MINERS
Miners Shooting For Continued Road Success

Tavaris Watts

Tavaris Watts

Feb. 5, 2009

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UTEP (13-8, 4-3 C-USA) takes on Tulsa (16-7, 6-2 C-USA) on Saturday at the Donald W. Reynolds Center. The Miners are completing the first half of their C-USA schedule. UTEP will be home for five of its final eight C-USA contests, beginning on Wednesday versus UCF at the Don Haskins Center.

Saturday's matchup starts a demanding two-game stretch for the Miners, who are tied for fifth place in the C-USA standings. Tulsa is in sole possession of second place and UCF is tied for third place.

The Miners are 3-1 on the road in C-USA play with wins over SMU (74-68), East Carolina (88-67) and Houston (62-55), and a loss to UAB (78-73). UTEP is 4-3 on the road overall. The four road victories are the most for the Miners since 2005-06 (five), and the three conference road wins also mark UTEP's highest total since `05-'06 (four).

Tulsa is 10-3 at home and 3-1 at home in C-USA action. The Golden Hurricane is riding a four-game winning streak and is 8-2 in its last 10 games with a pair of one-point losses to Memphis (55-54) and at Tulane (76-75).

Sophomore guard Justin Hurtt scored 19 points in Tulsa's 73-57 win at Marshall on Wednesday, making 7-of-10 shots and 3-of-4 three pointers. He has scored in double figures in each of the last five games for the Golden Hurricane, including 16 points in Tulsa's 78-70 win at UTEP on Jan. 24.

Junior guard Ben Uzoh is averaging 15.1 ppg and junior center Jerome Jordan averages 14.1 ppg, 9.0 rpg and 2.5 bpg. Jordan is second in C-USA in rebounding and blocked shots. Tulsa leads the league in scoring defense (60.0 ppg), three point field goal percentage defense (.267) and rebound margin (+6.8), and rates second in field goal percentage (.461), field goal percentage defense (.389) and blocked shots (4.9 avg.).

Tulsa leads the series, 25-11. The Golden Hurricane has won five of the last six meetings between the schools over the last three seasons after UTEP dominated the series from 2003-06 (5-1 record). The Golden Hurricane has claimed 16 of the 20 matchups between the teams in Tulsa. UTEP has won twice in its last 12 trips to Tulsa -- a 59-56 victory on Jan. 8, 2004 and a 69-62 triumph on Feb. 4, 2006.

 

 

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