FAU 61, UTEP 48: Miners Fall in Third Straight Game on Thursday
All season long, the Miners have proven time and time again that when they are down in games, they always do their best to come back and make a decent run.
But on a tough Thursday evening, UTEP (7-15, 2-9 C-USA) had no answer to the red-hot 3-point shooting by Florida Atlantic and fell 61-48 at the Don Haskins Center.
You could argue that they couldn't escape their shooting woes, in which they shot 28 percent (15-for-53) from the floor and 19 percent (5-for-27) beyond the arc; you could argue their 15 turnovers were inescapable; you could argue that FAU's Anthony Adger's eight 3-pointers became unstoppable by the end.
But the bottom line was simply the fact that the Miners didn't come out with enough intensity and energy as they usually do. The Miners will also have a quick turnaround, as they take on FIU on Saturday.
“When you’re not making shots you really have to try and defend hard, and you have to try and take away what the other team does really well,” first-year UTEP head coach Rodney Terry said. “We knew coming into this game that these guys were a really good shooting team. We let one guy get off to a great start, and when you do that with a guy who is their leading scorer, and you let him get comfortable then the basket becomes a really big basket for him.”
In the first half, the Owls were nearly unstoppable from beyond the arc. They buried seven 3-pointers, led by Anthony Adger's three 3-pointers made. They finished the first shooting an impressive 46.7 percent from 3-point range.
On the contrary, the Miners finished with a poor first half shooting effort, shooting 23.1 percent from the floor and 15.4 percent from 3-point range. UTEP turned the ball over eight times in the first half.
Paul Thomas led the Miners in scoring at the end of the half with seven, but he also had two costly turnovers as the first ended.
In the second half, FAU was able to separate themselves by leading as much as 15 points in the second half.
The Miners allowed FAU to shoot 40 percent from the floor and a massive 50 percent from 3-point land (13-for-26). Adger finished with eight 3-pointers, including going 5-for-5 in the second half, and totaled 27 points.
Freshman Nigel Hawkins led UTEP with 12 points and four rebounds. The three starting freshmen (Hawkins, Jordan Lathon and Efe Odigie) finished shooting 8-for-30 on the night.
As part of "Texas Western Night," some members of the 1966 team were honored at half time and the team sported their alternate Texas Western uniforms in the contest.
Next up, the Miners will host Florida International on Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Haskins Center.