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Home | Tag Archives: utep basketball (page 3)

Tag Archives: utep basketball

UTEP squares off against Southern Miss on “Senior Day” Saturday

The UTEP women’s basketball team (14-12, 7-8 C-USA) will play host to Southern Miss (14-12, 6-9 C-USA) on “Senior Day” at 1 p.m. MT Saturday.

UTEP is looking to send out its four seniors – Ariona Gill, Neidy Ocuane, Jade Rochelle and Katarina Zec – in style. The quartet will be honored in a pre-game ceremony Saturday.

“Southern Mississippi is arguably the hottest team in Conference USA. They have been winning as of late and are playing a little bit of a different style from when we played them last time. Both of us are playing some good basketball this time of year so we believe it is going to be a great game,” head coach Kevin Baker said. “There is a lot on the line for this game, so we know that they will bring a lot of good energy to the Haskins Center. We hope to see a big crowd as we hope to send our seniors off in style.”

UTEP is 11-6 at home (5-3 C-USA), while Southern Miss is 5-5 on the road (4-3 C-USA). UTEP is alone in seventh place in the league standings at 7-8, while Southern Miss is one game back in a tie for eighth place at 6-9.

The Miners knocked off USM, 89-72, in Hattiesburg, Miss., on Jan. 9, and are in search of a season sweep.  UTEP is 2-0 on “Senior Day” under Kevin Baker.

As for team performance, Ariona Gill has hit double figures in scoring in eight straight games, and she is averaging 17.6 ppg and 10.4 rpg in the stretch.

Katia Gallegos has the fourth-most assists (127) by a Miner freshman, Shalana Taylor (142 assists, 2004-05) holds the Miner freshman record in a year, followed by Jareica Hughes (137 assists, 2006-07) and Kelli Willingham (128 assists, 2010-11)

Regardless of class, Gallegos is 10th on the UTEP single-season list, she needs two helpers to move into ninth, four to take over eighth, and 11 to vault up to seventh

After Southern Miss, UTEP will venture to preseason favorite Rice for a 6 p.m. MT/7 p.m. CT tip-off on March 5. The game is part of a season-closing stretch with five of seven on the road. The Miners will then wrap up the regular season at North Texas at 6 p.m. MT/7 p.m. CT on March 7.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.

The contest will be streamed by CUSA.tv (subscription based). It will also be broadcast locally in El Paso on 600 ESPN El Paso with Duke Keith and Traci Miller on the call.

C-USA announces UTEP’s Daryl Edwards Player of the Week

DALLAS – Conference USA took notice of Daryl Edwards’ performance in the Haskins Center on Saturday night, awarding him the Conference USA Player of the Week presented by Top of the World Monday afternoon.

Edward poured in a career-high 34 points on 8-of-12 shooting from downtown, as the Fresno, California, product rallied his squad from 19 points down and spearheaded the Miners to a 68-62 victory.

To go along with his 34 points, Edwards dished out three assists, recorded a blocked shot and a steal, helping UTEP snap a five-game skid. The graduate transfer’s eight treys were a career best, while his 11 made field goals were also a career high.

Edwards’s efforts rallied the Miners from 19 points down at the 15:50 mark of the second half. With UTEP down 44-25, Edwards capped a 19-0 run with a three-point bucket that tied the contest at 44. Edwards accounted for 12 of the 19 points, while hitting three consecutive treys during that span. Edwards scored 24 of his 34 points on 6-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc during the second half as UTEP outscored Rice, 49-30.

Edwards hit a three at the 4:39 mark, putting the Miners up 57-53. The Miners built that into a 10-point lead and controlled the game from there.

Overall, it’s the fourth C-USA Player of the Week during the 2019-20 season. Fellow Fresno native Bryson Williams has earned three player of the week honors this season.

UTEP will host Southern Miss on Sunday, March 1 during ‘Senior Day’. The Miners and Golden Eagles will tipoff at 2 p.m. in the Haskins Center.

Video+Gallery+Story: UTEP rallies to fry Rice 68-62

Daryl Edwards poured in a career-high 34 points, while Souley Boum dished out a career-best seven assists and scored 16 points as the pair rallied UTEP from 19 points down to defeat Rice 68-62 on Saturday night in the Haskins Center.

“Daryl played hard,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “He stepped up really big and he guarded hard. He was a really good leader for us as well down the stretch. I’m happy for what he was able to do for us tonight.”

The Miners (14-14, 5-10 Conference USA) snapped a five-game losing skid after outscoring the Owls (13-15, 5-10 C-USA), 49-30, in the second half. UTEP also shot 64.3 percent (9-14) from downtown during the big second half. Edwards and Boum combined for 50 points as each played the entire 40 minutes.

After trailing 44-25 with 15:50 to go in the game, Jordan Lathon sunk a three-point basket that started a 19-0 run. Edwards capped the big scoring run, draining a three at the 11:34 mark to tie the game at 44. At one point during the run, UTEP hit five consecutive threes and scored 16 points on five straight possessions.

Following Lathon’s trey at the 15:28 mark, his second of the game, Edwards buried three in a row – the first at 15:06, the second at 14:19 and the third with 13:57 to play. On the fifth possession, Boum ignited Miner Nation with a four-point play, his second of the season, that pulled in the Miners within three points (44-41) with 13:16 to play.

