Miners hold off Owls, 2-0 in conference

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Miners hold off Owls, 2-0 in conference

Ruby Cerino

Ruby Cerino

Ruby Cerino

Jason Green, Staff Reporter

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After defeating the North Texas Mean Green on Friday night, the UTEP women’s basketball team returned to the court to take on the Rice Owls on Sunday afternoon. The Miners appeared a little sluggish following the quick turnaround, but were still able to defeat the Owls by a final score of 54-51. This is the second consecutive season that the Miners have opened Conference USA play with two victories in a row.

With the team’s leading scorer, junior guard Cameasha Turner, not able to find her stroke from the field, junior forward Irene Gari stepped up with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Gari lead the way, but the stat sheet will show that this game was truly a team effort. Coach Keitha Adams was happy despite her team’s shooting struggles.

“Great game. Our offense struggled all day. We just fought through it and we got the win,” said Coach Adams following the hard fought victory. “There’s a lot of things that we could do better that would have put ourselves in a position where we wouldn’t have been in that position (of playing a close game).”

Although Turner struggled shooting the ball, she was second on the team in rebounds with 6. Even with Gari and Turner rebounding at a high rate, the Miners were outrebounded 40-47 by a Rice team that was considerably smaller in size. Although they were outrebounded in the middle, the Miners were still able to outscore Rice 32-14 in the paint.

Junior forward Rudiane Eduardo contributed more than one timely bucket in the paint while providing a spark on defense and on the glass. When asked about a very important late basket, Eduardo seemed pleased with her contribution.

“All I wanted was to win, that’s it and I’m really proud of that. I helped my team,” Eduardo said.

“Europeans have a lot of heart,” added Spanish teammate Gari about the French Edurardo.

The entire team showed a lot of heart in two wins in three days. Coach Adams is pleased with her young team’s performance so far.

“We’ll get in this week and keep practicing,” Adams said. “We have a young team – and I like what we’re doing with a bunch of young players.”

After two home wins to open up C-USA play, the Miners will travel to Louisiana Tech next. Louisiana Tech lost their C-USA opener to Southern Mississippi in overtime today. The Miners will take on Coach Tyler Summitt’s Lady Techsters at 5:30pm on Thursday.

 

Jason Green may be reached at [email protected]