UTEP Overwhelms UCF, 67-38
Jan. 29, 2012
EL PASO, TEXAS - Senior Briana Green scored a season-high 13 points, and UTEP defended with vigor in a 67-38 rout of UCF in front of a campaign-best 4,029 fans at the Don Haskins Center Sunday afternoon.
It marks a school-record ninth victory of at least 20 points on the year for the Miners (19-2, 8-0 C-USA), who led by double figures for the final 30 minutes of the contest. The effort against the Knights (9-11, 4-4 C-USA) extends UTEP's win streak to nine, while also keeping it atop the league standings at the half-way point of the 16-game Conference USA slate.
The Miners nailed 44.8 percent (26-58) from the floor, registering 22 assists on 26 field-goals made. It was locked in from distance, drilling 8-of15 (53.3 percent). UTEP took good care of the basketball with only 15 assists, and it nailed 7-of-8 from the free-throw line.
Gloria Brown filled up the stat sheet, compiling five points, six blocks and seven rebounds in only 17 minutes of action. Kristine Vitola contributed six points and five boards, and senior Whitney Houston matched her season high with five points.
Another factor, as it has been throughout the season, is the Orange and Blue's seemingly endless supply of scoring from their bench. UTEP's back-ups tallied 36 points, compared to just two by UCF.
Head coach Keitha Adams' bench has outscored the opposition's reserves in every game, with a double-digit advantage in 20 of the 21 tilts. Furthermore, the Miners' reserves have either out-scored (nine) the opponent's starters or matched them (three) 12 times on the year.
Almost lost in the offensive efficiency by the Miners was the tenacity they used at the other end to give the Knights fits. UCF finished with more turnovers (20) than field-goals made (16), improving UTEP to 46-3 since the start of the 2006-07 campaign when doing so.
Erika Jones tallied 10 points to lead UCF, while Gevenia Carter (nine points) and Kayli Keough (eight points) also got in on the act.
The Miners won the rebounding battle (41-37) and enjoyed a 22-4 advantage in points off turnovers.
UTEP surged out of the gates with seven straight points and was up 11-2 with 16:49 to play in the period. The Knights struck back in a seven in a row, but the Orange and Blue put it out of reach for good by virtue of an 18-4 run over the next six minutes.
The cushion was 15 at the break, and swelled to at least 20 over the final 14 minutes.
UTEP will be idle for a week, and will return to action at Rice at 10 a.m. MST on Sunday, Feb. 5. The game will be televised nationally by Fox Sports Networks.