North Texas Snaps UTEP’s 6-Game Win Streak, 66-58
It was a fine streak while it lasted.
North Texas extended its win streak to nine in a row following a 66-58 win over the visiting UTEP Miners on Monday night. The Miners, whose six-game win streak was the longest for the program since 2016, lost their fifth straight to the Mean Green.
UNT is an established program and is now 15-1 since starting the season 2-3. UTEP (14-9, 7-4 C-USA) is trying to get there, going through ups and downs in year one of Joe Golding.
Despite being a well-disciplined team, the Miners committed a season-high 19 turnovers that led to 21 points for North Texas. The Mean Green also ended with 38 points in the paint and swiped 12 steals.
"That was the difference in the game. I'm so proud of our guys. Tremendous fight. We came into a hostile environment and we played hard tonight. We can nitpick the turnovers, but I'm proud of our guys. That's a hurt locker room and that's good. I'm having fun coaching this group. Got to stay together. Effort and the fight, I was really proud of them."
The first half was intense and saw a back-and-forth effort from both sides. UTEP got off to an 11-4 lead early in the game before UNT marched back in the game. They took the first lead from the Miners at the 6:11 mark (21-19), but it was largely a close first half. The Miners rallied back on an 8-3 run to close the half with a tie, 27-27. Jamal Bieniemy looked like he was up for another unstoppable game, finishing with 15 points in the first 20 minutes.
In the second half, North Texas clamped down defensively and they were able to separate themselves early. North Texas held Bieniemy to 0-of-4 shooting, while Souley Boum scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half. The Mean Green out-scored the Miners 39-31 and never looked back.
The Mean Green had four players enter double figures in scoring: Thomas Bell (18), Abou Ousmane (17), Mardrez McBride (13) and Rubin Jones (10).
UTEP was led by Boum (20 points) and Bieniemy (17), while no other Miner player entered double digits in scoring. The Miners out-rebounded UNT, 26-21, but couldn't escape their own mistakes in this game.
Up next: UTEP will host Marshall (8-15, 1-9 C-USA) on Sunday, Feb. 13, with a 1 p.m. tip-off ahead of Super Bowl 56.