“We have a lot of respect for Rice and Scott [Pera] for what he does,” Terry said. “[Rice] had been shooting the ball really well and they beat some good teams down the stretch in conference play. We knew we had to play a very competitive game and compete at a very high level. We didn’t get off to the kind of start we wanted in the first half. But at halftime we said keep working. It’s a long game with a lot of time left. We have to put together some consecutive stops and then come down and get into a rhythm on offense. We did a nice job of that.”

Rice’s Drew Peterson connected on two free throws, giving the Owls a four-point edge (48-44) with 8:30 to play. UTEP used another run, this time a 6-1 spurt to take a 50-49 lead, its first since the 12:43 mark in the first half, after another Edwards’s three with 6:55 to play.

“We play through Big B [Bryson Williams] who got into foul trouble. We needed some scoring on the court and coach told me to be aggressive with the scoring,” Edwards said. “I was driving, kicking out and make plays. I just tried to score to the best of my ability.”

After trading baskets with just over six minutes to play, Boum connected on a pair of free throws, giving the Miners the go-ahead 54-53 lead. Edwards followed those with his eighth three-point bucket of the night, a career high, and Boum hit his second three that gave their squad a 60-53 lead with 3:57 to play.

Boum built the lead up to a game-high 10 points after sinking a pair from the foul line with 2:50 to play. Rice came as close as four points after Trey Murphy III banked a three off the glass with eight seconds to play. Williams capped the victory with a pair of free throws and finished 4-for-6 from the foul line with 35 seconds remaining in the game.

Williams was the third Miner in double figures with 10 points and pulled down six boards. Lathon scored eight points and led the Miners with seven boards. Lathon snapped a 0-for-26 slump from three-point range after making his first at the 12:43 mark in the first half. It was his first trey in league play and first since Christmas Day.

Tydus Verhoeven, who recorded three rebounds and an assist, played 22 minutes in his second consecutive start, while playing a big role on the defensive side. Eric Vila tallied four rebounds and a steal, while Kaden Archie had three boards and a steal, and Deon Stroud two rebounds off the bench.

Edwards added three assists, a steal and a blocked shot, while shooting 11-for-22 from the field overall, and 8-of-12 from beyond the arc. Boum added six rebounds and a steal to his stat line.

Peterson led the Owls with 18 points, while Josh Parrish recorded a double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds). Murphy III added 13 points and Robert Martin followed with 10 points.

The Owls outrebounded the Miners, 45-38, that including 17 offensive rebounds. However, UTEP only turned the ball nine times, while dishing out 15 assists.

UTEP made a season-high 12 threes in C-USA action.

UTEP will host Southern Miss on Sunday, March 1 on ‘Senior Day’. The Miners and Golden Eagles will tipoff at 2 p.m. in the Haskins Center as seniors Ountae Campbell, Isaiah ‘Juice’ Rhyanes, and Edwards, a graduate student, will all be honored Sunday afternoon.

Fans can tune into UTEP’s flagship station 600 ESPN El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher and Steve Yellen calling the action. The contest will be streamed on CUSA.tv.

Gallery by Ruben R. Ramirez – El Paso Herald Post

Gallery+Story: UTEP falls To Middle Tennessee 92-80

Seniors Katarina Zec and Ariona Gill each scored 16 points to pace a quintet of players in double figures, but Middle Tennessee used a barrage of 3-pointers and drives to the basket to slip past UTEP, 92-80, at the Don Haskins Center Saturday afternoon.

The Miners (14-12, 7-8 C-USA) led by nine (15-6) early on in the contest, but once the Lady Raiders (18-9, 10-5 C-USA heated up the visitors were able to come back to spoil UTEP’s upset bid. MT nailed 12 three pointers, compared to four from UTEP, while shooting 47.8 percent overall (32-67) to shoot past the Orange and Blue.

UTEP was a solid 41.4 percent (29-70) from the floor, but just 4-19 (21.1 percent) from 3-point range. UTEP tried to compensate for that by winning the boards (44-41) and forcing 19 turnovers, but MT’s fire power was too much.

Anastasia Hayes (24 points) Aislynn Hayes (20 points), Alexis Whittington (20 points) and Taylor Sutton (15 points) combined for 79 points to lead the way for the visitors. Whittington did the majority of her damage from 3-point range, connecting on six of the team’s 12 treys.

Yet in spite of that, the Orange and Blue trailed by four (81-77) with 4:38 remaining in regulation after a jumper from Zec. MT responded by closing the contest on an 11-3 run to stem UTEP’s rally bid.

Freshman Katia Gallegos filled up the stat sheet with 10 points, seven assists and six rebounds while Avery Crouse (13 points) and Sabine Lipe (11 points) also hit double figures in scoring.

Gill led the charge on the boards with a game-high tying nine rebounds, while Gallegos and Zec each secured six. UTEP did a solid job at the free-throw line by nailing 78.3 percent (18-23).

“I thought we played well today against a very, very good Middle Tennessee team,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “We simply could not slow them down. We could not stay in front of them. Their penetration really hurt us. We’ve got to do a better job guarding.”

After the two sides traded 5-0 runs to start the contest, UTEP unleashed a 10-1 surge to lead by nine (15-6) with 3:38 left in the opening frame. MT countered by wrapping a 18-4 run around  the quarter break to vault out by five (24-19) with 7:08 left in the first half.

