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Malcolm Moore’s three-point play with 3:03 remaining broke a 61-61 tie and propelled the Blue to a 72-64 win over the Orange at the annual UTEP Basketball preseason scrimmage on Saturday in the Haskins Center.
Moore, a senior forward who missed most of last season with a torn ACL, made 6-of-9 shots and 5-of-7 free throws to finish with 17 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. He was one of four Blue players in double figure scoring as Julian Washburn collected 19 points, Konner Tucker 18 and John Bohannon 12.
The Orange also had four double-figure scorers led by freshman Chris Washburn (16 points). Jacques Streeter added 14 points, Jalen Ragland 12 and Twymond Howard 11.
“I like the fact that Malcolm Moore rebounded. We were a poor rebounding team [last year],” UTEP coach Tim Floyd said. “It looked like Konner Tucker was a fifth-year guy. He looked comfortable out there. Julian Washburn also looked comfortable. I thought as the game went on, we kind of got out of our stance and it kind of became like an NBA All-Star game with the dog and pony show late. But by and large I thought there were some good things.”
For the second straight year, the scrimmage drew a crowd of approximately 2,000 fans.
Neither team led by more than four points in the second half until Moore’s three-point play jump-started a game-ending 11-3 run for the Blue squad.
The largest lead in the first half was six points for the Blue, which went ahead 19-13 on a Julian Washburn dunk with 9:21 on the clock. The Orange rallied to close the gap to 31-29 at the midway point.
The Blue scored 22 points off 13 Orange turnovers and outscored the Orange 10-3 at the foul line. Both teams shot well, with the Orange hitting 53.8 percent from the field to the Blue’s 48.3.
Floyd said the Miners’ defensive intensity wasn’t where it needs to be.
“I think you’ll start seeing it in our exhibition game because guys are going to start coming out for the errors that you saw,” he said. “They’ll just come out and come back in, come out and come back in. Those are the things that we’ll have to learn when we start watching film [on the scrimmage] tomorrow.”
Blue outrebounded the Orange 34-29. Cedrick Lang led the Orange with eight boards.
Five UTEP players were in the game for the full 40 minutes – C.J. Cooper, Howard, Ragland, Streeter and Tucker.
“By and large, we didn’t sustain effort for long periods of time. I expected that because we didn’t have a lot of subs,” Floyd said. “We’re not in great condition right now.”
The Miners will open the season as part of an exhibition doubleheader with the women’s team on Saturday, Nov. 3. The women will take on St. Mary’s (Texas) at 4:30 pm with the men battling Southeastern Oklahoma State at 7. Men’s basketball season tickets, starting at $160, are on sale now by calling 747-6150.
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