Hollins’ Buzzer Beater Lifts UTEP to 4th Straight Win Over FAU
With just nine seconds left in the game, UTEP point guard Jamal Bieniemy attempted a game-winning 3-pointer, which hit the right side of the rim. Forward Alfred Hollins bypassed a Florida Atlantic defender and tipped in the shot to give the Miners a 70-68 win at the buzzer.
UTEP (12-8, 5-3 C-USA) has now won four straight games heading into another home matchup against Florida International on Saturday. FAU, who leads the C-USA East Division, saw their three-game win streak snapped in front of 4,458 fans at the Haskins Center.
“I thought it was a great college basketball game. We fought a ton of adversity with (Jamari) Sibley going out in the first minute," said UTEP head coach Joe Golding. "Credit to our guys, they continue to fight and handle adversity. I’m proud of them."
Souley Boum led the way with 28 points on 10-of-18 shooting, while the Miners got solid scoring efforts from Jamal Bieniemy (16 points) and Tydus Verhoeven (12 points).
In the first half, the Miners started with an 18-7 lead, including a 11-3 start. Boum led the scoring run early with seven points. They built their lead to 10 points when the Miners led 20-10 with 10:30 in the first half. Then, FAU went on a 13-3 run to close the half and take the slight 38-36 lead at the break. UTEP was out-rebounded 16-5 in the first half and allowed 12 points in the paint.
In the second half, the two teams fought in a largely back-and-forth game. Despite having just two lead changes in the first half, there were nine lead changes in the second half and six times when the game was tied.
UTEP led by four (60-56) before FAU went on a 5-0 run to take the lead with 7:07 left. Then, both teams traded leads on five straight possessions. When the Miners went up 66-64, they would not relinquish the lead and held on, despite briefly being tied at 68.
The Miners finished the game by shooting a noteworthy 53.8% from the floor and 47% from 3-point range. They forced 15 turnovers on defense, aided by nine steals (four by Verhoeven).
UTEP will try to make it five straight wins when they host FIU on Saturday with a 7 p.m. tip-off.