UTEP Basketball Gameday Comment Thread

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Both UTEP men's and women's teams battle at the Don Haskins Center Saturday evening in a double header of Miner Ball! Bring the conversation as both teams continue their non-conference schedules.

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The UTEP women's basketball team will try to avenge last seasons C-USA sweep by SMU as both teams renew their rivalry as non-conference opponents. The Miners have forced their opponents to 24.6 turnovers a game so far this year and are looking for an 8-0 start.

The Miners have had production come from up and down the bench all season, and will face a SMU team that defeated Kansas State and starting a four game road trip that will lead into confrence play.

Kayla Thornton is having an All-Conference and possible All-American season, as she has lead the pace in scoring and rebounding.

Depth is the strength against the Mustangs as 10 different Miners average more than 10 minutes a game.

UTEP Miners

Current Record: 7-0, 0-0 C-USA

Key Players:

Kayla Thornton: Sr, F, 6'1, 16,6 ppg, 8.1 rpg

Chrishauna Parker: Jr, G, 5'11, 8.6 ppg, 8.1 rpg

Kristine Vitola, Sr, C, 6'4, 7.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.1 bpg

Team Stats

Points Per Game 80.1
Opponents Points Per Game 52.9
FG% .434
Opponents FG% .326
3-Point FG% .317
Opponents 3-point FG% .301
Free Throw % .677
Rebounds Per Game 42.6
Rebound Margin +4.7
Assist Per Game 13.1
Turnovers Per Game 14.6

SMU Mustangs

Current Record: 7-1, 0-0 AAC

Key Players:

Keena Mays, Sr, G, 5'7, 18.2 ppg, 5,8 ppg, 5.4 apg

Akil Simpson Sr, F, 6'0, 13.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg

Dynstee Hives-McCray Jr, F, 6'0, 11.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg

Team Stats

Points Per Game 76.1
Opponents Points Per Game 65.1
FG% .407
Opponents FG% .387
3-Point FG% .272
Opponents 3-point FG% .292
Free Throw % .709
Rebounds Per Game 45.1
Rebound Margin +5.1
Assist Per Game 18.6
Turnovers Per Game 14.3

After an eventful weekend in Atlantis last weekend, the UTEP Miners return home for nine of their next ten contests. After going 1-2 in the Battle 4 Atlantis, the Miners are even at 4-4, though have the 5th toughest schedule in the nation so far.

The return and importance of McKenzie Moore was evident with the Miners 78-70 opening round win against Tennessee, the offense goes as he goes.

Justin Crosgile has added a veteran presence at guard, and while he is not a "true shooter" he has carried the load from the behind the arc so far, he has also provided much needed versatility and poise. I believe he has earned himself 30+ minutes a game, consistency is the key for that to happen.

There is no doubt this team can still defend, and with the added dimensions of the ever switching defenses by coach Floyd has gave the Miners an advantage against teams that do not see that very often.

Sacramento State comes in at 2-3, after losing their worst home loss in 14 years in a 79-53 loss to UC Irvine. This is the first ever match up between the Miners and the Hornets who hail from the Big Sky Conference.

The Hornets have been led so far by the guard scoring combo of Dylan Garrity andMikh McKinney.

After dominating their opening game of the season on defense, the Hornets have been torched, giving up 75.6 points a game, while allowing .532 percent shooting from the floor in their last four games.

Senior forward Jordan Salley has provided some points of the bench and shoots the ball very well, and can also really jump out of the gym.

The Hornets have only player that is 6'10, this could be a game that could jump start the Miners on a roll, lets take a look at how both teams match up statistically.

Sacramento State Hornets

Current Record: 2-3, 0-0 Big Sky

Head Coach: Brian Katz, 44-105 overall, 6th year

Key Players

Dylan Garrity Jr, PG, 6'2 175, 14.0 ppg, 14-31 3-point FG's,

Mikh McKinney, Jr, G, 6'1 165, 13.4 ppg, .438 FG%

Cody Demps, So, F, 6'4 200, 8.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg

Team Stats

Points Per Game 63.0
Opponents Points Per Game 69.8
FG% .416
Opponents FG% .484
3-Point FG% .337
Opponents 3-point FG% .411
Free Throw % .670
Rebounds Per Game 31.4
Rebound Margin -2.0
Assist Per Game 11.8
Turnovers Per Game 14.2

UTEP MINERS

Leaders:

McKenzie Moore, 13.6 ppgg, 4.6 rpg

Julian Washburn, 10.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 8 steals

Vince Hunter, 9.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg

Team Stats

Points Per Game 71.0
Opponents Points Per Game 69.8
FG% .450
Opponents FG% .382
3-Point FG% .333
Opponents 3-point FG% .293
Free Throw % .667
Rebounds Per Game 35.4
Rebound Margin -4.6
Assist Per Game 13.5
Turnovers Per Game 12.9

Make sure to stay tuned to MinerRush for more information on all things UTEP sports, and make sure to Follow @sbnminerrush on Twitter for live updates throughout the game from the Haskins Center . Picks Up, and Go Miners!

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