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January 12, 2013

Miners Get Win Over Herd, Streeter earns 500th Assist

EL PASO, Texas - UTEP out-rebounded the Marshal Thundering Herd, 32-23, en route to a 74-63 win Saturday night in the Don Haskins Center.

Marshall was ranked 13th in the nation in rebounds per game with 41.7. For the Miners, rebounding had been a point of emphasis during practices earlier in the week.

"You know, we felt like we needed to rebound better tonight and we did well in that area," head coach Tim Floyd said.

"They are a real talented, athletic team with a lot of big guys that can jump," John Bohannon said and finished the game with eight rebounds. "It's a pretty good nugget to our-rebound a team like that."

Much of the rebounding came on the defensive side of the ball and led to offensive opportunities. Konner Tucker led the Miners with 18 points while McKenzie Moore and Jacques Streeter each scored 14 points while Bohannon added 13.

Floyd felt the rebounding was key but the play of Tucker and Streeter helped guide the Miners to the win.

"We got some good guard play from Konner Tucker and Jacques Streeter," Floyd said. "I thought both of them did a very good job with what they had to do on the floor in terms of getting us into plays."

"I thought (Streeter) was terrific tonight in screen and rolls and kept getting us into plays defensively at the 10-second line," Floyd continued. "I thought his ability to break them down off the dribble and ability to get us into something helped."

Streeter, who earned his 500th career assist in the second half, finished the game with seven and is now ranked with two other former Miners in the 500 club: Tim Hardaway and Julian Stone.

"It's a great accomplishment especially coming from UTEP," Streeter said. "There have been many guards that have played here, Tim Hardaway and Nate Archibald, and to hit that 500 mark, it's just great."

Marshall (8-9, 1-1 C-USA) opened up the game by taking the lead and forcing UTEP (8-6, 2-0 C-USA) into early mistakes. Floyd called early timeouts to try and get his team back on track and it seemed to work as the Miners went on a 14-2 run to take the lead midway through the first half.

Towards the end of the half and into the second half, the miners played with a defensive fervor, which helped build their lead. The high intensity from UTEP on defense in the second half lead to a number of offensive opportunities including a 13-2 run midway through the half.

"I thought we played pretty well," Floyd said. "I thought we finished the last three minutes of the first half and the first 10 minutes of the second half were a stretch where we played good basketball."

As the second half progressed, UTEP lost their intensity and Marshall tried to make things interesting by slowing down the Miner offense and causing some turnovers. UTEP finished the game without making a field goal for the last 4:52 of the game and relied on free throws for their last 11 points.

Floyd was not happy with UTEP's play at the end of the game and rattled off a number of areas he felt the Miners failed at.

"Fouling, poor passing, a lack of focus with the lead, lack of willingness to play the next play after a basket, getting back in transition and getting in a stance, thinking about what we have to do next, a lack of willingness to go rebound the ball late after we did for the first 30 minutes," Floyd said.

Both UTEP and Marshall were called for technical fouls in the game. Just before the end of the first half, Jamir Hanner was called for a technical and then in the second half Julian Washburn and Elijah Pittman were called on a double technical.

"We have to learn to play hard every minute we are out there," Washburn said. "I felt the last six minute got sloppy because we got comfortable with our lead and we talked too much including myself. In order to get better we have to stop that."

Marshall's Tinnon Dennis led all scorers with 19 points while Pittman and DeAndre Kane each had 11 with D.D. Scarver adding 10 points.

UTEP will have the day off Sunday before taking the court Monday night against Houston Baptist in their second to last non-conference game this season.

Chris Avila can be reached at show@minerillustrated.com or you can follow him on Twitter at @chrisavila_01. Make sure to follow Miner Illustrated on Twitter at @minermaniac for more up-to-date news and information about UTEP.


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