EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – UTEP (8-7, 1-3 Conference USA) men’s basketball is set to host UTSA (7-9, 1-4 Conference USA) at the Don Haskins Center on Wednesday, Jan. 11.

UTEP heads into Wednesday’s contest on a four-game losing streak. The Miners have lost to Kent State (Dec. 22), at UAB (Dec. 29), Rice (Dec. 31), and Louisiana Tech (Jan. 7). The Miners have lost all four games by a total of 14 points. They have been close contests that haven’t swung into the Miners’ favor. UTEP is hoping to get back on the winning side of things against UTSA.

“We are a team that always says that we trust the process and that the next opportunity is the biggest opportunity and we just have to keep getting better.” UTEP men’s basketball head coach Joe Golding said.

UTEP’s defense continues to be their strength. The team is tied for 115th out of 352 NCAA Division I teams in scoring defense as they are holding opponents to 66.7 points per game. UTEP is ranked 20th in three-point field goal percentage defense. Opponents are shooting 28.8% from beyond the arc against the Miners. UTEP is ranked 13th in the country in turnovers forced per game. Opponents are turning over the ball 17.9 times per game.

UTEP’s offense continues to be something they are working on. The Miners are ranked 229th in the country in scoring offense. Turnovers and free throws have been UTEP’s Achilles’ heel the last four contests. UTEP has turnover the ball a total of 80 times and shot 41-of-74 (55.4%) from the free throw line in the last four games.

“We got to value the basketball. We don’t honestly score the ball great. In these one possession, two possession games, when you turn the basketball over, those are opportunities we can get the ball in the rim,” Golding said. I think turnovers is a big key we’re looking at, continuing to get to the free throw line, make free throws and then defensively just being consistent for 40 minutes.”

Tae Hardy has been UTEP’s leading scorer so far as he is averaging 12.3 points per game. Mario McKinney Jr. has been a great tool off the bench for the Miners. McKinney is averaging 10.2 points, 4.5 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game. Starting point guard Shamar Givance is averaging 9.9 points, 4.5 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game for the Miners.

UTSA has been going through a rough patch like UTEP recently. The Roadrunners have lost four of their last five games. Their only win in that stretch came against Middle Tennessee, a 75-72 win on Jan. 5.

The three-ball is a shot the Roadrunners like to resort to. UTSA is averaging 8.2 three-point makes on 23.1 attempts per game. Offensive rebounding is also a strength that the Roadrunnners have as they are averaging 10.6 offensive rebounds per game.

“We have to guard the three-point line. We have to do a good job on [Jacob] Germany and then they got really good players around him that can shoot the basketball,” Golding said. “They are a good offensive rebounding team and then we are going to have to go score some points.”

UTSA has four members on their team that are averaging double-figures in points per game. Japhet Medor is the team’s leading scorer as he averages 13.0 points per game. Jacob Germany is averaging 11.7 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game. John Buggs (11.0 points per game) and DJ Richards (10.1 points per game) are the other two members on UTSA who have double-figure scoring averages so far this season.

UTEP and UTSA will face off on Wednesday, Jan. 11 at the Don Haskins Center. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m. Mountain Time.