The Orange and Blue had an answer, striking back to regain the lead by one (34-33) late in the stanza, only to have MT use a 9-2 sequence to go into the locker room up by six (42-36).

UTEP responded in the third quarter, fighting all the way back to pull even at 56 with 2:35 to play in the frame. MT regrouped and was able to reinstate a six-point cushion (66-60) through 30 minutes of action. The Miners continued to battle down the stretch, but both times they cut it to three in the fourth quarter Whittington nailed a 3-pointer.

UTEP then inched within four only to have the visitors go on a game-closing 11-3 push.

“We’ll fight on,” Baker said. “I’m more pleased than I am displeased. For the most part, we played well enough to win.”

UTEP will be idle for a week before playing host to Southern Miss on “Senior Day” at 1 p.m. MT on Feb. 29.

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

UTEP rolls To 85-59 win at UTSA

SAN ANTONIO – Avery Crouse poured in a career-high 21 points, Ariona Gill posted a monstrous double-double (17 points, 18 rebounds), and Katia Gallegos (17 points, seven rebounds, seven assists) and Michelle Pruitt (14 points) also got after it as UTEP used a huge fourth quarter to post a convincing 85-59 win at UTSA Thursday evening.

Gill’s 18 boards are the second most in a road game by a Miner, in addition to tying as the fifth-highest total ever in program history.

The Miners (14-11, 7-7 C-USA) led by four (56-52) after 30 minutes of action before outscoring the Roadrunners (6-19, 2-12 C-USA) 29-7 in the fourth quarter to cruise to the road victory and get back to even in league play.

UTEP won the boards (46-36), forced 22 turnovers that led to 28 points, piled up 56 points in the paint and shot a solid 45.0 percent (36-80). UTSA was a respectable 40.7 percent (22-54) from the floor, but it was held to just 20 percent shooting during the decisive final frame. Conversely, the Orange and Blue connected on 65 percent (13-20) over the final 10 minutes of action.

“Our team kept battling and everything kind of fell in place in the fourth quarter,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “We finally killed their momentum offensively, and we kind of took over with what we do on offense on our end.”

UTEP shared the ball effectively by piling up 20 assists while committing only eight turnovers. Gallegos keyed the charge with seven helpers, while Katarina Zec dished out a quartet of assists and Crouse added three. The Miners piled up 22 offensive boards, with 10 of Gill’s career-best 18 rebounds coming at that end.

UTEP used a jumper by Zec and a triple from Crouse to vault out to a 5-0 lead one minute into the contest. The Roadrunners struck back with a 9-2 push to take the lead, but UTEP had a response. It came in the form of a 9-0 run, with five from Gallegos, to propel the Miners out by seven (16-9) with 2:35 to play in the opening quarter.

The differential was eight (21-13) late in the quarter before UTSA scored five straight to cut the Miners’ lead to three (21-18) at the end of the first quarter.

It was a similar story in the second quarter, with UTEP pushing the lead out to seven on numerous occasions, only to have the Roadrunners do just enough to hang around. After a Sabine Lipe jumper with 3:44 to play that made it 35-28 in favor of the Miners, UTSA closed the half with a little 6-2 push to trim the UTEP margin to three (37-34) heading into the locker room.

The two sides traded scores in the third quarter, and the differential was four (56-52) going into the final quarter of play. UTSA aspired to rally, but the Orange and Blue snuffed that out by dominating all facets of the game on the way to outscoring the home side by 22 (29-7) over the final 10 minutes.

The 29 points in the fourth quarter marked the second-highest scoring fourth quarter at the school.

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.

UTEP Men’s Hoops hosts Rice on Saturday at the Don

UTEP men’s basketball opens Conference USA “Bonus Play” against Rice on Saturday, February 22.

Saturday’s contest is part of a doubleheader as the UTEP women’s squad hosts Middle Tennessee at 1 p.m., while the Miners and Owls are set to tipoff at 5 p.m. in the Haskins Center.

The Miners (13-14, 4-10 C-USA), who are the no. 13 seed, are looking to halt a five-game losing streak, while the no. 12-seeded Owls (13-14, 5-9 C-USA) have won four of their last five contests. UTEP’s last victory came on Jan. 30 during a 67-66 win against Middle Tennessee in the Haskins Center, while Rice is coming off a 70-54 victory against Charlotte in Tudor Fieldhouse on Feb. 15.

The last meeting came on Jan. 23, as the Miners chalked up their first road win in over a year, defeating the Owls, 72-64, in Tudor Fieldhouse. Souley Boum scored a career-high 27 points, and Daryl Edwards followed with 22 points, while the duo scored 13 of the Miners’ final 14 points.

UTEP recently fell to Marshall, 71-61, on Feb. 15 in the El Paso. The Miners, down 3-0 early, reeled off 11 consecutive points to take an eight-point advantage. But the Thundering Herd used a 13-2 run to go up 16-13 and never looked back.

Bryson Williams tied the game at 16 after hitting a three-point bucket, but Marshall hit a pair of threes as part of an 8-0 run to take a 24-16 lead at the 6:21 mark. The Miners scored the next six points that was capped by a Jordan Lathon jumper to get within a pair (24-22), but the Thundering Herd used their hot three-point shooting by hitting three more down the stretch to take a 36-26 lead into the locker room.

