Lobos tally up technical fouls while falling to physical UTEP Miners

Local Sports

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The UTEP Miners went into The Pit Sunday and left with a 77-69 victory over the home team Lobos. It was the second setback at home for the Lobos in three games.

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“I was disappointed with a lot today,” said Lobos Head Coach Richard Pitino. “We are further away than maybe we think that we are. It is going to take some time to build the toughness and discipline that we clearly don’t have through the face of adversity.”

The Miners played a physical brand of basketball that the Lobos were not really able to match. In fact, it appeared that the young Lobos started to unravel a bit during the game, arguing calls with game officials that would lead to three technical fouls. The Lobos had four overall with one technical foul for a flop.

“I think we got to grow up,” said Pitino. “Like I just said, I’ve never seen three technicals. I’ve never seen it. I’ve watched a lot of games. Any college game or if there’s a scuffle or something, maybe, but three different instances of complaining to the ref, refs who are final four refs. These are accomplished refs. It will be addressed.”

Along with complaining, the Lobos started the second half cold after going into the break down 33-30. The Lobos were 0-10 until KJ Jenkins hit a three-point bucket to give the Lobos their first field goal of the half around the 11:37 mark in the second half.

It also didn’t help the Lobos that UTEP went on a 16-1 run. The Miners were led in scoring by Souley Boum, who finished the game with 26 points. Keonte Kennedy had 22 points in for the Miners. The Lobos got a team-high 16 points from Javonte Johnson and 9 rebounds. Johnson tied his career-best in scoring. His scrappy play helped the Lobos cut a deficit that was as high as 18 points to 8 in the second half.

Gethro Muscadin had 14 points and 6 rebounds while Saquan Singleton scored a season-best 11 points with 9 rebounds. KJ Jenkins who was also a part of the Lobos late rally had 11 points. The Lobos dropped to 6-5 with the loss while the Miners improved to 5-4.

The Lobos’ next game is on Dec. 19 when they host SMU.

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