CHARLOTTE, NC (KTSM) — Jamal Bieniemy (game-high 21 points) and Souley Boum (14 points) combined for 35 points, but UTEP couldn’t find production elsewhere is a 66-53 loss at Charlotte on Thursday night at the Halton Arena.
The Miners (8-8, 1-3 C-USA) limited the 49ers (8-5, 1-0 C-USA) to 40.0 percent shooting from the floor and forced 17 turnovers, but struggled on the offensive end of the floor themselves. UTEP shot just 34.5 percent from the floor, 28.6 percent from three-point range and committed 16 turnovers. They were outscored in the paint by the 49ers by 10 (34-24).
UTEP guards Keonte Kennedy (foot) and Christian Agnew (COVID protocols) did not play on Thursday.
“We have to be gritty, have some fight to us,” said UTEP head coach Joe Golding. “We took some charges tonight, that’s a positive. We were in the game, and in the second half got it back down to seven or eight. We got some good looks.”
Charlotte had five players score in double figures, led by Jahmir Young who posted a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds in the win. Austin Butler also recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Miners will now turn their attention to salvaging a split on the road when they travel to Virginia in a matchup against Old Dominion. The Monarchs are coming off a 32-point win at home against UTSA on Thursday.
“We’ve got a tough challenge [at ODU], but what a great opportunity for our guys to turn the page in 48 hours,” said Golding. “We can go out there and show some grit and toughness and take the fight to them.”
Tip-off at Chartway Arena in Norfolk is at 5 p.m. MT. The game will be streamed live on ESPN+.