El Paso. This is the second meeting between the teams in the Sun Bowl Tournament (53-42 Miner win in the 1963 title game).
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Previous matchups took place during the 1963-64, 1964-65 and 1968-69 seasons. The Miners swept two meetings during the 1963-64 season, with All-American and top pick in the NBA Draft Jim Barnes scoring 37 points and securing 14 rebounds in a 62-48 win at Denver on Feb. 10, 1964. The Miners lost at Denver on Dec. 12, 1964 (56-55), and beat the Pioneers to christen the 1968-69 season in the Pan Am Center Tipoff at Las Cruces (81-63).
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A UTEP player has had a double-double in every previous matchup with Denver -- Barnes twice, and Nevil Shed & Andrew White once each.

UTEP NOTEBOOK
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The Miners tied their season-low field goal percentage (.346) against Western Illinois on Sunday. UTEP tied its lowest field goal percentage in a win under Tim Floyd (also .346 against Tulane on Feb. 11, 2012).
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The win over Western Illinois was the Miners’ first this season when the opponent shot 40 percent or better (1-4).
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Against Western Illinois on Saturday, UTEP rallied from a double-digit deficit to win for the fifth time under Tim Floyd and for the first time this season. The last time the Miners won a game that they trailed by 10 points or more was against Southern Miss on Feb. 22, 2012 (trailed by as many as 16 points before prevailing 76-68 in double overtime).
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John Bohannon picked up his 14th career double-double against Western Illinois and is now tied for 15th place in school history with Gary Brewster and Dave Feitl.
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Julian Washburn now has 906 career points after scoring a game-high 18 on Saturday. He has scored 68 points (17 ppg) in the last four games.
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Julian Washburn has led the Miners in scoring in back-to-back games for the first time since a four-game run in March of 2013.
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After converting 23 free throws in a row earlier this season, C.J. Cooper has now made his last 11 including 9-for-9 last night.
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UTEP has made more free throws than its opponent has attempted in four straight games, its longest streak under Tim Floyd.
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The Miners have outrebounded five of their last six opponents (+7.0 margin in that stretch).
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UTEP used its 10th different starting lineup in 14 games against Western Illinois on Saturday.
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The win over Western Illinois was UTEP’s 50th in the Haskins Center under Tim Floyd.
 

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