SAN ANTONIO, Texas (KTSM) – The UTEP men’s basketball team is in a free-fall and their early-season win over Arizona State is nothing more than a distant memory at this point. The Miners have lost five of their last six games, including Thursday night’s 86-74 setback against UTSA at the Convocation Center.
The Miners (7-8) slip to 3-6 in Conference USA play and are alone in last place in the West Division. The Roadrunners (8-8) have won three straight games and improve to 4-6 in league play.
“We didn’t do a good job stopping [UTSA] in the first half,” said UTEP head coach Rodney Terry. “In the second half we took control of the game and we were winning at one point as well. When it comes down to it, we had a couple really good looks, but Jackson and those guys made some really big plays — made some shots.”
UTEP shot over 40 percent (26-64), but only 26.3 percent (5-19) from beyond the arc. Bryson Williams led the way with his third double-double of the season (24 points, 10 rebounds) and made a career-best 14 free throws on 15 attempts at the line, also a career-high. Sougley Boum matched his total with 24 points and Keonte Kennedy recorded his second career double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
UTSA hit 50.8 percent (30-59) of their shots from the field and connected on 43.5 percent (10-23) of their three-pointers. Jhivvan Jackson poured in a game-high 32 points for the Roadrunners in the win, while Keaton Wallace added 19 points and nine assists.
The Miners trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half, only to comeback and briefly take a second half lead, but could never take control of the game.
“We came out [of the locker room] and put it on our defense and we put consecutive stops together and won that first four minutes of the second half and really got after it,” said Terry. “We had wide-open looks, we just didn’t make them. Again, you give [UTSA] credit — they hit a couple of their shots.”
UTEP will host UTSA on Saturday at the Don Haskins Center where the Miners will be looking to salvage a split with the Roadrunners. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. MT and the game will air on ESPN+.