MINERS
UTEP Opens 2010 at Texas Tech

Derrick Caracter

Derrick Caracter

Jan. 1, 2010

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UTEP (9-2) shoots for its fifth straight win on Sunday when it plays at Texas Tech (11-2). The game will be televised in El Paso on Time Warner Cable MetroSports Southwest Channel 24. The Red Raiders are ranked 20th in the Associated Press poll and 24th by USA Today/ESPN.

The Miners are playing their final non-conference road game of the season and their first game of 2010. UTEP posted a 25-11 mark during the calendar year of 2009.

UTEP has lost its last 11 games to AP Top-25 opponents dating back to an 80-61 win over no. 20 Fresno State on Feb. 17, 2001 in El Paso. While UTEP has posted an 0-8 record versus ranked teams under coach Tony Barbee, four of the last six losses have come by seven points or less and another was a 10-point setback in overtime.

UTEP's last road win over a ranked opponent was a 90-85 overtime triumph at Utah on March 12, 1993. The Miners are 5-40 versus ranked teams on the road in their basketball history.

The Red Raiders climbed to 11-2 with a 76-75 win over McNeese State on Friday afternoon in Lubbock. Texas Tech remains unbeaten at home with a 9-0 record, including wins over Oregon State (64-60), Washington (99-92 in OT) and Stanford (100-87). After opening the season with a 9-0 record, TTU has split its last four games.

Junior forward Mike Singletary averages 15.8 ppg for a Texas Tech team that, like UTEP, wants to push the tempo. The Red Raiders are averaging 79.9 ppg. Junior guard John Roberson averages 13.6 ppg and junior guard David Tairu, a transfer from South Plains College, averages 12.0 ppg. Roberson ranks among the national assist leaders with 5.6 per game. Texas Tech has been a good shooting team both from the field (.472) and the line (.734).

Texas Tech leads the series 42-18, including 24-6 in games played in Lubbock. The Red Raiders have won four in a row over the Miners in Lubbock since UTEP's 81-80 victory on Dec. 5, 2000. The Miners, who knocked off the Red Raiders 96-78 last season in El Paso, haven't won two straight over TTU since a four-game streak that elapsed over the 1956-57, 1990-91, 1991-92 and 1992-93 seasons.

The Miners beat Texas Tech last season and knocked off Oklahoma in Oklahoma City on Dec. 21, improving their all-time mark versus Big 12 schools to 40-64. UTEP has won two straight games over Big 12 schools for the first time since a seven-game streak spanning over the 1981-82, 1986-87, 1990-91, 1991-92 and 1992-93 seasons (beat Texas A&M in `81-82; beat Texas in `86-87; beat Texas Tech in `90-91; beat Texas, Texas Tech and Kansas in `91-92; beat Texas Tech in `92-93).