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Story in Six Pics: Miners Own Owls 75-47

UTEP hosted the Florida Atlantic University Owls Saturday afternoon at the Haskins Center, where the Miners beat them 75-47. UTEP is now 21-2 overall and in 1st place in C-USA at 12 -1.  Andres Acosta was there and brings you his view of the game with today’s Story in Six Pics.

FAU vs UTEP W-34FAU vs UTEP W-72FAU vs UTEP W-7 FAU vs UTEP W-11 FAU vs UTEP W-15 FAU vs UTEP W-23 FAU vs UTEP W-31 FAU vs UTEP W-34

-UTEP #4 Lulu McKinney
-UTEP #4 Lulu McKinney
- UTEP #12 Sparkle Taylor
– UTEP #12 Sparkle Taylor
-UTEP #34 Lawan Kennedy with the Shot attempt over FAU #50 Melinda Myers
-UTEP #34 Lawan Kennedy with the Shot attempt over FAU #50 Melinda Myers
Utep #34 Lawna Kennedy with the Shot attemp vs FAU
Utep #34 Lawna Kennedy with the Shot attemp vs FAU

Miners win at WKU 85-78, Take 1st Place in C-USA

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Five different Miners reached double figures in scoring and UTEP turned up the defensive pressure late to emerge with an 85-78 win at Western Kentucky Saturday afternoon.

With the win the Miners (19-2, 10-1 C-USA) take sole possession of first place in Conference USA while also snapping the Lady Toppers’ (18-4, 9-2 C-USA) 15-game home winning streak. It is the first home setback for WKU since Jan. 31, 2015.

“I think we showed a lot of heart and character today,” UTEP head coach Keitha Adams said. “We played a really great team on their home court and just dug down deep. It’s a great feeling when your kids play that hard. We have all kinds of respect for Western Kentucky, which makes it just a great win. It was a big game, and we knew that we were playing for something today.”

Starr Breedlove (21 points, seven assists, career-high six steals) led the way but she had plenty of help. Fellow senior Cameasha Turner tallied 17 points and five boards while Lulu McKinney came off the bench to contribute 14 points, aided by making 4-6 from three-point range. McKinney also dished out six assists.

RS-sophomore Tamara Seda provided a big presence inside with a career-high 11 points to go along with four rebounds while Sparkle Taylor pitched in 10 points from the pine as well.

UTEP shot 52.4 percent (33-63) from the floor, and compiled 18 assists while only making 10 turnovers.

WKU was led by 29 points from Tashia Brown, with Kendall Noble (12 points) and Ivy Brown (12 points) also hitting double figures.

The Lady Toppers nailed 54.5 (30-55) percent from the floor and won the boards (32-28) but they had issues with the Miners’ pressure at key junctures.

WKU committed 15 turnovers, which led to 23 UTEP points. The Miners also had big advantage in second-chance points (15-6) and bench scoring (37-17).

Spurred on by an energetic crowd, WKU bolted out to 13-point lead (22-9) early with 42 second to play in the first quarter. UTEP didn’t flinch, but rather quietly continued to chip away.

McKinney got things going with the first of her four triples in the game, which was followed by a jumper by Turner to make it 25-20 WKU with 8:04 remaining in the second quarter.

The home side extended its advantage back to double figures but UTEP didn’t go away. Outstanding execution on an out of bounds play resulted in a classic three-point play for Turner to bring the Miners within six (46-40) heading to halftime.

The momentum carried into the third quarter, with UTEP ripping off seven straight points to take its first lead of the game at 54-50 with 6:16 left in the frame. WKU countered by pouring in nine straight points in the blink of the eye but Turner made a driving layup to slow the surge.

The two sides traded baskets and runs in the fourth quarter, and there was a sense that whichever team could string together some stops on defense would be the one to emerge victorious.

Much to the disdain of the faithful in E.A. Diddle Arena, that proved to be UTEP. The Miners held WKU to just one field goal in the final 3:41, fueling a game-closing 10-2 run.

Breedlove hit a three to start the defining surge, which was followed by a Turner free throw.

