UTEP takes down Washington, moves on to WNIT Final Four

Chris Zacherl

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UTEP takes down Washington, moves on to WNIT Final Four

Cameasha Turner elated after defeating Washington.

Cameasha Turner elated after defeating Washington.

Michaela Roman

Cameasha Turner elated after defeating Washington.

Michaela Roman

Michaela Roman

Cameasha Turner elated after defeating Washington.

Javier Cortez, Staff Reporter

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In front of a record setting crowd of 10,227 fans, the UTEP Miners women’s basketball team defeated the Washington Huskies 70-63 to advance to women’s NIT final four.

Seniors forward Kayla Thornton and center Kristine Vitola both contributed double-doubles with 20 points and 13 rebounds and 21 points and 14 rebounds respectively. The Miners had three players with double digit rebounds and outrebounded the Huskies 50-36.

“Kristine is a great player,” Thornton said. “We look for her inside to give her that spark and it is a blessing to keep playing at the Haskins. Most seniors don’t get to keep playing at home so it is a blessing.”

For head coach Keitha Adams the numbers were irrelevant in comparison to the electricity of the crowd and the overall atmosphere of the game.

“I’m just elated by everything that is happening right now,” Adams said. “Our kids are just playing really hard and they are loving the moment. The crowd was amazing, I have never experienced anything like it. I’m almost speechless.”

After trailing the Huskies for the majority of the first half, the Miners took a two point lead going into halftime. The Huskies trailed the Miners for the majority of the second half and at one point with less than five minutes to play the Miners went on a 10-0 run to seal the win.

“We just kept battling,” Adams said. “We got some rebounds, we got some hustle plays and we made some nice passes to that led to some easy passes.”

The Miners now move to 28-7 on the year and will face South Dakota State in the final four. The Miners will host the Jack Rabbits this Wednesday April 2, at the Haskins Center.

“I think it is safe to say we are going to the final four because we have had an amazing crowd and our kids are playing hard,” Adams. “I don’t know if we have played are best game, but the chemistry that we have had in the Haskins has gotten us to this point.”

Javier Cortez may be reached at [email protected]

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