Miners Sink Pirates With Strong Second Half Effort [Video]
For the first time this season, UTEP eclipsed the .500 mark with a solid 70-56 win over East Carolina. The Miners had a very balanced scoring attack. Four of the five starters finished with double figures.
Coach Floyd has been preaching rebounding all season. At times it seemed he was preaching to deaf ears, but the Miners crushed the Pirates on the boards last night. UTEP outrebounded ECU 39-19.
Despite shooting over 71% in the first half, the Miners only took a four point lead to the locker room. The Pirates were able to keep pace by going 6-13 from outside. Coach Floyd knew the Miners couldn't keep that shooting pace, and knew the defensive intensity needed to be turned up in the second half. Coach was right, and the team listened.
Things changed dramatically in the second half. The Miners only shot 37%, but East Carolina was content to settle on the long range shots that mostly clanked harmlessly off the rim.
UTEP was also able to get points at the foul line and keep ECU off it. East Carolina shot only three foul shots for the game compared to 21 for the Miners.
It's no secret the Miners aren't as sharp on the road. With the next three games away from the friendly confines of the Haskins Center, Coach Floyd said defensive rebounding and foul disparity are the keys to playing better on the road.
The Miners start their three game road swing Saturday night against Tulane. Coach Floyd says going to New Orleans is always great because he gets to see and hug his 89 year old mother.
If the Miners can do what they do at home on the road, there is a good chance they will return to El Paso still above .500.