Miners to play without suspended star tonight against New Orleans

UTEP will host New Orleans at the Don Haskins Center tonight.

The Miners will take the court without leading scorer McKenzie Moore.

Coach Tim Floyd is suspending Moore for the game because he thinks he needs to learn a lesson.

"I didn't like his actions tonight (Dec. 7) on the floor as we pulled him out of the game," Floyd said in the Dec. 7 post-game news conference. "I think he needs to learn to handle the little bit of success that he has had. He needs to learn to defer at times and be a better teammate. We'll utilize this next ballgame to see if we can watch some growth with him as a Miner and understand the appreciation of wearing a Miner uniform."

Moore led the Miners with 14 points and seven rebounds in a 69-51 win Dec. 7 over Sacramento State. Moore also was perfect from the free throw line, going 10 for 10.

UTEP will look to sharpen its offensive game.

"We feel like we gave away a lot of opportunities in the open floor - 3 on 2, 2 on 1 situations, 4 on 3, not finishing plays, making decisions in the open floor where I think you can really measure offensive players," Floyd said in a news release. "And then when those things aren't there, just getting into play and thinking about the other guys screening.

"We feel like we've made some strides defensively. We don't want to give that part of it up. We'll continue to work on it, and having this added practice time is allowing us to do both."

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