UTEP Routs Northern Colorado for 9-0 Start
Gloria Brown recorded her third double-double of the season (16 points, 11 rebounds) to help keep the UTEP women’s basketball team undefeated on the year following a 74-51 conquest of Northern Colorado at the Don Haskins Center Tuesday evening.
The Miners (9-0) were up 19-17 with 9:17 to play in the first half before putting together a 20-2 run to break the game wide open. They led 41-27 at the half, pushed their advantage out to as many as 31 (74-43) before the Bears (5-5) used a late run to make things a bit more aesthetically pleasing for the visitors.
“We had tremendous effort and it was a good win for us,” UTEP head coach Keitha Adams said. “Great team effort and a good team win. It was a lot of fun to be able to roll everybody out there.”
UTEP relied upon a balanced and efficient approach on offense to overwhelm the Bears, with seven different players scoring at least six points. Brown keyed the efforts while Anete Steinberga registered a season-high 11 points to join her in double figures. Chrishauna Parker (nine points), Kayla Thornton and Kelli Willingham (eight points) and Kristine Vitola and Baiba Eglite (six points) all got in the act as well.
The Miners’ reserves finished with a season-high 47 points, nearly out-scoring Northern Colorado as a team in the process. After a slow shooting start UTEP heated up to finish at 46.7 percent from the floor, including 53.6 percent after the break. It was credited with 20 assists on 28 field-goals made, with Willingham dishing out nine helpers while making only one turnover to set the tone in that department.
It was business as usual at the other end of the court, with the Bears becoming the school-record seventh straight opponent to be held to fewer than 55 points. UNC finished at 37.9 percent from the floor and was harassed into 16 giveaways.
D’Shara Strange tallied 13 points-on 15 shots- while Hannah Thornton pitched in 11 points but no other Bear had more than eight. UTEP won the rebounding battle, 44-32, and out-scored the Bears, 44-30, in points in the paint.
It was a back-and-forth game over the first 11 minutes of the period, with neither team enjoying an advantage of greater than four. Things changed quickly, though, with the Miners utilizing the aforementioned surge to take a 20-point lead (39-19) with two minutes left in the half. UNC counted with eight straight but a bank shot at the buzzer afforded the home side the 14-point edge at the break.
The Bears hung around for a bit in the second stanza, trailing 51-38 with 12:49 remaining in regulation. UTEP ensured there would be no comeback by out-scoring UNC, 23-5, over the next 10 minutes.
The Miners will be back in action when they play at Loyola Marymount at 3 p.m. MST Saturday. UTEP will be looking for its initial 3-0 road start in program history. The game will be carried live locally in El Paso on 1150 AM.