North Texas vs UTEP, CUSA Women’s Basketball | Photo by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta
The UTEP women’s basketball team (12-6, 5-2 C-USA) will open up a demanding stretch of playing five of the next seven games on the road when it competes at perennial league power Middle Tennessee (13-7, 5-3 C-USA) at 5:30 p.m. MT Thursday.
“Middle Tennessee is a solid team again this season in our conference, and they are led by some very strong guard play,” head coach Kevin Baker shares. “They are good at what they do, extremely well coached, and we know that it will be a challenge playing at their place. But we are excited about how we are playing, and we feel like it will be a great game.”
The Miners will face UAB (13-7, 5-3 C-USA) on the second contest of the trip Saturday. UTEP is alone in third place in the C-USA standings at 5-2 while the Lady Raiders and Blazers share fourth with a mark of 5-3 in league action. MT and UAB are a combined 17-4 at home on the year. UTEP is 2-2 on the road.
The Miners enter Thursday’s contest following a come-from-behind 67-63 vanquishing of North Texas on Jan. 25. MT also is coming off a victory, having downed Southern Miss, 77-69, on the road on Jan. 25.
UTEP still has 11 games remaining in the regular season, but thus far the Miners have greatly exceeded the expectations based upon the Conference USA Coaches’ Preseason Poll.
UTEP enters Thursday’s contest at 5-2 in the league and alone in third place. It was tabbed to finish 12th according to a vote by the league’s head coaches in the preseason.
In 2018-19 the Miners were decimated by injuries and finished the year at 9-22. It is a much different story this year, with UTEP (12-6) having surpassed its overall win total from a season ago.
The Miners are 5-2 in league play, which places them alone in third place and also matches their C-USA victory count from last year.
UTEP has three wins by at least 30 points in league play, which is the most such victories in a single season in program history. In fact the Miners had achieved the feat seven times total prior to this year, with the 2003-04 team (twice) previously holding the standard for a single season.
Middle Tennessee holds a 6-1 advantage in the series with the Miners, with all of the match-ups coming since the Lady Raiders joined C-USA. MT is 3-0 against UTEP at home, and has won four straight in the series.
The Lady Raiders ousted the Miners from the 2019 C-USA Championships, 66-44, in the quarterfinals on March 14, 2019, in the most-recent meeting between the programs.
The game will be streamed on ESPN3, with Jake Rose (PXP) and Madison Blevins (Analyst) describing the action. It will also be streamed through the 600 ESPN El Paso website with Brandon Cohn on the call.