By Alex Nicolas
Tight defense, four players scoring in double figures, and a good second half stretch helped UTEP pull away late from Florida A&M Wednesday night in the finale of the Cerebro Sports Golden Turkey Classic.
Jamal Bieniemy led four Miners in double figures with a game-high 21 points, and Jorell Saterfield scored 14 points off the bench with four 3-pointers on the evening.
UTEP forced 19 FAMU turnovers in the game---cashing in on 20 points off those turnovers---using their defense and some timely 3-pointers in the second half to close out their fourth win of the season.
The Miners led 37-34 with 13:32 left in the second half but would outscore the Rattlers 30-19 the rest of the way. During the win clinching run, Jamari Sibley and Saterfield would each connect on a 3-pointer, Saterfield’s 3-pointer extended the UTEP lead to 54-42 at the 5:19 mark of the second half.
FAMU would come up empty on their first 12 possessions of the game, and UTEP led 11-2 at the under twelve-minute media timeout while FAU was 0-8 from the field and committed six turnovers.
UTEP would stretch their lead to 18-5 after Bonke Maring would slam one home at the at the 9:12 mark and the Miners looked like they were about to run away early.
But FAMU finally made a timely run to cut the deficit at halftime.
DJ Jones would make three in a row from the field, and FAMU would score on four straight trips during a 15-5 run to trim the lead to 23-20 Miners at the under four-minute mark of the first half.
Bieniemy would score 12 first half points as UTEP led 30-25 at the break.
It would be the sixth straight game this season Bieniemy has scored in double figures, the former Oklahoma transfer also added five rebounds and five assists and was perfect 7-7 from the free throw line in 39 minutes of action.
Satterfield set his D-1 career high with his 14 points, five rebounds, and two assists, going 4-for-9 from long distance. Jamari Sibley added 13 points and seven rebounds and blocked two shots.
Keonte Kennedy added 12 points, nine rebounds and three assists in 35 minutes and had a steal and breakaway dunk to give UTEP a 37-30 lead with 14:59 left in the second half.
UTEP shot 8-for-23 from three-point land in the game and outrebounded FAMU 39-32, pulling in 16 offensive rebounds which put 15 second chance points on the board. The Miners also went 17-for-21 from the free throw line.
UTEP improves to 4-2 overall and will host NMSU on December 3rd.
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