Miners get two straight wins in conference play

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Carolina Uribarri

Alfred Hollins aims to make a basket at the UTSA game Jan. 20 at the Don Haskins Center.

Daniel Alec Lopez, Staff Reporter

The UTEP Miners men’s basketball team (10-8, 3-3 Conference USA) beat the University of Texas at San Antonio (7-12, 0-6 C-USA) Jan. 20 at the Don Haskins Center. The Miners struggled on both offense and defense in the first half. However, UTEP would find their footing on both offense and defense to get them the 69-64 victory. 

In the start of the first half, UTSA took an early 12-5 lead in this contest. The Miners would answer the Roadrunners early lead with offense of their own that followed with a 3-pointer from junior guard Jamal Bieniemy to cut the Roadrunner’s lead to 12-17. 

A bit later, sophomore guard Jorell Saterfield brought the Miners within three after a 3-pointer to put the score at 18-21. 

Freshman forward Ze’Rik Onyema tied the game 25-25 with a put back. 

At the 1:50 mark, the Roadrunners would go on an 11-0 run to increase their lead to 36-25. The Miners struggled to create any kind of offense, whether it’d be downlow, or from the 3-point line. 

At the half, the Miners trailed 38-27. 

In the start of the second half, the Miners offense would come alive after free throws from Boum and a Bieniemy 3-pointer. These scores would help cut down UTSA’s lead to 34-39. 

Saterfield came alive in this game and sank two 3-pointers  to make the score 42-43. Moments later, Saterfield sank another 3-pointer to make the score 45-46. 

UTEP would take a 49-48 lead after a jumper from senior forward Alfred Hollins. Hollins would drain another jumper to make the score 51-48. 

Saterfield drained back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Miners up 57-52. Junior guard Souley Boum also drained a 3-pointer to put the Miners up 60-52. 

The Miners would go on a scoreless run at the 3:20 mark. But later on, towards the end of the game, Boum would hit a clutch floater and sink free throws to give the Miners a 69-64 victory. 

“We showed maturity and found a way to win,” UTEP head coach Joe Golding said. “It wasn’t a pretty game, but I like those types of games. You find out a lot about your team when they continue to fight and we did. We fought the second half, we showed some maturity and we were better defensively in the second half.” 

Leading scorer of this game was Boum with 24 points and three assists, followed by Saterfield with 20 points and one rebound. Finally Bieniemy contributed to the team’s victory by scoring 12 points in this win against the Roadrunners. 

The UTEP men’s basketball team can be seen back in action in their next game against the University of Texas at San Antonio at 2 p.m. on Jan. 23 at the UTSA Convention Center.   

Daniel Alec Lopez is a staff reporter and can be reached at [email protected]