PHOENIX – The UTEP men’s golf team (281-282-281—844) tied its season low with another 281 in the third round.
The Miners shot up two spots and penciled in a top three finish in the GCU Invitational at GCU Championship Golf Course (par 71/7,200 yards) Saturday afternoon.
The Miners (-8) tied with Missouri (281-282-281—844) and finished one stroke behind second-place team UTRGV (285-275-283—843). UMKC (282-271-276—829) ran away with the championship after firing a 23-under par.
UTEP chalked up its third top-five finish of the season and first of the spring session.
UTEP senior Aaron Terrazas (71-71-66—208) penciled in a 66 on Saturday (tied for lowest third-round score), surged up 19 spots and tied for seventh place with three other golfers, including teammate Oskar Ambrosius (68-69-71—208). The pair each shot 5-under par and finished three strokes behind co-champions UMKC’s McCain Schellhardt (69-68-68—205) and Columbia’s Derek Kim (70-67-68—205).
Overall, the Miners combined for 53 birdies, the third most behind UMKC (58) and UTRGV (59). Terrazas tied for second overall with 15 birdies, while Ambrosius recorded 11 birdies. Cole Donielson (75-74-70—219) tied with the most pars (42) during the two-day event.
Terrazas registered six birdies on Saturday afternoon. After recording his only bogey at hole no. 9, Terrazas rattled off four birdies on his final 11 holes. Terrazas struggled a bit on Friday, tallying nine bogeys the first two rounds, but rebounded with a solid Saturday performance.
Terrazas shot a 6-under par on par 5 holes during the weekend (tied for best score with three other golfers).
Ben Getman (73-71-70—214) finished tied for 30th, while Settavut Paradee (73-71-74—218) and Eduardo Gonzalez (69-75-74—218) placed tied for 54th. Getman recorded 35 pars while he and Gonzalez each registered nine birdies.
Friday’s second-round action with suspended due to darkness. The second round was completed Saturday morning as play started at 7:45 a.m. PT.
Up next, the Miners will get a short break when they travel up the road to Tucson to compete at the National Invitational Tournament hosted by the University of Arizona. The two-day event will begin with 36 holes on Monday, March 18 at the Omni Tucson National Resort on Catalina Golf Course (par 72/7,262 yards).
DENTON, Texas – The UTEP softball team (7-18, 2-3) dropped two games to North Texas (10-2 & 5-1) Saturday afternoon.
Kacey Duffield knocked her seventh dinger of the year, tying teammate Cortney Smith with the lead in Conference USA. Ilena Santos also went yard, hitting the second of her sophomore season.
The Miners fall to North Texas 10-2 in the first game of the series
Ilena Santos knotted up the score, 1-1, after sending the second homer of her sophomore season over the fence in the second inning. That would be the only run of the game for the Miners, as the Mean Green used an explosive six-run third frame to take control of the game.
Allie Johnson entered the game in the bottom of the fourth. The junior hurler struck out two batters, and surrendered no runs in her inning of work.
Ariel Blair registered a double and ended up scoring after a hit by Ariana Valles for her 13th RBI of the season in the fifth frame.
The Miners fell in the second game of the day, 5-1, to North Texas to lose the series.
Senior Julia Wright kept the Mean Green bats in check for the first four innings of play. Wright worked her way out of two different instances where the bases were loaded.
The Miner offense was unable to strike first as North Texas broke the 0-0 tie in the bottom of the fifth on a two run homer.
Wright got into another jam in the bottom of the sixth frame with the bases loaded. Johnson would come in to relieve the starter and give up three runs to extend the Mean Green lead to 5-0.
The seventh home run of Duffield’s senior season would cut into the Mean Green lead, but that would be all the Miner offense could muster up as they fell 5-1.
>> Santos hit the second home run of the season
>> Duffield hit her seventh homer of the season to tie Cortney Smith for the team lead
On deck, the Miners will play with final game of the North Texas series on Sunday (12 p.m. MT).
The UTEP tennis team will play three matches in four days in a busy stretch of action, competing at Stephen F. Austin (12 p.m. MT Sunday), against Sam Houston State (12 p.m. MT Monday) and at Houston (12 p.m. MT Wednesday).
The Miners (3-9) will be looking to recapture their form they displayed when they won two of three at home before being saddled with the current four-match skid.
