Middle Tenn. looks to extend streak vs UTEP
Middle Tennessee (5-16, 1-7) vs. UTEP (12-9, 3-5)
Don Haskins Center, El Paso, Texas; Thursday, 9 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Middle Tennessee looks for its sixth straight win in the head-to-head series over UTEP. Middle Tennessee has won by an average of 15 points in its last five wins over the Miners. UTEP’s last win in the series came on Feb. 4, 2017, a 57-54 win.
VETERAN PRESENCE: Senior leadership has been on display for both of these teams. Bryson Williams, Daryl Edwards and Eric Vila have collectively scored 47 percent of UTEP’s points this season and 50 percent of the team’s points over its last five games. For Middle Tennessee, C.J. Jones, Antonio Green and Jayce Johnson have scored 54 percent of the team’s points this season, including 62 percent of all Blue Raiders points over their last five.
CLAMPING DOWN: The Blue Raiders have given up only 76.1 points per game to conference opponents thus far, an improvement from the 81.5 per game they gave up over 10 non-conference games.JUMPING FOR JONES: Jones has connected on 39.2 percent of the 130 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 12 of 36 over the last five games. He’s also made 88.4 percent of his foul shots this season.
UNBEATEN WHEN: UTEP is a perfect 8-0 when it scores at least 71 points. The Miners are 4-9 when scoring any fewer than that.
STREAK STATS: Middle Tennessee has lost its last seven road games, scoring 67.6 points, while allowing 82.6 per game.
FEWER TURNOVERS: UTEP’s offense has turned the ball over 14.5 times per game this season, but is averaging 10.3 turnovers over its last three games.