Miners Host Fresno State For National Girls & Women In Sports Day
After a thrilling come from behind victory at Tulsa last Saturday, the UTEP women's basketball team returns home to host Fresno State and Nevada this weekend.
On Thursday, UTEP (11-9, 6-5) will celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day by playing Fresno State at 7:05 p.m.. Admission is free for all children under 18 and adult tickets are $2.
The Miners, who stand tied for fourth in the WAC, will be seeking to complete their first season sweep of Fresno State (8-13, 2-9) since 1999 and their first sweep of any conference opponent since the 2001 season.
UTEP edged Fresno State 59-53 on Jan. 17 at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., in the teams' first meeting of the season.
Head coach Keitha Green's squad returns to the Don Haskins Center after a four-game, conference road swing. UTEP is 6-2 on its home court this season.
The Bulldogs are coming off a 49-35 win over SMU last weekend. Fresno State is one of the league's top rebounding teams, ranking second in rebounding offense (44.6 rpg), rebounding defense (35.9 rpg) and rebounding margin (+5.5).
Fresno State is led by Mindy Clark, who ranks second in the WAC in rebounds with 7.5 per game. Junior Artta Lane is ninth in the conference averaging 12.5 points.
UTEP, which has been out rebounded in its last four games, fought back from an 11-point deficite to top Tulsa 66-63 last weekend.
Junior Angie McGee finished with career highs for points (25), field goals (10) and three-pointers (five) at Tulsa. She carried the Miners in the final seven minutes with scoring 14 points, including four-consecutive threes.
The Miners have struggled offensivly in their last six games, scoring under 45 points and have shot less than 30 percent three times. However, UTEP has one of the best defenses in the circuit, ranking first in scoring defense (58.0 ppg) and rebounding defense (35.5 rpg).
Along with McGee, UTEP's success will rely on the production of guards Vaida Zagurskyte and Noni Wharemate. Zagurskyte is sixth in the WAC with 12.9 points per game. Wharemate has put up 9.2 points per outing and is one of the league's top distributors with 4.7 assists per game. She additionally ranks second with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.55.
On Saturday, the Miners will entertain Nevada (3-18, 2-9) at 7:05 p.m. UTEP routed the Wolf Pack 85-54 on Jan. 15 in Reno, Nev.