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UTEP vs. Marshall: Four Point Play Preview

Four factors to watch in Thursday's C-USA Tournament Quarterfinal.

Expect a Fan Friendly Pace

Call it a track meet, shootout, barn burner.   Basically, there is going be lots of points, runs, and momentum swings.

Marshall is 56 points away from the school record for most points scored in a season, and UTEP's fourteen games in where they have scored 80-points or more is two shy of tying an almost 15-year school record.

UTEP has also set a school record for 3-pointers made in a season, while Marshall is flirting with C-USA's overall season scoring average record.

The Herd are 11-4 this season when reaching 90-points, and the first to 90 or even 100 could be the team moving onto the semifinals.

UTEP's issue is what happens if shots aren't falling, can the Miners keep up and defend?

No matter what happens, expect the unexpected with these two athletic, high scoring teams.

Can Marshall contain UTEP's guards?

In the first meeting UTEP faced a 14-point second half deficit, but the Herd couldn't slow down UTEP's guards, mainly Dominic Artis who poured in 33 points.

The key for this UTEP team all season is when all four guards are cooking, UTEP is tough to beat.

Earvin Morris dropped 20 points, Lee Moore added 17, and Omega Harris scored 15 points as UTEP shot 61.8 percent from the floor in the second half in a wild, wild 112-108 battle in El Paso in the first Marshall-UTEP game.

Morris is playing with a never say die confidence, Moore has been clutch all year, and Harris and Artis are dangerous if their shots are falling.

UTEP shouldn't settle for the 3-ball, instead an attacking the rim mentality could be UTEP's key in not finding themselves in a deep hole against the Herd who will score in the 80's or 90's.

The Miners will have trouble slowing down or stopping Marshall, but the Herd have to prove they can slow down at least two of UTEP's four talented guards.

James Kelly is a Major Factor

James Kelly was a big time factor for the Herd in the first matchup with UTEP, dropping 26 points, and was 6-of-6 from the free throw line.

UTEP did a good job of keeping him off the boards, but it's going to be hard for the Miners to matchup man-to-man against the future pro.   Hooper Vint, and Terry Winn will have to use their fouls wisely, and try to make life difficult for Kelly.

Kelly is second in the conference with 14 double-doubles on the season, and posted a 27 point, and 23 rebound outing against Charlotte on February 18th.

The First Team All-Conference USA selection is a difficult matchup, adding to the laundry list of issues Marshall will give the Miners.

Who has the edge?

Guards: UTEP

Frontcourt: Marshall

Shooting: Even

Rebounding: Marshall

Defense: Neither, throw defense out of the window

Intangibles: Even

Coaching: UTEP

Miner Rush's Opening Line: Marshall -3