UTEP’s second half rally not enough against Nicholls State


Gaby Velasquez

The Miners fall to NIchols Sate Colonels 58-56 at the seventh annual UTEP Thanksgiving Classic at the Don Haskins Center.

Isaiah Ramirez, Reporter

After struggling through two quarters, a second-half rally fell short for the UTEP women’s basketball team (2-2), as they fell in their first game of the UTEP Thanksgiving Classic against Nicholls State (1-4) 58-56 at the Don Haskins Center.

UTEP struggled in the first half against Nicholls State and trailed 30-17 after two quarters, while only scoring six points in the second quarter.

“We lost the game in the first half and there wasn’t a sense of urgency out there,” head coach Kevin Baker said.

UTEP also had trouble cashing in on free throws finishing the first half 4-of-11 while going 1-of-7 in the second quarter alone.

Nicholls State would also go on a 12-0 run with 4:53 left in the first half.

This is the second game in a row UTEP found themselves down after the first half concluded.

“You just can’t expect to win a game by playing one half,” Baker said.

The Miners would flip the script in the second half scoring 39 points and shooting 5-of-11 from the three-point line, and 15-of-28 from the field.

Junior forward Ariona Gill would score 10 points in the second half finishing with a game-high 14 points in 32 minutes.

“We just went out in the second half and played our game and executed our game plan,” Gill said.

UTEP would finish the third quarter on a 14-6 run outscoring the Lady Colonels 23-12 and were down 42-40.

“We played better in the second half because we played with a better sense of urgency while scoring 39 in the second half against 17 in the first,” Gill said.

“If we would have come out as strong as we did in the second half the game the game would’ve been ours,” Gill added.

UTEP had one last chance to either tie or win the game with two seconds left in the game but their last play was poorly executed as UTEP didn’t use their time wisely and were unable to get a shot off with time expiring.

“We didn’t execute the play I hate that but at least the gave us a chance,” Baker said.

“The play was set up to go inside to junior forward Zuzanna Puc but she was well guarded so as second option I was comfortable with an handoff back to Jordan Alexander since she shot the ball well today”

Senior forward Jordan Alexander would be a spark off the bench scoring all of her points from behind the arc going 4-of-5 for 12 points.

The fourth quarter was a barn burner as both teams would finish the quarter with 16 points but Nicholls State would end up with the victory.

Junior guard Cassidy Barrios would have a well-rounded outing for Nicholls State as she would finishing the evening with 22 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists.

“We knew going in that she was the real deal,” Baker said.

UTEP had their worst performance at the free throw line this season, shooting 8-of-17 which put them at 47 percent for the game.

“They had some people play today that played their role and did their job and overall they played better than the Miners did,” Baker said.

UTEP will be back in action tomorrow evening against Abilene Christian a team that routed  Texas Southern, 81-39, in the first game of the Thanksgiving Classic.

Tip off set for 7 p.m.