“We are excited to be heading out on the road again,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “We have three tough matches ahead of us. We continue to work hard and look to fight with everything we have to represent UTEP with class and pride.”
Setting the tone for the Miners will be freshman Kirsten Prelle at No. 1 singles. She has forged a mark of 7-4 in dual play at the top position, with three of those setbacks coming in super tiebreakers. Sophomore Erandi Martinez stands 5-5 in dual season, aided by going 5-3 at No. 3 singles.
Senior Yvette Van Oijen, who missed the fall portion of the campaign with an injury, has battled back to compile four wins in the spring. Freshmen Rine Nozaki and Kathleen Percegona each sport three dual victories while junior Vanessa Valdez has two triumphs this spring to her name.
Valdez and Van Oijen have teamed up to record a mark of 6-5 in doubles play this spring. That is followed by the freshmen pairing of Prelle and Percegona standing at 5-4. Martinez and Nozaki have worked together to produce three wins in doubles.
Stephen F. Austin has registered a mark of 4-5 in 2019 dual play, including 1-1 in home action. Sam Houston State boasts a record of 8-4 on the season, helped by winning five of the past six matches. Meanwhile Houston is a solid 9-5, including a stout mark of 7-2 when playing on its home courts.
FRISCO, Texas – Senior Jordan Alexander (13 points), Katarina Zec (12 points) and Ariona Gill (10 points) all hit double figures in scoring but 11th-seed UTEP was knocked off by third-seed Middle Tennessee, 66-44, in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Conference USA Basketball Championships Thursday afternoon.
The Miners (9-22) conclude their season while the Lady Raiders (21-9) advance to face second-seed UAB in the semifinals at 7 p.m. MT/8 p.m. CT Friday.
Coming off the thrilling double-overtime victory against Marshall, UTEP was unable to conjure up that magic for a second straight day. MT scored the first seven points in the game on the way to leading by 11 (21-10) through 10 minutes of action. UTEP tried to hang tough, trailing by 10 (31-21) with 3:22 to play in the half. MT, however, got hot and scored the final 12 points in the frame to put the Orange and Blue down by 22 (43-21) heading into the locker room.
MT tallied the first seven points after the break, and UTEP was never able to get back into the contest. The Miners continued to play hard, though, outscoring the Lady Raiders (16-9) in the final frame.
“Middle Tennessee is really good and they played extraordinarily well,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “I’m really impressed, but not surprised with how they played. I’m just so pleased and impressed with our team, specifically Jordan Alexander. We’re here today because of her and the strength of seven young ladies, who decided to not give up and not to be a victim of circumstances. I do we wish we would have played a little bit better and been a bit more competitive in this game.”
The Miners, who had seven players dressed for the 12th consecutive contest, still somehow played hard despite being on the court for 50 minutes in the exhilarating upset of the Thundering Herd (64-56, 2OT, March 13). The effort, though, didn’t translate into shots falling. UTEP finished at 26.8 percent (11-41) from the floor, which was hindered by a 20.0 readout (3-15) from 3-point range. The Miners did a solid job at the charity stripe, connecting on 70.4 percent (19-27).
Fittingly the senior Alexander paced the squad in her final game with the Orange and Blue. Zec, who tallied her 12th consecutive double-digit scoring effort, got it going on offense in addition to Gill. Freshman Ariana Taylor chipped in five points and five boards.
The Lady Raiders drilled 42.9 percent (24-56), including 34.8 percent (8-23) from beyond-the-arc. Included in that was hitting 3-4 from distance in the critical first quarter. Another factor in the contest was MT outrebounding UTEP, 43-23.
Alex Johnson (17 points) paced a trio of MT players in double figures with scoring.
Middle Tennessee jumped out early on UTEP, scoring the first seven points in the contest. Gill banked home a lay-up to get UTEP on the board, which was followed by a pair of free throws by Taylor to bring the Miners within three (7-4) with 6:33 to play in the opening frame. The Lady Raiders countered with five consecutive points before a driving lay-up from Zuzanna Puc halted the surge and made the score, 12-6. MT scored the next five points to get a double-digit cushion (17-6). It was back-and-forth the rest of the quarter, with the Miners trailing by 11 (21-10) through 10 minutes of action.
