College Basketball

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Sacramento State (2-3) at Texas-El Paso (4-4)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 7, 9:05 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Don Haskins Center (12,222) -- El Paso, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: Sacramento State 1-1, UTEP 3-1. Away Record: Sacramento State 1-2, UTEP 0-1. Neutral Record: Sacramento State 0-0, UTEP 1-2. Conference Record: Sacramento State 0-0, UTEP 0-0. Series Record: First- ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: The Texas-El Paso Miners make their return from the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament on Saturday when they host the Sacramento State Hornets in a non-conference matchup at the Don Haskins Center.

Sacramento State has lost three of its last four games and sits at just 2-3 overall entering play on Saturday. The most recent defeat came at home against UC Irvine as they were run over by the Anteaters in a 79-53 decision. Sacramento State gets a bit of a break next time out as they face a non- Division I foe in William Jessup.

Although UTEP went just 1-2 in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament, the Miners certainly gained some valuable experience as they battled with Tennessee and two ranked powers in No. 23 Iowa and No. 6 Kansas. The stumbles during the event dropped the Miners to an even 4-4 on the season, though they are 3-1 at home. That is good news considering this game begins a stretch for the Miners in which they play nine of their next 10 games at home.

On Saturday these teams will be squaring off for the first time ever.

The Hornets hung with UC Irvine in the first half but unraveled in the second half to take the loss. Sacramento State hit just 26.7 percent of their shots from the floor during the final 20 minutes, while recording 11 fewer field goals than the Anteaters.

Finding consistent offensive success has escaped the Hornets this season as they are netting just 63 points per game on 41.6 percent shooting. Those types of numbers don't go particularly well with their defensive efforts as the Hornets are letting teams sink 48.4 percent from the field. The Hornets' offense is predicated on its backcourt with guards Dylan Garrity (14 ppg, 3.4 apg) and Mikh McKinney (13.4 ppg, 3.4 apg) the only double-figure scorers on the roster. The duo combined for 19 points on just 6-of-20 shooting against UC Irvine. Cody Demps (8 ppg, 6.2 rpg) stepped up in the losing effort to score a team-high 16 points.

Even in a loss the Miners did themselves proud against the sixth-ranked Jayhawks. The Miners trailed the whole second half but sliced a 14-point deficit down three in the final seconds before falling just short. The Miners held the Jayhawks to just 39.3 percent shooting in the contest.

Keeping teams from getting hot from the floor has kept the Miners competitive this season. UTEP is clamping down on defense and allowing teams to hit on just 38.6 percent of their field-goal tries. Unfortunately that has led to just a +1.2 scoring margin, not helped by a negative differential on the boards (-4.6). There are not a ton of prolific scorers on the roster for the Miners, who prefer more of a balanced effort. McKenzie Moore (13.6 ppg) and Julian Washburn (10.6 ppg) are the only players averaging double figures, but there are eight players scoring at least seven points per game.

Assuming the Miners can keep up the defensive pressure against a Sacramento State team that already struggles to shoot the ball, they should be able to collect a win by keeping things balanced on offense.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas-El Paso 73, Sacramento State 63

12/07 10:38:39 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
NOR
DUR
 
3:30pm Today
MIA
CHA
Final
WAS 3
STL 4
Final
CLE 0
TOR 5
Final
DET 5
ANA 2
Final
BOS 4
BAL 2
Final
KAN 5
MIN 4
Final
CHC 8
CIN 4
Final
OAK 4
HOU 3
Final
PIT 7
MIL 8
Final
NYM 5
ATL 7
Final
TAM 16
NYY 1
Final
MIA 7
SEA 0
Final
TEX 6
CWS 3
Final
LOS 8
ARI 6
Final
COL 3
PHI 1
Final
SDP 3
SFG 1
1:05pm Today
CLE
TOR
 
1:08pm Today
DET
ANA
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
ATL
 
1:10pm Today
MIA
SEA
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
MIL
 
1:35pm Today
WAS
STL
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
NYY
 
2:10pm Today
KAN
MIN
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
CIN
 
3:05pm Today
TEX
CWS
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
HOU
 
4:10pm Today
LOS
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
COL
PHI
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
SFG
 
7:05pm Tonight
BOS
BAL
 
Final
TOR 87
BRK 94
Final
LAC 105
GSW 109
Final
IND 93
ATL 101
Final
OKC 100
MEM 86
1:00pm Today
SAN
DAL
3:30pm Today
MIA
CHA
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
WAS
9:30pm Tonight
HOU
POR
Final
STL 4
CHI 3
Final
PIT 3
CLB 4
Final
COL 4
MIN 2
12:00pm Today
NYR
PHI
3:00pm Today
BOS
DET
7:00pm Tonight
MON
TAM
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
LOS
Final
NOR 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
NOR
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