Miners host Marshall Saturday in Conference USA play
El Paso, TX — UTEP (10-6, 0-1 C-USA) caps a five-game homestand by battling Marshall (6-10, 0-1 C-USA) on Saturday at 7:05 p.m.
The Miners are 3-1 thus far with wins over Montana State (70-55), Western Illinois (67-64) and Denver (60-54 in double overtime), and a loss to Charlotte in their C-USA opener on Thursday (73-68).
UTEP hasn’t started 0-2 in conference play since 2001-02 when it dropped its first three Western Athletic Conference contests. The Miners haven’t lost their first two conference home games since 2008-09 (94-86 to Houston, 78-70 to Tulsa).
The Miners are 51-13 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, 6-2 in 2013, 0-1 in 2014). The Miners have won 29 of their last 35 C-USA home games dating back to the 2008-09 campaign.
UTEP is 21-7 in C-USA home games under fourth-year head coach Tim Floyd (19-6 regular season, 2-1 C-USA Tournament).
UTEP is 22-4 in Conference USA home games in the month of January, including 11-1 in its last 12. The loss to Charlotte snapped a string of 12 straight C-USA home wins in January that dated back to 2009.
The Miners’ all-time Conference USA record is 79-49. UTEP has registered at least 10 Conference USA wins in four of the last five seasons.
For the fourth year in a row, UTEP is honoring past great players at halftime of this season’s home games.
Saturday’s Miner Legend is Wayne Campbell, who played in 124 games for the Miners from 1982-88 and was a member of four postseason tournament teams (three NCAA, one NIT).
Due to a severe knee injury, Campbell was on the UTEP roster for six seasons. He redshirted the 1983-84 and 1984-85 campaigns.
His career averages were 6.6 points and 5.0 rebounds with a .550 field goal percentage. His field goal percentage ranks third in school history.
Campbell’s best years came as a junior in 1986-87 (8.3 ppg/6.2 rpg) and as a senior in 1987-88 (10.2 ppg/5.8 rpg). He shot a career-best 62.5 percent from the floor as a junior.
Over Campbell’s last three seasons, the Miners posted a record of 75-23 and won three Western Athletic Conference titles (two regular season, one tournament).
He is tied for 10th in school history with 121 steals, 15th with 614 rebounds and tied for 15th with 61 blocks.
He is tied for the UTEP single-game record with eight blocks versus Northern Illinois on Dec. 4, 1987.
Following a 4-2 start to the season, the Herd has lost eight of its last 10 games to fall to 6-10 overall.
Marshall fell at UTSA, 90-81, in its C-USA opener on Thursday. Freshman guard Kareem Canty led the Herd with 26 points.
There were 13 ties and 16 lead changes in the game. The Roadrunners broke away from a 61-61 tie midway through the second half by going on a 15-4 run.
UTSA shot 56.6 percent from the field and made 7-of-9 three pointers.
Tom Herrion’s fourth Marshall team has a host of fresh faces. Only DeVince Boykins and Tamron Manning saw significant action in 2012-13 (Elijah Pittman was a starter in 29 games, but he was suspended indefinitely from the team in early December). The Herd entered the season with nine newcomers to tie UTSA for the conference lead.
Canty is the highest scoring freshman in C-USA at 17.0 ppg. The Harlem, N.Y. native is shooting 41.2 percent from the field, 34.7 percent from three-point range and 71.9 percent from the line. He leads C-USA with 6.7 assists per game.
The Herd is third in the conference in scoring offense (81.9 ppg), but next-to-last in scoring defense (76.3 ppg).
Marshall, Florida Atlantic and Tulsa are the only C-USA teams that are winless on the road. The Herd is 0-7 with losses to Morehead State (102-94 in overtime), East Tennessee State (88-78), Vanderbilt (69-67), Penn State (90-77), South Carolina (92-65), Akron (59-58) and UTSA.
UTEP leads the series 8-2. The Miners are 8-1 against the Herd since joining Conference USA.
UTEP is 5-0 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 vic- tories during the 2010-11 campaign (82-74 and 77-65). The latter was a quarterfinal game of the Conference USA Tournament. Last season, UTEP topped Marshall in the DHC 74-63.
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
Konner Tucker scored 18 points to lead four UTEP starters in double figures, and the Miners moved to 2-0 in Conference USA play for the first time in five years with a 74-63 win over Marshall on Jan. 12, 2013 at the Haskins Center.
A 7-0 burst at the end of the first half sent the Miners into the locker room with a 31-24 lead. They built a 20-point lead, their largest of the night, on a Cedrick Lang free throw with 8:51 remaining.
UTEP trailed 12-5 in the first five minutes. The Miners outscored the Herd 51-24 in a dominat- ing next 26 minutes that culminated in the 56-36 lead.
The game lasted well over two hours as UTEP (30) and Marshall (25) combined to shoot 55 free throws, including 46 in the second half.
Jacques Streeter finished with 14 points and seven assists and collected his 500th career as- sist. McKenzie Moore tallied 14 points, seven boards and three steals, and John Bohannon contributed 13 points, eight rebounds and two blocks.
The Miners outrebounded the Herd 32-23 and held them to five offensive rebounds – a stag- gering number considering that they averaged a league-leading 16 per game coming in.
Dennis Tinnon led Marshall with 19 points, including 17 in the second half. DeAndre Kane and Elijah Pittman scored 11 each.