The UTEP women’s basketball team (2-0) will host NM State (2-0) in the Battle of I-10 on Wednesday night.
The Miners and Aggies, playing in the 92nd meeting, are set to tip off at 7 p.m. in the Haskins Center.
Fans are encouraged to wear orange for Wednesday night’s “Orange Out”. The contest will be streamed on CUSA.tv, while fans can tune into “The Home of UTEP Basketball” 600 ESPN El Paso or the UTEP Miners App to hear Mando Medina call the action.
“Whenever NMSU plays UTEP, it is always a good game,” fifth-year UTEP Head Coach Kevin Baker said. “It doesn’t matter who is on the roster for either team. It is simply going to be a great game. We are looking forward to a challenging opponent and I know that NMSU will bring a solid team in to the Haskins Center. Just like any rivalry game, we will depend upon our strong fan base to show up, wear orange, and be loud. We are looking forward to this game because we know that it will bring out the best in us. Rivalry games are what make college basketball so special.”
Tickets start at $8 while groups of 10 can purchase tickets for $5 a piece. Fans can buy single-game tickets and season tickets (starting as low as $65) for the 2021-22 campaign at the Eisenberg Family Ticket Office by calling (915) 747-UTEP, visiting www.UTEPMiners.com/tickets, emailing [email protected], or in person at 500 W. University Ave., 79968-0579 (Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
The Miners have won by an average of 27.0 points in their first two contests, dismantling Incarnate Word, 81-47, in the season opener on Nov. 11, and blasting North Dakota, 89-69, on Nov. 13.
UTEP is 2-0 for the fourth straight year, while the Miners have scored 80-plus points in the first two games for the first time since the 1994-95 season.
Destiny Thurman leads the squad at 19.5 points per game, after coming off a career-high 23-point effort against North Dakota. Thurman is shooting 44.8 percent from the floor. Katia Gallegos leads the team with 13 assists (6.5 apg), while averaging 14.0 points per contest. Elina Arike, fresh off her career highs in points (19) and rebounds (15) is averaging 11.5 points and 10.0 boards per game.
The Miners are averaging 85.0 points per game and yielding 58.0 points per contest. UTEP is shooting 48.9 percent, including 41.9 percent from downtown. The team has combined for 39 assists and is averaging 37.5 boards per game.
The Aggies are coming off a 94-40 win against WNMU on Nov. 9, and a 57-48 victory over Incarnate Word on Nov. 13. A trio of Aggies average double figures – Bigue Sarr (14.5 ppg), Molly Kaiser (11.5 ppg) and Taylor Donaldson (10.5 ppg). Sarr leads the team at 7.0 boards per game, while Donaldson has dished out a team-high six assists.
NM State leads the all-time series 50-41. However, UTEP is 17-8 against NM State in the last 25 games, while currently owning a four-game winning streak. In the last four meetings, the Miners defeated the Aggies 63-57 on Nov. 13, 2019 in Las Cruces, 65-45 on Nov. 23, 2019 in the Haskins Center, 80-76 in overtime on Nov. 25, 2020 in El Paso, and 81-73 in overtime on Dec. 2, 2020, also in El Paso (NM State designated as ‘home team’ due to the state of New Mexico not permitting sporting events during the COVID-19 pandemic).
UTEP completed a season sweep of NM State with an 81-73 overtime win on Dec. 2, 2020. Gallegos scored 22 points along with dishing out six dimes. Avery Crouse chipped in with 13 points and five boards. The Miners were down 42-34 at the half, but outscored the Aggies 32-24 in the second half, and 15-7 in the overtime period.