UTEP tried to hang tough in the second quarter, with the margin at 10 (31-21) after an Alexander pull-up jumper with 3:22 to play in the half. MT founded another gear, ripping off 12 consecutive points to put the Miners in a 22-point hole (43-21) at the break. The Lady Raiders accounted for the first seven points in the second stanza, and UTEP couldn’t recover. It did, though, continue to compete until the final whistle, which was reflected in it outscoring MT by seven (16-9) over the final 10 minutes.
The setback wraps up the 2018-19 campaign, in addition to the career of the lone senior Alexander. She made quite an impact in two years after arriving as a transfer as Baker’s first recruit. She started all but one game (61 of 62 GP) while amassing more than 500 points (540) and 350 rebounds (358) in two seasons. Alexander also demonstrated a willingness to give up her body for the betterment of the team, taking countless charges.
“These guys have a ton of heart,” Baker said. “I really appreciate what they do for our school and our community.”
FRISCO, Texas – Jordan Alexander (16 points), Ariona Gill (14 points) and Katarina Zec (12 points) all hit double figures in scoring to help 11th-seeded UTEP outlast sixth-seeded Marshall, 64-56, in double overtime in the opening round of the 2019 Conference USA Basketball Championships Wednesday afternoon.
The Miners (9-21) advance to lock up with third-seeded Middle Tennessee in the quarterfinals at 1 p.m. MT/ 2 p.m. CT Thursday.
For most of the day, UTEP was playing catch-up. The Thundering Herd (16-14) led by 10 (31-21) late in the third quarter, but the Miners fought back. UTEP took its first lead of the game after a pull-up jumper from Alexander with 2:03 to play in the fourth quarter. It was back-and-forth the rest of the way, with Marshall’s Taylor Porter hitting a pair of free throws with 1.7 seconds left in regulation to send the contest to overtime.
UTEP tallied the first four points in OT before the Thundering Herd scored six straight to pull ahead by two (52-50) with 14 seconds left. With time running down, Gill sliced through traffic for buzzer-beating lay-up in the lane to send the contest into double OT.
UTEP never trailed in the second overtime, thanks in part to Zec and Alexander both connecting on clutch triples. Marshall cut the margin to two (58-56) on a jumper by Shayna Gore (game-high 25 points), but UTEP scored the final six points in the contest to hold on for the victory in the tournament’s first double-OT contest since 2006.
The Miners have now won first-round games in consecutive years. It was the second OT contest for UTEP in program history at the league tourney (lost 72-70 previously to Marshall in 2009), and the first that went to double overtime.
“I’m so proud of our team as they were so tough today” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “Today was a testament to how it’s been all year for us. We keep plugging away, we keep trying to get better. I’m proud of our team and our perseverance.”
The Miners connected on 42.4 percent (25-59) from the floor in the contest, aided by shooting a ridiculous 62.5 percent (10-16) in the fourth quarter to help force overtime. It was a different story for Marshall, which was held to 23.9 percent (17-71), including a challenging 17.9 percent (7-39) from 3-point land.
UTEP crushed Marshall on the glass (56-39) and had a big advantage for points in the paint (34-12). The Miners, who dressed seven players for the 11th straight contest, also managed to have a big differential for bench scoring (22-3). The Thundering Herd nearly overcame that by forcing 23 turnovers while also going 15-21 on free throws. UTEP finished 9-17 at the charity stripe.
Jade Rochelle scored eight points off the bench, all in the first half, to provide a boost. Ariana Taylor added nine points before fouling out.
Neither team could get anything going offensively early on, with the score tied, 2-2, with three minutes left in the first quarter. After Marshall drilled its first of seven triples in the contest, UTEP tallied the next three points (all on Rochelle free throws) to pull even at five with 1:53 remaining in the frame. Marshall countered with a 5-0 push of its own before a lay-up by Taylor cut the deficit to three (10-7) through 10 minutes of action.
The margin was just two (13-11) with 6:07 to play after a jumper by Rochelle. Marshall heated up with back-to-back triples, putting the Miners down by eight (19-11) at the halfway point of the second quarter. The differential eventually grew to nine (20-11), but UTEP regrouped and scored the final five points in the half to make it a four-point contest (20-16) at the half.
It was back-and-forth in the third quarter before a mini 5-0 push by the Thundering Herd forced the Miners to stare down a double-digit deficit (31-21) for the first time of the tilt. UTEP refused to quit but instead rallied back for the eventual double overtime win.
Thursday’s contest against MT will be available on ESPN+. The game will also be broadcast locally on 600 ESPN El Paso with Steve Kaplowitz and Traci Miller on the call.
