New Mexico hands UTEP women first loss of season

Jeremy Carranco, Sports Editor

The UTEP women’s basketball team dropped their first game of the season in a 59-35 onslaught by visiting rival New Mexico at the Don Haskins Center Thursday night.

The undefeated Lobos (8-0), took advantage of 25 Miner turnovers for 22 points to UTEP’s seven off 12 UNM turnovers.

The Lobos, who are receiving votes for both top-25 polls, were limited to 39.7 percent (23-58) from the floor and 33.0 percent (12-36) from distance but battled through a physical defensive effort that gave the Miners (4-1) fits.

“I don’t think anyone the rest of the year is going to hold them to 59 points,” said UTEP head coach Kevin Baker. “We did everything we wanted to defensively, we did everything to them but score the ball.”

UTEP shot 25.0 percent (11-44) in the game and won the rebounding margin, 44-31, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the poor offensive shooting effort.

Fouling was a issue for the Lobos as three players finished with four fouls each, sending the Miners to the line 16 times, UTEP knocked down 11-of-17 for 69 percent to the Lobos 14 percent (1-7).

“When they weren’t fouling us, they really guarded the crap out of us, no question” Baker said.

Senior Tamara Seda recorded her third straight double-double (11 points, 13 rebounds) to pace UTEP while sophomore Katarina Zec added nine points.

Sophomore Zuzanna Puc came off the bench to contribute five points and a season-high eight rebounds. Sophomore Roeshonda Patterson also pitched in five points and sophomore Faith Cook registered a career-high seven boards.

Tesha Buck led New Mexico with 19 points, nailing five three’s to lead the visiting Lobos. Cherise Beynon joined her in double figures with 11 points.

New Mexico used a 16-2 run around the first quarter break to open a 29-13 advantage at the opening portion of the second quarter.

UTEP was able hold UNM to just five points over the remainder of the quarter but still trailed 34-22 at the half.

New Mexico opened the second-half on a 7-0 run to secure a 19-point advantage with around six minutes remaining in the third quarter. Neither team could get much going offensively the rest of the period but the Lobos would carry a 20-point lead (46-26) to the fourth quarter before notching the 24 point victory.

“We needed a game like that,” Baker said. “I think conference play is going to be very physical like this one so I think it’s helpful to play a physical team to prepare us. That’s what i’ll walk out of this game with more than anything else.”

The Miners will wrap up their season-opening six-game homestand when they play host to the Houston Baptist Huskies at 1 p.m. MST Saturday. Last season, UTEP defeated HBU 75-45.