EL PASO, TEXAS ? UTEP secured four votes and is tied for 38th nationally according to Associated Press top-25 poll released Monday. The Miners (19-2, 8-0 Conference USA) have won nine straight overall and sit atop the league standings at the half-way point of the 16-game Conference USA slate.
Fourteen of the 19 victories on the season have been by double figures, including a program-best nine by at least 20 points. UTEP remains one of 10 teams nationally to be both undefeated in league action and have two or fewer total losses.
It is 3-1 vs. teams currently in the top-100 of the RPI, with wins at Tulane (36), Idaho State (64) & Memphis (82) and a two-point setback at Arizona State (51). Additionally, the Miners are 3-0 against teams currently in first place of their league.
Defense and depth have been the driving force for the successful season to date. UTEP hasn?t allowed more than 63 points in regulation, with eight foes failing to crack 50. It is seventh nationally in three-point percentage defense, eighth in overall field-goal defense, 12th in rebounding margin and 20th in scoring margin.
The bench has outscored the opposition?s reserves in every contest, and it holds a double-digit advantage 20 times. Furthermore, the Miners? reserves have outpaced the opponent?s starters (nine) or matched them (three) on 12 occasions.
UTEP will be idle until it plays at Rice in a nationally-televised tilt (Fox Sports Networks) on Sunday. The Owls (11-10, 5-3 C-USA) have won three straight overall. They are 7-3 at home, including a perfect 4-0 mark in league action.
Source: UTEP Athletics