O’AHU, Hawaii – The UTEP women’s golf team secured an eighth-place finish at the 34th Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational on Wednesday in Hawaii.
The Miners fired rounds of 309, 301 and 307 for a total 917. Texas and SMU both finished as co-champions of the tournament (887). Texas ranks No. 2 in the nation just behind Southern California.
UTEP’s Lily Downs led the Miners with a tie for sixth place, scoring 6-overpar 222 (77-71-74). Valeria Mendizabal followed closely behind with a tie for 14th place and scored a 9-over par 225 (71-76-78).
Shannon O’Dwyer finished tied for 44th overall putting together an overall 19-over par 235 (80-76-79). Crystal Wu (81-78-78—237) and Audrey Haddad (82-79-77—238) rounded out the tournament with ties for 54th and 60th overall, respectively.
The champion was Texas A&M’s Courtney Dow with an even par 216 (68-74-74).
The Miners’ next tournament is the Fresno State Classic April 1-2 in Fresno, Ca
The UTEP men’s golf team is set to play in its third tournament of the spring season as the Miners will compete with 17 other schools at the GCU Invitational March 15-16 at GCU Golf Course (par-71/7,239 yards).
The Miners will join host Grand Canyon, Missouri, Wyoming, UMKC, Pacific, Northern Colorado, Wichita State, Hawai’i, UC Riverside, NDSU, Columbia, Omaha, UTRGV, Sacramento State, Idaho, Western Carolina and Samford.
An 8 a.m. PT shotgun start is set for both days as 36 holes will be played Friday and the final round Saturday.
Making the trip for UTEP Head Coach Scott Lieberwirth, is senior Aaron Terrazas, sophomore Oskar Ambrosius, junior Eduardo Gonzalez, senior Settavut Paradee, senior Ben Getman and redshirt sophomore Cole Donielson.
Terrazas was named the Conference USA Golfer of the Week after his strong showing at the John Burns Intercollegiate in Hawai’i Feb. 21-23. Terrazas, who’s penciled in a team-leading 71.6 stroke average, finished in the tied for fourth after firing a 7-under par. Terrazas (70-67-72—209) tallied 13 birdies and an eagle, while finishing three strokes behind the winner.
Gonzalez accomplished a rare achievement when he recorded a hole-in-one on from 245 yards out during the final round in Hawai’i.
Overall, the Miners finished 15th at 7-over par at Wailua Municipal Golf Course.
Ambrosius, who’s competed in all eight tournaments during the 2018-19 campaign, has sustained a 73.2 stroke average, second best on the squad, while senior Paradee (74.7) ranks third on the team.
Ambrosius opened the spring season at the Arizona Intercollegiate, tying for 32nd after firing a 1-under par (69-69-72—212). Paradee will participate in his second tournament of the spring after finishing tied for 64th at the John Burns Intercollegiate.
Gonzalez will also take part in his second event of the spring and fifth overall for the season.
The Miners return to competition for the first time in a month, as they play in the second of four spring tournaments in the 34th Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational at Kanae’ohe Klipper Golf Course (par 72/6,099 yards) hosted by the University of Hawai’i.
The Miners will play 36 holes on Tuesday with a shotgun start at noon MT.
UTEP took ninth place in its first tournament of the spring, the Texas State Invitational Feb. 11-12 in San Marcos. The Miners shot 891 (294-286-311) as a team led by senior Lily Downs, who tied for 18th overall with a 12-over par 219 (72-70-77).
Downs will once again lead the Miners along with Audrey Haddad, Shannon O’Dwyer, Valeria Mendizabal and Crystal Wu in coach Jere Pelletier’s lineup for the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational. The Miners claimed a 10th-place showing at last year’s event.
The Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational is a long-time staple on the Miners’ schedule. The 2019 field features Gonzaga, Hawai’i, Houston Baptist, North Texas, Northern Colorado, Seattle, SMU, Texas, Texas A&M, UC Irvine and Washington State.
The Kanae’ohe Klipper Golf Course, located on the windward side of the island of O’ah, has served as home to the tournament every year except 200 and 2001, when it moved to Olomana Golf Links. The Kilpper is known for its majestic views of the Ko’oalu Mountain Range and raging surf of the Pacific Ocean. The course is par 72 and it has a slope rating of 130 Bermuda grass.
