Miners drop last exhibition game before the start of the season

Daniel Mendez, Staff Reporter

 

The women’s basketball team fell short on their last exhibition game to the St. Mary Rattlers 68-62 on Saturday Nov. 4, at the Don Haskins Center.

The Miners were leading to start the second half, but fell victim to a lack of ball movement in the third quarter and the failure to defend the three-point line.

“The threes don’t bother me. Normally you can give up 14 threes and not lose, said head coach Kevin Baker. “It was sort of us shooting ourselves in the foot.  We just didn’t play very well in the third quarter.”

Jordan Alexander led the Miners in scoring with 14 points. Najala Howell and Katrina Zec contributed with 12 points of their own. Tamara Seda got her share of buckets as well with 10. But the points off the bench were crucial with Jakeira Ford dropping 10 points off the bench.

“I though St. Mary’s really shot the ball well. We were daring them to make shots and they did,” Baker said. “In the first half we played kind of a match up zone. And they only scored 27 points in the first half. So we felt pretty good at what we were doing,” continued Baker.

The Miners came out motivated in the first quarter, leading the Rattlers 22-15. They jumped on a lead early and seized 20 points in the paint, whereas St. Mary’s had zero points in the paint, including six fast break points and four points off the bench.

In the second quarter the Miners outscored the Rattlers by one point. St. Mary showed hustle as they outscored the Miners nine to two on second chance points.

Things got rocky for UTEP in the third quarter. The Rattlers were able to take the lead late in the third quarter, as the Miners were outscored 23-12.

In the fourth quarter, STMU let it fly from behind the arc, going 5-9 behind the three-point line, which ultimately sealed the victory for the Rattlers.

The Rattlers were led by Arysia Porter with 19 points, followed by Dixon with 18 points. Soteria Banks was the other Rattler to score in double digits, with 17 points.

The lady Miners did outrebound the Rattlers 46-33. As well as outperforming the Rattlers in shooting percentage (40 percent to STMU’s 35 percent).

Coach Baker alluded to this game being a scrimmage, thus the decision to try different defensive schemes. In the first half, UTEP played a match up zone, whereas in the second half they played man-to-man defense.

“We wanted to work on some of our man-to-man stuff in the third quarter. Since it is a scrimmage for us,” Baker said. “We were trying to see if we could guard their aggressiveness off the dribble and we didn’t do so well.  We gave up 23 points in that quarter alone.”

The Miners will look to see if they can get their defense going as the season opener is Nov. 11. The lady Miners face California State University Bakersfield at 1 p.m. at the Don Haskins Center.