UTEP downs MU by 11
EL PASO, Texas — UTEP rode a run at the end of the first half into the beginning of the second period Saturday night and took command in a 74-63 men’s basketball victory over the Marshall Thundering Herd in the Don Haskins Center.
After letting an early seven-point lead go away Marshall was even with the Miners, 24-24, with less than three minutes remaining in the first half.
UTEP ended the first half with seven consecutive points to go ahead, 31-24. The Miners extended their run to 12 points to open the second half and had a 36-24 lead with 18:34 remaining.
“We dug too big of a hole,” Marshall head coach Tom Herrion said. “You can’t play uphill against a team like UTEP.”
The Miners, 8-6 for the season and 2-0 in Conference USA, stretched the lead to 20 points with 8:51 to go.
Marshall forward Dennis Tinnon, who had one field goal attempt and two points at halftime, got going after the break and led a comeback bid.
Jamir Hanner’s tip-in of a D.D. Scarver miss pulled the Herd to within 64-55 with 1:44 left in the game.
The Herd had to foul and the Miners closed it out by making 10 of 12 free throws in the final 1:20.
Marshall (8-9, 1-1) was led by Tinnon’s 19 points. Elijah Pittman and Dre Kane both scored 11 while Scarver added 10. Hanner provided a boost from off the bench with eight points.
UTEP guard Konner Tucker scored 18 to top four Miners in double figures. Tucker, a graduate transfer who became eligible at semester break, sank all eight of his foul shots and is 21-for-21 in his first seven games.
Jacques Streeter and McKenzie Moore both netted 14 points and John Bohannon added 13.
Bohannon also collected eight rebounds and Moore grabbed seven, leading UTEP to a 32-23 advantage in that department. Pittman was the Herd’s leading rebounder with five and Hanner had four.
The Herd had only five offensive rebounds.
“To get outrebounded by nine against UTEP is a glaring statistic,” Herrion said.
Marshall caught a break from the C-USA schedule maker because after flying across two time zones to play UTEP the Herd doesn’t have another game until Saturday when East Carolina comes to Cam Henderson Center. East Carolina (10-5, 1-1) won Saturday at home against UCF, 88-85 in overtime, and has a Wednesday game in Minges Coliseum with Houston before coming to Huntington.
Backup center Yous Mbao didn’t make the road trip. Mbao had headaches after playing for three minutes Wednesday against Tulsa — his first game appearance since suffering a significant head injury Nov. 20 in a practice drill.
UTEP is 7-1 this season at home and 483-141 in the Don Haskins Center since 1976.