UTEP will get another road test before finals week when the Miners play at Marquette of theBig East on Tuesday (Dec. 4) with tip-off set for 6:45 p.m. MT in Fiserv Forum.
“The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher (play-by-play) and Steve Yellen (color analyst) will call the contest live on KOFX 92.3. Omar Ropele will call theSpanish broadcast on ESPN Deportes 1650 AM. The contest can also be seen on FS1.
The Miners (3-4) are coming off a 30-point blowout victory against Northwestern State on Dec. 1 in which UTEP’s four scholarship freshmen combined for 50points. The Golden Eagles (6-2) defeated no. 10/12 Kansas State, 83-71, behind junior Markus Howard’s 45 points on Saturday afternoon.
“We’re going to play a fast team on Tuesday in Marquette. They’re really going to push the basketball and challenge us with our shooting defense,” first-yearUTEP head coach Rodney Terry said. “We played Steve’s [Wojciechowski] team a couple years ago [while at Fresno State] and those guys were freshmen and now they’re juniors. Howard and [Sam] Hauser, those guys are really good players that can score the basketball,but they push that ball up really quick.”
UTEP is ranked fourth in Conference USA in field goal defense (.414). Howard ranks 21st nationally, averaging 22.6 points per game and is tiedfor 30th in the nation with 125 field goal attempts. Hauser is second on the team at 15.0 points per contest.
The last and only matchup between the teams was played on Dec. 7, 1962 during Don Haskins’s second season as the Miners’ head coach, as Marquette won 77-65in Milwaukee.
On Saturday night, the Miners built a 17-point lead heading into the locker room and never looked back, beating up on Northwestern State, 77-47. Freshmanguards Nigel Hawkins and Jordan Lathon each hit career highs with 16 points apiece, while Lathon displayed an all-around effort. Lathon led the Miners in rebounds (nine), dished out a trio of dimes, collected two steals and blocked a shot during a team-gamehigh 31 minutes. Lathon threw down a dunk off a steal during UTEP’s 8-0 run to open the game. Hawkins scored all of his points during the second half, connecting on 4-of-8 shots from downtown. Those treys were the first of his collegiate career and Hawkinssank them all with under four minutes remaining in the contest.
Fellow freshman Efe Odigie tallied another double-digit performance, scoring 14 points, recording five rebounds and blocking a shot, one of four for theMiners. Odigie has reached double-digit points in seven consecutive games to open his UTEP career. The last UTEP freshman to do so was Henry Hall in eight straight games to open the 1989-90 season. The last UTEP newcomer to achieve the feat was junior transferLee Moore, who went nine consecutive games with double figure points to christen the 2015-16 campaign.
Evan Gilyard scored 10 of his 12 points during the first half versus the Demons and led the team with three steals. Gilyard was big on the boards again,using his quickness to snag six rebounds. He’s ripped down 15 rebounds in his last two games. Gilyard is averaging a team-leading 19.1 points per game, while ranking second on the squad with 5.3 rebounds per outing. In the last four games, Gilyard is averaging7.3 rebounds.