POSTED: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 11:17pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 11:45pm
Powered by Gloria Brown’s second double-double on the year, the UTEP women’s basketball team dispatched UTPA, 62-51, inside the Don Haskins Center Tuesday evening. The Miners move to 4-0 on the year to match the best start in the Keitha Adams era (4-0 in 2006-07) while the Broncos slip to 1-3 on the campaign.
UTEP jumped out to a 29-17 lead at the half, extended it to as many as 19 (58-39 with 4:56 to play) before a mini run late made the final score a little more aesthetically pleasing for UTPA. The Miners dominated down low, scoring 40 of their 62 points in the paint, in addition to winning the rebounding battle, 40-35.
“We won the game, we’ll take it, put it in the books, but we obviously have to play a whole lot better,” head coach Keitha Adams said. “It was a very ugly game. I just felt like we missed layups, we had a lot of turnover and missed possessions.”
Brown led the way for the Orange and Blue with 13 points, 11 rebounds while also registering five blocked shots. Junior Kristine Vitola recorded eight points to go along with five boards to support Brown. Adams used most of the roster with 14 players earning playing time, with 12 of them logging at least 10 minutes on the court.
Overall the Miners shot 42.1 percent (24-of-57) from the floor, including 46.4 (13-of-28) in the second stanza. Turnovers were an issue for the Orange and Blue, who committed 21, but they only led to 14 points for the visitors.
UTEP’s defense was a strong point in the game, especially during the opening period. Adams’ charges held UTPA to just 6-of-30 from the floor over the first 20 minutes on the way to building the aforementioned 12-point advantage. The Broncos heated up in the second half but still finished at just 33.9 percent (19-of-56) in the game.
Laquita Garner (13 points) and Adanna Opara (10 points) reached double figures in scoring, but no other UTPA player finished with more than six points in the game.
Another factor in the game was the effort by UTEP’s bench, which out-scored the reserves from UTPA, 39-12.
The two teams traded blows early, and the Miners led 12-9 with eight minutes to play in the opening stanza. They picked things up, though, going on a 9-2 on the way to securing their first double-digit lead (21-11) of the contest.
UTEP cruised into halftime up by 12. The advantage swelled to as many as 19 before the visitors tried to make a game of it late. UTPA trimmed the Orange and Blue’s advantage down to nine (60-51) with 1:02 to play but senior Kim Smith finished a driving lay-up in traffic to halt any aspirations of a comeback.
The Miners will continue their five-game homestand against Denver at the Don Haskins Center at 4:05 p.m. MST on Saturday. The game is a part of a doubleheader, with fans receiving free admission by purchasing a ticket for the men’s basketball team contest against Stephen F. Austin (7:05 p.m. MST).