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UTEP basketball shuts out USAO Drovers; sets school scoring record

Gianluca Cuevas
Tae Hardy takes flight at the Don.

UTEP men’s basketball (2-0) faced off against the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (USAO) Drovers (2-1) Nov. 9 at the Don Haskins Center, bringing home the second win of the season, with a final score of 123-72.  

The win over USAO was one for the history books, as the Miners broke the school’s previous scoring record. The previous scoring record of 121 points stood for almost 23 years. However, this is not UTEP’s only brag for the game. 

Combined with UTEP’s first game against McMurry Nov. 6, the Miners scored a total of 243 points, making this the most points scored in a two-game span in program history. The last time the Miners scored over 100 points per game in a two-game span was during the 1968-1969 season under Head Coach Don Haskins. 

The Miners started off strong taking in the first possession of the game, thanks to a tip-off by UTEP senior forward Calvin Solomon. USAO would have a difficult time getting through UTEP’s tight defense, as the Drovers made its first shot almost six minutes into the first half, UTEP was able to rack up 19 points in that same time. 

The Miners closed the first half strong with a buzzer-beater layup by junior guard Sebastian Cole. UTEP would maintain that same intensity throughout the duration of the game, as the Drovers never got within 15 points of the Miners. 

UTEP head coach Joe Golding acknowledged USAO is a good team, but that the team’s sights need to be set on the upcoming game against the University of California at Santa Barbra (UCSB) Nov. 13. 

“USAO won a championship two years ago, they do a good job at their level,” Golding said. “No disrespect, but we’re trying to get ready for UCSB on Monday. I kept telling them don’t look at the scoreboard. I like that we’re scoring off turnovers. We’re getting out and getting some easy baskets. It’s so darn hard to win in college basketball and to score at times. When you can you get easy baskets, it sure helps.” 

The Miners played well against USAO, as seven players hit double figures, including freshman forward Elijah Jones (19 points), junior forward guard Otis Frazier III (18 points), junior guard Corey Camper Jr. (17 points), junior forward Derick Hamilton (14 points), senior guard Tae Hardy and Solomon (11 points each) and Cole (10 points). 

“It was awesome, you know we were moving the ball around, playing hard, so I just had a really fun time out there,” Cole said. “We’re unselfish, we care about the next man, and we just want to see our team succeed, so it was fun.” 

Cole and Camper Jr. were unaware that they were in the process of breaking a school record, but the record now stands as a testament to the game they played.  

“Actually, we didn’t even know that we were breaking a school record, coach told us after the game,” Camper Jr. said. “We just try to go out there and do what coach has been telling us to do since day one. We played hard defense, got a lot of turnovers, we just executed coach’s game plan.” 

Ahead of the “915 Game” against 2023 NCAA tournament team University of California at Santa Barbara, the Miners are looking to sell out the Don, as the game will be broadcast on both 600 ESPN and CBS Sports Network. 

Nicholas Maes is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributors
Nicholas Maes
Nicholas Maes, Sports Editor
Nicholas Maes is a sports editor at The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in history with a minor in commercial music. He plans to continue his academic career in history after earning his bachelor's degree.
Gianluca Cuevas
Gianluca Cuevas, Photographer
Gianluca Cuevas is a staff photographer for The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in mathematics. He plans to work in the automotive industry designing cars/mechanic in the F1. He also has his small photography business 365elements which he plans to continue to grow.
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