It was a chance for the 2017-18 UTEP Miners to stretch their legs, show their skills and have some fun with fans Saturday night at the Don Haskins Center.
The Miners put on a show for the UTEP faithful, running a scrimmage, a slam dunk contest and autograph session. Our very own Andres Acosta was there, and while he didn’t show off his patented Windmill Dunk, he did take his gear and brings you his view of the fun in today’s Story in Many Pics.
Starr Breedlove scored 22 while Cameasha Turner added 19 to help the UTEP women’s basketball team push its winning streak to 10 after downing Louisiana Tech, 86-80, in front of a rowdy 3,157 fans at the Don Haskins Center Saturday afternoon.
Coupled with Middle Tennessee’s (13-7, 7-2 C-USA) 83-75 win over Western Kentucky (17-2, 8-1 C-USA) which had won 14 straight, the Miners (18-1, 9-0 C-USA) are now in sole possession of first place in Conference USA. The Lady Techsters (10-9, 5-3 C-USA) had their four-game winning streak snapped in the process as well.
The effort continues the best start in program history at 18-1 (prior best 14-1) while also keeping the Miners unbeaten at home (12-0). The 12-game winning streak in El Paso is the second longest at the school while the 10-contest overall surge ties as the third best.
“It was a great team win,” UTEP head coach Keitha Adams said. “I thought we played extremely hard and again had another great turnout from El Paso. Our fans were amazing. We hung in there and played tough. Louisiana Tech has a really good team so this was a very good win against a team that has been playing well.”
The Lady Techsters set opponent season highs for points (80) and field-goal percentage (50.0) but the Miners) compensated for that by doing so many other things well.
UTEP committed only five turnovers, which ties as the second fewest in program history, with all of them coming during the first half. The Miners had two miscues in the first quarter and three in the second quarter.
They also won the boards (42-34), aided by 18 offensive rebounds, which led to a 15-4 advantage on second-chance points. Senior Chrishauna Parker was a difference maker in that department with a game-high 10 rebounds, including seven at the offensive end.
UTEP nailed 24-30 (80 percent) at the charity stripe, including 8-10 in the final minute to ice the game.
The Miners led for 30:10 of the contest, including the entire second half. UTEP’s advantage swelled to as many as 10 (75-65, 7:09 fourth quarter) at one point. Sparkle Taylor buoyed the scoring efforts of Turner and Breedlove with 10 points off the bench while Lawna Kennedy and Tamara Seda each added seven.
Louisiana Tech was paced by 22 points from Brandi Wingate, but the prolific scored had only three in the second half with Turner on her. Turner let Wingate connect on only 1-3 in the final 20 minutes. Ashley Santos (14 points), Kierra Anthony (12 points), and Brooke Pumroy (10 points) all hit double figures in scoring for the Lady Techsters as well.
UTEP can’t rest on its laurels, with a demanding week ahead. The Miners will head back out on the road to wrap up a swing of four of six in hostile territory. The stretch starts at Marshall at 4 p.m. MT/6 p.m. ET on Feb.4 before wrapping up at WKU at 1 p.m. MT/2 p.m. CT Feb. 6.