Miners upend the Rams 82-74

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Miners upend the Rams 82-74

Aaron Montes / The Prospector

Aaron Montes / The Prospector

Aaron Montes / The Prospector

Javier Cortez, Staff Reporter

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In a closely contested game that came down to the wire, the Miners defeated the Colorado State Rams 82-74 at the Don Haskins Center.web2

From the startof the game the Miners were in control of the game, playing at their own pace and hustling the Rams all night on the boards. The most impressive stat tonight for the Miners was their 53-36 rebounding edge over Colorado State.

“The positive tonight for us, was obviously the rebounding,” said head coach Tim Floyd. “This was the same group that got out rebounded by West Alabama, we were playing the premier rebounding coach in the country, that’s his m-o.”

Colorado State head coach Larry Eustachy who was ejected in the second half, also said that rebounding was the key to the game.

“We couldn’t rebound with them and it extended that way. The tougher team won.” Eustachy said. “What I didn’t like was our team giving up 11 offensive rebounds in the first half and we got outrebounded by 20, which is probably a record for any team that I’ve ever coached, so that’s obviously the area we need to work on.”

Freshman forward Vince Hunter led the Miners in rebounds with 15 and also contributed with 11 points to secure his first collegiate double-double. After the game coach Floyd had his own praise for number Hunter.

“I think you all see why he was rated 21st best player in the country,” Floyd said. “What a fine athlete, and an instinctive rebounder.”

“He played like a man,” said Julian Washburn. “He’s only a freshman, 18 years old. He can easily do this every game if he wanted to. I was just impressed and hopefully he keeps it up.”

After a closely contested first half Julian Washburn hit a buzzer beating three-point shot to give the Miners a seven point lead, to go with the two technical free throws to start the second half.

When Eustachy was thrown out of the game at the 15 minute mark the Miners had their largest lead of the game at 16 points and looked poised to run away with the game, but bad defense and key three point shots kept the Rams in the game.

Overall there were five Miners in double figures, Vince Hunter, Julian Washburn, C.J. Cooper, McKenzie Moore, and John Bohannon. It was a total team effort for the Miners in tonight’s win. Floyd played 11 of his 15 available players tonight.

“I feel we played pretty good,” Washburn said. “We dominated on the boards, that was a big key in this game. I felt we executed pretty decent and I’m just happy we got the win against a quality team.”

With the win tonight the Miners improve to 3-1, 3-0 at home this season. The Miners have three days off until they play game two of the Battle of I-10 against New Mexico State on Saturday. With the win tonight against a quality opponent like Colorado State, the Miners are expecting a much closer outcome against the Aggies.

“Anytime we play here were going to be the favorites,” Washburn said. “I feel since we lost that game, we worked a lot on defense, so I feel it won’t be the same game and we definitely got to rebound if we want to win.”

UTEP will host the Aggies on Saturday, the last game before the team leaves to the Bahamas to take part on the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament Nov. 28-30.

“I think we need to go in these next three day and just focus,” said junior guard C.J. Cooper. “Focus on what we need to do, we lacked defensively, this time we need to come stronger defensively and I think we’ll do that.”

Javier Cortez may be reached at [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

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