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UTEP comes out on top over Eastern New Mexico

UTEP Men’s Basketball was looking for a win after two tough losses to NMSU and Arizona.

And the team got one against Eastern New Mexico in the Don Haskins Center Monday night.

The final score was 66-59 — and it came after the Miners nearly lost the lead to the Greyhounds in the second half.

“We’re going to be in ball games all year that are going to be close,” first-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said in a news release posted on the team’s website. “I told our guys earlier in the year, we have to be the hardest playing, scrappiest team in the country in terms of how hard we have to play. … We have to continue to work on those areas of improvement, like taking care of the ball. We have to do a better job taking care of the ball.”

UTEP now goes 2-2 on the season as it prepares to take on the UNM Lobos on Thanksgiving in Albuquerque.

Here’s a look at the stats, courtesy of UTEP:

Evan Gilyard hit a career-high 11 rebounds (five offensive) and matched his career best with a season-high 29 points in 36 minutes. Gilyard, after averaging just over nine points per game his freshman campaign, has upped that number to 20.5 in the early going.

Efe Odigie amassed a season-high 17 boards and tallied 14 points, averaging over 15 points and over 10 rebounds per game in his first four collegiate contests.

The Greyhounds tied the game 57-57 with under five minutes to play, while coming within a point on multiple occasions.

But UTEP scored the next six points to close out the ball game as Odigie made a trio of free throws down the stretch, and Gilyard connected on a free throw and jump shot to solidify the victory.

The Miners outrebounded the Greyhounds 50-35, while recording 13 assists.

Odigie also added a block and recorded his first career assists (three), playing a season-high 31 minutes.

The Miners shot over 42 percent and scored 40 points in the paint, along with 21 second-chance points.

Read more stats on the UTEP Athletics website.

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