WKU got a jumper to get within one (79-78) with 1:12 to play but McKinney, with her dad in the stands, nailed a straight on triple to extend UTEP’s lead to four. Out of a timeoutChrishauna Parker got a steal and Breedlove hit a free throw. Breedlove then sealed the game with another steal and coast-to-coast score.

UTEP will be back in action at home against FIU at 7:05 p.m. MT Thursday. There will be free admission to the game as part of the annual “National Girls and Women In Sports Celebration.”

Final Stats

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UTEP’s rally at Marshall falls short, Miners lose 79-64

HUNTINGTON, W. VA A valiant comeback bid by UTEP fell short in a 79-64 loss at Marshall Thursday evening.

The Miners (18-2, 9-1 C-USA) trailed by as many as 24 (46-24) with 8:58 to play in the third quarter before unleashing a 22-4 run to pull all the way back to within four (50-46) late the stanza.

To their credit the Thundering Herd (15-6, 5-5 C-USA) weathered the storm, answering the UTEP surge with one of their own (11-2) midway through the fourth quarter to reinstate a double-digit advantage (69-55) with 5:43 remaining in regulation. UTEP showed good character in refusing to quit but it could get no closer than 10 the rest of the way.

The setback is the first in C-USA and just the second on the year for the Miners, who had their 10-game winning streak in the process halted.

“You have to tip your hat to Marshall,” UTEP head coach Keitha Adams said. “They played extremely well tonight. They just outplayed us and we struggled. We made a good effort to try to get back in it but it’s a 40-minute game. We dug ourselves too deep and all night long Marshall felt too comfortable offensively.”

Jenzel Nash recorded her first career double-double (14 points, 12 rebounds) while Sparkle Taylor came off the bench to tally 17 points. Lulu McKinney added 10 from the pine as well while Starr Breedlove and Cameasha Turner each finished with eight points.

But enough shots wouldn’t fall, with the Miners finishing at 30.8 percent (30.8) from the floor. Marshall, which hit 48.3 percent (29-60) of its shots, was paced by 26 points and 11 rebounds from Leah Scott. She was joined in double figures by Talequia Hamilton (15 points), Shayna Gore (14 points) and Kiana Evans (12 points).

Rebounding was also a factor, with the Thundering Herd winning the boards by a count of 50-42.

The two sides traded baskets earlier in the game, and UTEP led 8-6 with 5:55 remaining in the opening quarter. Marshall began to assert itself, though, scoring 16 of the next 18 points to burst into the lead. Scott was the catalyst in the sequence, tallying eight of the points that afforded the home side a 22-10 advantage with 58 seconds to play in the first quarter.

The Orange and Blue tried to regroup in the second quarter but it wasn’t in the cards. After UTEP got the deficit down to eight (27-19, 5:59 second quarter), Marshall struck back with 14 consecutive points. McKinney nailed a long triple late in the stanza to make it a 19-point game (41-22) at the half.

UTEP battled hard in the third quarter, and had Marshall on its heels for a good chunk of the stanza. But unfortunately the deficit was too big to overcome and Marshall was able to hang on for the win to improve to 11-2 at home this year.

The Miners will look to put the setback in the rearview mirror when they play at (RV) Western Kentucky at 1 p.m. MT/2 p.m. CT Saturday. It will be a nationally-televised contest (Fox College Sports). Fans will also be able to listen live to Tim Hagerty on the call for ESPN El Paso, 600 KROD-AM Radio.

Final Stats

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UTEP improves to historic 17-1 record with 72-64 win over Southern Miss

Senior Cameasha Turner poured in 20 points to pace a quartet of players in double figures, and UTEP forced 24 turnovers on the way to downing Southern Miss ,72-64, for its ninth straight win in front of a season-high 4,326 fans at the Don Haskins Center Thursday.

It was back-and-forth game with four ties and nine lead changes but the Miners (17-1, 9-0 Conference USA) turned up the heat down the stretch to derail the Lady Eagles (10-8, 3-4 Conference USA). UTEP forced five turnovers in the final three minutes while getting timely scoring from Turner and Jenzel Nash to close out the game in style.

