Hounds to visit UTEP for exhibition game

CNJ staff

PORTALES — The Eastern New Mexico University men’s basketball team will face 2010 NCAA tournament participant Texas-El Paso in a 7:05 p.m. exhibition game at the Don Haskins Center on Oct. 30.

“We are excited to have a chance to compete against UTEP,” second-year ENMU coach Andrew Helton said. “(Longtime) coach Don Haskins established a great tradition there and (current) coach (Tim) Floyd will help to continue this tradition.

“It’s a terrific opportunity for our team to compete against another program that was in the NCAA tournament last year, and will only help to make us a better team for Lone Star (Conference) play.”

The Miners went 26-7 last year, Floyd’s first at the school, and won the Conference USA regular-season title with a 15-1 mark. UTEP’s season ended with a 77-59 loss to eventual national runnerup Butler in the opening round of the NCAA tourney.

The Miners return C-USA player of the year Randy Culpepper (17.9 ppg last season) as well as Derrick Caracter (14.1 ppg). Caracter had 20 points and nine rebounds in the loss to Butler, while Culpepper scored 16 points.

The Greyhounds travel to Albuquerque for an exhibition game against New Mexico on Nov. 3. They open the regular season on Nov. 17 against Western State at Durango, Colo.