The Miners again had a less than impressive week, but got a much needed win against FIU.

Last week:

1/11 vs FAU
UTEP led the Owls at halftime but were outscored 44-32 in the second half as FAU went on to beat the Miners, 73-66. Evan Gilyard led the Miners with 20 points in 21 minutes.

1/13 vs FIU
In a pretty ugly game, UTEP was able to pull away with the win late in the game. Isiah Osborne continued playing well with 21 points.

The Good:

•Isiah Osborne, again. Osborne has scored 15+ point in 4 of 5 conference games he has played in.
•Turnovers. UTEP only had 7 turnovers in their win vs FIU.
•Freshman. Trey Wade, Evan Gilyard and Kobe Magee have all stepped up during conference play.

The Bad:

•Tirus Smith. The freshman had knee surgery and is out indefinitely.
•Upperclassmen. Paul Thomas, Matt Willms and Omega Harris are all averaging lower conference numbers than last season.
•Three-point shooting. The Miners shot 3-18 16.7% vs FIU.

Weekly Facts:

•UTEP gives up 29.8 PPG in 1st half’s of conference play but give up 44.8 PPG in the 2nd half.
•Miners have lost 3 of the last 4 games in which they led at halftime.
•Omega ranks 13th on the all-time scoring list and 13th on the all-time steal list.
•UTEP ranks 1st in 3PT FG made in C-USA play and 2nd in 3PT FG%.

The Week Ahead:

1/20 at UTSA (9-10, 2-4 C-USA)

Coach Steve Henson has done a pretty good job in his second year at UTSA considering he lost three starters from a year ago. The Runners have a pair of freshman that led them in scoring, Jhivvan Jackson (18.9 PPG off the bench) and Keaton Wallace (12.4 PPG). The Runners are 26th in the country scoring 83.6 PPG. They are a young team that likes to run and shoot the three, which happens to be something the Miners aren’t particularly good at. Expecting a high scoring game, first one to 85 wins.

Final Thoughts:

UTEP hasn’t looked any better or worse than they did early in the season. You can possibly say that their offense has improved a little bit but that has been overshadowed by how bad they have played in 2nd halves.

The Miners have to get this win on Saturday against UTSA before they hit a stretch of four games in which opponents have a combined record of 17-3 in C-USA play. That four game stretch includes UAB, MTSU, WKU and Marshall.

Things could get even uglier for the Miners if they don’t turn things around quick.

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