Miners Home For 3 of Next 4 Starting Saturday
Dec. 4, 2008
UTEP (3-3) takes on Sam Houston State (2-4) on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. MST in the Don Haskins Center. The Miners will be home for three of their next four games prior to the holiday break, including hosting Texas Tech on Dec. 17 and New Mexico State on Dec. 20.
The Bearkats were 23-8 last season, including wins over Texas Tech, Fresno State and UCF. Sam Houston State has two returning starters and six returning letterwinners from that squad. The Bearkats opened the season with a 100-42 thumping of Schreiner before losing three of their last four games, including a 68-66 setback at North Texas on Wednesday. Three of their four losses have come by five points or less, the exception being an 87-76 setback at Texas Tech on Nov. 17.
UTEP will play a total of six games in the month of December, including participating in the Cable Car Classic Dec. 29-30 in Santa Clara, Calif. The Miners were 5-1 in December last season and are 9-4 in the month under coach Tony Barbee.
UTEP has won 13 straight games on Dec. 6 and hasn't lost on this date since the 1976-77 season.
UTEP leads the Sam Houston State series 5-0. The Miners topped the Bearkats 61-49 in the last meeting between the schools on Dec. 19, 1996 in the Haskins Center. JoJo Garcia and Kimani Jones-Young led UTEP with 17 points apiece, and Garcia pulled down 15 rebounds. All five previous matchups between the teams took place in El Paso. The NCAA champion Miners opened their title defense versus SHSU on Dec. 1, 1966 and scored a 78-54 victory. UTEP's average margin of victory in the series has been 14.6 points, with the closest game a 76-74 squeaker during the 1994-95 season.