UTEP’s ninth-place showing at Texas State snapped a run of six consecutive top-three finishes in tournaments this season. Overall, the Miners have landed in the top three at six of the last seven tournaments in 2018-19.
The Miners will compete in two more tournaments before the Conference USA Championships at Fort Myers, Florida, next month.
DALLAS – UTEP basketball’s Efe Odigie was named to the 2019 All-Conference USA Freshman team, as announced by league officials Monday afternoon. Odigie is the first Miner to garner an All-C-USA Freshman honor since 2016.
Odigie averaged 12.7 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per contest. He is the first UTEP player to finish the season averaging a double-double since Terry White did so (10.1 ppg/10.2 rpg) in 1981-82. Odigie is one of nine Miners to average a double-double in a single season.
Odigie’s 252 rebounds in 25 games played are the second most by a UTEP freshman (Odigie missed the final four games due to an injury). Arnett Moultrie grabbed 302 boards in 37 games during the 2008-09 season. However, Odigie’s 10.1 rebounds per game will go down as the best average by a UTEP freshman, surpassing Anthony Burns’s 9.4 rebounds done in 1977-78. Odigie’s scoring average (12.7) will rank fifth best by a UTEP freshman.
The Houston product is the only C-USA player to finish the regular season averaging a double-double and currently still leads the league in rebounds per game. WKU’s Charles Bassey (15 ppg) ranks second at 9.9 rebounds per game. The last C-USA freshman to average a double-double was Charlotte’s Joseph Uchebo (13.2 points per game and 11.5 boards per contest in 2015-16).
Odigie recorded 11 double-doubles during the campaign, ranking second in C-USA and tied for third among Division I freshman. It’s the most double-doubles by a UTEP freshman in program history and the most by a UTEP player since Vince Hunter’s 13 in 2013-14.
The 6-9 big man registered five games of 15 or more rebounds during the season, including a career-high 20 rebounds at Marshall. The 20 boards were the most recorded by any player in a league contest this season. Odigie added 22 points against the Thundering Herd and became the first Miner since Jim Barnes to register a 20-20 game.
Barnes did so on Feb. 22, 1964. Odigie added 17 rebounds against ENMU and 15 against FIU. Odigie also recorded back-to-back 16-rebound performances (at UTSA, vs. UTSA) and was the first Miner to do so since Dick Gibbs did during the 1970-71 season. His five games of 15-plus rebounds were the most since White posted four in 1981-82.
Barnes amassed an impressive 11 games of 20-plus rebounds in 1963-64.
Odigie’s career high in points was a 24-point outing against UC Riverside, Odigie also set a UTEP freshman record by opening his career with 12 consecutive double-figure scoring games.
Odigie shot 48.6 percent (118-243) from the field (ranked 15th in C-USA) and 68.3 percent (82-120) from the foul line. Odigie chipped in 14 assists, 13 blocks and 15 steals.
During a mid-week contest versus no. 14 Texas Tech, Duffield reached base in all four of her plate appearances, tallying a two-run homer, a single and two walks. In the very next game against Charlotte, the opposing pitching staff failed to get the slugger out once again, as the first baseman registered three hits and a walk to reach base in eight consecutive plate appearances.
As coach Echo-Hawk said, Duffield has been consistent for the Miners all season long. She has reached base safely in 22 of UTEP’s 23 games this year, and is currently on a seven game hitting streak.
The Fairbanks, Alaska, native has proven to opposing teams that she does not just hit for power, or average, or just draws walks. She does it all on a daily basis. She leads the conference in OBP (.560) and slugging percentage (.763). She is also second in home runs (six) and walks (15), while ranking third in batting average (.441). She is the only player in C-USA to be ranked in the top three of all of these categories.
This is the second time the senior has been named C-USA Player of the week in her career, and is the second Miner to garner the award this season.
The UTEP softball team (7-16, 2-1 Conference USA) scored 11 runs in six innings to secure the series victory over Charlotte (8-11, 1-2 C-USA), 11-2 (6), on Sunday afternoon at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex.
“It was just nice to nice to finally have league games. In all aspects of the game we played great. We played great defense this weekend, we made really good adjustments hitting and then pitching was spot on,” Head Coach Echo-Hawk said. ” I think Julia (Wright) did a great job with the two games she pitched. She just kept us in the game, and if that happens then our hitters can really open the flood gates at times. Just happy that we finally put it all together.”