Overall, Marshall went 9-for-18 from beyond the arc in the first half.

Williams led the way with 23 points against Marshall, his most point total since scoring 26 points against UAB on Feb. 1. Boum recorded his first career double-double after pulling down a career-high 10 rebounds and chipping in with 12 points. Edwards tallied 14 points.

Williams ranks no. 3 in C-USA in scoring (18.6 points per game), while ranking sixth in rebounding (7.1 rpg). Lathon is averaging 2.8 assists per game, ranking 14th in the league, while Boum ranks second in free-throw percentage (87.8).

Drew Peterson led Rice with 16 points off the bench, while Robert Martin (15 points) and Ako Adams (14) also reached double figures, leading the Owls past Charlotte, 70-54, on Feb. 15. Pearson filled the stat sheet, leading Rice with seven rebounds and six assists.

The Owls’ last loss came against Old Dominion, 73-70, on Feb. 13 following a three-game win streak. On Feb. 1, Rice used a 15-for-28 performance from three-point range to down North Texas, 84-75. Rice followed with an 86-72 victory at UAB on Feb. 6, and a 91-83 shootout at Middle Tennessee on Feb. 8.

Trey Murphy III leads the way at 13.3 points per game, while Adams (11.5 ppg), Martin (11.5 ppg) and Peterson (10.1 ppg) each average double-figures. Peterson also paces his squad in assists (91) and rebounding (6.5 rpg).

The Owls rank no. 1 in C-USA and sixth nationally in three-point field goal attempts (781), and first the league in three-point field goals made per game (9.9) and total three-point field goals made (268).

Fans can listen live on UTEP’s flagship station 600 ESPN El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher calling play-by-play and former UTEP basketball player Steve Yellen providing color analysis. The contest will also be streamed on CUSA.tv.

Single-game tickets are available by calling (915) 747-5234 or by going online.

C-USA Bonus Play announced: UTEP to Host Rice, Southern Miss

Conference USA announced its “Bonus Play” schedule as the UTEP men’s basketball team will host Rice on Saturday, February 22 (5 p.m.) and Southern Miss on Sunday, March 1 (2 p.m.).

The Miners will hit the road to play at Middle Tennessee on Wednesday, March 4, and will finish out the regular season at Rice on Saturday, March 7.

Both of UTEP’s home contests will be streamed on CUSA.tv, while its game at Middle Tennessee will be streamed on ESPN3, and at Rice on CUSA.tv.

Fans can listen to all four games live on UTEP’s flagship station 600 ESPN El Paso.

UTEP went a combined 3-0 against the trio of teams this season. The Miners used a 34-for-37 effort from the free-throw line to defeat Southern Miss, 76-64, on Jan. 9 in the Haskins Center. UTEP won at Rice, 72-64, for its first road win in over a year on Jan. 23 behind a career-high 27 points from Souley Boum and 22 points from Daryl Edwards.

The Orange and Blue edged out Middle Tennessee, 67-66, on Jan. 30 in the Haskins Center as Bryson Williams (28 points, 10 rebounds) recorded his fifth double-double of the season.

Southern Miss (5-9) finished as the top seed (11th overall) in the third pod, while Rice (5-9) is the 12th seed, UTEP (4-10) at 13th and MT is the 14th seed. The Golden Eagles defeated the Owls, 81-68, in Hattiesburg on Jan. 18.

UTEP 2019-20 BONUS PLAY SCHEDULE

Date                            Opponent/Stream                             Time                            Location

Sat., Feb. 22                Rice [CUSA.tv]                                     5:00 p.m.                     Don Haskins Center

Sun. March 1               Southern Miss [CUSA.tv]                     2:00 p.m.                     Don Haskins Center

Wed., March 4            at Middle Tennessee [ESPN3]             5:30 p.m. MT              Murfreesboro, Tn.

Sat., March 7               at Rice [CUSA.tv]                                 4:00 p.m. MT              Houston, Texas

Video+Gallery+Story: Marshall takes down Miners at the Don 71-61

Bryson Williams scored a game-high 23 points, while Souley Boum recorded his first career double-double (12 points) on a career-high 10 rebounds, but Marshall, which entered the contest averaging 7.1 three-pointers per game, hit 12 from beyond the arc to defeat UTEP, 71-61, on Saturday afternoon in the Haskins Center.

“I give Marshall credit for coming in and doing things it does very well. They’re a really good shooting team and rebounds the ball well,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “I thought our guys had great urgency early in the game. But we had not-so-stellar play from our guards in terms of not making great decisions with the ball, which quickly turned the game around the other way.”

The Miners (13-14, 4-10 Conference USA) shot 35.0 percent and fell under .500 for the first time this season, while losing their fifth consecutive game.

The Thundering Herd (13-14, 7-7 C-USA) evened their league mark, as their bench outscored UTEP, 31-3. Marshall shot 42.4 percent (25-59), including 38.7 percent from three-point distance.

UTEP took an early 11-3 lead at the 14:10 mark, but Marshall answered with a 13-0 run and never looked back.

