Miners beat North Dakota to remain unbeaten

Elina+Arike+tries+to+grab+the+ball+during+the+women%E2%80%99s+home+game+against+North+Dakota+on+Nov.+13.+

Annabella Mireles

Elina Arike tries to grab the ball during the women’s home game against North Dakota on Nov. 13.

Katrina Villarreal, Contributor

UTEP basketball (2-0, 0-0 C-USA) was victorious against the University of North Dakota (0-2, 0-0) on Saturday, Nov. 13 at the Don Haskins Center. The Miners were able to keep the momentum going that they built up from the very beginning, as they started with an 18-4 run in the first quarter. 

The Miners are 2-0 for the fourth straight season and have scored more than 80 points in back-to-back games in the start of the season for the first time since 1994-95. This also marks the first time in four years that they have consecutive wins by at least 20 points to start off the season. 

Three Miners managed to put up big numbers during the game. Junior guard Destiny Thurman recorded a career-high of 23 points, freshman forward Elina Arike recorded a career-high of 19 points and a career-best of 15 rebounds, and sophomore guard Katia Gallegos recorded 13 points with eight assists. This marked the first career double-double for Arike. Sophomore guard Mahri Petree came off the bench to also reach double figures in scoring with 11 points. 

North Dakota won the tip off and saw the pressure from UTEP on the court quickly. Although North Dakota scored the first basket of the quarter, the Miners went on a 10-0 run. With four minutes left on the clock, the Miners led by 14 points. North Dakota was able to slow UTEP for a little, but the Miners showed no signs of stopping, pushing onward and finishing the first quarter leading by 18 points.  

In the second quarter, the Miners put up 3-pointers back-to-back, leading with 24 points in the first minute of the second quarter. The Miners continued to dominate and finished the second quarter up by 23 points. 

Eliana Cabral plays offense during the women’s home game against North Dakota on Nov. 13.

At the half, the score was 53-30. 

The Miners had the advantage at the half, thanks to scoring the sixth-most points in the first half in program history.  

North Dakota would not go down without a fight, as senior guard Claire Orth finished with 17 points and put up 14 of those points after halftime. Junior guard/forward Sammiyah Hoskin scored eight points in the second half and ten in the game along with four rebounds.  

At the beginning of the half, North Dakota scored nine of the first 13 points of the third quarter and a 3-pointer from junior guard DJ Davis. That would be the final 3-pointer for North Dakota in the game. 

The Miners controlled the second half, never letting North Dakota back into the game. UTEP had 50.0 percent (34-68) from the floor and forced 21 turnovers that were converted into 22 points. 

The Miners beat the Fighting Hawks 89-69. 

Players on the sidelines cheer as their teammate scores a point during the women’s home game against North Dakota on Nov. 13.

“For the most part I’m really pleased with how we played,” UTEP Head Coach Kevin Baker said in a post-game interview. “It’s really hard to keep your focus for 40 minutes when you build a big lead early… I couldn’t be happier. We’re getting better every time we touch the floor and hopefully that’ll remain the case.” 

The Miners face off against rival New Mexico State University in the Battle of I-10 at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 17 at NMSU. The game will also be available to listen live with Mando Medina on the call for 600 ESPN El Paso and the UTEP Miners App. 

All stats and quotes for University of North Dakota found on the University of North Dakota Athletics official website, fightinghawks.com.  

All stats and quotes for UTEP found on UTEP Athletics official website, utepminers.com.  

Katrina Villarreal is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected]