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Men to close out season on senior night

Charles Desouza
Head coach Tim Floyd and his troops lost two in a row after winning six straight.

The men’s basketball squad had won six consecutive victories leading up to this past weekend; but after getting rolled over by Old Dominion (74-53) and Charlotte (88-78), the Miners’ win streak was stunted. Now they are back at home this week against UTSA on Saturday, March 5, in their last regular game of the season.

Against the Roadrunners, the seniors from the Miners (17-13, 9-8 C-USA) will be presented in their last game at the Don Haskins Center. Team graduates include Tevin Caldwell, Victor Mbachu, Earvin Morris and Hooper Vint.

In the past games that they won, the Miners have not necessarily had the best defensive pursuit, so they relied on their offense to carry the load for the team. But, during this past week, their inadequacy on defense caught up with them, and also both opposing teams were able to shut down the Miners’ offense.

The Monarchs took command over the boards. They outrebounded the Miners 51-26, and two Monarch players recorded double-doubles. The Monarchs allowed one Miner to score in double figures — Omega Harris with 11 points.

After the discouraging loss, the Miners lost the potential fourth place bye in the conference tournament. Although they still had two games remaining, head coach Tim Floyd deemed the loss to be crucial.

“I’m not sure that we are (still in it),” Floyd said. “I think this one right here might’ve really stung us because of the tiebreaker when we go head up with these guys. I can’t imagine them losing two down the stretch.”

Charlotte, who had barely beaten the worst team in C-USA (UTSA, 114-108 Double OT), also was a tough matchup for the Miners. Led by Braxton Ogbueze’s 24 points, the 49ers capitalized on the Miners’ poor defensive quest.

“The frustrating thing is you game plan hard, you try to prepare, but there’s no need to guard the actions because we’re just getting driven by at every spot,” Floyd said. “I’m really disappointed in the defensive effort. We have to regroup. We took a step back here.”

Now the squad will wrap up their season against the worst team in the league.

“We’ve got UTSA at home next Saturday, and we’ll hope to come out and play with a more collective good effort from all of our guys defensively,” Floyd said.

Although their record does not speak volumes, UTSA (5-25, 3-14 C-USA) upset the Miners, 71-67, earlier this season. Rebounding, a timeless struggle for UTEP this season is what lost them the game. They lost the boards’ game 43-34, and the Roadrunners scored 11 second-chance points off 12 offensive rebounds.

C-USA Tourney

Although they are currently in sixth place in the league, the Miners will probably drop to the seventh seed in C-USA, unless Charlotte loses one of their remaining two games.

If they are at the seventh seed, the Miners will more than likely have to play the winner of Western Kentucky — UTSA. With the win, the Miners would have to take on the second seed – which is currently up for grabs between Louisiana Tech, Marshall and Middle Tennessee. The winner of this game would advance to the quarterfinals.

In the case that Charlotte loses the sixth seed, the Miners would likely have to face the winner of Florida Atlantic-North Texas, and then go on to face the third-place team.

With any hope of making it to the NCAA Tournament, the Miners have to outright win the conference tournament at this point. Due to their moderately above average record, poor strength of schedule and low level of wins, the Miners are in danger of missing any sort of post-season tournament. In order to potentially reach the NIT or the CBI tournament, the Miners must get some significant wins in the conference tournament.

Tip off against the Roadrunners will be at 2 p.m., Saturday, March 5, in the Don Haskins Center.

Adrian Broaddus may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Adrian Broaddus, Sports Editor
Adrian Broaddus is the sports editor for The Prospector. He is a junior multimedia journalism major with a minor in political science.   Adrian was born and raised in El Paso, TX, and is a graduate of Franklin high school. He entered college in the fall of 2015 in hopes to better his career in journalism.   Along with sports, Adrian enjoys writing music reviews, perspective columns and news stories on politics.   Although he is pursuing his degree in journalism, Adrian would like to go to law school and be an attorney while doing part-time work in journalism.  
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Men to close out season on senior night