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Miners hold off Savage Storm in exhibition opener

Gaby Velasquez

It wasn’t pretty, but the men’s basketball team shook off their first exhibition game with a 80-73 win over Southeastern Oklahoma State on Sunday, Oct. 30.

It was a preview of what’s to come, what needs to be fixed, and a glimpse into their team. They showed their bench, their strengths, their potential and their weaknesses for the first time against another team. Head coach Tim Floyd believed that it was a perfect opportunity for the coaches to see where everyone is at.

“It gives the coaching staff the chance to sit down with the players and watch film and get better,” Floyd said. “I think it shows we aren’t just looking at new guys on the court, but we are looking at our old players and how they have reinvented themselves.”

The Miners opened the game flat offensively and the Savage Storm took advantage of it. They hit 12 quick points within the first four minutes on the Miners, which forced the Miners to play catch up for most of the half. Then, the Miners took a 12-4 run of their own through the halfway point of the first period. The Miners and Savage Storm traded blows for the remainder of the half. There were 13 lead changes and the score was tied nine times.

It was the Miners who broke out at the end of the half with back-to-back 3-pointers from Omega Harris and Dominic Artis during the final minutes to take the 46-43 lead going into the half. Artis led the Miners in the first half with 10 points.

The start of the second half paralleled the end of the first half. Both teams took shots at each other until the nine-minute mark. The Miners then sparked a 10-3 run that widened the gap and helped the Miners break off the lead 64-57, then 68-60, and finally 71-62 in the final minutes.

Artis led the game shooting 6-16 from the field with 17 points, including two key steals and a block. Forward Terry Winn also had a showing in the exhibition. He contributed with a double-double, totaling 14 points and 10 boards. Harris also fell into double figures in scoring with 11 points.

The determining factor for the Miners’ attack was their ability to capitalize off the Savage Storm’s mistakes. They totaled 32 points off of turnovers and caused 22 turnovers overall.

Also, the Miners dominated the paint throughout the game. They added 34 points in the paint, which showed their dominance down low.

A dominance they had to do without starting center Matt Willms who was sidelined with a foot injury. According to Floyd, Willms is suffering a new injury that is not at his ankle, but his heel.
“It was by doctor’s recommendation that he stayed out,” Floyd said. “He’s going to be great, he can have a great career, and we want him on the court. But, I don’t have an answer for it now.”

Next, the Miners will take on Alaska Fairbanks on Saturday, Nov. 5, in the Don Haskins Center. Tip off is slated at 1 p.m.

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About the Contributors
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.  
Gaby Velasquez, Photo editor
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Miners hold off Savage Storm in exhibition opener