Miners crush rivals New Mexico State 94-69

Luis Barrio, Staff Reporter

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After a disappointing defensive effort by the UTEP women’s basketball team, the Miners stormed to a 24-8 run in the second half and easily defeated the New Mexico State Aggies 94-69.

The Miners were led in scoring by El Pasoans senior Kayla Thornton and junior Stacie tells who registered 22 and 16 points respectively. Thornton got a double-double on the first half alone and finished with 12 rebounds, five of which were on offense.

“It was good to set the tone and give everyone else confidence.” Thornton said.

Head coach Keitha Adams said she didn’t like how the team performed in the first half, but is pleased on how Thornton has been playing so far.

“We’ve got to get her doing is have an inside presence for us and scoring inside and outside, running the floor, rebounding and put-backs. Her best games are when she rebounds,” Adams said.

The reason the game was so close in the first half was due to the lackluster defense and horrid rebounding. Adams was extremely upset with her team going into the locker room at the half.

“I was real unhappy with our defense in the first half. I thought it was extremely poor. It was one of the worst I’ve seen in my 12 years here,” said Adams.

Telles provided her three-point shot spark off the bench and with contribution from the whole team; the Miners led the game by as much as 35 in the second half. Four different Miners finished with double figures. The Miners took care of the ball much better against the Aggies, only committing 10 turnovers.

Although Adams made a clear emphasis of her displeasure with her team’s first half defense, she liked the improvement they showed the rest of the way on defense, especially the first 10 minutes of the second half.

“First 10 minutes of the second half I thought we really came out and played defense, the intensity was much better,” Adams said. “If we can figure out how to play defense for 40 minutes the way we played in the first ten minutes of the second half I like our team a lot better.”

The Miners had 27 points off turnovers compared to the Aggies’ one point. They also had 17 fast-break points, and the bench outscored the Aggies 39-20.

“It’s always a dogfight with NMSU, we’ve had some tremendously tough games. It was still a good win for us,” Adams said.

The Miners (2-0) will host Big 12 opponent the Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Don Haskins Center.

Luis Barrio may be reached at [email protected]