UTEP runs away from La Tech

Junior+guard+Cameasha+Turner+runs+ball+across+court+in+the+first+half.+

Michaela Román

Junior guard Cameasha Turner runs ball across court in the first half.

Jason Green, Sports Writer

The storied Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters came to the Don Haskins Center on Friday afternoon—albeit a day late. After getting snowed in back in Louisiana on Thursday, Tyler Summitt’s team came to El Paso and received a rude welcome. The Miners used a 17-0 run to begin the second half to take the lead and never looked back. UTEP defeated the fourth place Lady Techsters by a final score of 88-75.

Back in January, UTEP lost to LA Tech by a very similar score of 90-72 in Ruston, LA. For junior forward Sparkle Taylor, there was some measure of revenge to be had in this game.

“They beat us pretty bad when we went there so I knew this was payback time. I really wanted this game. They were talking a lot of stuff about us, calling us out,” said Taylor, “I felt like we had to go out there and prove a point.”

If Taylor’s goal was to prove a point, she definitely did that. On the day, Taylor had 28 points to go along with six rebounds—four of which were of the offensive variety.

The team’s leading scorer, junior guard Cameasha Turner, also did her part in making sure that revenge was had by the Miners. Turner scored 20 points, including going three for three from three point range and converting on all three free throw chances that she had.

Freshman standout guard Lulu McKinney had another great game when it comes to dishing the ball to her teammates. McKinney ended the game with five assists as well as nine points and five rebounds.

Where UTEP really saw an improvement over recent losses was in winning the battle on the boards. The Miners totaled 49 rebounds while LA Tech had only 28.

No one player stands out in the rebound category as it was clearly a total team effort. When asked about the rebounds, head coach Keitha Adams was succinct with her response—clearly not wanting to heap too much praise on a team who had too many turnovers, according to Adams.

“Played hard today—played hard. We’ll take it,” said Adams.

As the Miners finish up a season that was clearly not what anyone associated with the program had expected, a win clearly is just a win to Adams. She knows that there is still much work to do before the conference tournament in March. Although Adams is always teaching and looking to improve, perhaps she let herself enjoy this one for just a few minutes when she ended he press conference with a smile.

“It’s a great day to be a Miner,” said Adams.

Jason Green may be reached at [email protected]