EL PASO, TX – UTEP did a good job of taking McNeese State scoring leaders Patrick Richard and Jeremie Mitchell out of the game and posted a 69-54 victory over the Cowboys here Monday night.
Richard, who had entered the game with a 16.4 scoring average, was held to 12 points but he only scored four points in the first half and three of his other baskets were tallied in the final two minutes of the game.
Mitchell, who entered with a 13 point scoring average, was held to three points.
"Our opponents now are going in with the objective of taking Pat and Jeremie out of the game and making our other players beat them," said McNeese head coach Dave Simmons. "We are going to have come up with a way of getting more production from our other players."
Simmons also said following Monday's game, that his team is going to have to get better on defense and do a lot better shooting free throws, an area in which the Cowboys made only 6 of 15 in the game.
Now 4-6 on the season, the Cowboys continue on the road Wednesday when they will tackle New Mexico State, a team with a 7-4 record and a 91-66 victor over Southern on Monday.
UTEP led all the way Monday but the Cowboys did cut the lead to one point at 14-13 with 9:21 left in the first half and they did get to within four points in the second half after the Miners had gone into intermission with a 32-24 lead.
Otherwise it was mainly all UTEP as the Miners went to 3-0 alltime against the Cowboys.
Richard only had 11 field goal attempts during the game, making six. He was zero of two from three point range and missed all three free throw shots that he attempted.
Rudy Turner was the Cowboys second leading scorer with 10 points and he also led with five rebounds before fouling out of the game with 5:42 left.
Mitchell only had five shot attempts, four from three point range.
Both Desharick Guidry and Tyson Queen came off the bench to score eight points for the Cowboys, both hitting career high totals while Dontae Cannon scored seven points.
Teamwise the Cowboys had one of its worse games at the free throw line, making only six of 15 attempts. They connected on 22 of 53 field goal attempts for a 41.5 percentage and were four of 15 from the three point range.
UTEP, now 4-5 on the year, made 50 percent of its field goals (22 of 44), 31.3 percent of its three point shots (5 of 16) and 80 percent of its free throws (20 of 25).