Miners pull a season sweep against LA Tech


Gianluca Cuevas

Junior guard Avery Crouse attempts to add on to the lead with a three pointer.

Katrina Villarreal, Staff Reporter

UTEP women’s basketball (10-3, 3-1 Conference USA) welcomed Louisiana Tech (9-6, 2-3 C-USA) to the Don Haskins Center Saturday, Jan. 7. The Miners held down LA Tech, 72-66 for a conference sweep against the Lady Techsters.

Louisiana Tech led throughout the first quarter of the game, where they went on an 8-0 run to bring the score 15-7. UTEP came back to go on a 9-2 run after three turnovers by Louisiana Tech. LA Tech was able to stay on top at the end of the first quarter, 21-16, after senior guard Keiunna Walker made four straight free throws.

Keeping the momentum going in the second quarter, LA Tech extended the lead to eight, but the Miners went on a 9-1 run after a successful three-pointer made by senior guard Sabine Lipe. The Miners later went on a 9-2 run to take the lead with 3:18 left in the first half. At the half, the score was 36-33.

“Without our bench we would have been in deep trouble,” said UTEP Head Coach Kevin Baker in a post-game interview. “We were in foul trouble, and (LA Tech) had momentum. Erin Wilson is on the floor diving for loose balls, Sabine is hitting shots and they are doing what they do. I am really proud of our bench for producing when we needed them. Eliana Cabral is in pain every five minutes, but she is out there battling her rear end off, and we could not have done it today without that group for sure.”

Early in the third quarter LA Tech went on a 6-0 run in the first two minutes of the quarter to bring the deficit down to three. LA Tech was unable to find rhythm for the rest of the third quarter which allowed UTEP to go into the fourth quarter with a nine-point lead thanks to a three-pointer made by the Miners leading scorer of the game junior guard N’Yah Boyd and senior guard Avery Crouse.

The Miners kept the lead in the beginning of the fourth quarter, but LA Tech was making a comeback after Walker scored nine points in the final 10 minutes. With 3:39 left in the quarter, LA Tech continued to bring the score deficit down to two with 10 seconds left on the clock. After two made free throws by sophomore forward Elina Arike, it was a two-possession game. LA Tech was unable to inbound after the free throws by Arike which resulted in a five-second call on the Lady Techsters.

The final score was 72-66.

UTEP had four players reach double figures with Boyd, Crouse, and sophomore forward Adhel Tac, recording 11 points each. Junior guard Jazion Jackson finished with 15 points and five rebounds. Boyd and Tac also recorded a team-high of eight rebounds.

“I feel like we were kind of underrated coming into conference, and I feel like we are proving ourselves each and every game,” said Jackson in a post-game interview. “I feel like we are putting fear in people’s hearts in our conference, so they see us now.”

The Miners are set to take on the UTSA’s Roadrunners at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11 in San Antonio, Texas.

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]