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UTEP men’s basketball loses a close one to conference rival Sam Houston

Photo courtesy of UTEP Athletics
The UTEP men’s basketball team lost their second conference game in a row against Sam Houston on Jan. 27.

Coming off a lopsided loss to the number one team in the conference, Louisiana Tech, the UTEP men’s basketball team (11-10, 2-4 CUSA) traveled to Huntsville, Texas, to take on the current second place team in the conference, Sam Houston (12-9, 5-1 CUSA).  

The Miners jumped out to an early lead and controlled most of the first half, even taking a 28-21 lead after senior forward Calvin Solomon’s jumper. Sam Houston then closed the half on a 7-0 run, tying the game and going into the locker room with a tied game score of 28-28. 

After an early Miners basket to begin the second half, Sam Houston went on a 14-0 run to take the lead and bring the game score to 42-30. However, the Miners had an answer for every run, continuing to score to keep themselves in the game. 

They were able to come within a point of Sam Houston after senior guard Zid Powell scored a free throw.  Although they never regained the lead, they kept the game close for the rest of the half. 

With 51 seconds left in the game, freshman guard David Terrell Jr. stepped to the line, finding himself and the rest of the Miners down three points and desperately needing every point. After missing the first free throw, Terrell Jr. sunk the second, bringing the Miners within two points. 

Although they forced a missed layup by Sam Houston on the other end, they were unable to secure the rebound and had to foul. After two free throws from Sam Houston, the Miners found themselves down by four points.  

A missed last second layup marked the end for the Miners and gave them their second conference loss in a row.  

Senior guard Tae Hardy led the Miners in scoring with 13, with Zid Powell providing 10 of his own. Solomon scored nine which allowed him to reach 1,000 career points.  

Despite the loss, UTEP head coach Joe Golding stayed positive about his team’s play. 

“I thought everybody stepped up, and I’m proud of that effort,” UTEP said. “That effort will win in this league. The one negative is the offensive rebounds. That’s where it was (hurtful to UTEP). We did a great job guarding the three-point line. Our ball movement was good tonight. It was a Saturday afternoon dogfight in Conference USA. We gave ourselves a chance to win on the road against this team that’s in first place.” 

The Miners will return to the Don Haskins Center Feb. 1. to take on conference for Jax State. The game will be at 7 p.m. and will be streamed live on ESPN+. 

Joel Molina is the photo editor and may be reached at[email protected]. 

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About the Contributor
Joel Molina
Joel Molina, Photo Editor
Joel is a graduate creative writing student at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is the photo editor who began his career at The Prospector in 2022. He hopes to continue providing the world and its people with different forms of storytelling that will hopefully make their day to day lives better.
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