EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – UTEP ended their five-game winning streak three days ago. The worst part was miners saw this streak ripped by their rival Battle of I-10, the state of New Mexico.
On Saturday, UTEP rallied with an expected 87-50 win over Northern New Mexico, a NAIA program.
UTEP was led by Shamar Givance who scored 14 points for the day. Derick Hamilton followed with a career-high 11 points and Mario McKinney Jr. with 10 points.
In his first game back from injury, Jon Dos Anjos collected a best 10 points of the season that day. Dos Anjos returned to the game after missing the last six games since picking up an injury in the Miners’ season opener on Nov. 7 in Texas.
Carlos Lemus and Tae Hardy added eight points each, while Ze’Rik Onyema and Carlos Solomon added seven points.
When firing, UTEP flipped the switch. After shooting from three-point country against New Mexico State Wednesday 3 to 22 (13.6%), the Miners flipped the switch and posted a season-high 11 three-pointers on 25 attempts (44.3%). . The miners also did a good job on the charity stripe, nailing 22-29 for a campaign-best ad of 75.9 percent.
It produced a result that UTEP head coach Joe Golding expected of his squad.
“No disrespect to Northern New Mexico College, but what happened today should have happened. I think they have a pretty good team. They’ve already had one win in Division II,” Golding said. “I was more concerned about how we were going to deal with it from Wednesday night. We got our butts kicked on Wednesday and I was curious how we would react to that. I really liked how our boys reacted.
“We had one of the better procedures we’ve had in a long time yesterday,” Golding said. “We did some really good things on defense, especially in the first half. I’m happy with our boys, how they reacted from Wednesday evening. Even with a minute left in the game, Rio (Mario McKinney Jr.) jumps to the floors. It’s the culture, our discipline and that’s what we’re all about.”
With the win, UTEP moved up to 6-0 that season while playing at the Don Haskins Center.
UTEP (6-2, 0-0 C-USA) is now gearing up to hit the road as their next game is against DePaul (5-3, 0-0 Big East) at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois. is discharged. Tipoff is at 4:30pm MT/5:30pm CT. The game will be broadcast nationally on FS1.