On The Road…Again: UTEP Handles ODU 63-49 To Improve To 4-0 Away From The DON In CUSA Play
Even with CJ Cooper sitting for most of the first half with three fouls, Coach Tim Floyd made a bit of a surprise, but necessary move bringing in freshman guard and El Paso’s own Aaron Jones to take over point guard duties with UTEP leading 10-2 early in the game.
After a bit of a lull from Jones and the UTEP offense, the Miners started to find their footing after ODU closed to within four (18-14) at the under 10 minute mark by ending the first half on a 17-11 run to take a 35-25 lead into the half.
Coach Floyd didn’t really know what to expect from Jones who had played limited minutes, but put in his backup point guard and was pleased with the results in a hostile road environment.
“(Aaron) played with a lot of poise…and we’re really proud of him” Floyd said following the game when asked about Jones’ 18-minute (season high) performance.
In the second half, UTEP was able to pull away even with Cooper’s foul trouble and an off-night from Vince Hunter (four points and two rebounds) as the duo of John Bohannon and Julian Washburn finished the game with 19 points and 18 points, respectively.
Bohannon and Washburn will garner most of the headlines for this win (aside from the plethora of whistles), but the defense set the tone throughout the game as the Miners held Old Dominion to 26% shooting and for a second straight road game they kept their opponents under 50 point mark (ECU 47 and ODU 49).
Yet another impressive road trip for UTEP as they return back to El Paso looking to improve on their 18-6 (8-1 CUSA) record with winnable games against FAU and FIU coming up this week.
So how far can this team go?
10-1 looks like a certainty and 11-1 seems probable at this point in the season.
Can we start talking about the postseason?
It is starting to look that way and while some don’t want to look ahead, UTEP fans have probably already circled February 22nd on their calendars.
For those that don’t show up to the DON, that is the big matchup with Southern Miss, in what could be the game that determines the CUSA regular season championship.
First things first, but it’s safe to say this is a special team that is poised to make a Cinderella run come March.
Get your popcorn ready and keep those orange-colored glasses on…you are going to need both.