EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Three days ago, UTEP saw their five-game win streak come to an end. The worst part about it was that the Miners saw that streak get snapped by their Battle of I-10 rival: New Mexico State.
On Saturday, UTEP bounced back with an expected 87-50 win over Northern New Mexico, a NAIA program.
UTEP was led by Shamar Givance as he recorded 14 points on the day. Derick Hamilton followed with a career-high 11 points and Mario McKinney Jr. tacked on 10 points.
In his first game back from injury, Jon Dos Anjos collected a season-best 10 points on the day. Dos Anjos returned to game action after he missed the last six games since suffering an injury in the Miners’ season opener at Texas on Nov. 7.
Carlos Lemus and Tae Hardy each added eight points while Ze’Rik Onyema and Carlos Solomon pitched in seven points.
UTEP flipped the switch when it came to shooting. After shooting 3 for 22 (13.6%) from three-point land against New Mexico State on Wednesday, the Miners flipped the switch and hit a season high 11 three-pointers on 25 attempts (44.3%). The Miners also did a good job at the charity stripe, nailing 22-29 for a campaign-best readout of 75.9 percent.
It led to a result that was expected by UTEP head coach Joe Golding of his squad.
“No disrespect to Northern New Mexico College, but what happened today should have happened. I think they’ve got a pretty good team. They’ve got a Division II win under their belt already,” Golding said. “I was more concerned with how we’d handle (bouncing back) from Wednesday night. We got our butt kicked Wednesday and I was anxious to see how we’d respond. I really liked how our guys responded.
“We had one of better practices yesterday that we’ve had in a long time,” Golding said. “We did some really good things back on the defensive end, especially in the first half. That’s where I’m pleased with our guys with how they responded from Wednesday night. Even things with a minute to go in the game, Rio (Mario McKinney Jr.) is diving on the floors. It’s the culture, our discipline and it’s what we are about.”
With the win, UTEP moved to 6-0 when playing at the Don Haskins Center this season.
UTEP (6-2, 0-0 C-USA) will now prepare to hit the road, as their next game is against DePaul (5-3, 0-0 Big East) at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois. Tipoff is at 4:30 p.m. MT/5:30 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast nationally on FS1.