Miners rebound for 67-53 win over Florida A&M on Thanksgiving Eve

UTEP

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — After their worst scoring output at home since 2011 in Monday night’s loss to UC Riverside, 52-40, the UTEP men’s basketball team bounced back in a big way with a 67-53 win over Florida A&M on Wednesday night at the Don Haskins Center. The Miners never trailed in the game.

Jamal Bieniemy led the Miners with 21 points, while Jorell Saterfield came off the bench to score a career-high 14 points. Keonte Kennedy (12 points, nine rebounds) and Jamari Sibley (13 points, six rebounds) also scored in double digits with Souley Boum and Christian Agnew forced to miss their second straight game due to COVID protocols.

“I thought JB (Jamal Bieniemy) was special,” said UTEP head coach Joe Golding. “He trusted his teammates, got them involved and hit shots. Keonte [Kennedy] did some good things. If you rebound and defend, you’re going to play for UTEP.”

After shooting just 26 percent from the floor on Monday night, the Miners shot 36 percent from the floor on Wednesday and made eight three pointers compared to just one against UC Riverside. UTEP forced 19 Florida A&M turnovers and converted those into 20 points (off turnovers). The Miners pulled down 16 offensive rebounds leading to 15 second-chance points.

“We made more plays tonight,” said Bieniemy. “We capitalized on more opportunities with fast break [points]. In the half court, we just made plays for each other. The shots went in.”

The win marks the second time the Miners have responded to a loss this season with a double-digit win at home. UTEP beat Northern New Mexico by 35 points after losing to New Mexico State earlier this month.

“We challenged our guys. If we are going to shoot the ball as bad as we did on Monday night, then there’s different ways to win a game. We got on the offensive glass and rebounded the ball,” said Golding. “I thought there were a couple really big offensive rebounds in the second half. I’m just proud of our growth. Jorell [Satterfield] played with more confidence tonight. {Jamari} Sibley played with more confidence.”

With the win, UTEP improves to 4-2 on season and will get a break in the schedule. The Miners will host Battle of I-10 rival NMSU on Friday, Dec. 3 at the Don Haskins Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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