UTEP to Play at WCC Perennial Power Saint Mary’s College Tuesday Night

MistaBinks

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EL PASO – The UTEP men’s basketball team will play its first road game of the season when it takes on Saint Mary’s College on Tuesday night in Moraga, Calif. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. MT/7 CT in the UCU Pavilion.

“[Saint Mary’s College] is an experienced team and they have experience from a year ago with a number of different players coming back,” third-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “They lost their go-to guy Jordan Ford who was a 19-point a game scorer. But the guys who are returners play significant minutes. [Saint Mary’s College Head Coach] Randy [Bennett] has built a great program over there – one of the best programs on the West Coast.”

The Miners and Gaels can be heard on 600 ESPN El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher calling in the action in his 40th season. The contest will also be streamed free on the WCC Network.

UTEP and Saint Mary’s College are meeting for the third time on Tuesday night. The Miners defeated the Gaels, 75-62, on Nov. 27, 2008 in Anaheim, Calif., in the last contest. The two programs first met on Dec. 19, 1951.

The Miners (2-0) are coming off an 84-65 victory over Sul Ross State on Dec. 5 in the Haskins Center. Souley Boum recorded a double-double on career highs in points (34) and assists (11). Boum also added a career-best four steals, five rebounds and a blocked shot. Boum was also the first Miner since the 2016-17 season to record a double-double on points and assists and first to dish out double-digit dimes since that season. Dominic Artis scored 20 points and tallied 10 assists on Feb. 11, 2017. It’s early in the year, but Boum leads Conference USA in scoring at 28.5 points per game, and ranks second in assists (7.5 apg). Boum ranks second nationally in scoring behind Iowa’s Luka Garza (34.0 ppg). Boum was also the only Miner to get to the foul line on Saturday night, and made a perfect 13-of-13.

Bryson Williams joined Boum in the double-double club, scoring 26 points on 13-of-19 shooting and grabbing a career-high 13 rebounds in a UTEP uniform. Keonte Kennedy added nine points, three rebounds and three assists.

UTEP registered 23 assists, making it back-to-back games with 20-plus helpers. The Miners last recorded 20 or more assists in back-to-back contests during the 2015-16 season.

Saint Mary’s College is 4-1 on the season after defeating Texas Southern, 82-70, on Dec. 3 at UCU Pavilion. The Gaels dropped their first contest of the season, falling to Memphis at the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Nov. 25. SMC, however, has won its last four games, defeating Northern Iowa and South Dakota State at the Classic, and defeating Nicholls State, 73-50, on Dec. 1, in Moraga, Calif. The Gaels are averaging 69.8 points per game on 44.1 percent shooting from the floor and 36.6 percent threes. Alex Ducas leads the team in scoring at 13.0 points per game. The 6-foot-6 sophomore guard/forward also paces SMC in rebounds (7.2 rpg). Ducas’s season high was a 25-point effort against South Dakota State. Tommy Kuhse averages 11.6 points per game and leads the squad with 39 assists. Kuhse has tallied 23 of those assists during the last two games (10 vs. Nicholls State and 13 vs. Texas Southern). Matthias Tass, a 6-10 junior center, is putting up 10.2 points per contest and leads the Gaels with six blocked shots.

“They’re a team that is a rhythm offense team,” Terry added. “They really run their offense very efficiently and shoot the ball extremely well. Kuhse is going to be very difficult to deal with because he’s the head of the monster and he’s the guy who orchestrates everything in terms of playing downhill from ball-screen action. We’ll have our hands full and it will be a great challenge for us.”
 
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axingfools1

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"Defensively, the Miners have been susceptible to the 3-ball this year as they've given up 57 attempts and allowed opponents to shoot 37 percent on those tries" per Gael's website.

Our 3 point defense last year was 31% and our offense was 28%

So far this year we are shooting 38% from 3, but we are given up about the same.
 

utep2step

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Jul 10, 2001
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St. Mary's -12.5? Who's taking that bet?
In all fairness to CRT, I am not going to hold him to account for the almost embarrassing loss to Sul Ross State. A) Bigger fish have lost to small pan fry fish over the years/decades and B) It was an El Paso led SR squad and they were jacked to play their D1 hometown school. Last time I saw this happen was against then lower division Tarleton State (now a D1 school under Billy G.) that was led by former EP all city players from Bowie, El Paso high and Eastwood (I remember because I played against them in high school). Eddie Rivera turned on the boosters and calmed those "oh crap" fears in the then called "Special Event Center". It happens; if you had a private date with Kate Hudson, you'd bring your "A" game, too.

But, UTEP is so inconsistent on the road and while Gaels win over Texas Southern is not on anyone's radar it was a quality win because Texas Southern is a good team this year and almost pulled upsets against Washington State and Oklahoma State. If Terry wants a realistic chance at NIT or NCAA (if they have it) he has to win this one tonight. 44% from the field is pretty good and if the Gaels match that UTEP will lose by double digits.
 

Lil_Train

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While I hope I am wrong, I haven't seen anything in the first two games to suggest we can beat the spread on the road. While Terry is known as a defensive coach, this year's team has looked extremely vulnerable on that end of the court. Both UTPB and Sul Ross had a ton of good looks, which a team like St. Mary's, will likely take full advantage of, especially playing at home. Plus, St. Mary's has played against much better competition, so in reality, I see this as UTEP's first game of the season. I would expect St. Mary's to double team Williams, and shadow Boum, daring someone else to try to beat them. Kennedy/Hess/JB need to step up on offense.
 

miner1liner

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Of the three road games coming up it looks to me as though St Mary's is the best chance for a win. If, as you said there's decent help from others to supplement BW and SB; we could emerge victorious. Another thing; the combined results from TV and EO have hardly shown up on the stat sheet and I urge Terry to at least give Onyema a shot during prime time to see if we can get something from that position.
 

