After a pair of road tests at NM State and Arizona, UTEP (1-2) will return home for a Monday night contest against Eastern New Mexico (0-3). Tipoff is set for 7 P.M. MT at the Don Haskins Center.
Fans can listen live on KOFX 92.3 with ‘The Voice of the Miners’ Jon Teicher and Steve Yellen. The Miners and Greyhounds can also be seen on the CUSA.TV live stream.
The Miners are Greyhounds are facing each other for the first time in 43 years. The two programs last met on January 4, 1975. UTEP won the game 73-50 in El Paso. UTEP and ENMU first met during the 1944-45 season.
The Miners are coming off a loss at national power Arizona on November 14. UTEP’s highly-touted freshman guard Nigel Hawkins made his collegiate debut in the McKale Center, scoring seven points with six rebounds, three assists and a steal. Hawkins struggled from the field, but did connect on 5-of-6 free throws, while he tied for the team lead in assists.
Fellow freshman Efe Odigie produced his first career double-double, leading the Miners in rebounds (11) and tallying 13 points against the Wildcats’ experienced frontcourt. Odigie went 5-of-8 from the field coming off the bench for the first time this season during a season-high 28 minutes of action. Odigie has opened his UTEP career with three consecutive double-digit scoring games. The Houston native tipped off the campaign with a 23-point performance versus UT Permian Basin, while recording 13 points at rival NM State.
Senior Paul Thomas led the Miners with a season-high 14 points, while chipping in with six boards and tied Hawkins for the team lead with three assists. Thomas went 6-for-10 overall from the floor and 2-of-4 from beyond the arc.
The Greyhounds opened the season with an 82-74 loss to Fort Lewis on November 9, while falling at N.M. Highlands, 87-76, the next day. ENMU recently suffered its third loss, 85-68, versus St. Edwards at the Ed Messbarger Tip-Off Classic on November 16.
Chukuka Emili opened his senior campaign with a 21-point, nine-rebound effort in 36 minutes against Fort Lewis. The 6-8 forward followed with a double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds) in ENMU’s second game, while producing his second double-double (10 points, 11 boards) against St. Edward’s.
Against N.M. Highlands, junior Isaiah Murphy led the Greyhounds with 17 points off the bench, while Zach Parker added 16 points.
KTSM will have coverage leading up to tipoff and a full report following Monday’s contest.