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Team White escapes with win after late-game shot in Orange-White scrimmage

Team White was up nearly the entire second half on Team Orange in the seventh annual Orange versus White scrimmage, which seemed to be going to all Team White’s way, until senior forward Jake Flaggert hit his only shot of the night with under 20 seconds remaining in the game that turned out to be the game-winner for Team Orange, 86-85.

If someone were to take a glance at the rosters for the scrimmage, the majority of people would pick Team Orange to win easily. Team Orange had Omega Harris, Matt Willms and Paul Thomas, while Team White had freshman Trey Wade, who led both teams with 29 points.

Early in the game, it seemed as if Team Orange was on the brink of a blowout in the making. They opened up the game on a 15-4 run and the offense for Team White was nonexistent then.

However, Wade’s reliable jumper kept Team White close, and both teams eventually found themselves tied at halftime at 41.

Wade went unconscious from the 3-point line, making six of his nine attempts from that distance. When Team White didn’t have an answer, Wade bailed them out with his stellar shooting. But scoring isn’t all that Wade brought to the table—he recorded seven rebounds and three assists.

One of UTEP’s biggest weaknesses last year was the inability to make the 3-point shot on a consistent basis; they only averaged 5.6 per game from that range last year. But tonight both teams combined for 18 3-pointers in the scrimmage.

Besides Wade, newcomers Keith Frazier and Isiah Osborne knocked down three 3-pointers of their own, and Thomas showed his expanded range from a year before as he nailed two 3-pointers on the night.

“I think we’re going to be able to score more easily this year, we improved a lot on the wings,” head coach Tim Floyd said.

Floyd said Thomas was feeling around 60 percent healthy from his ankle injury, but he still put up 26 points on 12-of-19 from the field and added seven rebounds.

“Paul Thomas looked like Karl Malone (Utah Jazz Hall of Famer) out there. No one could guard him tonight,” Floyd said.

Floyd and Willms were too much for Team White, as they guided their team to a 52-30 advantage in the paint, and also a 23-3 advantage on second-chance points.

“We have better athletes this year. Matt is healthy and Paul is a much better player than last year,” Floyd said

The two freshman point guards, Kobe Magee and Evan Gilyard, are in a heated position battle, according to Floyd. They guarded each other the entire night and showed a glimpse of what to expect from them.

Magee finished with nine points, seven assists, four rebounds and no turnovers. On the other hand, Gilyard finished with nine points, eight assists, four rebounds and two turnovers. Both teams had over 20 total assists, as a result.

“Our ball movement was better and there weren’t as many turnovers,” Floyd said.

Floyd saw the closeness of the game as a good thing. The only outcome he wished was better on the floor was on the defensive end—something Floyd hopes to improve before the regular season starts.

“Defensively is really the part I want to clean up, but everything else wasn’t bad tonight,” Floyd said. “We have to be better defensively than we were tonight. We didn’t look much improved defensively, but we are a better basketball team as a whole.”

Next, UTEP will face Sul Ross State for an exhibition game on Oct. 28 at 1 p.m. at the Don Haskins Center.











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Team White escapes with win after late-game shot in Orange-White scrimmage