It didn't take long for the Miners to get over Wednesday's tough loss as they used smothering defense, and a complete team effort on the offensive end to get by the Tulane Green Wave.
The two teams played the contest fairly tight for the first eight minutes, but the Miners used a quick 11-3 spurt to open the game up a bit, and they never looked back from there.
Konner Tucker and McKenzie Moore led the way for UTEP in the first half, combining for 20 of the team's 34 points. By the intermission, the Miners held on to a 16 point advantage, holding the Green Wave to only 34% from the field.
The Miners continued their solid play out of the locker room, scoring the first six points of the second half. By the midway point, the Wave found themselves down 24 points, and there would be no miraculous comeback in this one.
UTEP maintained a 20 point lead for the majority of the second half, and although Tulane put up a few buckets late to make the score look a little more respectable, the outcome of this one was never in question. In the end, the Miners walked away with a 62-50 victory.
The Miners were once again led by McKenzie Moore, who finished with a game high 14 points, to go along with 6 rebounds and 5 assists, to only one turnover. Julian Washburn finished with a quiet 12 points on 6-9 shooting, and Konner Tucker had 11 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists.
The Wave didn't have a single player score in double figures, and were led by Jordan Callahan who finished with 9 points off the bench. Josh Davis was held to 8 points and 2 rebounds, and Kendall Timmons and Kevin Thomas had 6 points apiece.
For the game, the Miners shot 48.9% from the field, and greatly improved their free throw shooting, finishing 10-14 for 71%. The Wave shot 40% from the field, and also finished at 10-14 from the line. The final rebounding total gave a 23-22 advantage to Tulane, but the Wave also committed 10 turnovers to the Miners' 7.
Coach Floyd had this to say following the game:
"I liked a lot of things about our effort tonight against what I think is a good Tulane team...We were so disappointed in our last ball game. I don't recall a game where the two primary players on the other team had their way with us, which happened at UAB with [Rod] Rucker and [Jordan] Swing. Tulane's two primary players tonight, [Ricky] Tarrant and [Josh] Davis, were limited by Julian Washburn and Jacques Streeter, which is really who we have to be."
The win improves the Miners to 12-8 on the year, and 5-2 in conference play. After a loss by UCF this afternoon, the Miners now stand in a tie for third in the conference, behind both Southern Miss and Memphis who are still undefeated.
Tonight's showing was a great one for the Miners. It's very promising to see this young team respond as well as they did following Wednesday's loss. It would've been real easy to fold, but they came out, played their game, and walked away with a solid win.
There's no question that this team is tough to beat in the Haskins Center. Now, it becomes of matter of taking that kind of play on the road. If they can do that, they will be tough to beat, no matter where they play.
Up next, the Miners will continue their three game home stand with a contest against Rice on Wednesday. The Owls will enter the contest at 5-16 overall, but should not be overlooked. Tip time for that one will be 7:00 p.m. MT.