For Williams, it was his highest point total since Feb. 1 (26 points vs. UAB) in 39 minutes of action. Daryl Edwards tallied 14 points in 39 minutes, while Tydus Verhoeven, who made his first start since Christmas Day, tallied a season-high five rebounds, a career-tying four steals and four points.

Boum played all 40 minutes, shooting 3-for-12 from the field and 5-of-6 from the foul line.

UTEP was down by as many as 13 points (48-35 at the 14:29 mark), but cut the deficit to seven points on a pair of occasions with under 9:34 to play and got within six points early in the second half.

The first half was a game of runs. The Miners, after being down 3-0, scored 11 consecutive points. Marshall answered that with a 13-0 run to take a 16-11 lead. UTEP scored the next five points to tie contest at 16, while the Herd put up five-consecutive of their own for a 21-16 lead.

After trading buckets, Jordan Lathon hit a midrange jumper to get the Miners within two points, 24-22. But Marshall used a 12-4 rundown the stretch to take a 36-26 halftime lead.

The Thundering Herd hit 50.0 percent (9-18) of their three-pointers in the first half, as Mikel Byers went 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.

Beyers led Marshall with 18 points off the bench, while Jannson Williams tallied 14 points and Taevion Kinsley followed with 11 points. Jarrod West dished out a game-high eight assists, while recording six rebounds and five points.

Up next,  UTEP find out its next four games as the league will make the “Bonus Play” schedule official on Sunday. The Miners, along with Southern Miss (5-9), Rice (5-9) and Middle Tennessee are the bottom four teams.

Gallery by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta – Chief Photographer – El Paso Herald Post

UTEP falls at Marshall 76-66

HUNTINGTON, W. Va. – Ariona Gill (21 points, eight boards) had another big day, but UTEP was tripped up at Marshall, 76-66, Saturday afternoon.

The Miners (13-11, 6-7 C-USA) shot 39.3 percent from the floor, won the boards (35-27) and took decent care of the ball (15 turnovers) only to have the Thundering Herd (11-13, 6-7 C-USA) overcome that with hot shooting.

MU nailed 55.1 percent from the floor, including 11-24 (45.8 percent) from 3-point range. The Thundering Herd had entered the contest last in C-USA in field-goal percentage (.362), but managed to get going on all aspects Saturday.

It spoiled the effort by Gill, who hit double figures in scoring for the sixth straight contest. She was buoyed by the all-around effort of Katia Gallegos (12 points, five rebounds, five assists). Katarina Zec (12 points, five boards) also got after it, while Avery Crouse pitched in seven points and four helpers.

“It was a really frustrating day,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “It was a very winnable game for us, but we just didn’t come out of the gates well. We missed nine lay-ups in the first quarter, and on the road that’s just too hard to overcome.”

MU plated four in double figures, with Kristen Mayo (17 points) leading the way for the home side. UTEP had an 18-4 margin in second-chance points, in addition to advantages in points in the paint (30-26) and points off turnovers (17-12), but it wasn’t enough to offset the Thundering Herd.

Marshall opened up the contest on a 7-2 run over the first four minutes, but UTEP showed some grit by countering with a 7-0 surge to take its first lead of the game. Gallegos had five of the seven points in the sequence. MU responded with eight in a row to close the quarter, putting UTEP down by six (15-9) through 10 minutes of action.

The Miners unleashed another 7-0 run at the onset of the second quarter to go back ahead at 16-15 with 7:32 left in the half. A little 10-4 push by MU allowed it to regain the lead, with UTEP settling for a manageable 3-point deficit (31-28) heading into the locker room.

It was back-and-forth over the first couple of minutes of the third quarter before an 18-7 surge by Marshall put UTEP down by 13 (52-39) with 52 seconds remaining in the frame. Michelle Pruitt did wonders to come up with a loose ball from a missed shot to bank home a lay-up, bringing the Miners within 11 (52-41) heading to the fourth quarter.

UTEP continued to play hard the rest of the way, but it couldn’t get closer than nine down the stretch.

The Miners will conclude a stretch of three straight road contests when they play at UTSA at 6 p.m. MT/7 p.m. CT on Thursday.

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.

Video+Gallery+Story: Western Kentucky stops Miners at home 67-62

Souley Boum scored a game-high 21 points, while adding eight rebounds and three assists, but WKU (17-8, 10-3 Conference USA) hit big shots down the stretch, sending UTEP (13-13, 4-9 C-USA) to its fourth consecutive loss, 67-62, on Thursday night in the Haskins Center.

“We felt like our defense had a chance to win this game for us tonight and we had to play with urgency from start to finish,” second-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said.  “I thought we did a fairly decent job with urgency, but early on part of our defensive problems were transition defense. [WKU] really pushed the ball in transition. I thought we had good effort, but we have to finish out games and finish out possessions, especially on the defensive part on the floor. We got to keep working and buy into the defensive part of 40 minutes.”

Boum completed a three-point play after making a free throw and getting the Miners within a point (57-56) at the 3:34 mark. But Jordan Rawls made his only three-point shot of the game that put WKU up four points (60-56) with 2:41 left in the game.

Bryson Williams got the Miners within three points (61-58) after connecting on a layup off of one of Jordan Lathon’s five assists, but Taveion Hollingsworth, who led WKU with 18 points, answered with a three-point play that put his squad up 64-58 with just over a minute remaining in the contest.

