Western Kentucky rolls over UTEP women 71-54

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Claudia Hernandez

Adrian Broaddus, Web Editor

 

Western Kenucky shot 46 percent from the floor and hit 7-of-20 3-pointers to fend off the Miners 71-54, despite Sparkle Taylor’s 23 points and seven rebounds.

 

It was a night that head coach Keitha Adams wished would go differently; but also a game where the Miners knew the kind of talent they were facing.

 

“They’ve got a good ball team,” Adams said. “They keep playing until you break down. They shoot the ball well. I would love to play like that one day.”

 

The Miners and Lady Toppers were neck-and-neck for the first quarter. The Lady Toppers were guarded intensely by the UTEP defense, but they reciprocated the ferocious play by showing a full-court press. The defensive pursuit surprised the Miners down the offensive stretch as Western Kentucky switched swiftly from the press to a 1-3-1 defense.

 

While the Miners were in the game during the first quarter, the second quarter was all WKU’s. They went on a 13-0 run at one point against the Miners and took the half. Western Kentucky led by 20 at the half, 41-21.

 

Sparkle Taylor ignited a fuse in the third quarter and put up some exceptional numbers, including shooting 53 percent from the floor. However, they did not have an answer to the Lady Toppers’ strong shooting.

 

“I would’ve liked us to cut it to ten,” Adams said. “But it’s a veteran team. You have freshman covering seniors—some of the best players in the conference.”

 

After the large scoring gap between teams, there was no hope for the Miners to march back into the game.

 

And, defensively the numbers did not lie. The Miners turned the ball over 17 times which turned into 23 points in favor of Western Kentucky. They also recovered 21 defensive boards, nine steals and four blocks.

 

“We hadn’t seen that defense all year long,” Adams said. “We gotta come up better helping the ball.”

 

Taylor was the team’s leading scorer and the next woman up was Lulu McKinney and Jakeira Ford with six points each. However, she does not feel frustrated with her team, but she felt the need to contribute.

 

“I know second half we were down and I had to attack,” Taylor said. “I wouldn’t say [this game was] frustrating; I get down on myself and I got to stay focused.”

 

Next up, the Miners will face Marshall on Saturday, Jan. 28, at home. Tip off is slated for 2 p.m.

 

“We’ll work on every facet of the game,” Adams said. “We won’t go long [at practice]. We have to be ready.”