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Women’s basketball continues to dominate at home

Forward+Elina+Arike+shoots+the+ball+during+a+game+against+FIU+on+Feb.+23.+
Joel Molina
Forward Elina Arike shoots the ball during a game against FIU on Feb. 23.

Editor’s note: This is a recap of Thursday night’s game against the Florida International Panthers Feb. 23. 

UTEP women’s basketball (18-8, 11-6 Conference USA) hosted the Florida International University Panthers (12-14, 7-10 C-USA) at the Don Haskins Center Thursday, Feb. 23. FIU tried to make a comeback, but the Miners prevailed with a final score of 83-79. The Miners are now tied for second place with Western Kentucky University in C-USA.  

The Miners got off to a good start in the first quarter by going on a 4-0 run against the Panthers. FIU was able to put some points on the board with a jumper by senior guard Kaliah Henderson, but a three-pointer by junior guard Jazion Jackson extended the Miners lead to seven. The Miners and the Panthers exchanged threes with a combined total of four. UTEP was able to jump to a 13-8 lead. At the end of the first, the Panthers brought the deficit down to four. 

Beginning the second quarter, UTEP scored first with a layup by sophomore forward Adhel Tac which ignited a 6-0 run for the Miners. The Panthers offense took the lead with an 8-0 run with 6:04 to go in the half after a missed three-pointer by junior guard Avery Crouse and two missed free throws by Tac. Both teams exchanged points towards the end of the half, with the Miners regaining the lead. 

At the half, the score was 41-38. 

“We finally found a little bit of offense that was working for us, and we just kept going to it and going to it,” said UTEP Head Coach Kevin Baker in a post-game interview. “We executed so well down the stretch, even so well that they (FIU) didn’t guard us anymore. They just started fouling us because we were getting what we wanted inside a lot. We got a couple of layups off back picks. I thought our team really played intelligent basketball. With about six minutes to go they really zoned in and executed better than we had the whole night, and that speaks to what kind of team they are.” 

Returning from the half, the Miners put points on the board right away with a jumper by Crouse bringing the score to 43-38. UTEP had a 49-40 advantage over the Panthers, FIU went on a 10-0 run to take the lead. At the end of the third quarter, the score was 58-56. 

To start the fourth, UTEP tied the game at 58 with a layup by Crouse. Both teams were strong on offense, as the Miners went on a 6-0 run as FIU was able to answer back putting a few points on the board. The Miners led 73-69 with 2:00 left in the fourth, FIU reduced the deficit to four. UTEP was able to keep the lead to close out the game. 

The final score was 83-79. 

“The fourth quarter is just winning time,” said junior guard Jazion Jackson in a post-game interview. “Whoever wants it is who is going to come out with the win. I feel like every time we get on defense, it’s all about getting a stop. Whether we make a defensive mistake or not, we are ready to make the next stop and the next stop after that. We just play with a winning mentality in the fourth quarter. We play with a chip on our shoulder, and we continue to fight for the win.” 

UTEP had five players score double figures. Sophomore forward Elina Arike scored 15 points, junior guard N’Yah Boyd had 12 points, Crouse finished with 17 points, Jackson scored 18 points and Tac finished with 14 points. 

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] 

 

 

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About the Contributors
Katrina Villarreal
Katrina Villarreal, Multimedia Editor
Katrina Villarreal is senior multimedia journalism major with a minor in theatre at UTEP. She is going into her second year at The Prospector and is currently the Multimedia Editor. Once she graduates, she plans on becoming a sideline reporter for the NFL or ESPN.  
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 continues to dominate at home