UTEP powers past NMSU in Battle of I-10, 65-50

College Sports

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – It is a rivalry renewed. UTEP out-muscled New Mexico State in a 65-50 win on Tuesday night at the Don Haskins Center in front of nearly 9,000 fans. The Miners snapping a nine-game losing streak to the Aggies in the Battle of I-10.

KTSM 9 Sports has every angle of this rivalry covered. Andy Morgan and Colin Deaver highlight the action.

UTEP (2-0)

Bryson Williams scored 14 of his 19 points in the second half and Jordan Lathon tallied 13 points as the duo led UTEP to a 65-50 victory over NM State in the Battle of I-10 Tuesday night in a loud and electric Don Haskins Center.

The Miners outscored the Aggies 37-25 that led to their first victory in nine tries. Prior to Tuesday night, the last victory came on Nov. 22, 2014.

“I thought our guys did a nice job,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “Our coaches had our guys prepared in terms of their actions and what they like to run. I thought our guys, for the better part of the game, did a good job competing and following the scouting report.”

The Miners (2-0) and Aggies (1-1) were neck-and-neck until Lathon connected on a three-pointer at the 3:36 mark in the first half, while Daryl Edwards hit one of his own at the 2:37 mark to give their squad a 28-21 lead.

However, the Aggies responded with a 4-0 run to finish the first half and finding themselves down by only three points (28-25) heading into the locker room. NM State had recorded nine offensive rebounds in the first half, as it outrebounded UTEP by seven (24-17).

The Aggies came out of the tunnel and started with a Johnny McCants’s layup to get within a point (28-27), but that was the closest they would get.

Williams would go on to score the next four points to put the Miners up 32-27 early in the second half. Trevelin Queen answered with a three-pointer to quiet the announced crowd of 8,993, but back-to-back layups by Edwards and Eric Vila upped the lead to six points (36-30) at the 15:22 mark.

“You have to come out in the first four minutes [of the second half] and try to set the tone, especially on defense,” Terry said. “Defense, a lot of the times, is all activity and energy. When you come out with that mindset, you start the halves the way you need to. You have to be a team to start the second half well and finish the second half well. We didn’t do a great job finishing the first half. The last couple possessions weren’t great for us offensively and defensively.”

After Queen hit another three to make the count 38-34, UTEP used a 9-0 run that started with two made free throws by Efe Odigie and ended with a Lathon layup. The Miners went up 47-34 at the point of the game (9:16) and never looked back.

Williams led UTEP with eight rebounds in 17 minutes of action. Williams sat most of the beginning of the second half after finding himself in foul trouble. Lathon paced the squad with a trio of steals – all in the second half. All three of Lathon’s steals led to six points for the Miners.

Edwards chipped in with eight points on 3-of-5 shooting, while tallying three rebounds, a blocked shot and two assists. Souley Boum and Vila each recorded seven points, while Vila added six boards and three assists. Odigie scored five points, going 3-of-4 from the charity stripe and dishing out three assists, tying his career best. Tydus Verhoeven played seven minutes, and scored his first points as a Miner while grabbing three rebounds.

UTEP shot 46.9 percent (23-49), while making 76.2 percent (16-21) of its free throws. The Miners cut down their turnover from last Tuesday’s 20 to only 12 a week later.

The loud and raucous crowd may have distracted NM State, as it shot 18.2 percent (2-11) from the free-throw line. The Aggies also shot 36.8 percent from the field as the Miners harassed them all night. Queen paced NM State with 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting, while Terrell Brown recorded 10 points and led the team with eight rebounds.

UTEP will host Eastern New Mexico on Friday, Nov. 15. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. in the Haskins Center.

New Mexico State (1-1)

The New Mexico State men’s basketball team traveled to the Don Haskins Center to take on Battle of I-10 rival UTEP on Tuesday night in El Paso, Texas. A tough night shooting from the field and the line hampered NM State as they fell to UTEP, 65-50.

To open the rivalry contest, the Aggies struggled to knock down shots and it was not until 2:58 into the game that the Crimson & White got on the board. Trailing by four early, Trevelin Queen hit a three that was followed by another triple by Terrell Brown to give NM State it’s first lead of the night, 8-7.

Following the lead change the teams then traded baskets all the way until a media timeout at the 8:08 mark where NM State trailed by just one, 16-15. Each team rattled off a small run before the Aggies knocked down the final two baskets and only trailed the Miners, 28-25, after the first 20 minutes of action.

Through one half of play Queen led the Aggies in scoring with nine points and Brown followed with seven. The first half also saw NM State all over the boards reeling in 24 to just 15 for UTEP.

Opening the second half, the Aggies knocked down the first basket to get things rolling, but the Miners countered with a 10-3 run as the deficit grew for the Crimson & White. Trailing by six at the media timeout with 11:52 remaining, the Aggies then allowed the Miners to rattle off 11 of the game’s next 13 points and NM State trailed by 13, 49-36.

Looking to get back in to the game, NM State battled back to cut the UTEP lead to eight with just over four minutes left. Unfortunately, that would be the closest the Aggies would get as they fell on the road to the Miners, 65-50.

“We are not very good right now. I was afraid of that,” said head coach Chris Jans. “We just didn’t know where we were at. We played a division two game which wasn’t a good test. I was anxious, like we all were, to see where we were at. Unfortunately I didn’t like the result. We have to get back to the drawing board and figure things out. They did a good job of making us uncomfortable.”

Scoring for the Crimson & White was led by Queen who totaled 21 points, but fouled out late in the second half. Brown added 10 points as the only other Aggie to reach double digits. The Aggies were able to outrebound the Miners 40-33, but only able to shoot 21-57 (36.8%) from the field and 2-11 (18.2%) from the line.

The New Mexico State men’s basketball team now returns home to host Southern on Thursday, November 14, at 7 p.m. MT at the Pan American Center.  

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