GAME NOTES: The Miners of Texas-El Paso try to put together back-to-back wins for the first time in more than a month as they clash with the Washington State Cougars in non-conference action at Beasley Coliseum.
The Miners have already played a pair of games this season, the latest taking place on Thursday night as the team took down Northwestern State at the Don Haskins Center, 84-74. It was the second victory in the last three contests for UTEP.
As for the Cougars, they are currently enjoying a three-game win streak and triumphs in four of the last five outings overall. Three nights ago, WSU thrashed San Francisco in an 80-50 final at the Toyota Center in Kennewick, Washington.
The Cougars lead the all-time series by a count of 2-1, although the most recent meeting back in 1998 fell in favor of UTEP by a score of 76-66.
McKenzie Moore led five players in double figures with his 17 points, but it was John Bohannon who made more of an impact for the Miners in the win over Northwestern State as he tallied 10 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and three blocked shots two nights ago. Julian Washburn accounted for 16 points, Cedrick Lang 14 on a perfect 7-of-7 shooting off the bench, while Vince Hunter pitched in with 13 points, 10 boards, four assists and three blocks before fouling out.
Moore, a starter in seven of the nine games in which he has appeared, leads the program in scoring with 14.0 ppg, adding close to five rebounds per contest as well. Washburn and Hunter both check in with 10.4 ppg, while Bohannon is responding with a team-best 7.5 rpg to go along with his 9.2 ppg stemming from 51.6 percent shooting from the field. Defensively, the Miners are holding foes to just 38.4 percent accuracy from the floor, including 29.2 percent beyond the arc.
DaVonte Lacy led the way for the Cougars in their blowout win over San Francisco, putting up 22 points as he shot 9-of-16 from the floor and 4-of-9 behind the 3-point line. Royce Woolridge accounted for 10 points as the team took more than half of its 65 field goal tries from beyond the arc (34) where they converted 12 of those opportunities. Defensively, the Cougars limited the Dons to just 7-of-21 out on the perimeter, with the hosts also holding a massive 51-23 advantage on the glass.
The +28 in rebounding against USF was by far the largest difference in any game so far this season for Washington State. The previous high came against Lamar back in the second game of the season when a 20-point win was derived from a plus-nine on the glass. Lacy, who has accounted for close to half of the team's 84 triples with his 37-of-88 shooting on the perimeter, not only leads the program with 20.2 ppg, he is also second with 4.5 rpg.
The defense for the Miners has to take the lead in this meeting if the visitors have any hope of coming away with the win. As long as the scoring remains controlled, UTEP has a chance.
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