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UTEP men’s basketball wraps up exhibition games in Costa Rica

The UTEP men’s basketball team wrapped up its slate of three exhibition games in Costa Rica on Friday.

The Miners played three games in three days, ending up with a 1-2 record in those contests.

The first two games were losses at the hands of a talented McGill University from Montreal. McGill actually performed well in previous exhibitions against high-level NCAA talent. McGill beat Kent State, a 2016 NCAA Tournament team while also taking SMU to overtime.

UTEP concluded its three-game trip with a win Friday over the University of British Columbia.

Over the course of the three games, sophomore guard Isiah Osborne led the team in minutes (94, 31.3 avg.), while seven Miners were on the floor for 50 minutes or more. Osborne and freshman guard Trey Wade paced the squad with 11.3 points per game, while sophomore center Kelvin Jones averaged 10.3 ppg, senior center Matt Willms 9.0 ppg, senior guard Omega Harris 8.3 ppg, and junior forward Paul Thomas 8.3 ppg.

UTEP head coach Tim Floyd said he was more concerned with getting his younger players acclimated to college-level competition rather than trying to go undefeated on the trip

“These things have not been about wins,” said Floyd. “It’s about getting some of our younger guys minutes and putting them in situations they haven’t been in. There were times where we played three big guys and times where we played three point guards just because we know that, throughout the course of the season, we’re going to be in those situations.”

Coach Floyd said overall he was satisfied with the way the trip went. But in typical coach fashion, he also said there is plenty of work still to be done.

“I thought it was a good week. We know that we’ve got a lot of work to do in October, but every team does. But I like the fact that our guys were able to bond and get together,” he said.

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