Newbies Matt Wilms, Vince Hunter and El Pasoan Tevin Caldwell sparked a 12-0 UTEP run in the second half that would eventually give the Miners a 31-point lead with 2:37 left as the Miners ran past an under manned Southeastern Oklahoma State.
A announced crowd of 6,084 watched the Miners and Storm play a close first half with the Storm taking the lead twice lead by Randy Peters 3/3 3-point barrage.
COACH TIM FLOYD:
"We had a nice stretch there in the second half that was keyed by I thought really aggressive defense. I thought Tevin helped us, I thought Vincent Hunter, I think yall saw signs of why he was the 21st ranked player in the country a year ago, he is a special athlete. I will say that there is real positive things, were not dead yet. We lost a couple of guys during the summer and everybody was starting to pour the dirt on us and figured we were buried but were going to be ok"
John Bohannon and Julian Washburn provided the Miners with consistent, efficient scoring in the first half as the Miners started; Cooper, Ragland, Washburn, Wilms, and Bo.
Bohannon finished with 16 points, 9 rebounds, and was 5/5 from the field, Washburn had 10 points and 3 assists in 26 minutes.
Though the story of the game was the second half run fueled by the Miners tough pressure defense, and the emergence of Jalen Ragland as a possible scoring threat.
Ragland had a quiet first half scoring, but knocked down three treys in the second half and finished with 15 points on 4/8 shooting from the field and 3/5 from behind the arc. Tevin Caldwell came off the bench and added 5 assists and 3 rebounds in just 8 minutes and could have possibly earned more minutes with his performance on defense.
Vince Hunter got the crowd going as C.J. Cooper forced a turnover leading to a open court dizzle dazzle throw down that showed exactly what to expect from the hard working kid from Detroit. who had a solid start to his Miner career scoring 15 points, and grabbing 8 rebounds in 26 hard played minutes.
"It was a great experience, it was tough early on, I was a little nervous. I just wanted to finish out hard and play hard and give the crowd a show and just show them that I'm here to play for UTEP and I'm a hard worker. Anybody on our team can spark energy, Tevin Caldwell came in and sparked the energy and me and Matt just got out an ran, and got easy layups, dunks, and alley oops and that's how we really play against every team. Especially an early game, New Mexico State when we play those guys we going to have run them guys out the gym."
The Miners were without key players McKenzie Moore (foot) and Cedrick Lang (concussion), both are questionable for next Saturdays opener.
Urald King scored a team high 12 points and Trevor Jackson added 6 points and 7 rebounds for the Storm who were forced into 22 turnovers and were held to 37.7 shooting percent from the field.
The Miners will now turn their attention to the regular season as the Miners host Loyola (New Orleans) next Saturday at 7:05 PM MDT in the Don Haskins Center.
Make sure to stay tuned to MinerRush for more information on all things UTEP sports. Also make sure to on Twitter, and, as always don't forget to like our Facebook Page. Picks Up, and Go Miners!