The result was UTEP turning a precarious 63-60 lead into a cozy 72-61 cushion before USM sunk a triple at the buzzer.

UTEP improves to 11-0 at home, including 4-0 in league play, while also extending the best overall start (17-1) in program history.

“It was a great team win I’m very proud of my team and our defense,” UTEP head coach Keitha Adams said. “Southern Miss is a well-coached team that plays extremely hard. We had an awesome crowd, and they made a difference tonight.”

Nash (16 points), Sparkle Taylor (13 points) and Starr Breedlove (12 points) buoyed Turner in the scoring department while senior Chrishauna Parker (seven boards) and Nash (seven) got after it on the glass. Turner (four) and Nash (three) came up with multiple steals apiece to spark the defense. Breedlove also had her passing game in high gear, with a contest-best seven assists.

Turner hit 10-11 at the free-throw line, including 5-6 in the final 36 seconds to help ice the game for the Miners.

Both teams shot it well (UTEP 25-58, 43.1 percent, Southern Miss 22-52, 42.3 percent) and USM won the boards (39-34). The Miners compensated by virtue of hitting their free throws (16-21, 76.2 percent) and the aforementioned turnovers forced.

Southern Miss was led by 23 points from Keri Jewett-Giles while post Caitlin Jenkins posted a double-double (14 points, 13 rebounds).

The two teams traded blows in the opening quarter, and it was tied at 16 through 10 minutes of action. The Miners elevated their play in the second quarter, doubling up the Lady Eagles, 20-10, to carry a 10-point lead into halftime.

The visitors refused to quit, striking back to eventually climb back into the lead (47-45) with 2:33 to play in the third quarter. UTEP struck back by scoring eight of the game’s next 10 points to pull ahead for good.

UTEP will wrap up the mini homestand by playing host to Louisiana Tech at 2:05 p.m. MT Saturday. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids but kids who wear Super Hero Costumes will get in free as part of “Super Hero Saturday.”

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Nash leads as Miners rally to win at Florida Atlantic 78-66

BOCA RATON, Fla. Trailing 30-18 with 7:57 to play in the second quarter, UTEP outscored high-flying FAU, 60-36, the rest of the way to come away with a 78-66 road victory Thursday evening.

The Miners seventh consecutive win moves them to 15-1 overall on the year, marking the best start in program history. UTEP also improves to 6-0 in Conference USA play, including 3-0 on the road. The Owls (10-7, 2-4 C-USA)

Jenzel Nash (17 points, eight boards, four steals), Cameasha Turner (16 points, five rebounds, three assists) and Starr Breedlove (15 points, five assists, five steals) all logged 30+ minutes to lead the way for the Orange and Blue.

Sparkle Taylor came off the bench to tally 14 points and grab three rebounds in an efficient 21 minutes of action while veteran Chrishauna Parker showed tremendous poise with six points and seven boards. RS-sophomore post Tamara Seda matched her career high for both points (eight) and rebounds (seven) in a career-high 25 minutes.

“I thought we felt pretty good at halftime to be tied up, especially after we dug ourselves that hole,” UTEP head coach Keitha Adams said. “We really started off rough. We tried to play a little bit differently than we have in the past. It was a hard-fought win against a good team. Not only do they shoot it well but they play hard. I tip my hat to them.”

FAU opened up on fire, bolting out to a 7-0 lead just 1:30 into the contest. The homestanding Owls, playing in front of a rowdy crowd, pushed the cushion out to 23-14 through 10 minutes. The margin swelled to 12 (30-18) with 7:57 left, before the Miners started to kick things into gear.

UTEP ripped off 11 straight points, with Nash, Breedlove and Turner doing the heavy lifting before FAU’s Ali Gorrell, who put up 20 points, 12 boards and five assists, halted the sequence with a pair of free throws. To its credit, UTEP struck back and managed to pull even at 39 heading to halftime.

The Miners continued to have the momentum in the third quarter, using a 24-13 10-minute sequence to grab control for good. FAU refused to go away quietly, getting within seven (67-60) with 5:54 to play before back-to-back lay-ups by Parker and Turner reinstated order.

