Roundball Roundup: Conference USA play tips off


Two nights ago, we all rang in a new year, but last night, four Conference USA schools helped ring in the new season of conference play on the hardwood! UTEP, North Texas, Rice and UTSA all have the distinct honor of being the first to play a conference opponent in 2015. Here’s how the opening night went.

UTEP entered tonight’s contest with an 8-4 non-conference record, while North Texas came in with a .500 record sitting at 6-6. The Miners started out sloppy – trailing 6-13 at the first media timeout with 15:07 remaining in the first half. The Mean Green stayed with UTEP all throughout the first half until the last couple of minutes – that is where UTEP was hitting everything and ended up leading 44-33 at halftime.

The second half was all Miners as they put up 41 points to North Texas’ 38 to win the game, 85-71. Former Kent State player Earvin Morris lead UTEP with 22 points and 2 assists while the team went 27-of-53 from the floor. DeAndre Harris lead the way for the Mean Green with 20 points, four rebounds and three assists while his North Texas team shot a surprising 54 percent from the field.

67. 2399. 52. 2408. Final

The second matchup of the evening was a much more low-scoring affair. UTSA entered the game with a non-conference record 0f 5-5 while Rice entered the game with a disappointing 3-8 record. But, the Owls were somehow a 2.5 point favorite over the Roadrunners. Both teams struggled in the first half, but Rice led 29-22 at the half behind Marcus Jackson’s 11 points. The second half proved to be just as close, as the Owls outscored the Roadrunners, 38-30 to help secure the 67-52 win. Jackson lead all scorers, finishing with 27.