Battle of I-10, round two: NM State hosts UTEP


LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO (KTSM) – UTEP and New Mexico State will meet for round two of the Battle of I-10 on Tuesday in Las Cruces, in one of the most anticipated games of the last few years in the Borderland.

The Miners (5-0) snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Aggies (4-4) back on November 12 in El Paso in a 65-50 win. However, UTEP hasn’t won away from El Paso since March of 2018, a span of 639 days. Tuesday is UTEP’s first chance to snap that streak and also sweep the season series with NM State.

“Even if we had a lot of guys back from a team that won a lot of games on the road, you still have to learn this season how to win on the road and what it takes to win on the road,” said UTEP coach Rodney Terry. “This group has worked really hard, we’ve prepared really hard and we know we’re playing a good team that’s well-coached.”

As for New Mexico State, the Aggies have taken some lumps early in the season thanks to injuries to key players AJ Harris and Clayton Henry. NMSU enters Tuesday’s rivalry clash at .500 after gaining a bit of momentum in the Cayman Islands Classic over the Thanksgiving holiday.

It’s another tough week on the schedule for the Aggies; they host the Miners on Tuesday, then travel to Pullman, Wash., to face Washington State on Saturday. The Aggies are hopeful that a big week could give them some momentum to turn the corner.

“We just haven’t cashed in on the opportunities like we have in the past and this week is no different,” said NM State coach Chris Jans. “We have a big game tomorrow and then it doesn’t let up. The schedule is relentless but again, I’m not complaining. We put it together and I think eventually we’ll be better because of it.”

The Aggies and Miners square off at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night in Las Cruces.

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