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UTEP Plays Air Force In Final Night Of Haskins Invitational

For the second straight year, UTEP (10-3) and Air Force (8-3) will meet on the final day of the Bank of the West Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational. Last season the Miners knocked off the Falcons, 58-47, in the championship game of the tournament.

The Miners routed Western New Mexico, 87-58, yesterday as John Bohannon (20 points), Gabriel McCulley (14) and Michael Perez (nine) all established career-highs in scoring. Air Force outscored Sam Houston State 48-29 in the second half, erasing a 36-28 deficit to beat the Bearkats 76-65. Senior forward Derek Brooks headed up four Falcon players in double figures with 17 points.

UTEP seeks its ninth straight home win. Air Force is 1-2 on the road with a win over Wofford (72-66 in overtime) and losses to Wright State (76-61) and Northern Arizona (74-63).

The Miners will host Sam Houston State outside of the tournament on Sunday at 2 p.m., completing the non-conference portion of their 2010-11 schedule.

UTEP has posted an all-time record of 75-22 in the Sun Bowl Invitational.

The Falcons have shown tremendous balance with five players averaging at least 10 points per game. Sophomore guard Michael Lyons leads the way with 13.7 ppg, followed by senior forward Tom Fow (12.4 ppg), sophomore center Taylor Broekhuis (11.4 ppg), senior forward Derek Brooks (10.5 ppg) and senior guard Evan Washington (10.4 ppg). Broekhuis is out for the UTEP game as he continues to recover from a concussion suffered in practice earlier this week. Lyons did not play against Sam Houston State yesterday due to a hyperextended knee and is listed as questionable for the matchup with the Miners.

Air Force is shooting 48.9 percent as a team while holding opponents to a .379 field goal percentage. Like UTEP, the Falcons have had their difficulties on the boards with a rebound margin of -4.5 on the year.

UTEP leads the series 35-5, including 21-2 in El Paso. Air Force’s two wins in the Sun City came on Feb. 26, 1994 (70-68) and Dec. 28, 2002 (63-45). UTEP and Air Force are meeting for the third time in the Sun Bowl Invitational, including the aforementioned 2002 matchup.

UTEP’s Tim Floyd will be facing Air Force for the first time as a head coach. In his eight seasons as a Miner assistant (1978-86), UTEP posted a 11-1 mark versus the Falcons including 6-0 at the Haskins Center.

Source: UTEP Athletics

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