• May 17, 2022
 Panthers pounce on UTEP 75-45 in Miami

Katia Gallegos – photo by Michael Berlfein

Panthers pounce on UTEP 75-45 in Miami

MIAMI, Fl. – FIU led from start to finish in a 72-45 win over UTEP on Saturday afternoon in the Ocean Bank Convocation Center.

The Panthers (11-7, 3-4 Conference USA) jumped out to a lead of 16 after the first 10 minutes and never looked back to hand the Miners (12-7, 4-5 Conference USA) the road loss.

FIU came out playing physical, picking up five quick fouls over the first 2:58 to put UTEP into the bonus. Despite being in the bonus, the Miners faced a 24-5 deficit with 39 seconds left in the first after a 14-0 run by the Panthers.

The Miners struggled from the floor in the first half, going 5-of-28 from the field as FIU took a 38-20 lead into the locker room.

On the other side of the floor, the Panthers started hot, shooting 50 percent from the 3-point line and 13-of-28 from the floor over the first 20 minutes.

Despite struggling to score the ball, UTEP picked up the intensity on the defensive side of the floor, drawing five charges in the second quarter alone.

In the second half, FIU continued to be efficient from the floor while maintaining a lead that never shrunk below 17, as UTEP was held to season lows in points (45) and field goal percentage offense (26.4 percent) while turning the ball over a season-high 25 times.

From the 6:49 mark of the third quarter to the 8:08 mark of the fourth quarter, Katia Gallegos scored 12 consecutive points for the Miners as she was aggressive on the offensive side of the floor, attacking the basket with regularity.

For the game, Gallegos finished with a team-high 23 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the floor, hitting 10-of-12 attempts at the free throw line.

Elina Arike had seven points and a team-high 10 rebounds, helping the Miners win the boards 39-34.

FIU finished the day 26-of-57 (46 percent) from the field and 4-of-14 (29 percent) on 3-pointers. The largest lead for the Panthers was 28 in the fourth quarter.

Four players scored in double figures for FIU, led by the 14 points of Grace Hunter.

The 27-point margin of defeat is the largest for the Miners since a 79-49 loss at home to Middle Tennessee on Jan. 19, 2019.

UTEP returns to the Lonestar State to host North Texas on Thursday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. MT.

The Miners and Mean Green can be heard on the UTEP Miners app with Mando Medina calling the action. The contest will also be covered live on ESPN+.

For all things UTEP Basketball, click here; for our complete coverage of the Miners, click here

Staff Report

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