Strong defensive performance pushes UTEP to 70-47 win over Charlotte


EL PASO, TEXAS (KTSM) – In their first game after going on pause due to a case of COVID-19 within the program, UTEP showed no signs of rust on Saturday in a 70-47 win over Charlotte.

The Miners (11-10, 7-8 Conference USA) extended their winning streak to three games after limiting the 49ers (9-12, 5-8 C-USA) to 33.3 percent shooting.

The Miners trailed 13-9 early in the first half, but outscored the 49ers 26-5 over the final 15 minutes of the half to put the game out of reach early. UTEP forced 17 turnovers, and scored 24 points off those turnovers.

Souley Boum and Efe Odigie each scored 15 points in the win. It was Odigie’s first game action since Jan. 15 against North Texas. He missed nearly two months in concussion protocol.

“I thought our guys came out and really set the tone early to start the ball game,” said UTEP head coach Rodney Terry. “Charlotte has two of the premier players in the league in Sheperd and Young. Both of those guys are good players and we knew we’d have our hands full with their perimeter game. I thought we did a good job following the scouting report and staying between our man and the basket. We did a great job converting once we forced those turnovers in transition.”

UTEP will conclude C-USA action and try to extend its winning streak to four games when it hosts Charlotte on “Senior Day” Sunday. The Miners and 49ers are slated for a 1 p.m. tip time. Bryson Williams and Eric Vila will be honored prior to tipoff in the Haskins Center.

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