EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The UTEP men’s basketball team dominated NCAA Division III member McMurry in a 120-71 win in its regular season opener at the Don Haskins Center on Monday.
“For us to play a game in front of the bright lights, in front of our fans, put the uniforms on. I thought we had a ton of energy early on,” UTEP men’s basketball head coach Joe Golding said. “There’s plenty of room for improvement but that’s what these games are for, right? This is game one. We got to be coachable, we got to watch tape and we got to get better.”
UTEP’s 120 points scored in the game was the second most ever scored in a single game in program history. The most points scored in a single game by UTEP was against Western New Mexico on Dec. 30, 2000, per the UTEP’s record book.
UTEP showed off its depth on its team in its first game by playing 13 different players, 12 of them scoring baskets, in its game against McMurry.
It was a good way to start the season for a UTEP team that is in a completely different situation than to start this year than it was last year. UTEP head coach Joe Golding brings in a squad with eight returners and seven newcomers that are coming together well very early on in the season.
“I think this team will be consistent all year. This team will play for each other,” Golding said. “They’re going to play for the Miners, they are going to play for our students, they’re going to play for our school, they’re going to play for the city, and they’ve been really consistent with that right now.”
“We are just trying to bring a different culture here. Flip the script. We got the newcomers bought in, so it was just comfortable out there. There’s a lot of trust out there.” UTEP guard Tae Hardy said.
UTEP will now turn around quickly for its second game of the season. UTEP will host NAIA member USAO at the Don Haskins Center on Thursday night before the Miners’ get its first real test against one of the top mid-major programs in the country: UCSB on Nov. 13.