Freshman Pate Cathey blasted the first walk-off home run of her career with a three-run rocket into left center that ended the game, 11-2, in favor of the Miners. Senior Linda Garcia posted two hits with four RBIs, including the first triple of her career. Lindsey Sokoloski led the squad with three hits, and also batted in three runs for UTEP.
Julia Wright (5-5) recorded another strong outing, surrendering one earned run on the day on seven hits during a complete-game victory.
The Miners jumped out quick on the 49ers pitching staff in the bottom of the second frame. Garcia broke the 0-0 tie with a three-run triple, and then Sokoloski and Kacey Duffield both added a run to the UTEP lead of 5-0.
In the very next inning, the Orange and Blue kept the offense going when Garcia recorded her fourth RBI of the day and Sokoloski scored two on a single up the middle. The Miners were now threatening the mercy rule by a score of 8-0.
Charlotte would score two runs to cut into the lead, but Cathey’s bat ended its trip to the Sun City in the bottom of the sixth inning with a three-run bomb into deep left center
>> First time the Miners have opened conference play with a series victory since 2015, when they swept Middle Tennessee
>> Linda Garcia recorded the first triple of her career
>> Pate Cathey registered the first walk-off homer of her career
Up next, UTEP Softball will travel to Denton, Texas, for its second conference series versus North Texas next weekend (March 16-17).
Gallery by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta – Chief Photographer – El Paso Herald Post
MURFREESBORO, Tn. – After being down by as many as nine points, the UTEP Miners fought back and had a gave themselves a chance to win the first road game of the season. But with one second remaining, Ountae Campbell’s inbound pass from full court was deflected and Middle Tennessee scratched out a 48-47 victory in the Murphy Center Saturday night.
“I challenged this group a couple days ago. I thought our guys, for the better part of the season, played with energy and effort – give or take maybe four of those where we didn’t have that kind of effort and energy we had to have and we were coming off one of those games,” Terry said. “I challenged those guys and asked them, ‘how do you want to land this plane this year?’. Because we can’t start talking about next year, until we land the plane this year. We got to go down with a fight. We cannot go down laying down, crashing and burning. I give my guys credit. They kept fighting, they kept trying to find a way and we had a chance to win the ball game.”
The Miners, with seven scholarship players and four of them being freshmen, and a limited bench with walk-ons, kept fighting all season under first-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry. And despite losing its previous five games by an average of 15 points, Terry’s players answered his challenge with a competitive contest against MT.
The Miners (8-21, 3-15 Conference USA), despite shooting poorly, tallied a season-low nine turnovers that kept them in the ball game. The Blue Raiders (11-20, 8-10 C-USA) took advantage of UTEP’s short bench down the stretch as Kaosi Ezeagu and Paul Thomas both fouled out.
Thomas, in his final game in a UTEP uniform, led all scorers with 14 points and tallied three rebounds with a blocked shot.
Jordan Lathon, who played all 40 minutes in his final game as a freshman, hit a pair of late threes that kept his squad in the game. The first came at the 6:11 mark to get UTEP within three points (43-40), while the second clutch trey was made with 3:32 left in the contest that tied the game 44-44. The Miners trailed the entire ball game up to that point.
MT’s Junior Farquhar answered with a bucket of his own and Jayce Johnson connected on a pair of free throws at the 2:20 mark to go up four points (48-44).
UTEP, despite its record and struggles during the 2018-19 campaign, kept fighting. Nigel Hawkins came up with a steal, made a layup on the fast break, drew the foul and converted a three-point play with 44 seconds remaining the make it a one-point game.
The Blue Raiders on the following possession was fouled with four seconds. James Hawthorne missed both free throws, Campbell snagged the rebound and called a timeout. Campbell tried to look for Lathon for the last shot, but time expired after the attempted pass was deflected to half court and ending the ball game.
The Miners went into the locker room down 25-18, but came back with a strong second half and outscoring MT, 29-23.
Lathon played all 40 minutes for the first time in his young career and led the team with four assists. Lathon added eight points, five boards and two blocks to his stat line. Hawkins played 39 minutes and registered a career-high 10 rebounds, while also tallying eight points. Hawkins finished as UTEP’s third leading scorer at 12.6 points per game and Lathon averaged 10.9 points per contest. Lathon led the Miners with 74 assists and tallied 23 blocks at the point guard position.