UTEP nailed 50.0 percent (36-72) of its shots, won the boards (41-34) while forcing 21 turnovers that led to 22 points. The Miners also pounded the Owls down low, 52-32, and managed to keep the best three-point shooting team in the league to 6-20 from distance.

The Miners can’t rest on their laurels, though, with a quick turnaround by playing at FIU 2 p.m. MST Saturday. Fans can listen live to the call, with Brandon Cohn on the call on 600 ESPN El Paso, KROD-AM Radio.

Miners notch win #14 over Roadrunners 62-55; UTEP now 5-0 in C-USA

 Cameasha Turner (18 points), Sparkle Taylor (15 points) and Jenzel Nash (13 points) all hit double figures in scoring and UTEP forced 25 turnovers to extend its winning streak to six after downing UTSA, 62-55, at the Don Haskins Center Sunday afternoon.

The Miners (14-1, 5-0 C-USA)  led the upset-minded Roadrunners (5-10, 1-4 C-USA) for 33:46 of action on the way to staying perfect at home (10-0) and in league play (5-0). The 14-1 record matches the best start in program history, with the 2012-13 and 2006-07 squads also achieving the feat.

It was a defensive battle, with both the Miners (24-68, 35.3 percent) and Roadrunners (23-61, 37.7 percent) having to work extremely hardUTSA vs UTEP W-50 to get any clean looks on offense. The difference came down to ball security, with the 25 Roadrunner giveaways leading to 24 Miner points. UTEP made only 16 turnovers that resulted in 13 points for the visitors.

“Credit UTSA. They play hard, they compete and they make games like that,” UTEP head coach Keitha Adams said. “We did a pretty good job defensively. We didn’t play our best but we got the win. It was a tough one, a competitive one.”

Taylor flirted with a double-double (15 points, seven rebounds) while Nash, Turner and Tamara Seda each grabbed six boards for the Orange and Blue. Niaga Mitchell-Cole scored 11 points to pace UTSA while Akunna Elonu added 10 points. The visitors enjoyed a slight edge in rebounding (45-43), but UTEP compensated for that with its pressure defense.

UTSA vs UTEP W-13It was a back-and-forth affair early on, and UTEP led by just one (21-20) with 4:49 to play in the second quarter. As has been the case all year long, though, the Miners found another gear.

They ripped off nine straight points in about three minutes to push the advantage out to 10 (30-20) with 1:02 to play in the frame. UTSA countered with five straight points but a late Taylor bucket gave the Orange and Blue a touchdown lead (32-25) at the break.

After UTSA scored on its opening possession of the third quarter, UTEP clamped down once again. The home side peeled off eight straight points over the next five minutes to secure its largest advantage (40-27, 4:41) of the contest.

The Roadrunners refused to quit, though, eventually trimming the deficit all the way down to four (52-48) with 4:52 to play in the game. The visitors could get no closer, though, with the Miners getting timely  buckets from Taylor and stops down the stretch.

UTEP will open up a stretch of four of six on the road by venturing to the Eastern Time Zone to lock up with Florida Atlantic (5 p.m. MST, Jan. 21) and FIU (2 p.m. MST, Jan. 23).

Author: UTEP Athletics

Story in Six Pics: Miners down Roadrunners 62-55

The UTEP Miners returned home Sunday afternoon and notched victory number 14, with a 62-55 win over the UTSA Roadrunners. Our very own Andres Acosta was there, and brings you his view of the game with today’s Story in Six Pics.

UTSA vs UTEP W-8UTSA vs UTEP W-12UTSA vs UTEP W-15UTSA vs UTEP W-50UTSA vs UTEP W-38UTSA vs UTEP W-22UTSA vs UTEP W-13

 

Miners burn UAB Blazers 62-54; Improve to 13-1 overall, 4-0 in C-USA

Sparkle Taylor poured in 21 points off the bench and Cameasha Turner flirted with a triple-double (13 points, 11 rebounds and eight steals-tied 2nd most program history) to help lead the UTEP women’s basketball team to a thrilling 62-54 come-from-behind win in a nationally-televised contest (FOX Sports Regional Networks) against UAB at the Don Haskins Center Sunday evening.

