UTEP Miners vs. UCF Knights Game Preview

USA TODAY Sports

The UTEP Miners take on the UCF Knights tonight at the Don Haskins Center in a CUSA match up. Tip off is at 7 pm El Paso time.

The UTEP Miners (13-10, 6-4 CUSA) will take on the University of Central Florida Knights (17-7, 7-3 CUSA) tonight at the Don Haskins Center. Tip-off is slated for 7 pm El Paso time. This will be the only meeting between the two schools and possibly the last for a while as UCF is leaving the conference after this season to join the Big East.

This will be 10th meeting all time between the two schools. UCF leads the series 5-4 including consecutive wins from the 10-11 season to the 11-12 season. The last game took place back on February 25th 2012 when the Knights defeated UTEP 63-45 in Orlando. UTEP posts a 2-2 record at home when playing the Knights.

UCF is coming off a 93-71 loss against the 22nd ranked Memphis Tigers. The Knights had a total of four players score in double figures. UCF was led by Isaiah Sykes 17 points and 6 rebounds. Daiquan Walker pitched in 14 points and two assists. Tristan Spurlock had 11 and Keith Clanton had 10 for the Golden Knights. UCF only held the lead twice against Memphis, with the biggest lead being 4 points.

UCF is currently ranked 78th in the nation in points per game at 71.5. The Knights are ranked 112th in rebounds per game at 36.3 and 94th in the nation at 14.2 per game. UCF shoots 47.2 percent from the field which ranks them 28th in the nation.

The Miners are coming off a disappointing 79-61 loss at Houston on Wednesday night. The Miners could never really get into the swing of the game and their horrible shot selection/turnovers were their downfall that kept them out of the game. Julian Washburn had 17 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists for the Miners. Konner Tucker had 10 points and a rebound for UTEP. The biggest story of the game would be John Bohannon starting the game and having a big impact early on scoring 5 points in 4 minutes of play. Bohannon finished with 11 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists.

The Miners are currently ranked 260th in the nation in scoring at 64.0 points per game. UTEP ranks 312th in the nation in rebounding (31.0) and 141st in assists (13.3) per game. The Miners are currently ranked 98th in the nation in field goal percentage at 44.9 percent per game.

Statistical Leaders:

UTEP Miners:

Points- Julian Washburn (12.3), Konner Tucker (11.8), John Bohannon (10.8)

Rebounds- John Bohannon (6.3), Cedrick Lang (5.1), McKenzie Moore (5.0)

Assists- Jacques Streeter (5.2), McKenzie Moore (2.1), Julian Washburn (1.9)

UCF Knights:

Points- Keith Clanton (15.8), Isaiah Sykes (15.7), Calvin Newell (11.3)

Rebounds- Keith Clanton (8.9), Isaiah Sykes (7.1), Tristan Spurlock (5.8)

Assists- Isaiah Sykes (4.5), Keith Clanton (2.7), Calvin Newell (2.3)

Final thoughts: The Miners are currently in the midst of a 2 game losing streak and have not lost consecutive games since earlier in the season when they lost 4 games straight. In order for the Miners to win tonight they must shake off this losing streak they are on. They need to play some solid defense against a well shooting team. UCF is also one of the cleanest playing teams in the nation, meaning they don't foul a lot (average of 13 per game- 4th in nation). UTEP will win tonight if they can hold UCF to under 65 points and force UCF to foul often.

Prediction: Miners 70, Knights 63

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