UTEP v NMSU Preview

The UTEP Miners and the New Mexico State Aggies renew their rivalry on the hardwood Tuesday night.  Coach Floyd is no stranger to this heated rivalry between the two schools with just 42 miles of sand, mesquite, and the perfume of dairy farms separating them.  
Craig Evans, the Kyyote from previews the matchup between these two, storied basketball programs.

UTEP Miners  (2-1) versus NMSU Aggies (2-3)
The Don Haskins Center El Paso, Texas 7 PM MST
Radio: 92.3 The Fox El Paso

UTEP Miners

The UTEP Miners were tripped up in their season opener against the University of Pacific in front of the first home opener sell out crowd since 1986.  The Miners held an 11 point lead at the end of the first half, but the Tigers came roaring back in the second half to take the lead 40-38 with 14:36 seconds left in the game.  It was a back and forth affair for most of the rest of the game, until the Tigers took the lead for good with 1:44 left 62-59.

The Miners got back on track, with their first win of the season, and the first win under Head Coach Tim Floyd, when the Miners beat Mercer in their first Legends Classic Tournament game, 87-74.  The Miners took a 45-33 lead into the locker room with them at the half.  It was a physical game, with 77 fouls called.

The Miners second game of the Legends Classic Tournament pitted UTEP against the Catamounts of Western Carolina.  The Catamounts were coming off of a victory over Big East member, DePaul 69-64. At The Don Haskins Center, the Miners used a tough, stingy defense, a patient offense, and free throws to cruise past the Catamounts, 77-65.  The Miners' defense held Western Carolina to 35.5% from the fied in the first half, and then tightened the screws even more in the second half allowing just 27.3% for the last 20 minutes.  The Miners sent the Catamounts to the free throw line 17 times, and the Catamounts hit 13 of those.  The Miners took 34 shots from the free throw line and hit 25 of those.

New Mexico State Aggies

The Aggies won their first two games, but have dropped their last three games.  Against Louisiana they won 92-77.  Then, at home against Western New Mexico, the Aggies easily came away with a 95-62 win.

NMSU got their first loss against Arizona 57-83.  Then, in two Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame games, the Aggies lost to Umass 57-71, and USC 61-80.

Series History

This will be the 199th time the two teams have met.  NMSU holds the slight edge 102-96.  Last season, the teams handed each other losses on the home team's court.

Last Meeting

NMSU took the win 87-80 on December 13, 2009 at the Don Haskins Center.

Some Stats

                           Field Goal %    3 Point %     Rebounds/Game   Points/Game

NMSU                      43.0                36.8                     36.4                   72.4
Opponents              46.5                30.9                     33.4                   74.4

UTEP                       48.3                34.3                     36.0                   75.0
Opponents              39.8                34.6                     34.3                   68.3

Key Players
                         Field Goal %    3 Point %     Rebounds/Game   Points/Game


Culpepper              47.6                46.7                        3                      20.3
Stone                     47.4                  0                           8                      12.0
Polk                        46.7                22.2                       3.7                    11.7
Williams                 44.4                 50.0                       4.7                    10.3
Britten                   62.5                   0                          2.7                      8.3


Gillenwater            43.9                 39.1                       6.4                     18.2
Laroche                 45.9                 62.5                       2.4                     11 .0
Rahman                 50.0                   0                          5.4                     10.2
Kabongo                33.3                33.3                        4.0                      9.2
Castillo                  42.9                42.9                        1.8                      6.8           
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Prediction  

UTEP    77

NMSU  72

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