Comeback falls short

Guard+Souley+Bourn+shoots+a+three+pointer+against+NMSU+for+the+battle+of+I-10+on+Nov.+13%2C+2021%2C+at+the+Pan+American+Center+

Alberto Silva Fernandez

Guard Souley Bourn shoots a three pointer against NMSU for the battle of I-10 on Nov. 13, 2021, at the Pan American Center

Danny Lopez, Staff Reporter

The Miners (1-1,0-0 C-USA) lost to New Mexico State University (NMSU) (2-0,0-0 WAC) on Nov. 13 at the Pan American Center in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The Miners had a brief lead in the first quarter but could not get that back. UTEP had a hard time scoring on offense, with one of their early struggles being 0-for-7 at the three-point line in this 77-71 loss. 

In the start of first half, the Aggies would get on the board with a rebound to go up 2-0. Then the Aggies went up 4-0 after a lay-up from senior forward Donnie Tillman. UTEP started cold on the offense, going 0-for-3 on 3-pointers. Redshirt junior guard Souley Boum got the Miners on the board with a lay-up to make the score 4-2. However, NMSU quickly answered back with a 3-pointer to go up 7-2. 

Just moments later in this match up, Boum found himself at the free throw line after getting fouled. Boum went on to make one free throw and would get the put-back on the rebound to put the score at 7-6. Senior forward Alfred Hollins tied the game 10-10 after a layup. 

NMSU went up 15-12 after a big 3-pointer. The Aggies added more to their lead after making some free-throws. Quickly, however, the Miners went on a scoring run that started with junior guard Jamal Bieniemy cutting the lead to 19-14 after a lay-up. Then redshirt junior forward Tydus Verhoeven brought the lead down to 19-16 with hard fought bucket. The Aggies nonetheless answered that run and increased their lead to 22-16 after a 3-pointer. 

At the 5:41 mark the Aggies went up 26-16 after a free throw was made. Bieniemy cut the lead down to 30-20. Bieniemy moments later put the score at 33-25 after a lay-up. Then, sophomore guard Keonte Kennedy made a 3-pointer to cut the Aggies lead to 33-28. 

Boum sank two free throws to put the lead down to 33-30. However, the Aggies got one more bucket to fall in and took a 35-30 lead at halftime. 

In the start of the second half, NMSU would come out the half to go up 38-30 after a big 3-pointer. The Miners quickly responded to cut the lead to 38-32 with a lay-up from Kennedy. Boum would put the lead at 45-38 after a 3-pointer. 

At the 11:10 mark, Boum drained a three to cut the score to 56-47. NMSU unfortunately went on a big scoring run to go up 65-47. Bieniemy got a jumper to fall to put the score at 67-51 with NMSU still leading. 

“New Mexico State is a really good team and has a coach that is one of the best in the country,” UTEP Head Coach Joe Golding said. “I loved the way our guys competed the last five minutes and got it to a two-possession game. 

Kennedy at the 4:40 mark would get a tear drop to go in to put the score at 72-47. The Miners would get a couple of more buckets to fall but they would not be enough to win this contest. The Miners would fall to the Aggies 77-71. 

The Miners return home at 7 p.m. on Tuesday Nov. 16 at the Don Haskins Center to face Northern New Mexico College. 

Danny Lopez is a staff reporter and may be reached at [email protected]