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Without Boum and Agnew, Miners can’t find offense in 52-40 loss to UC Riverside

EL PASO, Texas - UTEP's took their first loss Monday morning, when they received news that Souley Boum and Christian Agnew would miss Monday's game against UC Riverside due to COVID-19 protocol.

That loss then doubled itself on the court Monday night, as the Miners couldn't find any offense in a 52-40 loss to UC Riverside.

The Miners shot 1-24 from three-point territory, with a Jamal Bieniemy triple midway through the 2nd half saving the team from a goose egg.

"When you hold a team to 52 points, you gotta find a way to win a game especially at home," said UTEP head coach Joe Golding. "Effort was not the problem, we just gotta find a way to get the ball in the basket."

UTEP came out with tremendous defensive intensity in the first half, and held the Highlanders (4-2) to just 22 points. Golding mirrored his team's intensity coaching from the sidelines, encouraging his bench to stay loud and help call out coverages.

Through it all the Miners however, could only manage 19 first half points.

Bieniemy's lone 2nd half triple cut the deficit to 37-36 with seven minutes to play, but the Highlanders responded with a 9-0 run to effectively put the game out of reach.

The Miners did force 18 UC Riverside turnovers, but with the ball not going through the hoop, the Highlanders were eventually going to take advantage.

"We had a chance, had a couple looks to go down. We finally go the crowd and gave them something to cheer about," said Golding. "And they were getting into the game, and we just couldn't get on to go down."

Playing without the services of Boum, UTEP's leading scorer, certainly hurt the offense. He and Agnew will also miss the Miners' (3-2) game on Wednesday night vs. Florida A&M.

Tipoff for the UTEP's game against the Rattlers is set for 7pm from the Don Haskins Center.

Nate Ryan

Nate Ryan is an ABC-7 sports anchor/reporter.

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