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Women’s basketball prepares for Houston Baptist

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UTEP women’s basketball team is currently starting their second-worst start under head coach Keitha Adams (1-5).

Leading into the 2016-17 season, UTEP women’s basketball head coach Keitha Adams knew that there would be growing pains with eight new additions to the team.

Perhaps she did not anticipate it taking quite this long.

The team is off to the second-worst start in Adams’ 16-year tenure at 1-5, but they will be looking to change that against another one-win team, Houston Baptist, on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at the Don Haskins Center.

The Miners are returning from a Thanksgiving trip to the Virgin Islands, where they faced LSU, NC State and Kansas State. They lost to all three by a combined total of 70 points. The team continues to be without last season’s leading scorer, senior guard Jenzel Nash, who was suspended for a violation of team rules.

Houston Baptist’s lone win came over Southwestern Assemblies of God prior to Thanksgiving. Most recently, the Huskies lost to Oral Roberts on Saturday by a score of 75-65.

Senior guard Sparkle Taylor continues to do all that she can to will the Miners to victory, and leads the team with 83 points during her six games played. The team’s next leading scorer has been the surprising freshman forward Zuzanna Puc with 43 points, who shoots a phenomenal .486 percent. As a team, the Miners are getting outshot by opponent’s .413 percent to .370 percent

From the 3-point range, the Miners are a dismal .226 percent, with guard Lulu McKinney still struggling to find her mark from deep.  Currently she is only 1 for 23 on the season from behind the arc. Freshman guard Roeshonda Patterson leads the team, having made seven 3-pointers.

The Huskies are having as much trouble as the Miners this season with shooting the ball. As a team, HBU is shooting .326 percent and are led by freshman forward Taylor Kollmorgen with 38 points. The Huskies not only are led by a freshman in scoring, they have eight newcomers just like UTEP.

From behind the 3-point line, HBU is shooting .297 percent to their opponents’ .400 percent. If the Miners, and more importantly Lulu McKinney, can knock down the 3’s beyond the arc, they could dispatch the Huskies easily.

Adams has harped on rebounding this year and in her team’s lone win, she saw her team set several rebounding records. The Huskies have the size to matchup with 6-foot-4 forward Tamara Seda in the middle and could pose a threat to UTEP’s rebounding numbers. The Miners average 4.3 rebounds per game to HBU’s 5.0.

If the Miners are to stand any chance of winning this game, they will have to win the battle on the boards.

There is no doubt that following a day of rest after the trip home from the Virgin Islands; Adams had her team back in the gym, where she loves to be. Wednesday will be another chance to show off their hard work, perhaps to the chagrin of the visiting Houston Baptist Huskies.

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Jason Green, Contributor
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Women’s basketball prepares for Houston Baptist