DENTON, Texas – North Texas clamped down defensively to pick up a 56-47 win on Senior Day over UTEP on Saturday afternoon in front of 2,266 fans in the Super Pit.
Entering the contest with a chance to win the West Division of C-USA, the Mean Green (16-11, 10-7 Conference USA) started strong, turning a two-point game into a 19-9 advantage in a span of less than two minutes late in the first quarter.
Hot shooting helped North Texas to the early lead, with the home team hitting on 8-of-13 shots from the floor and 4-of-5 attempts from the perimeter in the first 10 minutes.
One of the better stretches of the day occurred towards the end of the first for the Miners (14-14, 6-12 Conference USA), starting with Brenda Fontana dialing up a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end the quarter. The eventual 10-0 run continued with seven straight points to begin the second, including an Eliana Cabral triple that cut the lead to one at 22-21 with 8:15 before the half.
The advantage remained under 10 throughout the entirety of the final three quarters, however UTEP would never lead during that stretch.
Despite the game staying separated by at least two possessions throughout the last 10 minutes of the contest, Destiny Thurman helped give the Miners a chance, scoring five straight points to begin the fourth quarter to highlight her return to the floor after missing the last four games. Thurman tied a career high with seven rebounds.
Avery Crouse and Mahri Petree each tallied 10 points and five rebounds for UTEP.
Aly Gamez led the way for North Texas with 20 points and seven rebounds. Quincy Noble contributed 14 points and eight boards.
The Mean Green were 19-of-48 (39.6 percent) from the floor and 5-of-10 (50 percent) on 3-pointers. The Miners finished 19-of-55 (34.5 percent) overall and 3-of-13 (23.1 percent) on triples. UTEP won the battle on the boards 39-34 and had 20 bench points.
UTEP begins the 2022 Heritage Landscape Supply Group C-USA Basketball Championships on Tuesday at 3 p.m. MT/4 p.m. CT with a first round game against UTSA.
The game can be heard on 600 ESPN El Paso and the UTEP Miners app with Mando Medina calling the action. The contest will also be covered live on ESPN+.
Author: Joe Rodriguez | Photog: Ruben R. Ramirez – El Paso Herald Post
Rodriguez is a life long El Pasoan. Joe has covered sports locally across the Borderland since 2007 for various media outlet both in El Paso and Ciudad Juarez as a personal passion as he is a professional in the world of healthcare (Physiatry). His favorite sports include soccer, auto racing, golf and horse racing.