TxRdKiller

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Of the three road games coming up it looks to me as though St Mary's is the best chance for a win. If, as you said there's decent help from others to supplement BW and SB; we could emerge victorious. Another thing; the combined results from TV and EO have hardly shown up on the stat sheet and I urge Terry to at least give Onyema a shot during prime time to see if we can get something from that position.

I still think there's room for Verhoeven on the defensive end. I love Odigie for being loyal and sticking with our program and wish that was enough to merit increased playing time but he's simply a non-factor offensively and Verhoeven is a better defender. Verhoeven had 3 blocked shots and 4 offensive rebounds vs UTPB and had 4 steals and 4 offensive rebounds (7 total rebounds) vs Sul Ross. I realize that these are not necessarily earth shattering numbers but they're the best on the team in our first two games.
 

FeralFelidae

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I love Odigie for being loyal and sticking with our program and wish that was enough to merit increased playing time but he's simply a non-factor offensively
I disagree that Efe is a non-factor offensively. He has a really nice mid-range jumper and he has given us some productive games on offense. He still averaged 6 PPG on just 13.4 minutes per game last season, which is pretty good per minute, and he grabs his share of rebounds. I just got the impression that Coach considers him too much of a liability on defense.
 

Randaddy Miner

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I don't know as much as you guys do on bball (or football) but sul ross cleared out the lane on us and dribble-drived on us all night long and if that wasn't open they'd pass it out and shoot the three. Our defense needs to focus on their first three steps and be quicker
 

axingfools1

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Of the three road games coming up it looks to me as though St Mary's is the best chance for a win. If, as you said there's decent help from others to supplement BW and SB; we could emerge victorious. Another thing; the combined results from TV and EO have hardly shown up on the stat sheet and I urge Terry to at least give Onyema a shot during prime time to see if we can get something from that position.
Something offense related from Onyema. I have a feeling ha can defend the rim too.

Against AZ Tydus will have his hands full with Jordan Brown.
 
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axingfools1

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I disagree that Efe is a non-factor offensively. He has a really nice mid-range jumper and he has given us some productive games on offense. He still averaged 6 PPG on just 13.4 minutes per game last season, which is pretty good per minute, and he grabs his share of rebounds. I just got the impression that Coach considers him too much of a liability on defense.
IMO if the center is not your star player then in order for the center to be on the floor he needs to rebound, defend the rim and finish strong. Efe can rebound. His mid range is not bad, but that's not what we need. Its not like he will even be a top option out there with this team. Tydus defends at a much higher level and rebounds hard on offense, but lacks at finishing, defensive rebounding and he flat out sucks as a free throw shooter (looks like he is shooting with the wrong hand). All we know about Onyema is that he is super aggressive and finishes strong. We do need to see some rebounding and defense, but with his style of play I can imagine its there.

I dont really see much of a future from Odigie at this level. I was sad when Eze left cause I thought he had a much better upside than Odigie. Seeing Onyema I must say that I was very surprised. I never saw anything like that in his videos. I thought he would be groomed as a backup to BW, but he plays like a center. I bet he is just as big and strong as Eze was by this time next year. Terry recruited and signed him before he blew up his senior year. He needs to get some minutes on the floor as a backup center. This team needs an intimidating presence to compete at a higher level.
 
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Playing w/o fans in the stands changes the whole dynamic of playing on the road. I think it levels the game a bit. Officials aren't whim of fans and don't feel the same pressure as when there thousands of eyes and mouths watching. If these are WCC officials, Miners will be in for some tough calls just as if the Miners were playing with CUSA officials at home every conference tends to be a little different and the Miners have had some odd things happen to them at WCC schools.
 

MineroFanatico

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Let’s go! Ready for this game. Terry has an excellent opportunity over the next two games to put UTEP basketball back on the map.

Let’s hope he does.

It’s not like AZ is a world beater this year. Eastern ****ing Washington stayed within 3 of them. Not likely we win, but not out of reach.
 

TxRdKiller

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WTF has happened over the past couple of minutes? Seems the moment that Vilicic kid came in the wheels came off. We are playing something AWFUL!
 

axingfools1

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Vuk has been really bad so far. SM D is pushing us way out and we are settling. We need to get to the rim.. SM will kill us at the line if this continues
 

TxRdKiller

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Efi is playing surprisingly well. Stoked to see that. Boum is struggling bad after a couple of stellar scoring games. Vuk needs to be shoved deliberately to the end of the bench and told to stay the **** there. Bienemy needs to stop throwing up such terrible shots. I'll stop here for now...
 
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axingfools1

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We are playing tight because we have no offense and they have pushed us out so far. As soon as the shots don't go our offense is dead.

Boum, JB and Kennedy need to attack to open up the perimeter. Either that or get a big that can finish inside when SM doubles up top
 
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Lil_Train

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Kuhse is killing us. Just living in the paint. Offense again goes on a six minute drought.
 
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rhern514

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Can this team ever play well against good teams dam its been so long since they beat anybody worth mentioning. I am hoping they can possibly come out and play better in the second half and pull this out but knowing its utep its doubtful.
 

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