Trailing 42-36 through three quarters, the Miners (13-1, 4-0 C-USA) found another gear to put together an incredible finish by outscoring UAB, 26-12, down the stretch. Defense was instrumental in the final period, with the Miners forcing nine turnovers that led to 12 points.

The sequence started with a big bang. The Miners ripped off a 16-3 run to grab a 51-45 lead (their first of the game) with 5:10 remaining in regulation. UAB regrouped long enough to get the deficit down to four (53-49) with 3:48 to play but the Orange and Blue blitzed the Blazers with seven straight points to put things out of reach.

“We played hard, this is a gutsy win against a very quality team,” UTEP head coach Keitha Adams said. “We just battled. The great thing is that we kept playing hard, and because we are playing hard we are having success.”

After shooting 28.5 percent (14-49) through three quarters, UTEP caught fire in the fourth. The Miners nailed 69 percent (9-13) of their shots in the final frame, in addition to going 8-10 at the charity stripe.

While the offense took some time to get things going, the defense was stellar throughout the entire tilt. UAB never scored more than 15 points in a quarter and finished at 35.1 percent (20-57) from the floor. The Blazers were harassed into 25 giveaways, including nine alone during the wild fourth quarters.

Jenzel Nash (14 points) buoyed the offensive efforts of Taylor and Turner while Tamara Seda posted seven points (one shy of career high). Turner led the charge on the glass with 11 boards for her first double-double this year. Nash pitched in six rebounds, including five alone at the defensive end.

The Miners’ bench outscored the Blazer back-ups, 32-18, thanks largely to the heroic efforts of Taylor.

Chelsee Black (16 points) and T’erra Lewis (14 poionts) led the charge for the Blazers on offense while Brittany Winborne and Deanna Kuzmanic each pitched in eight points. No one else on the squad had more than four.

UTEP will wrap up its three-game C-USA homestand against UTSA at 1:05 p.m. MST on Jan. 17. It will be the second straight nationally-televised tilt, with American Sports Network carrying the action.

Author: UTEP Athletics

Defense leads the way at home as Miners mop up Middle Tennessee 84-63

Fueled by big scoring nights from Jenzel Nash (career-high 26 points) and Cameasha Turner (season-high tying 20 points) and a tremendous team effort at the free-throw line and on defense, the UTEP women’s basketball team knocked off preseason Conference USA favorite Middle Tennessee, 84-73, at the Don Haskins Center Thursday evening.

The Miners (12-1, 3-0 C-USA) bolted out to a nine-point lead (25-16) after one quarter of play and never looked back on the way to picking up a wire-to-wire win against a talented Blue Raider (7-6, 1-1 C-USA) squad. The margin was 15 (40-25) at the break and MT was never able to get closer than five the rest of the way.

The Orange and Blue, who have received votes in four straight top-25 polls, are off to a 3-0 start in league play for the first time since 2012 and fourth occasion in program history. They shot a solid 41.0 percent (25-61) from the floor-while holding the visitors to 35.7 percent (20-56).

UTEP absolutely cashed in at the free-throw line. The 33 (out of 37) free throws made tied as the fifth most in program history. The Miners got after it on the glass (42-34), in addition to holding the Blue Raiders to 35.7 percent (20-56) from the floor.  Lawna Kennedy joined Nash and Turner in double figures with 10 points.

“I’m really proud of the team. We executed the game plan and hit our free throws as well. We worked hard studying Middle Tennessee and planning strategy. We put together a good scheme, the kids performed it. They followed the plan. Winning the boards was key; Middle Tennessee rebounds the ball so well.”

Lulu McKinney (nine points), Sparkle Taylor (seven points, seven rebounds) and Tamara Seda (three points, seven boards) made big contributions off the bench. Their efforts helped the Orange and Blue outscore the MT reserves, 21-16. UTEP got its fast-break game going (14-2) advantage and had a big cushion in points off turnovers (19-8) as well.

