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UTEP Men’s basketball starts the season 3-0 after a win against UCSB

H. Catching Marginot
Guard Zid Powell attempts to shoot a scoring basket.

Editor’s Note: This recap is not the most recent game for the UTEP Miners Men’s Basketball.

With the UTEP Miners 2023 basketball season underway, the Don Haskins Stadium has been lively due to the crowd’s energy. Filled with silence…’The Don’ is followed by a roar from the crowd as the basketball makes it through the hoop. The UTEP Miners now stand 3-0, taking the win Monday night against the UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) Gaucho’s (0-3). 

It is this promising start that gives the UTEP Miners hope to break into the NCAA bracket this year. Head coach Joe Golding and his team are trying to erase last year’s 14-18 record to prove themselves this year. 

UTEP’s Calvin Solomon started the half, as he took the first possession of the ball. With 11 minutes left on the clock, UTEP’s senior guard Zid Powell zipped through Gaucho’s defense, allowing him to score a dunk. UTEP’s defense kept resiliency towards the Gaucho’s, totaling seven steals. At the two-minute mark, UTEP’s senior guard Tae Hardy, made a swift jumper to tie the score.  With back and forward scoring, the end of the first half resulted in a tied score of 44-44. 

Both teams put on their fiercest competition, but as the second half began, UTEP took the lead and did not allow UCSB to recover. Early on, UTEP’s Powell lost control of the ball, but saved by UTEP junior forward Kevin Kalu, scoring a layup. Soon after, UTEP’s junior forward Otis Frazier III stole the ball from the Gauchos, then immediately scored a slam dunk.   

As UTEP senior forward Calvin Solomon recovered the ball and launched it almost halfway across the court to junior guard Corey Camper Jr., Camper lost control of the ball.  With a swift save from Hardy, the Miners scored a layup. It was with the team’s resilience that the gap stretched a total of 13 points, with a final score of 89-76. 

While the Miners reached 100 plus points in the previous two games, the intensity of this game created difficulty for them to do so. During the 2022-23 season, UCSB were the champions of their division (Big West), leading them to participate in the NCAA bracket.  Now winning against UCSB, the possibility for UTEP to become champions within their own division has increased. 

The atmosphere created by not only the players, but the fans give Don Haskins Stadium a memorable night for many. For one fan, Kat Armendariz, mentions how she hadn’t been to a basketball game in a while, and missed the energy given by the crowd.  

“The crowd is energizing, it is so contagious,” Armendariz said. “And then everyone’s quiet, (like) crickets, and then as soon as somebody hits it, everybody goes crazy, I love that.” 

In attendance was also 2023 Gold Nugget Alfredo Arellano. Graduating in 1986 and 1990, Arellano has been a fan of the UTEP basketball team since he was a student at the university. 

“(This game) is exciting, the miners are playing very good defense, offensive but the other team is pretty good also,” Arellano said. “This is probably the first test that the Miners have. Anybody can win (the game) but I think we’re looking good.” 

Currently, the UTEP Miners stand first in the Conference USA division. Golding has stated several times this season will be a comeback season for the Miners. Now the anticipation awaits to see if the Miners can continue their winning streak. The UTEP Miners will play next in the Don Haskins Stadium against the Austin Peay Governors, Nov. 17.  

Sofia Sierra is a staff reporter and may be reached at[email protected] 

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About the Contributors
Sofia Sierra
Sofia Sierra, Web/Copy Editor
Sofia is a junior studying multimedia journalism with a minor in creative writing. She is the web and copy editor at The Prospector. After graduation, she hopes to work outside of El Paso to continue to grow as a writer.
H. Catching Marginot
H. Catching Marginot, Contributor/Writer
Henry Catching Marginot is a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in multimedia journalism and minoring in English: rhetorical studies. He is a contributor at The Prospector and freelances. He plans to pursue writing in the future.
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