Miners Down Texas State, 85-74

Nov. 29, 2008

Final Stats

 

Behind Brittnay Jones’ first-career double-double, the UTEP women’s basketball team cruised past Texas State, 85-74, to take home third place at the second-annual Miner Thanksgiving Classic at the Don Haskins Center Saturday evening.

Jones poured in 19 points to go along with a career-high 12 rebounds, in addition to a game-high six assists while making all the energy-plays to lead UTEP (3-3) to a much-needed triumph. Freshman Briana Green and sophomore Sviatlana Trukshanina joined forces with Jones to form a three-headed scoring monster for the Orange and Blue. Green finished with a career-best 21 points while Trukshanina matched her personal best by pouring in 20 points.

The effort by the trio played a large role in the Miners being much crisper offensively than a day prior, evidenced by them knocking down 48.7 percent of their shots from the floor. While the Bobcats (2-4) did connect on 51.9 percent of their tries, UTEP overcame that by forcing 16 turnovers. The Orange and Blue converted those giveaways into 24 points.

The Miners were the hungrier squad, racking up 28 second-chance points compared to 13 by TSU. UTEP also won the battle of the boards (34-30) and controlled the paint to the tune of 38-24.  Junior Timika Williams helped in that department, with nine tough boards in addition to seven points.


 

 

Making the effort by UTEP even more impressive is the fact that the Miners were without the services of two key players. Reigning Conference USA Player of the Year and Wooden nominee Jareica Hughes was once again sidelined with an injury while freshman sharp-shooter and leading scorer Dietra Caldwell missed the contest with an illness.

Texas State actually led early on but the Miners made that a distant memory by going on a 9-0 run to turn a 4-2 deficit into an 11-4 lead with 15:43 left in the half. That run would prove to be the decisive one of the contest, with the Bobcats getting no closer than five points from that point on. Fittingly, all but two of the points by UTEP in the stretch were courtesy of Green, Jones and Trukshanina.

The Miners pushed their edge out to 20 (44-24) following a three-pointer from Trukshanina-one of her four triples on the day. The Bobcats answered with a three of their own from Victoria Davis, but Jones knocked down a long two to send UTEP into the locker room with the momentum and armed with a 19-point advantage (46-27).

In the second stanza, the Miners enjoyed three separate advantages of 22 points (49-27, 54-32 and 74-52) while putting things on cruise control. The Bobcats tried to claw their way back into the contest with a 13-4 run late in the tilt, eventually cutting the Orange and Blue’s lead to seven (79-72) with 1:51 left.

UTEP didn’t panic, though, striking back with five straight points to snuff out any chance of a comeback.

The Miners return to action against Eastern New Mexico at the Don Haskins Center at 7:05 p.m. on Monday.  

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