FAU 76 – UTEP 70: The Miners Season Ends in the First Round of the C-USA Tournament
Through a largely back-and-forth battle, Florida Atlantic pulled away with a 76-70 win over UTEP in the Conference USA Tournament on Wednesday night in Frisco, Texas.
The Miners have not won a postseason tournament game since the 2016-17 season and finished this season 12-12 overall.
Fouls played a major factor in this one, seeing only eight fouls combined in the first half and a whopping 32 in the second. UTEP did not score a field goal in the last 6:31.
The first half displayed a game of runs. The Miners got off to a 6-0 start before Florida Atlantic went absolutely crazy and built a significant lead. The Owls went on a 7-0 run to take the lead at the 14:48 mark (10-8), and grew it to a 18-3 run that featured an 11 point lead (26-15) at the 8:01 point. UTEP finished the half on a 16-6 run to close the gap to a one-point FAU lead at the half, 34-33.
It was FAU turnovers that the Miners capitalized on in the first half. They forced seven Owl turnovers, while scoring 11 points off the FAU mistakes. Boum led the team with 12 points at the break, followed by Jamal Bieniemy (seven points) and Keonte Kennedy (six points).
The second half was largely a back-and-forth contest. UTEP did their part to try and win this game. They had 11 points from Souley Boum in the second half, along with 10 from Bryson Williams and eight from Keonte Kennedy. No other Miner had over four points in the second half, though. Plus, fans were furious on an out of bounds call against Williams that shook the game.
Florida Atlantic shot 43 percent from the field (10-of-26 FG), including a 3-of-7 shooting effort from 3-point range. They banked on Karlis Silins, who scored a game-high 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting and logged in six rebounds.
Boum led both sides in scoring with 23 points on 8-of-21 shooting, including four rebounds, two steals and two turnovers. Kennedy and Williams each scored 14 points in this game to round out the scoring efforts for the Miners.
UTEP will now regroup during the offseason before Terry's fourth season at the helm. Terry is 37-48 overall as the head coach of the Miners, including 19–33 (.327) in conference play.