The UTEP Miners rode another tough defensive performance, the hot shooting of Julian Washburn, and the continued improvement of an identity in a 70-55 win Monday against the Montana St. Bobcats.
Washburn scored his 20 points on 8/12 shooting, 4/7 three-point shooting, and most importantly shutting down and denying the other teams leading scorer once again.
He would get the scoring started with two early three pointers in the games first five minutes, starting a trend that would jump start both teams to knock down three treys a piece leading to an 11-11 tie through that early period.
UTEP would use a 17-7 first half run to jump out to a 33-21 lead with 3:08 left, lead by the high energy play of Cedrick Lang who had 7 first half points and 8 rebounds.
C.J. Cooper would give the Miners a 40-23 lead going into halftime with his third three-pointer of the half as time ran out in the first. The Miners would finish the half shooting 54.2 percent from the field, including 6/12 from deep.
After only committing 5 turnovers in the first frame, the Miners would give it away 13 times in the second, leading to back-to-back Bobcat three-pointers cutting the Miners lead to 59-46 at the 5:55 mark. which was once a 50-30 lead at the 13:44 mark.
Though it was never really in question it would be an Orange and Blue night , as the Miners held the Bobcats to 31.3 shooting in the second half, and really moved the ball well on offense again with 14 assists on 22 field goals in the game.
Washburn would stretch back the lead to 15 with a floater in the lane, then put the game away for good with his fourth three-pointer of the evening, putting the Miners back up 18 at 68-50 with under two minutes left.
Cedrick Lang would finish the night with his second double-double of the season, and third of his career, with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
John Bohannon is now UTEP's assist leader on the campaign, as the senior dished out 6 assists, adding 7 rebounds to along with 5 points.
The Miners made 18 free throws, to 14 Bobcat free throw attempts, and held them to 34.5 percent shooting for the game. Flavien Davis was held to eight points on 2/9 shooting, Terrell Brown lead the way with 10 points for the Bobcats who now drop to 5-6 on the season .
C.J. Cooper made 3 out of 5 looks from three for all of his 9 points, the Miners made a season high eight 3-pointers on 16 attempts.
Another nice win for the Miners, who will break for Christmas, and get back on the practice floor December 26th, in preparation for the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Invitational.
UTEP will face Western Illinois Saturday night, then turn around and face a tough Denver squad Sunday night, both games start at 7 PM in the Don.