Miners lose against Charlotte’s 49ers


Joel Molina

Guard Malik Zachery dribbles the ball while being closely defended.

Nicholas Maes, Contributor

The UTEP Miners men’s basketball team (11-13, C-USA 4-9) took a tough loss against the Charlotte 49ers (5-8, C-USA 14-10) during the game Feb. 10. The Miners gave Charlotte a run for its money, as the Miners held up to a six-point lead against Charlotte in the first half.  

UTEP junior forward Calvin Solomon and Charlotte sophomore forward Igor Milicic Jr. tipped off and the Miners had first possession. After exchanging possessions, Milicic was fouled on, and made both free throws, putting Charlotte in the lead, 0-2.  

Charlotte scored four more points without a Miner response, until sophomore forward Derick Hamilton gave the Miners two from the paint. Charlotte’s quick to further their gap, scoring three. Starter and junior guard Tae Hardy responded to Charlotte with his own 3-pointer bringing the score to 5-9. 

The Miners made a comeback from their slow start, racking up points to take a one-point lead after Solomon was fouled on and made two of his three free throws. Right after Charlotte got the ball, the Miners stole the ball back and Hardy got fouled on while making a layup.  

Along with Hardy’s free throw and a two-pointer from sophomore forward Jamari Sibley, the Miners held a six-point lead over Charlotte, their biggest lead of the game. Charlotte having taken the lead back, had a strong finish in the first half when Lu’Cye Patterson was left open, scoring three before the buzzer, ending the half 30-34. 

Hardy scored the first two points for the second half in the form of a layup. Charlotte grad student guard Montre’ Gipson responded with three, bringing the score to 32-37. A bad pass from senior guard Shamar Givance allowed Milicic to score three more for Charlotte giving them an eight-point lead over the Miners. 

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  • Guard Shamar Givance dribbles the ball towards the basket during a game against Charlotte.

  • Guard Malik Zachery cheers his teammates on during a game against Charlotte.

  • Guard Shamar Givance attempts a driving layup.

  • Guard Tae Hardy attempts to shoot over the defense of Lu’Cye Patterson from Charlotte.

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Soon after, Gipson received a major denial from the Miners, and Patterson fouled Solomon, allowing the Miners two points. Following a layup attempt from Givance, Charlotte got the rebound and Patterson scored again, bringing the gap to ten points.  

The Miners struggled against Charlotte defense, as they eventually held an 18-point lead over the Miners. However, the Miners were anything but defeated. Junior forward Jon Dos Anjos began the steady climb back up for the Miners, scoring two from the paint. 

After two shot attempts from Charlotte, the Miners rebound and junior guard Malik Zachary scored two. Sophomore forward Otis Frazier III scored two more for the Miners following possession exchanges between the teams.  

Solomon was fouled on by Charlotte graduate student forward Josh Aldrich and scored his second of two free throws for the Miners. Charlotte sophomore guard Isaiah Folkes was left open during the next possession and scored two.  

Aldrich fouled the Miners again, allowing sophomore forward Kevin Kalu to score one. Givance scored two more soon after, bringing the Miner gap from Charlotte back to 10. Following a time out, Solomon was fouled on by Milicic and made both his free throws. The Miners stole the ball back from Charlotte and Solomon scored again, closing in onCharlotte again.  

Charlotte begins to waste the clock, but not before they score five against the Miners’ two, ending the game 53-62. Head Coach Joe Golding was understanding and proud of the team’s effort 

“I have got to do a better job as a coach,” Golding said. “Get them to relax a little bit, find the joy again, and get back to playing hard, because that’s what this team’s done all year long.”  

The Miners will face the University of Texas  (7-18, C-USA 1-13) at San Antonio at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Convocation Center in San Antonio, Texas. 

Statistics provided by UTEP Athletics and utepminers.com.

Nicholas Maes may be reached at [email protected]