UTEP Dismantles ECU, 81-53, For C-USA Record 15th Straight Win
Feb. 10, 2008
Spurred on by a raucous crowd of 7,003, the UTEP women's basketball team put on quite a show for the national television audience of ESPN2 as it throttled East Carolina, 81-53, at the Don Haskins Center Sunday afternoon.
The Miners erupted for 51 second-half points, including 45 points during the final 13:22 in which UTEP out-scored ECU 45-16, on the way to notching their Conference USA record 15th consecutive victory. UTEP moves to 19-2 on the campaign, including 10-0 in league play, while East Carolina falls to 10-13 and 4-6, respectively.
The 81 points equal the campaign high for the Orange and Blue, while the 28-point margin of victory is the largest in a conference tilt since a 31-point rout at Nevada on Jan. 15, 2004.
Moreover, UTEP moved to 10-0 at home and has emerged victorious in 22 of its past 23 contests in El Paso.
"It was a fantastic crowd, and I thought we played really unselfishly," head coach Keitha Adams said. "We stepped up and just had a great game."
Rated 26th in this week's Associated Press poll, UTEP certainly made a case to burst into the top-25 for the first time in the 34-year history of the program. The Miners turned in their most efficient offensive game ever. UTEP finished with 26 assists- to equal the third-highest total in program annals- while committing a mere five turnovers, which matches the second-lowest figure in school history.
The Miners shot a blistering 50 percent from the floor while holding the Lady Pirates to a frigid 34.4 from the floor. It marks the 11th time in the past 12 contests in which the Orange and Blue have held its foe to below 40 percent. Additionally, UTEP forced ECU into 17 turnovers which were converted into 23 points.
Four Miners cracked double figures for the Orange and Blue, with Lacy's 20 points pacing the squad. Kasia Krezel finished with 17 points, including 12 via the three-point shot, while Hughes and Tasha Marisett contributed 13 and 10 points, respectively. Timika Williams also played well, chipping in nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Jasmine Young led the way for ECU with 18 points, although she needed 21 shots (7-of-21) to do so.
After a back-and forth first half concluded with UTEP clinging to a four-point edge (30-26), the Miners quickly pushed their advantage to six early in the second stanza. A jumper by Izabela Piekarska, who had six points, four boards and three blocks, put the Miners up 34-28 with 15:38 remaining.
The Lady Pirates struck back, rattling off nine straight points to take a 37-36 advantage with 13:22 remaining. From that point on, though, it was all UTEP. The Miners made 15 of their final 26 shots, including 7-of-8 on triples, while forcing ECU into missing 13 of its last 19 chances.
The result was turning a one-point deficit into the 28-point rout.
UTEP will be back in action against Houston, which is in second place in C-USA at 8-2 in the league, at the Don Haskins Center for a 7:05 p.m. tip on Thursday.