Williams connected his second basket, a layup off another Lathon dime to make the count, 64-60, but Hollingsworth scored WKU’s last seven points and came up with another big basket with 31 seconds remaining to go up six points.

Williams tallied a season-high four assists, tying his collegiate career high. He added 13 points with eight rebounds and two steals. Daryl Edwards chipped in with 10 points as it was the first time in 11 games that a trio of Miners hit double figures. Lathon led the Miners in assists, steals (three) and blocked shots (two).

Anthony Tarke made his first start since Jan. 2, contributing with five rebounds, two points and a pair of assists in 14 minutes of action. Tydus Verhoeven matching his season high with four points, while recording two rebounds, a blocked shot and a steal. Deon Stroud played 13 minutes, scoring six points.

WKU had four players in double digits led by Hollingsworth. Jared Savage (14 points), Carson Williams (13) and Camron Justice (11) were the other three Hilltoppers to top double figures. Savage led with nine boards

Overall, WKU outrebounded UTEP, 37-34, but the Miners won in the paint (36-24) for the first time in three games. UTEP shot 41.0 percent (25-61), but a measly 14.8 (4-27) from the three-point line. WKU shot 42.3 percent (22-52) from the field, including 9-for-21 from beyond the arc.

In the first half, WKU built a 13-point lead (26-13) with 5:21 left in the first period. After being down 30-17, the Miners used a 12-0 run to get back in the ball game and get within a point (30-29).

WKU ended the half with a pair of made free throws by Hollingsworth to take a 32-29 lead into the locker room.

UTEP continued its fighting effort in the second half, taking a 35-32 lead after Boum hit a pair from the foul line. But WKU went on a 9-0 run and took a 41-35 lead at the 14:26 mark.

The Miners kept battling, getting within a point (50-49) after an Edwards layup at the 6:17 mark, while Williams hit a jumper to make the count 52-51 with 5:16 remaining. But Savage answered Williams’s bucket with a three-pointer.

Up next,  UTEP will host Marshall on Saturday, February 15. The Miners and Thundering Herd will tipoff at 2 p.m., while the game can be heard on UTEP’s flagship station 600 ESPN El Paso with “The Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher and Steve Yellen calling the action. The game will be streamed on ESPN+ with Duke Keith and Leonard Owens on the mic.

Gallery by Andres “Ace” Acosta – Chief Photographer | Ruben R. Ramirez – El Paso Herald Post | Video by UTEP

UTEP’s rally comes up short at WKU 78-65

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Ariona Gill (19 points) and Michelle Pruitt (career-high 17 points) both had big scoring nights, but UTEP’s valiant comeback bid fell short in a 78-65 setback at WKU Thursday night.

“We dug ourselves way too big of a hole early,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “This team being this team, they fight back to get within five points in the fourth quarter. We expend too much energy, and we can’t get all the way back. The lights are pretty bright for our young kids early, but when they get in the flow of it they’re fine.”

The Miners (13-10, 6-6 C-USA) trailed by 27 (44-17) with 3:29 to play in the first half, but they made the Lady Toppers (17-7, 9-3 C-USA) sweat by fighting back to get within five (66-61) with 2:45 remaining in regulation. Included in that was an 11-0 run to close the first half, setting the stage for the second half.

The Orange and Blue couldn’t complete the rally, with WKU doing just enough to hold on for the win.

Pruitt was a perfect 8-8 from the floor to post the seventh contest in program history with 100.0 percent shooting percentage (min. seven attempts).Gallegos added nine points, seven boards and four assists, while Zec had seven points and seven rebounds. Sabine Lipe pitched in seven points and four assists.

UTEP shook off a sluggish start to connect on 50.0 percent (28-56) from the floor, but it was hindered by committing 19 turnovers that led to 23 points for the home side.

WKU opened up the game by making 57.9 percent (11-19) to lead by 15 (26-11) through 10 minutes of action. UTEP held the Lady Toppers to below 40 percent in each of the final three frames, but WKU still finished at  42.9 percent (30-70) from the floor. It also did a good job against UTEP’s vaunted press, with the Orange and Blue forcing 12 giveaways.

UTEP was aggressive in getting to the hole, piling up 52 points in the paint compared to 36 by WKU. But ultimately the slow start to the game proved too much to overcome for Baker’s charges.

“These kids play their hearts out and they come up short because they dig themselves too much of a hole early,” Baker said. “It’s happening time and time again, and we’ve got to do something (different).”

There was lots of scoring early on, with the Miners trailing by two (9-7) three minutes into the contest. WKU ripped off 12 straight as part of a game-altering 35-10 run to put UTEP down by 27 (44-17) with 3:29 remaining in the first half.

The Miners battled back by closing the half on an 11-0 surge to cut the deficit to 16 (44-28) heading to the locker room.

UTEP kept chipping away at the margin after the break, working within 11 (58-47) after 30 minutes of action. The Lady Toppers knocked down a triple early in the fourth quarter to go up by 14 (61-47), but UTEP responded by peeling off seven straight points to climb within seven (61-54).

After WKU pushed it back out to 10 points, the Orange and Blue scored five in a row to clip the margin to five. It remained a five-point differential (66-61) with 2:45 left, but UTEP was unable to get any closer.

