The Miners (10-7, 3-1 CUSA) emerge victorious against Southern Methodist University (11-9, 1-4 CUSA) tonight at the Don Haskins Center by a final of 63-54. There was not a very strong fan base tonight but it wasn't needed. While the Miners started off strong there were points in the game where UTEP could have blown away SMU, but they continued to let the Mustangs stick around.
SMU's road woes continued to haunt the Mustangs tonight against the Miners. SMU has not won a road game since defeating Hofstra back on December 1st. Regardless of the 54 points scored by the Mustangs tonight, they only shot 40.9 %. Early on in the game SMU was not taking wise shots and this ended up being their downfall tonight.
The Mustangs were led by Shawn Williams' 16 points and 7 rebounds. Jalen Jones also pitched in 15 points and 6 boards. Guard Nick Russell scored 12 points to go along with 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Coach Larry Brown is known to not play very many players who are not in his starting five. The only Mustang to score off the bench was Brian Bernardi who had 2 points in 17 minutes.
The Miners were led tonight by Jacques Streeter's career high 18 points. Streeter scored seventeen of those points in the first half. Senior Konner Tucker scored 12 points to go along with 3 assists, 2 steals and a rebound. While Julian Washburn didn't have a high scoring night, he was continuing to be a team player for UTEP. Julian had 9 points with 6 rebounds and a steal.
The Miners next game will be a week from now on January 26th when the Miners head out to Greenville, North Carolina to play the Pirates of East Carolina. The Miners will play two road games in four games. After their match up against ECU, UTEP will head down to Birmingham to play the Blazers of UAB on January 30th.
Final Team Statistics:
Southern Methodist University Mustangs
FGM-A: 18-44 (40.9 %) OREB: 7 AST: 8 TO: 20
3PM-A: 2-8 (25.0 %) DREB: 26 STL: 8 PF: 24
FTM-A: 16-20 (80.0 %) ToREB: 33 BLK: 0
FGM-A: 24-54 (47.2 %) OREB: 5 AST: 13 TO: 15
3PM-A: 6-16 (50.0 %) DREB: 22 STL: 9 PF: 17
FTM-A: 18-25 (63.6 %) ToREB: 27 BLK: 4
Miner Rush Player of the Game: Senior guard # 11 Jacques Streeter
Jacques Streeter has continued to impress us during his short time with UTEP. He has recently joined the 1,000 point and 500 assist club. He has recently stepped his game up to an all new level. It is important that he continues to play at this level since we are in Conference USA play. If he keeps it up, especially down the stretch, look for the Miners to be a serious contender come March.