Campbell recorded five points, and Ezeagu and Gilles Dekoninck each made a free throw. Evan Gilyard chipped in with 10 points, two steals and two assists. He went 5-for-6 from the charity stripe.
MT had one double-digit scorer as Antonio Green led with 11 points on 4-of-17 shooting after scoring 26 points on Wednesday in El Paso. Hawthorne registered 10 rebounds and Reggie Scurry added nine points and nine boards.
The UTEP softball team (6-16, 1-1) shutout the 49ers (8-10, 1-1) in game two of the day 4-0. The Miners fell earlier in the afternoon, 11-6, against Charlotte
Julia Wright pitched a complete-game shutout against the 49ers in game two of the day. Her defense backed her up, turning three double plays to keep Charlotte at bay in a 4-0 victory.
Pamala Baber went yard for the first homer of her junior season in the fifth frame of game two, breaking a 0-0 tie. Then a three-run bomb from Cortney Smith put it completely out of reach for the Charlotte 49ers.
In the first game of the day Senior Kacey Duffield recorded three hits, including her sixth homer of the year and five RBIs. Ariana Valles tallied three hits in game one as well to back up Duffield’s performance.
The Miners fell in their conference opener to Charlotte, 11-6, after the 49ers posted a big sixth inning surge.
UTEP was first to strike in the third frame, when Duffield singled in a run, and then Flores brought one in on a fielder’s choice to give the Miners the early lead at 2-0.
Charlotte would respond with three runs of their own the next half inning to claim to advantage.
Duffield would not let that be the end of the story, blasting her second homer of the week and sixth on the year over the left field fence, taking back the lead, 5-4.
However, Charlotte utilized an explosive sixth inning, scoring six to take the lead and never surrendering it at 11-6.
The Orange and Blue bounced back in front of their home crowd with a complete-game shutout from Julia Wright that boosted the Miners to a 4-0 victory.
The Miners and 49ers were in a pitcher’s dual for the first four innings of play. Julia Wright had only given up four hits and no runs in the 0-0 tie.
Freshman Pate Cathey showed off her glove, igniting a special double play when she dove for a ground ball up the middle, and in one motion flipped to the shortstop who fired the ball over to first base to complete the web gem.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Baber entered the game to pinch hit for the Miners and took one deep, breaking the tie to give UTEP the edge at 1-0.
In the very next inning Valles and Duffield both got on base with singles through the 49er defense, and then the heavy bat of Smith took care of the rest, sending her team-high seventh homer out of the park and giving the Miners all of the breathing they would need to win the game 4-0.
“It was great to finally be home, and in front of our awesome fans. The second game was a great overall game, great defense, great pitching and great hitting.”
>> Kacey Duffield set a season career high in home runs (six)
>> Pamala Baber hit the first homer of her junior season
>> Cortney Smith has a team-high seven dingers
>> UTEP’s defense turned five double plays on the day
Up next, UTEP Softball will play the final game of the series versus Charlotte tomorrow at 12 p.m. MT. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids. For more information about the team day program call the UTEP marketing department at (915) 747-6065.
ALBUQUERQUE – The UTEP tennis team was derailed at New Mexico, 7-0, Saturday afternoon. The Miners (3-9) were bested in doubles play by the Lobos (5-7) and were unable to recover in singles competition.
“We will continue to work hard and improve little by little,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “We have lots of tennis left to play. I know we will get it back.”
The match began with doubles action where homestanding UNM took the early lead. Ruth Copas and Danielle Quevedo snuck past Yvette Van Oijen and Vanessa Valdez, 6-3, at No. 1 doubles. Kirsten Prelle and Kathleen Percegona fell at No. 2 doubles to Hsiiang-Wen Huang and Yuelin Chen, 6-2. The Miners’ Rine Nozaki and Erandi Martinez were leading, 5-4, at No. 3 doubles against Bronte Murgett and Natasha Munday when the match was halted due to the team point having already been decided.
Action then turned to singles play, where Valdez was unable to compete due to an injury. Prelle squared off with Copas at No. 1 singles. She dropped the first set, 6-4, before rallying back to stake the second set, 6-4. In the super tiebreaker the freshman battled but was ultimately edged, 11-9.
Percegona was tripped up by Murgett, 6-2, 6-3, at No. 2 singles. Martinez was clipped by Huang, 6-1, 7-5, at No. 3 singles.
