The UTEP women’s basketball team flexed its muscle at both ends of the court by drilling UTSA, 94-54, at the Don Haskins Center Saturday afternoon.
The 40-point win is the third biggest in a conference game in program history.
“I’m really proud of the way our team played,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “Our team came out and attacked, and really played well. It’s fun to watch them get payoff for all of their hard work. We scored the ball a lot of different ways.”
The Miners (11-5, 4-1 C-USA) came out firing, outpacing the Roadrunners (6-10, 2-3 C-USA) by 27 (55-28) at the half. It marked the largest halftime lead in a league contest at the school. The 55 points over the first 20 minutes tied as the second most in first-half action in program annals.
Aiding in the romp was a 32-point second quarter, which marked the most in a frame against a league foe in school history.
Katarina Zec scored 15 points, Michelle Pruitt posted her first career double-double (12 points, career-high 11 rebounds) and Katia Gallegos dished out a career-best 10 assists to help lead the onslaught. Ariona Gill (11 points) also reached double figures in scoring for the Miners, who have tallied 80+ points in a program-record four consecutive contests.
For the second time in two weeks, the Miners scored 90+ points without having an individual player tally more than 15 points. UTEP also did so in the 96-65 romp of Florida Atlantic (1/4/20). Prior to this season, the feat had never been achieved at the school.
UTEP shot 50.7 percent (37-73) from the floor and piled up its most assists (25) against a DI opponent in six years. Gallegos (10) and Tia Bradshaw (four) both set career highs for helpers. The Miners also got 48 points from their bench to nearly match UTSA’s overall output.
At the other end of the court the Orange and Blue held the Roadrunners to 32.3 percent (21-65) shooting, in addition to forcing 21 turnovers that were converted into 24 points. UTEP crushed UTSA on the boards (53-34), while also having a huge advantage for points in the paint (53-32).
All 12 Miners who played scored at least three points. UTEP improved to 9-3 on the year at home, including a perfect 3-0 in league play. All three of the C-USA victories in El Paso have been by at least 30 points.
The Roadrunners did their best to hang around, trailing the Miners by three (17-14) with two minutes to play in the opening quarter. UTEP responded by peeling off a 32-7 run over the next 10 minutes in the contest, affording it a 28-point cushion (49-21) with 2:31 left in the first half. The visitors never got closer than 25 the rest of the way.
The Miners will continue their three-game homestand by playing host to defending C-USA regular season and tournament champion Rice at 7 p.m. MT on Thursday.
Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.
For complete coverage of UTEP women’s basketball, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPWBB (Twitter), @utepwbb (Instagram) and on Facebook or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics.
Gallery by Ruben R. Ramirez – El Paso Herald Post