UTEP Knocks Off UTSA, 78-65, On
Feb. 26, 2014
EL PASO, Texas - Four different Miners reached double figures in scoring to help UTEP race past UTSA, 78-65, on "Senior Night," at the Don Haskins Center Wednesday evening.
The effort moves the Miners to 22-5, 11-3 C-USA play, including 16-1 overall at home on the year. That sum equals the school standard for home victories in a single season (16-2, 2006-07), a mark which can be broken in the C-USA Championships from March 11-15.
The Roadrunners (13-14, 4-10 C-USA) carried out their aspirations of spoiling "Senior Night" to perfection through the first 10 minutes of the game. The visitors mixed up their looks on defense while getting some shots to fall from distance to secure a 17-12 lead with 9:52 to play in the first half.
With senior Kayla Thornton on the bench with an injury, her teammates went to work to pick up the slack. The result was a 12-0 run over the next three minutes to swing the pendulum of moment to the Miners. The surge started what was a 21-8 surge to close the half with UTEP leading 33-25.
UTSA fought back in the second stanza and got within five on a few occasions, but UTEP had an answer to every run.
"It was a good win," UTEP head coach Keitha Adams said. "I'm happy to put it in the books for `Senior Night.' It's a good team win against an opponent that has played people extremely tough."
Redshirt-sophomore Jenzel Nash came off the bench to pour in a team-high 16 points while freshman and fellow reserve Sparkle Taylor pitched in 11. It marks the fifth time in six games that Taylor has reached double digits, a direct result of putting in extra work in the gym.
Senior Kristine Vitola added 13 points, as did junior and El Paso native Stacie Telles. Junior Chrishauna Parker picked up the slack in the rebounding department with Thornton out by securing 13 boards. She also added seven points and five assists.
Senior Kelli Willingham chipped in nine points, on 4-of-5 shooting, while also handing out two helpers to join in on the festivities.
The Miners shot their best field-goal percentage (29-of-59, 49.2 percent) in a conference game this year. They were efficient in sharing the ball, registering 18 helpers on 29 field goals.
UTSA was powered by the play of Mathilde Hergott (22 points) and Kamra King (17 points) but no one else hit double digits. The Roadrunners connected on 41.8 percent (23-of-55) from the floor, but were done in by 18 turnovers while also being out-rebounded by the Miners, 40-32.