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Miners seek seven straight

Michaela Roman
The men’s basketball squad has won seven of their last ten games.

The Miners are in the driver seat after winning their sixth straight game this past weekend, and with the season winding down, they now travel to take on Old Dominion on Thursday, Feb. 25, in Norfolk, Va.

UTEP (17-11, 9-6 Conference USA) will take on Old Dominion (12-14, 8-6 C-USA) in a high-pressure game that has a fourth place spot on the line.

The Miners have the opportunity to either secure fourth place or fall to sixth place. Old Dominion is the team directly behind the Miners in sixth place, while UTEP is in fifth and looking to move up to fourth after defeating Louisiana Tech.

After the Miners took care of Louisiana Tech (91-80), they now have the opportunity to keep gaining on the Conference USA leaders. They are currently the hottest team in the league.

The 91-80 win over Louisiana Tech was a confidence boost for the Miners. Their win at home not only helped them in the leader board, it gives them hope to excel in the conference tournament.

“We are playing very unselfishly on the offensive end, which we love,” head coach Tim Floyd said. “I think that there was an issue with that,–in terms of understanding when to and when not to–early for our team.”

The Miners were able to beat Louisiana Tech on their home court, which is a good sign for a team that is only three games away from the conference tournament.

The Miners win against Louisiana Tech does not guarantee anything against a very difficult Old Dominion team. In order to leave that game with a win, the Miners will first have to travel and do something they have struggled with during this season—win on the road.

Out of the six losses that UTEP has had in conference play, five of them were on the road. UTEP has improved with two back-to-back road victories, but Old Dominion will be a team that is also playing for a position in the tournament.

On the defensive end, ODU is tough. The Miners often compare notes from Old Dominion when they are making preparations to face the team that ODU has played.

The Miners will really have to keep an eye on guard Trey Freeman. The senior guard is putting up numbers this season, and is the high scorer for his team. Freeman averages over 20 points per game. It does not get much better after Freeman, the top three scorers for the team all average at least 10 points a game.

However, the Miners do a good job at shutting down hot shooters. Saturday against the Bulldogs, the Miners were able to shut down Alex Hamilton, LA Tech’s best scorer, to only two points in the first half of the game.

“I think the relationship with us and coach—I think we are really buying into what he is trying to teach us, and on offense it’s time to go,” freshman forward Terry Winn said.

The Miners are well aware of what is on the line when they take on the Monarchs. A win on the road against Old Dominion not only extends their wins to seven in a row, but also puts them in fourth place in C-USA.

Although the team may have won six games in the final part of the season, the players are not letting that go to their heads.

“I don’t know much about Old Dominion,” Winn said. “I just know we are going to go over there and play ball.”

Tip off against the Monarchs begins at 5 p.m. Mountain Time.

Juan Carlos Navarette may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Michaela Roman
Michaela Roman, Editor-in-Chief
Michaela is a Senior Digital Media Production major at The University of Texas at El Paso. As the Editor-in-Chief, and former Photo Editor of The Prospector, she has learned to stay organized, manage a staff of writers and photographers, meet deadlines, cover events and network with others. She also has freelance experience and a personal photography business. Michaela aspires to work as an editor for a large media outlet and one day go to graduate school to teach photojournalism.
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Miners seek seven straight