Women’s basketball starts off season strong


Gianluca Cuevas

Junior guard Mahri Petree goes up for a short jump shot.

Alyson Rodriguez, Staff Reporter

The first game of the UTEP women’s basketball season was a slam dunk. The UTEP Miners won the season opener against the University of New Orleans (UNO) which took place Monday, Nov. 7, at the Don Haskins Center.  

There are eight new players on the UTEP team but that did not stop the team from maintaining good communication and teamwork to win its first game.  

First Half 

UTEP’s starting lineup consisted of junior guard Jazion Jackson, junior guard Avery Crouse, sophomore forward Elina Arike, senior guard Eliana Cabral and sophomore forward Adhel Tac.  

The UNO Privateer starting lineup was made up of junior guard Hennessey Luu-Brown, junior forward Nahja Scott, junior guard Justice Ross, sophomore forward Zoe Cooper and Sophomore guard Kyla Davis.  

The Miners capitalized on multiple large runs during the night, starting as early as the first quarter. The first points of the game were scored by UNO sophomore guard Kyla Davis, but UTEP turned around and senior guard Eliana Cabral scored a 3-pointer for the Miners.  

During the first quarter, UTEP trailed behind the UNO Privateers with a score of 23-19 with 4:47 remaining on the clock, but the Miners persisted and had an 18-2 run to lead. The Miners were five of 13 from 3-point range and six of eight from the free throw line. They also forced 21 turnovers and scored 25 points off those turnovers. The score after the first half had Miners leading the Privateers 37-25.  

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  • Freshman guard Soleil Montrose, senior guard Eliana Cabral, sophomore forward Elina Arike, and junior guard Avery Course celebrate after their teammate hit a massive three-pointer.

  • Junior guard Jazion Jackson not guarded takes a wide-open jump shot.

  • Junior guard Avery Crouse takes a three-point shot from the corner to pile onto the lead.

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Second Half 

The second half started off with a strong lead by UTEP, but UNO put up a strong defense as well. Star players of the night included junior small forward Mahri Petree, who scored 24 points during the game, which is a career high for her. Pertree went six of 11 shooting from the field and 11 of 11 from the free throw line. She also added five rebounds, three steals and scored 16 points during the second half of the game. Other star players of the game included senior guard Eliana Cabral who scored 15 points, sophomore forward Elina Arike scored 12 points and senior Sabine Lipe scored 10 points during the duration of the game.  

The final score of the game had UTEP at 83 and University of New Orleans at 55.  

After the winning game, Head Coach Kevin Baker said in the press conference after the game that he was proud of the great team they have this season. 

“I think we have a talented team that can score,” Baker said. “We can score from the inside or the outside. We can do a lot of things. I am proud of them.” 

Junior small forward, Mahri Petree, exclaimed how she had a fun time playing against the Privateers with her teammates. 

“That game was fun,” Petree said. “We put a lot of work into our preseason, and I think it just came together tonight. It was just fun to play with my team and play together. It felt like we were playing like a fist instead of five fingers, and that’s really fun basketball.” 

The Miners’ next game will be an away game against Kansas City University at noon Sunday, Nov. 13 in Kansas City, Missouri.  

The next home game for the Miners will be against Texas Southern at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16 at at the Don Haskins Center.  

Alyson Rodriguez is a staff reporter and may be reached at [email protected]; @alyson_rod1127 on Twitter.