Lady Miners to be tested on the road

UTEP+has+just+one+win+this+season+in+Conference+USA+road+games.

Michaela Roman

UTEP has just one win this season in Conference USA road games.

Juan Carlos Navarrete, Staff Reporter

The Lady Miners will be on the road to play Charlotte and Old Dominion on Thursday and Saturday, respectively. The Miners, who are coming off their first win at home after a six game loosing streak, will look to get a different streak going on the road

The Miners needed last week’s win against the last place FIU to build momentum going into the last games of the season. The Miners will be playing the team directly in front of them in the conference standings when they travel to Charlotte.

The Miners, now 9-11 and 4-7 in Conference USA, can take a win away from the 49ers and continue their pursuit towards the conference championships with a win against a weak team. Charlotte is 5-5 in conference play and has won two straight games since losing three consecutive in late January.

If the Miners can replicate their two last games in terms of rebounding getting a positive streak going should be that much easier. The Miners have outrebounded its last two opponents by a combined 81-53, including 34 on the offensive end.

The Miners have played exceptionally well on defensive end as of late too. The Miners outscored FIU 25-8 off turnovers during the 72-56 beat down last Saturday—that can lead to another Miner win this week against Charlotte.

The Miners have relied heavily on junior guard Cameisha Turner to produce offense for that team. Turner is coming off a career night at home when she put up 26 points against the Panthers, most of them off turnovers and lay ups. The 26 points were one short of tying a career-high for Turner.

There has only been one previous meeting between the two squads. The Miners dropped a 96-82 decision last season on the floor of the Don Haskins Center. It was the second loss in a row—the only time all season UTEP had back-to-back losses.

The Miners will also look to neutralize one of the more powerful teams in the conference when they play against Old Dominion. The Lady Monarchs are 13-8 on the year find themselves among the best five teams in the conference with a 6-4 conference record.

The Miners can see this game as a true test of their defense and recent rebounding success. The Monarchs have two players listed at 6-3 and six other listed that are at least six feet.

Old Dominion and UTEP have played two times. They met first in the 88-89 season at a neutral site with the Monarchs prevailing 77-71. Last year, the Miners visited Old Dominion and came away victorious by a final of 65-55.

The Miners in the last two games have improved their free throw shooting, especially in their last game against FIU where they shot 75 percent from the free throw line. Coach Adams continues to send a message to her team when it comes to their performance at the charity stripe.

“We made some free throws and its good to see the team playing like that, we make a couple of them in our other games, and some of those losses are no longer loses,” Adams said.

The Miners will have to play their best on the road and that is not something this team has done all season. The Miners are 1-5 on the road this season but their lone victory was at the expense of third-place Southern Miss.

Playing on the road is never easy, regardless of team standing or record.

If the Miners can find a way to win both games they will start to move up the standings in Conference USA. The six-game loosing streak could begin to fade at the sight of a three game winning streak and the Miners can take control of their season with two big games this week.

“We are competing,” Adams said. “We were in a position to have a chance to win and that’s what you want.”

Juan Carlos Navarrete can be reached at [email protected]