EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Zid Powell’s 23 points helped UTEP defeat UC-Santa Barbara 89-76 on Monday night in front of over 7,000 fans at the Don Haskins Center.
Powell shot 9 for 16 (1 for 4 from 3-point range) and 4 of 4 from the free throw line for the Miners (3-0). Tae Hardy scored 19 points while going 7 of 13 from the floor, including 2 for 3 from 3-point range, and 3 for 5 from the line, and added eight assists. Calvin Solomon shot 4 of 12 from the field and 4 for 8 from the line to finish with 12 points.
UTEP went 2-0 in its first two games against non-Division I opponents, so it wasn’t totally clear what the Miners might look like. UTEP put on a display that fans in El Paso have been hoping to see from the 2023-24 Miners.
“I’m proud of our guys. Great effort by them. We ask them to do a lot of tough things and we got rewarded for it tonight,” UTEP third-year head coach Joe Golding said. “I thought we were the tougher team. We scored 89 points and only made three three-pointers. Obviously it’s game three, we’ve got a long way to go and we can get a lot better, but I’m happy for our guys.”
10 players hit the floor for the Miners, with eight of them finding the scoresheet. The Miners had 18 assists on 34 baskets and turned the ball over just seven times, while forcing the Gauchos into 17 turnovers of their own. UTEP scored 18 fast break points and got 24 points from the bench.
UTEP put up 89 points in its first game against a Division I opponent in 2023-24. The 2022-23 Miners never scored more than 87 points against a Division I team.
Yohan Traore led the Gauchos (0-2) in scoring, finishing with 23 points and six rebounds. Josh Pierre-Louis added 17 points, five assists and two steals for UCSB. In addition, Ariel Bland finished with 13 points, six rebounds and two blocks.
Up next for UTEP is a Friday matchup with Austin Peay at home, and UCSB hosts Le Moyne on Sunday.