Miners lose showdown against UAB

Junior+point+guard+Souley+Boum+plays+offense+against+the+University+of+Alabama+at+Birmingham.++

Annabella Mireles

Junior point guard Souley Boum plays offense against the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Daniel Alec Lopez

The UTEP men’s basketball team (16-12 ,9-7 Conference USA) fell in a tight match up against the University of Birmingham at Alabama (22-7, 12-4 C-USA) Feb. 26 at the Don Haskins Center.  

The Miners started off hot on offense and defense. The defense was able to force nine early turnovers and managed an early 15-8 lead. But in the end, the Miners did not have enough in the gas tank and fell to the Blazers 66-69.  

“First and foremost, give credit to UAB. They have really good players and are really well coached,” UTEP Head Coach Joe Golding said. “I was proud of our guys’ effort. There were some things that were really good for us tonight.” 

To start off the first half, junior guard Jamal Bieniemy started the game with a 3-pointer to put the Miners up 3-0. The Miners then raced out to an 11-5 lead after made baskets. Then freshman forward Jamari Sibley drained a jumper to push the Miners lead to 15-8. 

At the 8:58 mark, the Miners took a 20-13 lead after making free-throws from junior guard Souley Boum.

Freshman forward Ze’rik Oneyma was able to get a slam dunk to push the score to 29-22. Boum was able to sink a 3-pointer to push the Miners to a 32-25 lead. UAB was able to get free throws to fall to make the game 32-27. The Miners were able to respond with free throws as well and push the lead to 34-27. 

At the end of the half, the Blazers were unable to get the last shot to fall in. 

In the first half, the defense was able to force 11 turnovers in this contest. 

To start off the second half, Boum missed both free throws to keep the score at 34-31. Senior forward Alfred Holins tied the game on a lay-up to tie the game at 36.

Sophomore guard Keonte Kennedy put the Miners ahead 40-38 off made free throws. 

However later in this contest, the Blazers took a lead of 47-43 after made baskets.

Boum was able to cut the lead down to 50-54. Later in this contest, Boum again, was able to make an impact on this game by scoring a 3-pointer to cut the score down to 56-58.

In the final minutes of this contest, Kennedy was able to put the Miners up 61-58. Unfortunately, the Blazers were able to get critical buckets fall and win this game 66-69. 

Hollins had the final attempt at a basket but could not get the ball to drop inside the hoop to tie the game. 

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • Forward Tydus Verhoeven dunks the ball against the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

  • Forward Ze’rik Onyema dunks the ball against the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

  • Head Coach Joe Golding yells towards the court.

  • UTEP cheer performs before the game against the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

  • The University of Alabama at Birmingham huddle before the game.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right

“Guys were diving around, flying around. Two keys were rebounding and turnovers. We did a great job taking care of the ball with eight turnovers, but obviously, they kicked us on the glass a bit,” Golding said in a post-game press conference. 

Leading scorers of this game were Boum with 26 points and two assists, followed by Kennedy with 10 points and three rebounds. And finally, Bieniemy managed 9 points and two rebounds. 

The UTEP men’s basketball team can be seen back in action in their next game against Rice University at 7 p.m. March. 3 at the Don Haskins Center. 

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