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The 11-7 UTEP Miners will go on the road to face off with the 8-10 UTSA Roadrunners on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 PM ET in the UTSA Convocation Center. These two teams faced off on Wednesday night in UTEP and the Miners took an 80-77 victory. It’s extremely rare to see back-to-back games in college basketball, and it’ll be interesting to see how the two teams adjust from just three nights ago. Brandon Williams dominated the game with 34 points, and the Miners will need him to have another big game on the road. For the Roadrunners, Jhivvan Jackson averages 27 points per game and he will have something to say about a performance like that in his building.
Miners look to slow it downIt’s been a steep fall from starting the season 8-1 for the UTEP Miners. They’ve since lost six of nine games with losses to some pretty terrible squads along the way. Ironically enough, they just beat this same UTSA team 80-77 three nights ago. We’ll focus on the Miners side of the ball, so we can dive into UTSA when we get there. UTEP shot just 40% from the field, but it wasn’t at the fault of Brandon Williams. The superstar was impossible for UTSA to stop, pouring in 34 points with 10 boards while controlling the paint all game. Daryl Edwards contributed 18 points and played phenomenal defense down the stretch. They’ll need another big performance out of Brandon Williams if they want to win, this time on the road.
The Miners like to slow the game down a bit, though they bought into the Roadrunners pace increase last game and put up 80 points. Brandon Williams is one of the best scorers in the nation and he averages 19.1 points per game. If he were to play in a fast-paced offense, Williams may average close to 30 points per game. The Miners are one of the most efficient free-throw shooting teams in the land, ranking 17th at 77%. They struggle defensively, however, and the Roadrunners will look to take advantage of some weaknesses they may have spotted last time out.
Fast, but inefficientAfter losing six of their first seven games of the season, UTSA has done a great job at weathering the storm since. They’ve gotten up to 8-10 on the season and will look to continue the build at home against UTEP. The Miners beat them just a few nights ago in a game that was extremely close throughout. On the Roadrunners side, Jhivvan Jackson (29 pts, 13 reb) and Keaton Wallace (26 pts, 5 reb, 4 ast) did all they could, but didn’t get any help from the supporting cast. They turned the ball over 13 times and it ended up being the difference in a win and loss. UTSA will look to bounce back against the same team, but this time at home.
The UTSA Roadrunners surely live up to their name, playing at one of the fastest paces in the entire country. They average 75.9 possessions per game, which ranks 25th in the country. Jhivvan Jackson is one of the best scorers in the country and he averages 26 points a game on top of six boards. Jackson will have to have a huge game at home. The offense is a two-headed attack and Keaton Wallace averages 17 points per game. The third-leading scorer averages just seven per game, so the Roadrunners lean heavily on their pair of superstars.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
UTEP got the best of UTSA just a few nights ago, but the Roadrunners went cold from three late and they’re a much worse team on the road. I expect a bounce back performance out of the Roadrunners at home and they’ll cover the points with ease. Jhivvan Jackson is going to light this defense up and I’m a big fan of UTSA to bounce back and get their season on track.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Roadrunners play extremely fast and if you’re expecting them to win, it’s also fair to expect a big score. This game combined for 157 points last game and it may go even higher with the faster team now at home. I’ll take the over all day at this number.