Sparkle Taylor poured in 21 points off the bench and Cameasha Turner flirted with a triple-double (13 points, 11 rebounds and eight steals-tied 2nd most program history) to help lead the UTEP women’s basketball team to a thrilling 62-54 come-from-behind win in a nationally-televised contest (FOX Sports Regional Networks) against UAB at the Don Haskins Center Sunday evening.
Trailing 42-36 through three quarters, the Miners (13-1, 4-0 C-USA) found another gear to put together an incredible finish by outscoring UAB, 26-12, down the stretch. Defense was instrumental in the final period, with the Miners forcing nine turnovers that led to 12 points.
The sequence started with a big bang. The Miners ripped off a 16-3 run to grab a 51-45 lead (their first of the game) with 5:10 remaining in regulation. UAB regrouped long enough to get the deficit down to four (53-49) with 3:48 to play but the Orange and Blue blitzed the Blazers with seven straight points to put things out of reach.
“We played hard, this is a gutsy win against a very quality team,” UTEP head coach Keitha Adams said. “We just battled. The great thing is that we kept playing hard, and because we are playing hard we are having success.”
After shooting 28.5 percent (14-49) through three quarters, UTEP caught fire in the fourth. The Miners nailed 69 percent (9-13) of their shots in the final frame, in addition to going 8-10 at the charity stripe.
While the offense took some time to get things going, the defense was stellar throughout the entire tilt. UAB never scored more than 15 points in a quarter and finished at 35.1 percent (20-57) from the floor. The Blazers were harassed into 25 giveaways, including nine alone during the wild fourth quarters.
Jenzel Nash (14 points) buoyed the offensive efforts of Taylor and Turner while Tamara Seda posted seven points (one shy of career high). Turner led the charge on the glass with 11 boards for her first double-double this year. Nash pitched in six rebounds, including five alone at the defensive end.
The Miners’ bench outscored the Blazer back-ups, 32-18, thanks largely to the heroic efforts of Taylor.
Chelsee Black (16 points) and T’erra Lewis (14 poionts) led the charge for the Blazers on offense while Brittany Winborne and Deanna Kuzmanic each pitched in eight points. No one else on the squad had more than four.
UTEP will wrap up its three-game C-USA homestand against UTSA at 1:05 p.m. MST on Jan. 17. It will be the second straight nationally-televised tilt, with American Sports Network carrying the action.
Author: UTEP Athletics