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Red hot UTEP puts win streak on line at C-USA leader North Texas

DENTON, Texas - The UTEP Miners current six-game win streak is cause for excitement with fans.

But if the Miners somehow can win Monday night at North Texas, it will be time to take the Miners seriously as a conference contender in March.

UTEP (14-8, 7-3 C-USA) will put their streak on the line at the C-USA West leading Mean Green (16-4, 9-1 C-USA) at 6pm on ESPN+.

The reigning Conference USA Tournament champions, North Texas ranks first overall in the conference defensively allowing just 56 points per game.

Expect a physical grind against the Miners, who rank defensively allowing just 65.3 points per game.

Where UTEP could run into trouble is on the glass, as the Mean Green are plus five in rebounding margin avergaing 34 as a team while only allowing 29. The Miners rank as one of the worst teams on the glass in C-USA.

Regardless, Joe Golding and company have opened serious eyes. around the conference with their six-game winning streak.

Junior guard Jamal Bieniemy has erupted in the new year as one of the best players in C-USA. Since a 28-point outing in a January 6th loss to Louisiana Tech, Bieniemy has scored in double figures in each game.

The Miners are 7-1 in that span.

Bieniemy is fresh of a career high 36-point performance in last Saturday's 72-70 win at Rice. The Oklahoma transfer made six of the team's last seven field goals to close out the Owls.

The Miners are 10-point underdogs on Monday night, but North Texas will be wise not to count out the confidence-boosted visitors.

Joe Golding has shown to both fans and his players that he is the right man for the job in his first year.

UTEP players are on the record as saying they are fully bought in. The culture is taking shape earlier than some expected.

But beat North Texas on Monday night?

It's to start talking about competing for a conference championship.

Article Topic Follows: UTEP

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Nate Ryan

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


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