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UTEP could tie for 1st in conference; get 500th win at Don Haskins Center

By: Jesse Martinez 
EL PASO, Texas The UTEP mens basketball team will have a chance to move into a first-place tie in Conference USA with a win during Thursday nights game against Louisiana Tech.
The University of Texas at El Paso Miners will take on the Bulldogs at 7:05 p.m. at the Don Haskins Center.
UTEP (14-6, 4-1 C-USA) won four straight C-USA games and they are on track to match their second-longest winning streak since it joined the league.
Their speed, their athleticism, their quickness and their pursuit to the ball is what jumps out at me on film, UTEP coach Tim Floyd said.  They are a versatile team with multiple ball-handlers.  They get the ball off the board with multiple push men.  Everybody seems to be able to drive it.  Everybody seems to be able to block shots and rebound.  Everybody shoots the three, and everybody plays hard.
UTEP can also acquire their 500th win at home with a win Thursday night. The Miners are 499-146 all-time at the Don Haskins Center.
I think every game is a first for us, Floyd said.  Its like November for us because were putting ourselves in different situations with a new lineup.  The other night we had to play with a lead, and we played with it well and we expanded the lead.  Weve had to come from behind.  Weve had to play on the road.  And now were going to play in a game with meaning, and that will be a first as well.
Floyd will be coaching against his alma matter for the 17th time, and he is 10-6 against them.
We played [Louisiana Tech] for many years [at New Orleans].  They were in our conference, he said.  [There are] no extra emotions that way.  Its the alma mater.  I do know their coach.  He was in our basketball camps when I was coaching at the University of New Orleans.  He is a great young man and has done a fabulous job with the program.




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