UTEP Slips Up At UCF, 51-46
ORLANDO For the second time in three days, the UTEP women’s basketball team lost on a basket in the final 16 seconds. On Sunday is was UCF’s LaShay King whose three-pointer with 15.8 seconds broke a 46-46 tie which paved the way for a 51-46 Golden Knight win.
After dribbling to half court and calling a time out, UTEP was unable to inbound the ball and had to foul UCF on the ensuing possession. UCF’s Francine Houston missed the front-end of the one-and-one but the rebound went off a Miner and UTEP was forced to foul again.
This time, an intentional foul was called but Keunta Miles missed both free throws. UCF still had possession and went to the line after another UTEP foul with 6.5 seconds remaining. Shayla Smith made both shots to ice the game.
UTEP (10-7, 2-3 C-USA) was led offensively by Izabela Piekarska and Ingrid Goslin. Both players finished with 10 points. Piekarska also had a team-high eight rebounds and four blocks, while Goslin’s 10 points were a season-high. Whitney Thornton had nine points, six boards and a pair of blocks.
The Miners outshot the Golden Knights 31 percent to 26 percent but were out-rebounded 43-38 with a minus-five margin on the offensive end.
With Shalana Taylor out for the game with an injury sustained in shoot-around on Sunday morning, UCF keyed its full-court press on Ana Valtierra who ran the point for UTEP. Valtierra had just two turnovers as a result of the press but was left to fight through double-teams and traps in the front court numerous times. Both teams finished with 14 turnovers
UCF (4-12, 2-3) won its second-consecutive game in spite of registering its second-lowest shooting performance of the season. The Golden Knights entered the game tied for last in Conference USA in free-throw percentage, at 61.5 percent, but got to the line 26 times and made 19.
Amber Long led UCF with 12 points and eight rebounds. Miles had 10 points and eight boards as well.
UTEP led for nearly the entire first half and after closing the period on a 6-2 run, led 29-25 at the break.
UTEP will have a week off before its next game, Sunday, Jan. 22, against UAB (8-7, 1-3). Start time at the Don Haskins Center is scheduled for 2:05 p.m.