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UTEP sets record in romp over Houston

Sports

POSTED: Sunday, January 22, 2012 - 8:15pm

UPDATED: Sunday, January 22, 2012 - 11:55pm

UTEP bolted out to a 41-21 lead at the half and never looked back on the way throttling Houston, 87-43, to secure their largest margin of victory in a conference game in program history at the Don Haskins Center Sunday afternoon.

The effort against the Cougars (2-16, 1-5 C-USA) keeps the Miners (17-2, 6-0 C-USA) atop the league standings while also extending their overall win streak to seven. Furthermore, it marks their single-season school-record-tying eighth victory by at least 20 points.

UTEP racked up 25 assists on 33 field-goals made, and finished with a campaign-low-tying nine turnovers. It hit on 45.2 percent from the floor (33-73) while drilling nine triples. The home side also dominated on the glass, with a 53-37 rebounding advantage.

All 13 Miners who saw action scored at least four points, with sophomore Kayla Thornton leading the way with 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting. The Miners’ bench poured in 48 points, out-scoring the entire UH squad in the process.

Senior Baiba Eglite (nine), junior Kristine Vitola (eight) and freshman Syerra Davis (seven) did the most damage amongst the reserves. It was a great showing for Davis, who set career highs for both points and rebounds (seven) in an electric 13 minutes of action.

C-USA scoring leader Roxana Button tallied 20 points, but needed 19 attempts to do so. Amanda Lawson (eight points) was the only other UH player with more than seven points, with the Cougars struggling mightily on offense. The visitors made just 24.6 percent (14-of-57) from the floor, and had one assist while committing 15 giveaways.

UTEP had a 36-12 advantage in points in the paint, 19-4 on second-chance tries, 14-6 off turnovers and 8-0 on the fast break. Anete Steinberga pulled down a season-best 10 rebounds, while Thornton and Vitola each grabbed seven.

Houston managed an early 2-1 lead with 17:26 to play in the half but the Orange and Blue ripped off an 11-3 run to jump ahead. After a few moments of trading baskets, Eglite drained a triple to give UTEP a 21-9 lead with 9:37 left in the stanza.

UH trailed by 20 at the half, was down by at least 30 over the final 13 minutes and faced a 40+ point deficit during the last six minutes.

UTEP will be back in action when it concludes a stretch of three of four away from home at Southern Miss at 6 p.m. MST Thursday. The game will be broadcast locally in EL Paso on 1150 AM.
 

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