UTEP bounced back from a dismal performance on Thursday by playing inspired basketball and dismantling Southern Miss 74-40. Miner fans welcomed former coach Doc Sadler back during introductions with a respectful applause, but once the game began it was a route from start to finish.

UTEP vs. Southern Miss. (photos by Brandon Cohn)

UTEP's offense displayed a revitalized rhythm by going on an early 17-0 run in the first half which soon ballooned to a 28-8 advantage.  By halftime the Miners held a dominant 40-15 lead.   Defensively the team was clicking on all cylinders holding Southern Miss to 30.6 percent shooting throughout the game.  UTEP shut down the Golden Eagles' leading scorers Matt Bingaya and Chip Armelin who were averaging 30 points per game by holding them to a combined 13 points.

The Miners' defense allowed the second fewest points at 40 to an opponent in C-USA play since 2006 when they defeated UAB and held them to 37 points.  Offensively the team had several key contributors.  Vince Hunter led all scorers with 14, C. J Cooper improved his play by scoring 12 in a reserve roll, while Omega Harris added 10.  Matt Willms tallied 9, Cedrick Lang 8, Earvin Morris 8, and Julian Washburn 8 in a well balanced offense attack.

 

Former UTEP coach Doc Sadler discusses his experience of returning to El Paso as the coach of Southern Miss.

The team scored a season high 10 three pointers and shot 57.1 percent, while causing multiple turnovers that resulted in 21 points.  The Miners improved to 11-5, 3-1 in C-USA and will now head on the road for their next three contests visiting UTSA, Western Kentucky, and Marshall.  If the team can continue to get multiple players to contribute offensively and play stifling defense then they will be able to compete with anyone in Conference USA.  Consistency will ultimately decide whether this team can make a significant run the last two months of the season.

 

Here is Coach Floyd's complete post game press conference.

 

Former UTEP coach Doc Sadler discussed how it felt to return to El Paso and was humble to say the least.