EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Trailing by 11 points in the halftime locker room on Thursday night, UTEP had a choice to make: battle or fold. The Miners chose the former, en route to a come-from-behind 69-64 win over UTSA.
The Miners got 22 points from Souley Boum and 18 points from Jorell Saterfield in the victory, as Saterfield drilled multiple second half three-pointers to push UTEP (10-8, 3-3 Conference USA) past UTSA (7-12, 0-6 C-USA).
The victory was UTEP’s second straight, following up on the Miners’ tough road win over Old Dominion in overtime last Saturday.
“A growth of our team is taking a win over Old Dominion with a street fight mentality, to carry it over to the next game and in the second half it was much better,” said UTEP head coach Joe Golding.
UTEP never led in the first half as the Roadrunners shot over 65% from the floor en route to a 38-27 lead. Despite dressing just eight players for the contest, UTSA showed a lot of fight in the contest, battling every step of the way with the Miners.
However, it appeared UTSA may have run out of gas towards the end of the game as the Miners mounted their charge. UTEP led by as many as nine points after halftime as Saterfield put together his best game since joining UTEP.
“In the first half everything felt so fast, but in the second half it slowed down. My teammates gave me confidence, coaches, everyone. I just had to lock in and they did a good job of finding me,” Saterfield said.
Since a loss to Louisiana Tech in early January, after which Golding ripped his team for not playing hard and called them entitled, UTEP has rattled off wins in three of its last four games. The improvement is noticeable, even if it’s not where Golding wants it to be just yet.
“We believe in where he’s been and where he’s going and we want to win. We’ve tasted some success this year and we all want to compete for a championship,” said Boum.
Added Golding, “We’re showing grit and toughness. It’s college basketball, wins are tough to get and we have a winning streak.”
UTEP will look to add to that winning streak Sunday at UTSA. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. MT.