UTEP storms back to defeat Golden Eagles in overtime

Luis Barrio, Staff Reporter

The UTEP women’s basketball team used a big second half rally to complete their biggest comeback win in school history against the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles.

The Miners scored 58 points in the second half to tie the game at 76 and force overtime and eventually come out with a 86-85 win.

The Miners were an abysmal 6-28 from the field and down by a score of 37-18 at the intermission.

“I told them at halftime, ‘this isn’t us’,” said head coach Keitha Adams. “What I saw in the first half was definitely not the character and the competitors that’s in these guys. That was disappointing the first 20 minutes.”

The Miners had a completely different demeanor in the second half. They did what Southern Mississippi did to them in the first half and that was outscoring their opponent by 19.

“I talked about pride, character, and competitive greatness at halftime,” Adams.

Those characteristics were hard to miss when watching the second half of this crucial conference game.

Senior forward Kayla Thorton led the game with 26 points, but attributed the win to her teammate junior guard Chrishauna Parker.

“This girl (Parker) did an unbelievable job rebounding,” Thornton said. “That’s what brought us back. She did an unbelievable job.”

Parker had a double-double with 21 points on 7-8 of shooting and 16 rebounds. She simply refused to go away quietly.

“I don’t feel like it’s the best I’ve ever played but it’s the hardest I’ve played. I put everything I had to make my team win.”

At halftime the leaders of the team talk to each other trying to turn things around.

“The things we said to each other (at halftime) can’t be said,” Parker said.

Southern Miss had four players in double figures and for a long time punished the Miners in the paint. Nearly half of

their points came from the paint.

The Miners had only 11 turnovers as opposed to the Golden Eagles’ 22.

The game wnet overtime and saw Jenzel Nash reshape her performance. She had five points in overtime and 1 assist to go with that.

It was a “grind-it-out” game where the players simply did not quit.

“I think everybody went home thrilled and excited about this game tonight. It was a great second half effort,” Adams said .

With the win the Miners snapped a two game losing streak and are now 14-4 (3-2 in Conference USA) and will travel to face Texas San Antonio on Jan. 25.

Luis Barrio may be reached at [email protected]