If the series history between UTEP (5-13, 3-3 C-USA) and WKU (9-11, 3-4 C-USA) is any indication, this game should be a thriller. As Conference USA opponents, these teams have split victories in their last two meetings with overtime wins on their home court.
The Miners make their way to Kentucky riding a three game win streak over C-USA opponents FIU (5-15, 1-6 C-USA), FAU (5-13, 1-6 C-USA), and UTSA (9-10, 4-2 C-USA). This is UTEP’s longest win streak since stringing together six consecutive victories in Feb. 2016.
Omega Harris leads the Miners in scoring. The junior from Bethany, OK is averaging 17.5 points per game, which ranks seventh in C-USA competition.
Dominic Artis is a catalyst for UTEP’s offense. The senior from San Francisco leads the team the in rebounds per game (6.3) and assists per game (6.2). Artis ranks 12th nationally in assists.
In the last time on the floor for the Miners, Paul Thomas scored 12 points and pulled down 13 boards in a 59-39 win over UTSA. The performance secured the second double-double of Thomas’ career.
The Hilltoppers are searching for their first win since defeating Charlotte (9-9, 3-4 C-USA) 82-80 on Jan. 5.
WKU’s leading scorer is Que Johnson, a transfer from Washington State. Johnson averages 14.7 ppg and shoots 41.8% from the field. Johnson ranks 17th among C-USA scorers.
Johnson faced UTEP three times as a Cougar, averaging 14 ppg and shooting 55.6 percent from the field. Johnson scored 21 points against the Miners as a freshman at WSU.
Johnson is not alone as the only transfer on this squad. Senior G Junior Lomomba began his career at Providence, and senior G Pancake Thomas transferred from Hartford. Lomomba leads the team in assists with 3.3 per game.
The Hilltoppers return to the confines of E.A. Diddle Arena after three straight road games. In their last time out on their home floor, WKU fell to Old Dominion (11-8, 4-3 C-USA) in a 79-67 loss.
Watch LIVE on beIN SPORTS
Join beIN SPORTS’ pregame show hosted Jeremy St. Louis alongside Mike Jarvis, former St. John’s coach who brought the Red Storm to the Elite Eight in 1999 and most recently coached Florida Atlantic University, and Donovan McNabb, 6-time NFL Pro Bowl quarterback and former guard for Syracuse University Orange under Jim Boeheim.
Tip off is set for 8 p.m. ET.