Van Oijen fell at the hands of Quevedo, 6-1, 6-1, at No. 4 singles. Nozaki was knocked off by Munday, 6-1, 6-4, at No. 5 singles. Milena Baigorria was dispatched by Chen, 6-1, 6-1, at No. 6 singles.
The Miners will look to regain their winning ways when they play at Stephen F. Austin on March 17.
Tennis Match Results
UTEP at New Mexico
3/9/2019 at Albuquerque, N.M.
At New Mexico 7, UTEP 0
Katarina Zec (20 points), Jordan Alexander (15 points) and Zuzanna Puc (10 points) all hit double figures in scoring, and UTEP defended with vigor in a 59-51 victory on “Senior Night” against North Texas at the Don Haskins Center Thursday evening.
“We really executed the defensive gameplan for today,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “We guarded them exactly the way we wanted to. I’m proud of our bunch. We played solid offensively and really executed. It’s some of the best basketball we played all year. It’s a great time of year to be playing good basketball. We beat a good team today.”
The Miners (8-21, 5-11 C-USA) connected on 50.0 percent (23-46) of their shots, aided by a ridiculous 71.4 percent (10-14) in the second period. UTEP dished out 17 assists on its 23 made field goals, but perhaps more importantly finished with just 13 turnovers for the third consecutive contest. It was a different story for the Mean Green (14-14, 7-9 C-USA), who were held to 34.7 percent (17-49) while committing 16 turnovers that led to 18 Miner points.
While UTEP finished 7-14 (50.0 percent) at the charity stripe, it made them when it mattered. The Miners were 6-8 (75.0) in the fourth quarter. That included Alexander sinking 3-4 in the final minute, including a pair with 15 seconds left to salt away the victory.
Freshman Ariana Taylor added seven points to buoy the efforts of Zec, Alexander and Puc, but it was her defense down low that also stood out. Neidy Ocuane pitched in six points, a team-high tying five assists and four rebounds. UTEP was competitive on the glass (UNT, 32-30), with Alexander securing a squad-best seven caroms.
Anisha George tallied 19 points to go along with nine rebounds to lead the way for the Mean Green. Terriell Bradley and Charlene Shepherd each scored 10 points in the losing effort.
UTEP led for 32 minutes of the contest, and on multiple occasions was up by as many as 13.
UTEP started quickly, nailing triples on consecutive possessions to take an early 6-0 lead. UNT countered with a 6-0 push of its own to force the first tie of the tilt with 5:32 to play in the opening quarter. After the two sides traded scores, the Mean Green got a triple late from Bradley to put the Miners down by three (11-8) through 10 minutes of action.
George hit a jumper on UNT’s first possession of the second quarter, and suddenly the Orange and Blue trailed by five (13-8).
That deficit was short lived, though, as the Miners ripped off seven consecutive points over the next two minutes to regain the lead (15-13). Alexander was instrumental, tallying five of the seven points in the surge.
After UNT got a basket to tie the tilt, UTEP unleashed a 9-0 spurt to lead by 11 (26-15). It was back-and-forth the rest of the frame, allowing UTEP to carry a 30-20 advantage into halftime. The Orange and Blue outscored the visitors, 22-9, in the quarter while shooting 71.4 percent (10-14).
The Miners continued to play well as the second half started, with a corner triple by Ocuane reinstating a 13-point cushion. UNT chipped away the remainder of the frame, but the Miner lead was still seven (43-36) through three quarters of play.
Zec and Puc each connected on jumpers to start the fourth quarter off well, which also afforded UTEP a double-digit advantage (47-36) with 8:56 remaining in regulation. North Texas mounted a rally, cutting the Miners’ lead down to two (49-47) with 3:56 left. Zec hit a crucial pull-up jumper to stop the surge. After UNT got within two again (51-49), Puc drilled a jumper in the lane off a feed from Ocuane. The Miners then did enough at the free-throw line to put away the game.
UTEP will open up competition at the 2019 Air Force Reserve Conference USA Basketball Championships presented by Baylor Scott & White Sports Performance Center at The Star at 1 p.m. MT/2 p.m. CT on March 13.
The Miners will be the 11th seed and will square off against sixth-seed Marshall. It will be available on ESPN+. The game will also be broadcast locally on 600 ESPN El Paso with Steve Kaplowitz and Traci Miller on the call.