Turner, whose 20 points match her season high, was officially cooking. She nailed 6-9 from the floor while finishing 7-7 at the charity stripe. Middle Tennessee had no answer for Nash either. She drilled 8-17 shots and was 10-11 on her free-throw attempts.

Her biggest bucket of the night, an old-fashioned three-point play, came in crunch time. With Middle Tennessee in the midst of a 12-2 run to cut a 15-point Miner lead down to five (63-58, 5:54 4Q), Nash sliced through the defense for an acrobatic lay-up that sparked a game-closing 19-9 surge.

UTEP will not have long to rest on its laurels, as a quality UAB squad invades El Paso for a nationally-televised contest (Fox Sports) at 5 p.m. MST Sunday. Tickets for the game are only $5 for adults and $3 for kids and may be purchased by calling 915-747-5234.

Author: UTEP Athletics

Miners melt Mean Green 75-67, move to 2-0 in C-USA play

DENTON, Texas– UTEP shot 50 percent from the floor (28-56) while forcing 22 turnovers on the way to an exhilarating 75-67 road victory at North Texas late Sunday afternoon. The Miners (11-1, 2-0 C-USA) led for 31:11 of the action but that doesn’t accurately portray the effort required to down the Mean Green (6-6, 1-1 C-USA) and pick up their second win in three days.

Starr Breedlove set a career high for points (25) and rebounds (seven) while also grabbing four steals to give her a school-record-tying six straight contests with at least four thefts. She had plenty of support, though, with Lawna Kennedy coming off the bench to tally a career-high 13 points. Cameasha Turner (11 points), Jenzel Nash (11 points) and Sparkle Taylor (10 points) also hit double figures in scoring for the Orange and Blue.

There were three ties and eight lead changes, including three changes in the final five minutes of action. The momentum finally switched for good when the Miners deployed their patented full-court press. Trailing 61-60 with 2:43 to play, UTEP forced five turnovers down the stretch to help fuel a contest-closing 15-6 run.

Defense powered the surge, which started with six straight points to put UTEP up 66-61 with 2:16 left. UNT finally broke the press and two-and-a half minute scoreless drought with a lay-up from Kelsey Criner to trim the Miner lead to three (66-63), but it could get no closer.

Breedlove scored 11 points in the sequence for the Miners, who are off to a 2-0 start in C-USA for the fifth straight year.

“We went to a full-court press and that got us to be more aggressive and some steals and some easy baskets,” UTEP head coach Keitha Adams said. “The kids played hard. I’m really proud of how we played today. When our guards are playing great defense, it makes our team go. I’m really proud of our effort. It was a hard-fought game between two teams that really went at it. Our full-court press in the last four to five minutes was key. We executed better on offense and were more disciplined. North Texas has a good team. They made us earn it.”

Teadra Jones scored 19 points while Bria Frierson (13 points) and Candice Adams (12 points) also reached double figures in scoring to lead the way for the Mean Green. UNT shot a solid 45.3 percent (24-53) from the floor and outrebounded UTEP (35-32) but it was done in by the Miners’ pressure defense and depth.

UTEP’s reserves outscored the Mean Green back-ups, 16-6, while the Orange and Blue also had a 22-16 advantage in points off turnovers.

Both teams scored on their opening possessions before UTEP ripped off eight straight points to grab a 10-2 advantage at 7:21 of the first quarter. The battle-tested Mean Green squad, which boasts a road win over national powerhouse Oklahoma, fought back with five straight to make it 10-7. UTEP used its own 5-0 surge to help regain control, and its advantage was seven (21-14) through 10 minutes.

The Miners gradually extended their advantage to double figures (37-26, 2:40 second quarter) before UNT ripped off nine straight points to make it 37-35 with 33 seconds left. McKinney stopped the bleeding with a clutch jumper to make it a four-point game at the half (39-35)

The Mean Green unleashed an 11-2 run over the first five minutes of the third quarter to flip the script. UTEP stayed true to form, though, countering with a 14-5 surge to regain a four-point lead (55-51) heading to the fourth. It was back-and-forth in the final frame before the Miners finally took control for good.

