UTPA Media Relations
OREM, Utah – The No. 5 seed University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) men’s basketball team (6-26, 4-8 GWC) advances to the semi-finals of the inaugural Great West Conference (GWC) Basketball Championship, facing the No. 1 University of South Dakota (USD) Coyotes (20-9, 11-1 GWC) Friday, March 12 at 6 p.m. (CT) at the McKay Center on the campus of Utah Valley University.
“We are certainly excited to have the opportunity to compete against USD one more time. They have proven to be best team in Great West Conference night in and night out over course of the conference season. They are also a program with great tradition, history and are extremely well coached,” head coach Ryan Marks said.
USD swept the Broncs in conference play this season by close margins January 30 in Edinburg, Texas 72-71 and last weekend in South Dakota 85-79 OT. The Coyotes hold the series record 2-0, with the teams meeting for the first time this year.
Heading into the tournament, the Broncs came off a split road trip losing to USD and closing the regular season with a win at University of North Dakota.
In the first round of the GWC Tournament, the Broncs defeated Utah Valley University on their home court 56-53 Wednesday evening.
“We’re going to have to play an outstanding game to have the opportunity to win tomorrow. I think it may be in our favor to have a tournament game under our belt already,” Marks said.
The winner of the UTPA-USD game will face the winner of the semi-final game featuring Houston Baptist University and New Jersey Institute of Technology in the GWC Championship game Saturday at 8:30 p.m. (CT).