EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Bryson Williams (28 points, 10 rebounds) and Efe Odigie (15 points, 10 rebounds) each recorded a double-double, leading UTEP to a one-point win (67-66) over Middle Tennessee on Thursday night at the Don Haskins Center.
With the win, the Miners move to 13-9 (4-5). They also improve to 11-1 at ‘The Don’ this season.
UTEP forced 15 MTSU (5-17, 1-8 C-USA) turnovers, outscoring the Blue Raiders 12-5 on points off turnovers. The Miners also recorded nine offensive boards, tallying 10 second-chance points.
“We knew it was going to be a ball game,” said UTEP head coach Rodney Terry. “We had to come in and really try to defend really hard tonight and have physical block outs. We knew [Middle Tennessee] was averaging 12 offensive rebounds per game and we did a really good job holding those guys to six offensive rebounds. They could really shoot the basketball and they’re a much better team than what their record shows. Their personnel is really good.”
Reggie Scurry, after tallying 16 offensive rebounds in three games against the Miners last year, was held to just two defensive rebounds in Thursday’s contest.
“We did a really good job on Scurry, who really hurt us last year in every ball game. We did a really good job on him,” added Terry.
Williams registered his fifth double-double of the season and shot 5-for-5 from the foul line, while Odigie notched his first double-double of the season and 12th of his career. The last time two Miners recorded a double-double in a single game was on November 19, 2018. Odigie went 6-of-12 from the field, including a made three-point shot. He’s now 3-for-3 from downtown on the season.
“[Odigie] was scary in practice the last couple of days,” said Terry. “He gave us a great look from the scout team and he carried that over into the game. He had the energy tonight and practiced like that the last couple days.”
Deon Stroud made his first collegiate start, chipping in with seven points on 3-of-4 shooting, including a three-point play early in the second half. Stroud scored UTEP’s first points on a two-handed dunk that got ‘The Don’ rockin’ early.
Daryl Edwards hit a pair of treys in the second half, scoring six points, while Souley Boum recorded three assists and scored all five of his points in the second period. Nigel Hawkins tallied four points, five rebounds and a team-leading four assists.
The Miners trailed by as many as 13-points in the first half. The game had eight ties and 11 lead changes.
“I’m happy with the win, even though I thought we could’ve closed it out better,” said Terry. Nevertheless, a win’s a win. We’ll take them any way we can get them right now.”
UTEP will host UAB on Saturday, February 1. The Miners and Blazers are set to tip-off at 7 p.m. MT in the Don Haskins Center. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.