The Miners will continue a stretch of three straight on the road by playing at Marshall at 11 a.m. MT/1 p.m. ET on Saturday. The game will be streamed on CUSA.tv. It will also be broadcast locally in El Paso on 600 ESPN El Paso with Brandon Cohn on the call.

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.

UTEP To open three-game roadswing at WKU Thursday

The UTEP women’s basketball team (13-9, 6-5 C-USA) will play the first of three straight road games when it locks up with streaking WKU (16-6, 8-3 C-USA) at 5 p.m. MT/6 p.m. CT Thursday.

The Lady Toppers have won six straight and eight of nine, including an 81-65 victory at Southern Miss on February 8. The Miners were clipped by second-place Old Dominion, 77-69, on February 8, and have dropped three of the past four. WKU is undefeated at home (8-0, 4-0 C-USA), while UTEP is 2-4 on the road (1-3 C-USA).

The contest kicks off a season-closing stretch with five of seven contests on the road for the Miners.

“Western Kentucky is one of the hottest teams in our conference. They have won a bunch of games in a row. The bigger challenge for us will be playing at a high level on the road,” head coach Kevin Baker shared. “We did not play as well as we can on our last road trip, and we would really like to change that. We are capable of beating any team in C-USA no matter where we play. But we will need to prove that.”

WKU is alone in third place in C-USA at 8-3 in league action while UTEP owns a share of sixth place with Charlotte at 6-5. The Miners do have the tiebreaker against the 49ers.

Both UTEP (19.8) and WKU (19.0) rank 1-2 in the league for turnovers forced per game and also go 2-3 in C-USA for points per game. UTEP is making its first trip to Bowling Green in four years, and just the second since the Lady Toppers joined the league.

WKU is unbeaten at home (8-0), while UTEP is 2-4 on the road.

UTEP’s Katia Gallegos (4.7 apg, 104 total assists) and WKU’s Whitney Creech (4.7 apg, 103 total assists) are practically tied for first place in the league for assists; while WKU has three of the top-10 scorers in the league.  For the Miners, Katarina Zec is five field goals short of taking over 10th on the UTEP career list.

The contest will be streamed by CUSA.tv (subscription based). It will also be streamed through the 600 ESPN El Paso website with Brandon Cohn on the call.

Gallery+Story: UTEP Clipped By Old Dominion 77-68

Katarina Zec poured in a career-high tying 22 points and Ariona Gill (13 points, nine boards) and Katia Gallegos (11 points, seven assists, six rebounds) also got after it, but UTEP was tripped up by Old Dominion, 77-68, at the Don Haskins Center Saturday afternoon.

“I thought we played really well today,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “I’m proud of our team and glad we put ourselves in a position to win the game against a team that is 20-3 and has won nine straight. We’re just not quite there yet. I love this team and how we battled.”

It was a back-and-forth contest with seven lead changes and eight ties. The Miners (13-9, 6-5 C-USA) led by three (60-57) with 7:55 to play before the Monarchs (20-3, 10-1 C-USA) scored six straight to put UTEP down by three (63-60).

UTEP continued to battle but could not pull back ahead, with the Monarchs making enough plays down the stretch to hold off the Orange and Blue.

Sabine Lipe pitched in eight points in her second straight start, while Ariana Taylor provided a boost from the bench with six points and six rebounds. But it was Zec who stole the show for the home side, particularly over the first 10 minutes. Zec tallied 16 points, the second most in a frame in UTEP history, by going 6-7 from the floor (3-3 on triples) in the first quarter.

UTEP shot 39.3 percent (24-61) from the floor and had 15 assists to 13 turnovers. The Miners also won the boards (42-41), but the Monarchs overcame that. Victoria Morris and Amari Young each scored 23 points to pace a trio of players in double figures for ODU. Morris was deadly from distance with seven triples, including two during the fourth quarter.

The game was tied, 40-40, through 20 minutes of action and ODU led by just one (55-54) after three quarters of play. Four straight points for Gallegos afforded UTEP a 58-55 advantage at 8:33. It remained a 3-point cushion (60-57) with 7:55 left before consecutive triples by Morris propelled ODU back into the lead.

UTEP got a bucket from Jade Rochelle to stop the surge, and it trailed by two (67-65) after a jumper from Gill in the paint. The Miners could get no closer, though, with six straight points by the visitors dropping UTEP into an eight-point deficit (73-65) with 2:50 remaining.

The Miners didn’t get closer than six from that point.

UTEP will head cross country to lock up with WKU at 5 p.m. MT/6 p.m. CT on Thursday.

The game will be the first of three in a row on the road for the Orange and Blue, who will also play at Marshall (11 a.m. MT/1 p.m. ETC) on Feb. 15 and at UTSA at 6 p.m. MT/7 p.m. CT on Feb. 20.

Gallery by Ruben R. Ramirez – El Paso Herald Post

UTEP hosts Old Dominion on National Girls & Women In Sports Day Saturday

The UTEP women’s basketball team (13-8, 6-4 C-USA) will vie for its second straight win when it plays host to streaking and second-place Old Dominion (19-3, 9-1 C-USA) at 1 p.m. MT Saturday. 

UTEP enters Saturday’s match-up alone in sixth place in the league at 6-4, while ODU sits in second place with a 9-1 C-USA mark. UTEP is 11-4 at home (5-1 C-USA). ODU is 7-3 on the road (4-1 C-USA).

