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UTEP men’s basketball gets caught in brushfire against Liberty University

H. Catching Marginot
UTEP player attempts to shoot with time racing against the buzzer

UTEP men’s basketball (12-11, C-USA 3-5) were unable to extinguish the fire from Liberty University (14-9, C-USA 3-5). With a loss of 65-67, the Miners missed six successive free throws toward the final minutes of the game. The Flames were able to gain nine consecutive points to earn the win.   

Liberty made 18 turnovers that led to 17 points on the board and went 15-25 at the charity stripe, and 55.0 percent over the final part of 20. Junior forward Otis Frazier III made 15 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Senior guard Tae Hardy made 14 points, two steals and four boards. Junior guard Corey Camper Jr. made 13 points, three steals, and a career high of seven rebounds. 

However, even with good numbers from most of the players, Head Coach Joe Golding spoke to Miner Athletics detailing the disappointing loss and what needed to be done for improvement in the future.  

“We got up four and they go on a 9-0 run and obviously that was the difference in the ballgame,” UTEP head coach Joe Golding said. “We did a much better job of guarding in the second half. We played five guards out there and hold them to two 3-pointers in the second half. The Achilles heel for us was turnovers. We turned the ball over 18 times against a team that doesn’t really turn you over, and then obviously the free throws.” 

Senior forward Calvin Solomon started strong for the Miners scoring the first four points for the team, then sparking a vicious relay of back-and-forth movement on the court. The Miners had the edge on the score by three points 14-11, with Hardy split the defense for a driving lay-up. The Flames soon piped back in retaliation with a 10-0 run, after five UTEP giveaways.   

Even with another lay-up from Hardy, the Flames made one of its six three-pointers in response. With a lead from the Flames, the Miners tallied up their score with six of the next seven points, having lay-ups from Camper Jr. and Frazier III to narrow it down to four. Frazier III came back from a missed shot by making a lay-up to make it a one-possession contest after a free throw shot from Liberty. Liberty then scored the final five points of the game with the Miners down by the half 37-29.   

Frazier III then opened the half with an opening possession shot, but the Flames put to fire, filling up a three-pointer to make nine points, with a score of 40-31. The Miners then fought back with eight shots in a row, with a strong push from freshman guard David Terrell Jr. Soon with back-and-forth shots from the Flames, senior guard Zid Powell made a triple and Terrell Jr. a hook shot. UTEP fought to the very end, but with missed free throws and turnovers in the very key moments of the game, the Flames ran away with the win 65-62.  

UTEP will host New Mexico State University (NMSU) in the Battle of I-10 Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Don Haskins Center 

All statistics provided by Miner Athletics 

Catching Marginot is a contributor and can be reached at hc[email protected]

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About the Contributor
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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