Multiple times this season we called out the seniors on their play – or lack thereof.
But down the stretch and when the Miners needed it the most, a couple seniors have stepped up their game to what everyone kind of expected coming into the season, Omega Harris and Matt Willms.
It was a tough year for the senior from Putnam West in Oklahoma. Omega did not score in double figures in 12 games this season (Omega only had 8 single digit scoring games the past 2 seasons combined), the Miners went 1-11 in those games. He was also held scoreless in the second meeting versus UTSA for the first time since his freshman season in 2014 and for the first time ever in the Don.
Having probably his toughest year as a Miner, Omega has elevated his game back to his All-C-USA level he played to a year ago.
First 14 games of C-USA:
9.1 PPG | 3.5 RPG | 1.6 APG | 1:1 Assist-Turnover ratio | 3-11 record
Last 4 games:
18.8 PPG | 4.5 RPG | 2.5 APG | 10:1 Assist-Turnover ratio | 3-1 record
There was never a question about effort with him this season but the production wasn’t there until recently. There is no question that the Miners would not even be in the conference tournament today if Omega did not step it up.
Matt Willms has had his career at UTEP plagued by injuries but the big man has always fought through it, stuck around and continued to be a great teammate.
Willms has scored two game winning buckets in the past 4 games that secured their place in the conference tournament.
He doesn’t always put up the biggest stats but his presence has been felt in the paint during the last stretch.
First 13 games in C-USA:
7.2 PPG | 4.6 RPG | .6 BPG
Last 4 games:
8 PPG | 7 RPG | 1.5 BPG
Now that we have approached win or go home season, the Miners get the matchup they probably all wanted….UTSA. Both games this year were decided by 4 points and games that the Miners SHOULD have won. Key note to the game is that the Roadrunner will be without leading scorer Jhivvan Jackson.
The Miners will need their best Omega Harris/Matt Willms combination and at the same time the rest of the team will have to elevate their game.
The talent has been there but the potential has never really been reached this season.
Maybe the Miners were saving their best for last.
At least that’s all a fan can hope for.
Its March so LET THE MADNESS BEGIN.