Miners sweep UTSA in back-to-back wins

Katrina Villarreal, Staff Reporter

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • Teal Battle enters the court at the beginning of the game against UTSA on Jan. 23 at the Don Haskins Center.

  • Teal Battle from UTEP against Ceyenne Mass from UTSA during Jan. 23 game at the Don Haskins Center.

  • Adhel Tac concentrates before a free throw during the Jan. 23 game against UTSA at the Don Haskins Center.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right

The UTEP women’s basketball team (12-5, 4-3 Conference USA) beat the University of Texas at San Antonio (4-14, 1-6 C-USA) on Sunday Jan. 23 at the Don Haskins Center with a score of 71-59.  

The Miners took the lead early in the first quarter with a 10-0 run, with UTSA slowly coming back with a 6-0 run of its own making the score 10-6 with 2:28 to go in the first. In the first 20 minutes it was all UTEP, 37-19, with the team having a field goal advantage and a strong defense. 

Before the half, UTEP continued to outscore UTSA where the Miners led 33-16 with 1:44 remaining in the first half. With 45 seconds left, UTSA hit a three-pointer, but UTEP had an answer right before the half ended. Graduate student forward Teal Battle passed the ball to sophomore guard Erin Wilson who scored a three-pointer to increase the Miners lead.  

At the half, the score was 37-19. 

Coming back from the half, both teams scored 12 points and had a combined total of 12 penalties with 4:27 into the third quarter. UTSA came out fighting as the Roadrunners went on an 11-1 run to end the third quarter. UTSA was able to bring the deficit down to 10, with the Miners still leading 54-44. 

UTEP was able to stop UTSA’s run 14 seconds into the game with an assist from sophomore guard Katia Gallegos to freshman forward Elina Arike for a layup. Gallegos tied her season high of eight assists in this game.  

The Miners struggled on the floor not being able to convert on field goals, but Arike was able to snap the streak with 17 seconds left, along with scoring 13 free throws in the fourth.  

“We had to have them,” Head Coach Kevin Baker said in a post-game interview with UTEP Athletics. “Those kids make that look really easy, but they know how important those free throws are, and they went up and put them in. I am really proud of them for doing that.” 

UTEP was able to secure the win against the Roadrunners by scoring nine of the last 11 points of the game.  

The Miners beat the Roadrunners 71-59. 

UTSA was led by redshirt freshman Elyssa Coleman with eight boards and graduate student guard Jadyn Pimentel who led the team with 17 points. Also helping the Roadrunners was graduate student guard LaPraisjah Johnson with 11 points and junior guard Ceyenne Mass with seven points.  

Leading the pack for the Miners was Battle with 15 points and 11 rebounds along with junior guard Destiny Thurman who scored double-digits for the 10th time this season with 19 points. Also leading the Miners to victory was Arike with 13 points, sophomore guard Avery Crouse with nine and freshman forward Brenda Fontana contributing five points and six rebounds. 

“My hat is off to UTSA because they made a great run at us,” Baker said in an interview with UTEP Athletics. “I am proud of my team because I have seen more teams lose games like that than win them, when you have a big lead, and somebody makes a big run at you – and you don’t respond and hold them off – but today we did.” 

UTEP heads off to Florida at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 27 where the Miners are set to meet Florida Atlantic. 

All stats for UTSA courtesy of UTSA Athletics, goutsa.com 

All stats and quotes for UTEP courtesy of UTEP Athletics, utepminers.com 

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