Miners Gear Up for Pac-12 Power Arizona State on Wednesday
The UTEP men's basketball team will wrap up their tough three-game non-conference road stretch on Wednesday, Dec. 16, against Pac-12 affiliate Arizona State.
UTEP (2-2) is coming off back-to-back losses against Saint Mary's (73-61) and Arizona (69-61) last week. Meanwhile, the Sun Devils (4-2) beat Grand Canyon (71-70) on Sunday in the final seconds to continue their unbeaten road streak this year.
Who: UTEP (2-2) vs. Arizona State (4-2)
Date & Time: Wednesday, Dec. 16th (6:30 PM MT)
Where: Desert Financial Arena (Tempe, Ariz.)
Listen Live: 600 ESPN El Paso
Watch: Pac-12 Network
About Arizona State
The Sun Devils have been without NBA hopeful Marcus Bagley for the last four games due to a left calf injury.
Remy Martin has picked up the pace in Bagley's absence, fresh off a 31 point performance against Grand Canyon. He leads the team at 18.2 points per game. Defensively, they are a major threat, having forced 18 turnovers on Sunday and held GCU to only five 3-pointers.
Arizona State was ranked as high as No. 23 this year, but they lost to San Diego State last Thursday.
"[Bobby Hurley, head coach of ASU] is building a really good program there," said Rodney Terry. "He's done it with guard play, his guard play is really good the years he's been there. That's not to say his bigs are not good players, they are very good players and make contributions as well. His guards are what's taken his program to another level. They are a program that has a lot of spurtability. They can really score. They are fast in transition and they do a great job defensively."
UTEP battled against Arizona on Saturday but ultimately fell 69-61 in the end. They were out-rebounded 46-25 and allowed 34 points in the paint versus the Wildcats. Souley Boum currently leads the team in scoring at 23.5 points per game.
"We feel that game [Arizona] was in the balance. It was right there for us to take it," Boum said. "That was a really close game, we gained a lot of valuable experience that guys needed on this team. I feel like it's all these games are preparing us for conference play and I feel like overall we're going to be ready as soon as conference hits."
This will be the 97th meeting between Arizona State and UTEP. This will be the first meeting between the two schools since Nov. 30, 2008 when the Sun Devils boasted James Harden. The Miners last defeated ASU on Nov. 26, 2004 at the Las Vegas Holiday Invitational.