Dominic Artis had his best game as a Miner, while UTEP's set of guards continue to gel this time with a 85-64 dismantling of UT Rio Grande Valley.
Artis scored a game high 21 points thanks to a 7-of-10 outing from behind the three point line, also adding eight rebounds, and eight assists with only one turnover in 32 minutes. The 21 points was a career high, and he also became the seventh different UTEP player in school history to make seven three-pointers in a game.
Hooper Vint recorded a double-double with 12 points, and 11 rebounds, Terry Winn added 17 points, and nine rebounds, and Lee Moore did a little bit of everything adding nine points, seven rebounds, and nine assists to move UTEP to 8-5 overall on the year.
The 3-ball would keep UTRGV hanging around early as they started 4-of-7 to help weather an early 9-0 UTEP run with a 6-0 spurt after Dakota Slaughter would hit the tail end of back-to-back three-pointers for UTRGV to tie the game at 12 at the 16:28 mark of the opening half.
UTEP owned the boards throughout the game, quickly grabbing seven offensive rebounds in the first eight minutes of the game while holding an early 15-7 advantage on the boards thanks to a put back by Paul Thomas to put UTEP back in front 15-12 right before the 12 minute mark.
Although the Vaqueros kept chipping away from downtown.
UTRGV shot 6-of-14 from behind the three point line in the first half as Slaughter would get another one to fall, this time putting the Vaqueros ahead 27-25 with 6:24 left until halftime.
But Dominic Artis would answer with a barrage of three-pointers on the other end.
Artis would start and finish a 11-2 run, thanks to trio of 3-pointers, the third capping off the run and giving UTEP a 36-29 lead as the clock ticked to under four minutes.
Omega Harris would score five of UTEP's final seven points of the half as the Miners shot 48.5 percent from the field in the first twenty minutes and took a 43-35 lead into the halftime break.
Artis was on an almost magical level in the first half, going 5-of-6 from three point land accounting for all of his 15 first half points, and also pulled in six defensive rebounds in the opening half.
The Miners held a double digit lead for most of the second half, until a dry spell closed the gap for a few seconds.
UTEP went on a 3:46 scoring drought, while UTRGV went on a 8-0 run cutting the lead to 66-57 with 6:10 left in the game.
Terry Winn would put the Miners back in front by double digits with a steal and layup, followed up by a Lee Moore fast break layup, then Moore would cap off the segment and a 13-3 UTEP run with a wide open triple from the corner with 1:10 left giving UTEP a 81-62 lead heading into the final minute of the game.
The Miners were spotless on the glass holding a 54-36 advantage, with 22 rebounds coming on the offensive end, four UTEP's starters grabbed at least seven rebounds in the game.
UTEP out scored UTRGV 47-24 in the paint, and held the Vaqueros to 35 percent shooting, and 28 percent from behind the three point line in the second half after their hot start. UTEP also totaled 26 assists on their 33 field goals thanks to pristine ball movement for the entire 40-minutes.
Extending their defense out past the three point in the second half, UTEP forced 14 turnovers which led to 28 points off turnovers in the game, and shot 46.5 percent in the game. UTEP went 11-for-25 from three point land shooting the Vaqueros out of a zone to wrap up their non-conference slate.
Brodricks Jones played his first minutes in his return from injury, pulling in five rebounds, and blocking two shots in just 11 minutes of action. Earvin Morris reached double figures scoring 10 points, adding five rebounds and three assists.
Now the real season starts.
UTEP will open C-USA play with Rice on Friday night, then will host North Texas on Sunday to open the 2016 C-USA journey.