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Omega Harris carries Orange over White in annual scrimmage

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Omega Harris scored a game-high 34 points, on 8-of-11 shooting from three-point land as the stacked Orange squad took out the White team 70-61.

The Orange team jumped out to an 8-1 lead, then scored 14 of the first 17 points, stretching that lead to 14-3 as they led wire-to-wire in this one.

Harris helped the Orange team shoot 11-of-24 from long distance, as they also outrebounded the White 40-34.

Terry Winn scored nine points, and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Orange team. Freshman Kelvin Jones scored 10 points, and also pulled down 10 rebounds for the Orange. Jones was 5-of-10 from the field as the Orange shot 44 percent from the field in the scrimmage.

“It was really important to get out here and have some of these guys playing with the lights on and with a crowd in the stands,” UTEP coach Tim Floyd said. “It’s always interesting to see how guys react with a crowd versus who they are in practice. We always learn a great deal.”

The Orange team led 35-18 at halftime, but the White team fought back in the second half to make things close, then Harris and the Orange team pulled away late.

Deon Barrett drilled a three-pointer during a 7-0 White run to cut the lead to 56-51 with 6:22 left in the game. The Orange team had opened up a 14-point lead six minutes into the second half before the White stormed back to make things close.

Paul Thomas was very solid, scoring 16 points, and adding 10 rebounds for the White team. Matt Willms added 14 points and four rebounds for team White in 28 important minutes for conditioning purposes.

But the night belonged to Harris.

He knocked down four of his first five from long distance, and added two assists and three steals in 35 minutes.

Jones was the only other Orange player to reach double figures. Jake Flaggert knocked three, three-pointers for all nine of his points.

Dominic Artis had a rough night shooting going just 2-for-8 from the field, but dished out eight assists, grabbed five rebounds, and collected two steals.

After shooting just 29 percent in the first half, the White team shot 48.6 percent in the second half, but they struggled with the 3-ball shooting just 4-of-18 from distance on the night.

“I was not overly pleased with the total effort,” Floyd said. “I think some of it has to do with conditioning. I think in Kelvin Jones’ case, he’s a fine young prospect right now. I might be in better shape than he is, which is a real testament to the fact we’ve got to continue to condition every day after practice and get in better shape. He’s a kid with a lot of talent. We’re going to be able to play him in spurts along with Matt, which might provide us the opportunity to have a center between the two, where we had planned on playing both together a year ago. I think the improvement of Paul Thomas is what was apparent to me. Jake Flaggert’s improvement is very apparent to me. And I think Omega made shots and we’ll go back and look at it from the other perspective and see how he did in other areas.”

One of the more promising performances came from sophomore forward Paul Thomas who was an efficient 7-of-11 shooting from the field, and knocked down a trio of 18-foot jumpers. He was also very active on the boards, and on the defensive end in his double-double effort.

“I thought Jake Flaggert, Paul Thomas and Omega Harris all played solidly. This will help us formulate what we’re going to do at the start of the season with our lineups,” Floyd added.

Jake Flaggert out shot Dominic Artis in the three-point competition, and Tim Cameron won the dunk contest with a leaping dunk over Kelvin Jones to seal the title.

UTEP will play an exhibition game against Southeastern Oklahoma State on Sunday, Oct. 30 at 1 p.m.