CHICAGO, Ill. (KTSM) – UTEP suffered a 91-70 defeat to DePaul at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois on Saturday. DePaul’s three-point shooting was too much to handle for UTEP as they were handed their third loss of the 2022-23 season.

One major area UTEP focused on this week ahead of the DePaul game was to guard the three-point line better. UTEP lost to New Mexico State, who made 12 three-pointers in the Nov. 30 game, by 25 points and that sparked the Miners to make sure they do a better job against DePaul.

UTEP got off to a great start to the game, going up as much as 11, after a Tae Hardy lay-up gave the Miners a 20-9 lead with 11:25 to go in the half. UTEP’s defense was also played a big factor in their early success. UTEP forced DePaul into 14 first half turnovers with five of them being steals. DePaul managed to close the gap after finding their groove from the three-point line. The Blue Demons went 6-of-12 from deep in the first half alone to take a 39-33 lead into halftime.

UTEP’s Mario McKinney Jr. had 12 first half points and Hardy was the next leading scorer in line with 6 points. DePaul was led by Javan Johnson (10 points) and Jalen Terry and Eral Pen each had 9 points.

In the second half, DePaul came out swinging. The Blue Demons jumped out to an 18-point lead after a Philmon Gebrewhit made three-pointer. That forced UTEP to take a timeout with 16:35 left in regulation. UTEP countered with a 12-5 run to cut the deficit down to 11, 60-49, with 12:28 left, but it wouldn’t get any closer than that.

DePaul managed to stretch out their lead to 27 points, 91-64, with 2:10 left in the game. DePaul shot 58.1% (18-31 FG) from the field and 51.9% (8-15 3PT) beyond the arc in the second half to put the game away.

“We just can’t sustain it (long stretches of quality play),” UTEP head coach Joe Golding said. “I don’t know if it’s conditioning, getting comfortable. We turned them over eight times in the first 10 minutes and then once in the last 10. We took some really, really bad shots and some quick shots that we talked about the whole time that led to transition at the 3-point line. They ended up with 14 3-pointers. We are going to keep learning the lesson the hard way until we get it figured out.”

UTEP didn’t shoot the ball bad either in the second half as they shot 54.2% (13-24 FG) from the floor but they only tacked on two three-pointers.

UTEP finished the game shooting 48.1% (26-54) from the field and 38.5% (13-22) from three-point land. Tae Hardy led the way in scoring with 16 points, McKinney Jr. with 12 points, and Calvin Solomon with 8 points.

DePaul had two players score in double-digits: Javan Johnson (23 points) and Umoja Gibson (22 points). Jalen Terry, Philmon Gebrewhit, and Eral Penn also each recorded 11 points. DePaul finished the night shooting 49.2% (30-61) from the field and 51.9% (14-27) from three.

UTEP (6-3, 0-0 C-USA) will now have a week off before they open up Conference USA play. The Miners are set to host LA Tech at the Don Haskins Center on Saturday, Dec. 17.

DePaul (6-4, 0-1 Big East) will play at Duquesne on Wednesday, Dec. 14.