EL PASO, Texas – Fresh off a thrilling come-from-behind road win at Charlotte, the UTEP men’s basketball team (10-8, 3-4 C-USA) will open a two-game homestand by playing host to FIU (8-10, 2-5 C-USA) at 7 p.m. MT Thursday.
It is the first of two matchups on the season between the programs, with UTEP heading to the Eastern Time Zone for a Feb. 23 tilt. The Miners are coming off a 60-58 victory at Charlotte on Jan. 16, a game in which they trailed by as many as 13 points in the opening frame. It continued a recent trend in which six of the past seven games have gone down to the final possession of regulation, with two going to OT.
The Panthers have lost three straight, including being clipped by second-place North Texas, 64-57, at home on Jan. 16. UTEP is a stout 9-2 at the Don Haskins Center on the season while FIU is winless (0-6) on the road thus far, with an average margin of defeat of 17.7 points in those contests.
UTEP is looking to get back to .500 in league play and secure its third win in the past four contests after a 1-3 start to C-USA action. A victory would be the 600th all time for the Miners in the Don Haskins Center, which opened for the final five home games of the 1976-77 season.
UTEP will wrap a busy stretch of six games in two weeks by welcoming FIU (7 p.m.-Thursday) and No. 24 Florida Atlantic (7 p.m., Saturday) to El Paso. Included in the sequence was having three games in six days. UTEP is 2-2 thus far during the stretch.
UTEP leads the series with FIU, 14-2, aided by a mark of 8-1 in El Paso. The Miners have won six straight at home in the series, including a 79-68 vanquishing of the Panthers on Jan. 29, 2022, in the most-recent match-up.