Miners blown out by hot shooting Lamar, Floyd retires following game

Jason Green, Contributor

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In what the assembled media would find out post-game was head coach Tim Floyd’s final game in charge of the UTEP men’s basketball team, the Miners were defeated by Lamar 66-52 and dropped to 1-5 on the season.

Floyd dropped the retirement bombshell in his post-game media scrum, saying that the time was right for he and his family. Prior to meeting with the media, Floyd broke the news to his team and several players could be seen crying at their lockers following the news.

“I’m done,” Floyd said to the assembled media following the game. “This is my last game as a coach. I’ve coached for 42 years, and I love this school. My father played here. Nobody wants to win here more than I do and I think it’s time for somebody else to have the opportunity to have the joy that I’ve had, the agony that I’ve had, the acclaim that I’ve had and the heartbreak that I’ve had in my career.”

Prior to that bombshell, the Lamar Cardinals dropped a few bombs themselves.

To begin the game, the Cardinals’ first three field goals were three pointers. The score was 11-0 in Lamar’s favor before the first timeout. All of this was a precursor of things to come.

The Cardinals shot 64.3 percent from behind the arc in the first half, led by guard Joey Frenchwood who drained four. As a team, Lamar made nine three pointers in the half.

At the break, the Miners were down 45-25 with guard Evan Gilyard as the leading scorer with nine points.
Just prior to the half, Gilyard came to the UTEP bench holding his stomach with only a few minutes left to play. He would not return to the game.

It remains to be seen if he will be added to the list of UTEP injuries that seems to be ever growing. The usual post-game update was preempted by the Floyd retirement.

The Miners’ defense tightened up in the second half and held the Cardinals to 25 percent shooting from the field and no three pointers made. Unfortunately for Floyd’s team, the shooting touch eluded them all night.

Forward Paul Thomas missed numerous inside shots and ended the night with three points. Graduate guard Keith Frazier made two shots from the field, missing four three pointers and a crucial layup down the stretch. Senior guard Omega Harris continues to struggle with back and hand injuries and ended the night with eight points.

The star of the night for the Miners was freshman forward Trey Wade who finished with 13 points and seemed to be the lone spark for the Miners who got the team motivated when it seemed hope was lost.

UTEP never led in the game and only pulled within nine in the second half before the Cardinals pulled away for good.

It remains to be seen who will coach the Miners when the team faces off with rival New Mexico State for the second time in six days on Thursday at 8 p.m. MT. The Miners have lost five in a row since a season opening win against Division III Louisiana College (100-50).

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