File photo by Ruben R. Ramirez | El Paso Herald Post
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.