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Women’s basketball blazes past UAB

Joel Molina
Guard Soleil Montrose prepares to shoot a jump-shot while being closely defended.

The UTEP Miners (9-2, C-USA 2-0) roll past the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) (8-3, C-USA 0-2) late Thursday, Dec. 30 for its second Conference USA (C-USA) win of the season. Thanks to a strong start, UTEP scored 76 points to UAB’s 58 points extending its home winning streak to five games. 

The Miners started 11-0 in the first quarter with the UTEP defense only allowing the UAB Blazers to score with 4:46 left in the period. Leading this charge against the Blazers was junior guard N’Yah Boyd. Boyd led the team in scoring with seven points in the first quarter with junior guard Jazion Jackson in second with six points. The Miners defense held UAB to only eight points after 10 minutes of play. The score at the end of the first quarter was 24-8, UTEP. 

Following the stellar start, the Miners allowed UAB to tighten the margin after shooting 50 percent in free throws, field goals and three-point attempts. UAB outscored the Miners 19-15 in the second quarter. UAB freshman forward Tracey Bershers shot three of four field goals along with a three-point basket in the second quarter. After only playing a total of 7:56 in the half, Bershers lead UAB in scoring coming out of the half. Despite the Blazers’ second quarter push, the Miners still lead 39-27 going into halftime. Both Boyd and Jackson added to their total points finishing the half with 29 combined points. 

UAB continued to push the Miners coming out of halftime dropping 19 points again in the third quarter. UAB junior forward Sara Bershers and lead the team with six points in the third with junior guard Maria Roters and graduate guard Margaret Whitley each dropping five points. UTEP pushed through the Blazers’ rally answering with 22 points. Boyd continued to dominate, contributing seven points in the third with six other Miners scoring. The Miners finished the third with a 15-point lead to end the third quarter leading 61-46. 

Coming into the final quarter, both teams struggled to score with only UTEP putting up eight points halfway through the fourth quarter. UTEP would continue to extend its lead to 25 points late in the game. UAB would go on to score 12 points to finish the game, but it would not be enough to shut down the Miners who scored 15 points in the fourth quarter. The Miners would win the match up 76-58. 

UAB would go 10 of 28 from the field goal range, five of 13 from the three-point line and six of seven from the free point line. Sara Bershers would lead the Blazers with 11 points and two assists after 22 minutes of play. 

The Miners finished 31 of 62 in field goals, 11 of 16 in free throws and 3 of 14 in three-pointers. Most of the team’s points came from the paint with 36 points. UTEP also did well in terms of second chance points and turnovers combining for 44 points. 

After being neck and neck with Jackson for most of the game, Boyd finished the game with 20 points, two rebounds and one assist. 

“Our goal was to come out and play hard from the jump,” said Boyd postgame. “We struggled with that a couple of games before where we’d come out slow. We came out hard, and that’s how we got the win. The ball was in our hands.” 

UTEP has started out strong coming into conference play, winning its first two games against teams with a winning record. Those teams being UAB and LA Tech (8-4) who is 1-1 in conference play. The only other teams who are undefeated in C-USA are Middle Tennessee and Florida Atlantic, both with a record of 9-2 overall. 

“Total team win tonight,” said UTEP Head Coach Kevin Baker postgame. “Our goal was to hold (UAB) to 65, so to hold them to 58 was a big thing for us. I just really liked the way that we defended and rebounded. I think defending and rebounding like that in Conference USA is really, really important. It just looked to me like an overall great team win for the Miners.” 

The Miners will continue conference play against Rice on a New Year’s Eve battle in Houston. The game will start at 1 p.m., Saturday Dec. 31 at the Tudor Fieldhouse. 

The Miners will be back in El Paso for a rematch against LA Tech at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7 at the Don Haskins Center. 

All statistics are provided by UTEP Athletics and 

Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela is the sports editor and may be reached at [email protected]: @rivasemmanuel2 on Instagram 


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About the Contributors
Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela
Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela, Contributor/Writer
Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela is a contributor for The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in multimedia journalism with minors in political science and Chicano studies. Emmanuel served as sports editor at The Prospector and as a writer with Minero Magazine. Now, Emmanuel is interning at El Paso Matters and is a contributor at The Prospector.
Joel Molina
Joel Molina, Photo Editor
Joel is a graduate creative writing student at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is the photo editor who began his career at The Prospector in 2022. He hopes to continue providing the world and its people with different forms of storytelling that will hopefully make their day to day lives better.
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Women’s basketball blazes past UAB