UTEP will kick off a three-game homestand when it plays host to preseason C-USA favorite Middle Tennessee at 7:05 p.m. MST Thursday. The Miners will also lock up with UAB (5 p.m., Jan. 10) and UTSA (1 p.m., Jan. 17) during the stretch in the Sun City.

Additionally Coach Adams will have her third radio show of the year from 6-7 p.m. on Tuesday. It will be held at Mesa Street Bar and Grill (3800 North Mesa Street, Suite D1), with fans invited to join Coach Adams and host Steve Kaplowitz.

Author: UTEP Athletics

Miners steam Rice on the road 60-54

HOUSTON, Texas– Starr Breedlove (15 points), Jenzel Nash (12 points) and Sparkle Taylor (10 points) all reached double figures in scoring, and UTEP defended with a vigor in dispatching Rice, 60-54, on the road in the Conference USA opener for both squads Friday afternoon.

The Miners (10-1, 1-0 C-USA) have now won seven straight league lid lifters but the Owls (1-11, 0-1 C-USA) made them work for it. Trailing 37-36 after three quarters, UTEP stormed back down the stretch to pick up the win. The Miners opened up the final quarter on a 13-7 run on the way to outscoring the home side, 24-17, over the final 10 minutes. Included in the sequence were the first six points in the quarter to afford the visitors a lead they would not relinquish.

It was a defensive-minded contest, with both the Miners (21-60, 35.0%, 17 turnovers) and Owls (17-52, 32.7%, 17 turnovers) making offensive execution difficult with their pressure. But UTEP found some separation through its effort on the glass (44-35), in addition to holding a 16-6 advantage in points off turnovers and an 18-9 cushion for second-chance points.

The Miners also got a boost from the bench with 16 points, compared to seven from Rice’s reserves. Senior Lawna Kennedy led the way in that department with a season-high six points, including a perfect 4-4 at the charity stripe.

“It was an ugly win but we’re glad to get out of there with the win,” UTEP head coach Keitha Adams said. “Our defense turned it up, and got some key steals. Road wins are great wins, and we’ll take it and move forward. We know we have to play better. We had some careless turnovers and some other things to work on.”

Senior Agata Dobrowolska paced the squad with seven rebounds. She was particularly effective on the offensive end with four, including three in the final 2:07 of the game that led to some big points for the Orange and Blue. Turner (six), Tamara Seda (five) and McKinney (four) also got after it on the glass.

Breedlove was impactful on the contest, and not just with her scoring. She tormented Rice with her pressure defense, making a career-high tying five steals, which helped lead to some easy baskets for the Orange and Blue.

Maya Hawkins tallied a game-high 16 points to pace the Owls, but she needed 15 shots to do so. Wendy Knight pitched in 11 while Alyssa Lang netted nine. Rice did an outstanding job at the free-throw line by making 78.9% (15-19) but it wasn’t enough to compensate for its shortcomings in other areas.

UTEP bolted out to a 7-2 lead four minutes into the contest and continued to lead by that difference (9-4) with 3:23 to play in the opening period. The Owls regrouped nicely, clawing within one (12-11) through 10 minutes of action. UTEP pushed the advantage out to as many as eight in the second quarter before settling for a five-point (26-21) halftime advantage.

The Miners looked to be in good shape, leading 36-28 with 2:25 to go in the third quarter before Rice ripped off nine straight points to pull ahead through three quarters. UTEP regrouped nicely, though, on the way to notching the road victory.

The Miners can’t rest on their laurels, though, as they have a quick turnaround by playing at North Texas at 2 p.m. MST Sunday. Duke Keith will be on the call for the game for 600 ESPN El Paso, KROD-AM Radio.

Author: UTEP Athletics

UTEP knocks off UNLV 60-52; Miners now 9-1

LONG BEACH, Calif.  – Sparkle Taylor came off the bench to pour in a season-high 19 points, and UTEP gave UNLV fits with its defense in 60-52 victory to close out play at the 2015 Long Beach Classic Saturday evening.

The Miners (9-1) won the rebounding battle (46-41), held the Lady Rebels (7-3) to 31.7 percent (19-60) from the floor and forced 21 turnovers to pick up an impressive victory less than 24 hours after sustaining their first setback of the season.

