Debacle in Denton: UTEP scores just 33 points in loss to North Texas


DENTON, TEXAS (KTSM) – In what was one of the worst offensive performances in the history of UTEP basketball, the Miners lost to North Texas 63-33 on Friday night in Conference USA action.

UTEP (6-5, 2-3 C-USA) shot just 21.6 percent from the floor (11-51) in the defeat, managing just 15 points in the first half, the lowest scoring output in one half of play since 2019, when UTEP scored just 12 points in the first half of a road game against Southern Miss.

The Miners’ 33 points was the lowest since a 33-point outing at Old Dominion on Feb. 17, 2018, and ties the lowest point total during the shot-clock era. The lowest point total ever was 27 at Wyoming on Feb. 17, 1979, and the second lowest was 31 points at Kansas State on Dec. 3, 1957.

James Reese led all scorers with 16 points for the Mean Green (6-5, 2-1 C-USA), as North Texas shot 50 percent from the floor in the win.

“Give [North Texas] a lot of credit. They did a really good job at defending tonight,” third-year UTEP head coach Rodney Terry said. “Early on, we had some really great looks to start the ball game. We still had the game where we wanted it, and [Javion] Hamlet had two quick fouls. But we didn’t get off to a good start in terms of shooting the basketball. But we give them a lot of credit, we knew we were going to come in here and play a team that’s going to be ready to play. We knew we were going to get their best game.”

Jamal Bieniemy led the Miners with seven points, and Christian Agnew and Efe Odigie each had six points. The paltry offensive performance by UTEP came just seven days after the Miners scored 101 points in a victory at home over Rice.

Friday stood in stark contrast to that offensive explosion; the Miners did not eclipse the 30-point threshold until there were 42 seconds left in the game.

UTEP will hope to rebound in a big way on Saturday afternoon, in the second game of a doubleheader with the Mean Green. Tip-off is at 2 p.m. MT in Denton.

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