UTEP Downed at UAB, Left to Regroup for MTSU on Saturday
Second half woes doomed the Miners on the road Thursday night, as UAB out-scored UTEP 47-31 in the second half en route to a 76-63 win over the Miners on Thursday night.
The Miners (6-10, 1-4 Conference USA), now 0-6 on the road, will have to quickly regroup and face Middle Tennessee on Saturday.
In the first half against the Blazers, the Miners jumped on top with an early 13-2 lead through the first four minutes of the game. The Blazers answered back with a 14-0 run themselves and took a 16-13 lead midway into the first half.
Both teams traded blow for blow, while the Miners broke out with a 32-29 lead at the half. It was the Evan Gilyard show early on for the Miners, as he finished the first half with 21 points and four 3-pointers.
But the second half was a different story.
UAB sprinted out of the half with a 10-4 run, which both overtook the lead and allowed them to break away early in the second half. The game looked close when the Blazers led 41-36, but some nice runs put UAB up by as much as 17 points to close out the game.
UAB forced 13 turnovers on the Miners, which is three less than their season average 16 per game, but out-boarded the Miners 34-26. They also posted an exceptional .527/.538/.786 shooting on the night, while holding UTEP to .390/.400/.720.
“We didn’t start the second half the right way and we really didn’t close the first right and gave up a bad play to end the half,” first-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “Then we weren’t ready in the first four minutes of the second half for whatever reason at the level of intensity you have to have on the road. We let a couple 50-50 balls get away from us and we gave them some easy baskets.”
The Blazers had four players in double figures, with Lewis Sullivan leading the way at 18 points.
Gilyard finished the second half only scoring four points, but still led the Miners with 25 to finish. Efe Odigie notched his seventh double-double with a 10 point, 10 rebound finish. Nigel Hawkins finished with 17 points on the night after hitting five 3-pointers.
The Miners will now have a quick turnaround as they travel to Murfreesboro, TN, to take on the Blue Raiders, who just snapped their 13-game losing streak against UTSA (89-86).