Lady Miners open conference play with comeback win

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Lady Miners open conference play with comeback win

Junior forward Lawna Kennedy protects ball from UNT defender.

Junior forward Lawna Kennedy protects ball from UNT defender.

Michaela Roman

Junior forward Lawna Kennedy protects ball from UNT defender.

Michaela Roman

Michaela Roman

Junior forward Lawna Kennedy protects ball from UNT defender.

Jason Green, Staff Reporter

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Forward Lawna Kennedy takes a shot against North Texas

While the men’s basketball team visited Denton to take on the North Texas Mean Green, the Lady Miners hosted the Mean Green at the Don Haskins Center to open Conference USA play. After a difficult non-conference schedule which led to a 5-4 record, the Miners have the opportunity to turn things around with a winning conference schedule. With a 60-58 win on Friday night against the Mean Green, the Miners could not have opened the 2015 portion of the schedule any better.

UTEP opened up the game shooting poorly which led to a 30-25 halftime deficit. The Miners shot only 38.5% in the opening period off of 10-26 shooting from the field. They were not outrebounded in the first half but, they were outrebounded on the offensive glass. Coach Keitha Adams felt like this was a key to the Miners being down at halftime.

“If we wouldn’t have given up the offensive rebounds in the first half, we would have been ahead. We gave up six points to put backs in the first half. We didn’t take care of that,” said Adams after the game, “Our offense just struggled. We only had 25 points.”

This game truly was a tale of two halves as the Miners shot better than 50% in the second half and were able to get the teams’ go-to player, junior guard Cameasha Turner, on track offensively.

“I dialed up a few plays down the stretch to put her in that position. She’s our leader and she’s our competitor and she played really well –really hard,” said Adams in reference to Turner’s second half resurgence.

Turner ended the game with 13 points and 5 rebounds.

“Credit to my teammates they kept telling me ‘Cameasha, come on, we need you.’ I had to do the other things,” said Turner. “I had to go rebound. I had to be positive and just play defense. I had to do the other things to get my offense going.”

Sophomore guard Sparkle Taylor led the Miners with 17 points and 6 rebounds. Junior forward Rudiane Eduardo proved to be the spark plug for the comeback on several occasions. The French junior transfer finished with 9 points and 5 rebounds, including a banked in three pointer that fired up the Miners late in the second half.

Following the bruising, physical game, the Miners have little time to recover before facing C-USA foe Rice. The Owls needed overtime to edge UTSA in San Antonio tonight by a score of 62-58. UTEP will host Rice at the Don Haskins Center on Sunday at 2PM.

Jason Green may be reached at [email protected]