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Offensive Struggles see UTEP fall 73-61 to Seattle U


EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- The UTEP men’s basketball team was dispatched by Seattle U, 73-61, at the Don Haskins Center Saturday evening. The setback halts the Miners’ (8-6) two-game skid. The Orange and Blue closed the game on a 19-5 run, but it wasn’t enough to rally past the Redhawks (8-5).

Freshman David Terrell Jr. led the squad with nine points, his most vs. a DI opponent. Corey Camper Jr. tallied eight points while Calvin Solomon, Elijah Jones and Baylor Hebb all added seven. Zid Powell paced the Orange and Blue in both rebounds (seven) and assists (two).

UTEP was hindered by an off shooting night (18-53, 34.0 percent), including 4-20 (20.0 percent) from the 3-point range. Another factor was being outrebounded, 42-27. The Miners tried to compensate for that by forcing 16 turnovers while committing only seven, in addition to going 21-26 at the charity stripe, but it wasn’t enough.

Another issue was Seattle U becoming just third UTEP opponent this year to make at least 50 percent from the floor (28-58, 50.0 percent). The Redhawks were also a stout 40.9 percent (9-22) from beyond-the-arc. Cameron Tyson set the tone for the visitors with a game-high 25 points. Paris Dawson (13 points) and Kobe Williamson (10 points) also hit double figures for the visitors.

“There just wasn’t that energy there and that’s the frustrating thing,” UTEP head coach Joe Golding said. “There’s still another way to win a basketball game when you don’t make shots. One is to quit settling and get the ball inside. We were screaming at them all night to do that. The second thing is to continue to defend and rebound. You can tell the offensive side of the ball affected us on the defensive side of the ball. Give credit to the ball. They’ve got a really, really good team. They came in here and kicked our butt.”

After both teams went scoreless over the first two minutes, a rare four-point play from Tyson broke the drought. UTEP got on the board with a dunk from Kevin Kalu on the nice feed from Powell. The visitors immediately peeled off five straight points to go up by seven (9-2, 15:31, 1H). Jones, the three-time CUSA Freshman of the Year, halted the stretch by draining a triple.

Seattle eventually nudged the differential to eight (19-11, 11:08, 1H) before Camper Jr. got cooking with consecutive 3-pointers to cut the deficit to two. After it crept to five, a driving lay-up from Tae Hardy was followed by Powell’s breakaway dunk off a Redhawk turnover.

The WAC foe responded by ripping off 11 consecutive points to suddenly put the Miners down 34-22. Hardy drained a jumper at the buzzer to end a scoreless stretch of roughly five minutes and make it a 10-point game (34-24) at the half.

Powell buried a jumper to start the second half, cutting the deficit to single digits. After a score from Seattle, another Powell basket got it to eight. Once again, the Redhawks scored on the ensuing possession to move back up by 10 before Otis Frazier III came up with a lay-up and putback to bring the home side to within eight (38-30).

The Redhawks scored the next five points before a pair of free throws from Solomon halted the mini push. Seattle, however, turned things up at both ends the court on the way to producing a 16-4 run to vault out by 23 (59-36) with 11:05 remaining in regulation.

Seattle U eventually extended its lead to 26 (68-42, 5:29, 2H). The Miners continued to battle down the stretch, closing out the contest on a 19-5 surge That included an 11-2 push over the final 2:45, but it was too little too late.

UTEP will play its first game in 2024 when it competes at I-10 rival NM State for the Conference USA opener for both squads at 7 p.m. MT on Jan. 4. The game will air nationally on CBS Sports Network and broadcast in El Paso on 600 ESPN El Paso.

Article Topic Follows: UTEP

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Rachel Phillips

UTEP Athletics


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