“It was a great bounce-back win,” UTEP head coach Keitha Adams said. “This was a great team victory, and the bench did an outstanding job. I’m very proud of the team.”

Lulu McKinney contributed 12 points from the pine to join Taylor in double figures while Tamara Seda equaled her career high (eight points) in her second career start. Cameasha Turner pitched in five points while pulling down eight boards to pace the Miners in that department. Jenzel Nash flirted with a double-double (seven points, seven boards). Taylor also got after it on the glass with six while freshman Najala Howell pitched in five points and five boards (career high) in 19 minutes of action.

UTEP’s benched outscored the Lady Rebels, 39-3.

UNLV jumped out to an early 9-4 advantage (6:08 1Q) before the Orange and Blue took over. They peeled off 12 consecutive points to grab a 16-9 advantage through 10 minutes of action. Turner got things going by draining a long triple, which was followed by a trey from McKinney. Howell then sunk a pair of free throws, which was followed by consecutive lay-ups by McKinney and Howell.

The Lady Rebels halted the sequence with a lay-up on their first possession of the second quarter before the Miners ripped off eight straight points to grab a 13-point (24-11) lead with 3:40 to play. The advantage was 12 (28-16) at the break.

The Miners played one of their best quarters of the season to start the second half. UTEP nailed 61.5 percent (8-13) of its shots in the period-while holding the Lady Rebels to 18.8 percent (3-16). The result was a 20-10 difference in the stanza, giving the Miners a seemingly insurmountable 48-26 lead heading to the start of the fourth quarter.

The difference remained 22 (60-38) with 5:04 to play in the contest. Undeterred the Lady Rebels dug deep and played their finest basketball of the evening. They scored 14 consecutive points to make UTEP sweat a bit down the stretch, but it proved to be too little too late.

The Miners will now take a break for Christmas before returning to action at home in the non-conference finale against Eastern New Mexico at 7 p.m. MST on Dec. 28.

Author: UTEP Athletics

Long Beach State drops UTEP 47 to 40

The UTEP women’s basketball team was dealt its first loss of the season after falling in a defensive struggle at Long Beach State, 47-40, Friday evening. The Miners (8-1), who trailed by 21 (47-26) with 6:16 to play in the contest, showed tremendous character by refusing to quit. They closed the game on a 14-0 surge before running out of time, allowing the 49ers (8-3) to escape with the victory.

UTEP held Long Beach to 29.5 percent (18-61) from the floor and forced 24 turnovers, but it was doomed by some issues of its own. The Miners committed a season-high 26 giveaways and shot 31.3 percent (15-48), in addition to enduring a 38.1 percent effort (8-21) at the charity stripe.

Jenzel Nash tallied 13 points to pace the Miners, who slipped to 47-5 under head coach Keitha Adams when holding foes to less than 50 points. Junior Sparkle Taylor pitched in seven points-all in the final 2:56 of the contest- to buoy Nash while Cameasha Turner pitched in five points.

“Long Beach State has a really good defensive team,” UTEP head coach Keitha Adams said. “They mixed their defenses a lot, but we just weren’t very good tonight. We really struggled. I thought we played hard to the end but I’m very frustrated tonight.”

Neither squad could get anything going in the opening quarter, which resulted in a 7-7 tie through 10 minutes. LBSU outscored UTEP, 16-8, in the second frame to put the Miners in a 23-15 halftime deficit. The Beach slowly but surely extended their advantage in the second half, with the difference swelling to the aforementioned 21 points.

The Orange and Blue didn’t fold up shop, though. Lawna Kennedy got things going with a jumper. Freshman Wiktoria Zapart then blocked a shot to spring fellow classmate Najala Howell on a fastbreak lay-up. Taylor then took over by scoring the game’s next seven points while the Miners continued to get stops at the other end.

Howell put a cap on the sensational sequence to close the contest with a long triple from the corner. The Miners forced one more turnover but they were unable to knock down a shot before time expired.

UTEP will wrap up play at the Long Beach Classic when it locks up with Mountain West foe UNLV.

Author: UTEP Athletics

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