EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — It’s hard to call a league game in January a must-win, but UTEP’s game against LA Tech on Friday night at the Don Haskins Center was just about as close as you could get to a must-win and the Miners found a way to get a win, 82-74.
Bryson Williams scored a game-high 28 points while Souley Boum registered a double-double with 24 points and 12 rebounds, as UTEP (7-6, 3-4 Conference USA) snapped a three-game losing streak with the win. The Miners had three players scoring in double figures, as Keonte Kennedy tallied 13 points, five rebounds, and six assists.
“All week, our guys had a great attitude and positive energy,” said UTEP head coach Rodney Terry. “We won this game for what you did during the week. I thought our guys came out and really good competitive practices and I thought they pushed each other really well.”
The Miners shot just under 50 percent from the floor (29-of-59), totaling 20 assists, and only turning the ball over eight times. UTEP shot 10-of-26 from downtown and 14-of-21 from the foul line.
The UTEP defense held its own, yielding LA Tech (11-5, 4-3 C-USA) to shoot just 31.7 percent from the field. However, if you are looking for an area of improvement for the Miners, the Bulldogs outrebounded them, 48-34, including 18 offensive boards.
“We did a good job defensively,” said Terry. “We held [LA Tech] to under 40 percent shooting, but it was a good complete-team win and everyone came in, contributed and did everything we asked them to do.”
UTEP will now look to come up with just the sixth series sweep in Conference USA this season when they return to the floor on Saturday night against LA Tech. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Don Haskins Center.