The UTEP Miners (3-5) will take on the Oregon Ducks (9-1) tonight at the Don Haskins Center. Tipoff is slated for 6:00 pm MT.
Assists: Jacques Streeter (4.5), Konner Tucker (2.0), Julian Washburn (1.6)
Final thoughts: After playing that tough game against UNLV, I can only hope that the Miners still have some gas in the tank for Oregon. In order for UTEP to win we must have excellent defense and not allow the easy points like we did against UNLV. We all know that those easy points will come back to haunt us. Similar to UNLV, the Ducks have shot more free throws (167) than their opponents have attempted (164), so keeping them from the line is a must. We need to keep Kazemi from getting his 10 rebounds a game and while he is not the biggest scoring threat, every other player on that Oregon team can be. Keep in mind Oregon has scored under 70 points three times this season (2-1). The Ducks only won those games by 22 both times (Jacksonville St. and Nebraska) and while both schools have winning records, Oregon caught those schools on an off day. Nebraska usually puts up 60 points (only 38 vs. Oregon) and Jacksonville State puts up 63 (only 45 vs. Oregon). UTEP must make Oregon play below their averages. It is simple if Oregon scores more than 70 points and out rebounds us I don’t see a victory for the Miners, however, if UTEP can keep Oregon under 70 points and beat or tie in the rebound department I think we have a shot.
Prediction: Oregon 67, Miners 61