“Old Dominion is a really good team. They’re really good with what they do in their dribble-drive stuff. They’re pretty solid defensively, and they’re right up there with Rice in the standings. They’re one game out. We’re playing a really good opponent,” head coach Kevin Baker shares.

“It should be a great game. We’re playing a little better basketball now than we were then (against Rice). We took a step back on the road, but I thought the game against Charlotte was a little more indicative of who we really are. If we’ll continue to play like that, I think we can compete with anybody.”

 The Miners snapped a two-game skid by outlasting Charlotte, 82-76, in OT on Feb. 6. The Lady Monarchs have won eight straight and 12 of the past 13, including most recently derailing UTSA, 62-43, on the road on Feb. 6.

ODU is making its first trip to the Don Haskins Center in four years and second all-time since joining the league. The Lady Monarchs are 4-1 on the road in C-USA contests, but UTEP is 5-1 at home in league tilts.

After making the trek to Norfolk, Va., for five of the first six years since Old Dominion joined Conference USA, the Lady Monarchs are venturing to El Paso for the lone meeting between the programs during the 2019-20 season.

UTEP bested ODU, 70-64, on Feb. 25, 2016, in its only prior trip to the Sun City. Overall ODU leads the series, 7-2, which is aided by a mark of 4-1 at home. ODU has won five straight in the series (3-0 in Norfolk, 2-0 C-USA Championships).

ODU claimed the first meeting between the programs, a neutral-site contest (77-71), back on Feb. 24, 1989, and the two programs did not meet again until the Lady Monarchs joined C-USA. 

Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234. There will be a post-game autograph session in the concourse with various UTEP women’s teams as part of the celebration of National Girls & Women In Sports Day.

The contest will be streamed on CUSA.tv (subscription based). It will also be broadcast locally on 600 ESPN El Paso with Brandon Cohn and Traci Miller describing the action.

Gallery+Story: Miners top Charlotte in OT 82-76; Zec joins UTEP 1k Points Club

Ariona Gill posted a monstrous double-double (career-high 25 points, career-high tying 14 rebounds), Katarina Zec scored 13 points to surpass 1,000 career points and Katia Gallegos (13 points) and Sabine Lipe (career-best 12 points) also hit double figures in scoring as UTEP outlasted Charlotte, 82-76, in overtime at the Don Haskins Center Thursday evening.

The Miners (13-8, 6-4 C-USA) raced out to a 17-point (38-21) first-half lead only to have the 49ers (14-7, 5-5 C-USA) strike back to take a four-point advantage (64-60) with 1:50 to play in regulation. UTEP didn’t flinch, peeling off seven straight points to pull back ahead by seven (67-64) with 27 seconds left.

After Charlotte tied the game with a triple from Octavia Jett-Wilson with 22 seconds remaining, both sides got defensive stops to send the contest to OT.

Each team connected on a triple on its opening possession of OT before UTEP kicked it into high gear. The Miners ripped off 10 straight points over the next three minutes, effectively putting the contest away. Charlotte made a push with six consecutive points to get within four (80-76) with 32 seconds left, but a pair of UTEP free throws iced the tilt.

“It was a gutsy performance by our team tonight,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “I’m really impressed with how we handled the momentum shifts in that game, the ups and downs, the highs and lows. We built a lead, we lost the lead and we built the lead back again. We fell down by (four) in the last two minutes, but hit big shot after big shot.”

UTEP wrapped a 26-11 run around the first-quarter break to stake the aforementioned 17-point advantage (38-21) against the 49ers with 3:40 to play in the opening frame. Charlotte tallied the final six points in the quarter to trim UTEP’s margin to 11 (38-27) at the half. The 49ers continued to chip away at UTEP’s advantage, eventually moving ahead for the first time with under two minutes to play.

Freshman Avery Crouse drilled a clutch triple, off a feed from Zec to bring UTEP within one. After the Miners got a stop, Gill was fouled on a putback attempt. She hit both free throws to propel the home side back ahead. A couple more stops and free throws made it a three-point differential (67-64) with 27 seconds left, but Jett-Wilson’s triple knotted the contest. Both sides made stops on defense as action swung to OT before the Orange and Blue came alive to pull out the victory.

The Miners’ pressure defense harassed Charlotte into 20 turnovers, including forcing one in the waning seconds to ensure overtime. UTEP took good care of the ball, recording 18 assists compared to 12 giveaways. The Miners connected on eight triples, including a career-best four from Lipe on six tries.

Crouse added eight points and four steals while playing a career-high 40 minutes. Gallegos stuffed the stat sheet with 13 points, four boards and four assists.

Charlotte was paced by Jade Phillips’s 20 points and 15 rebounds.

“I am really proud of our team overall,” Baker said. “Charlotte has a great team, there’s a reason they’ve won as many games as they’ve won. We were fortunate to win tonight. We really played hard, and you could see in our team’s body language that they really wanted to win.”

UTEP will wrap up its homestand with its annual National Girls & Women In Sports Day game against second-place Old Dominion at 1 p.m. MT Saturday.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234. There will be a post-game autograph session in the concourse with various UTEP women’s teams.

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 Chief Photographer Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta and Ruben R. Ramirez – El Paso Herald Post

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