Miners stun Herd in high scoring thriller

February 4, 2016

Dominic Artis had a career-high performance Thursday night, as he put up 33-points and nine rebounds in UTEP’s 112-108 win over Marshall in the Don Haskins Center.

Artis contributed greatly in the second half, shooting three 3-pointers after the break. Five players, Artis (33), Earvin Morris (20), Lee Moore (17), Omega Harris (15) and Terry Winn (13), scored in double digits of 13-or-more points each for the game. Their 3-point percentage was excellent, shooting 61 percent from behind the arc and 56 percent from the floor.

It was a hard-fought game as the Miners started out small to start the game – they started four guards and Hooper Vint at the big man position.  Morris had a huge first half to help the Miners with 18-points. Marshall shot the ball well and had an eight-point lead at the half over the Miners, 55-47. The Herd’s hot start was dominating UTEP’s defense in the first half. Head coach Floyd had a few comments on the Miners poor first half defense.

“We set our defense back about 50 years defensively,” Floyd said. “We struggled, but our guys fought hard and fought well in the second half of this ball game.”

As the second half started, the Miners went on a run with the replacement of  Vint for Winn. Winn, in 17 minutes of action, scored 13 points and had five rebounds. At the 14:29 mark of the game, the Miners went on a 31-11 run in the second half with hot shooting and scoring from Artis.

It came close towards the end, but with two big offensive rebounds from Tevin Caldwell, the Miners were able to seal the game.

“He’s (Caldwell) the player of the game,” Artis said. “We needed something, and he came up big, twice for us when we needed it.”

Before the past two games, Artis was averaging 3.5 points per game off a five-game stretch. With back-to-back dominant games, Artis himself has scored 56 combined points. He is aggressively going to the basket and knocking down a few big shots when the Miners needed it most.

Floyd had a lot of praise for his guard’s big night Thursday.

“He’s been real aggressive and really has gotten his game together,” Floyd said. “Finally out of that slump and his aggressive play has helped us.”

The Miners (12-11, 4-8 C-USA) will take on Western Kentucky on Saturday, Feb. 6. This game will be in commemoration for the 50th anniversary of the 1966 national championship. Every fan that attends the game will be presented with a free t-shirt. Tip off for the game is set at 3 p.m.

Christopher Piñones may be reached at [email protected] 

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