Some people would be happy with being able to watch either College Men’s or Women’s Basketball win… However in El Paso we had both of our teams win! The UTEP Women’s basketball team now has two straight wins in this down season to improve their total to 8 overall for the year, but the fashion of which they’ve won. On Thursday UTEP’s Women found themselves down early, due to Florida Atlantic raining down three’s in the first quarter. But in the second quarter, UTEP’s defense was able to lock down the Owls as they held them to 1-18 shooting in to end the half, This defensive pressure helped the Miners get the win 69-59. Then on Saturday, a 28-9 first quarter helped propel the Miners to an 88-47 beat down over FIU, to improve UTEP’s record to 8-20, (5-11 in C-USA). This is important as it propels UTEP into 11th place, and a potential spot in the C-USA Tournament.
As good as UTEP Women’s Basketball has been this week, The UTEP Men’s team has been that good going back to mid-January, winning 11 of their last 13. UTEP has used a steady diet of Matt Wilms who scored 23 points and went 10-13 shooting from the field as UTEP defeated FIU 90-76, extending their season long streak by winning their 5th straight game. As far fetched as it seemed after the Miners lost 12 straight games, they are currently sitting at 13-15 on the season and 11-5 in C-USA play, sitting in a tie for 3rd place in the conference with a game against ODU, of whom they are tied with, on Thursday at the Don Haskins Center.
Then there were the El Paso Rhinos. WOW! These guys are good! For the first time this season I was lucky enough to take in a Rhinos game. The fans, atmosphere and yes even the Brisket Nachos were all amazing! Being able to finally watch and appreciate how good this team is and just how crazy awesome the fans in El Paso are as we are now Hockey Town USA! The Rhinos are playing white hot right now with a 35-13 record, and a long list of sell outs! Though Tulsa tried their Berry Best, they fell short all weekend long! (Excuse the pun, I’m allowed one!)
But most importantly this weekend I was able to attend not just my first Rhinos game, but my first ever Rugby Match, where The El Paso Scorpions were able to defeat the Albuquerque Brujos in a game that was everything I thought it would be. The hits, the speed, and the overall brotherhood of the sport. Watching these two teams beat on each other and after the game get together and hang out in a tradition that is utterly amazing. The Scorpions won the game (that I know nothing about), and watching how the Brujos fans traveled to support them was nothing short of inspiring. Bobby Torres scored the go ahead points for the Scorpions, and the team defense was able to stay off the Brujos attack as they tried to march down the field to score on two separate occasions. Truthfully, I have no idea what was going on, but I’m looking forward to watching more of these games with the rest of the Shootout Crew!
This weekend was phenomenal in El Paso sports, however the upcoming weekend is going to be one of the most important ones for UTEP basketball. Wins this weekend for the Miners men and women’s teams, would help to solidify their spots in the C-USA Tournament, and hopefully spark a deep run to the C-USA Championship for both teams. This week, there is no excuse as to why the Miners should not have a sellout both Thursday and Saturday. With the way the team is playing right now, the Miners could use the extra spark provided by the raucous crowd in the Don, buy your tickets here!