Miners come from behind to pick up road victory
POSTED: Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 9:04pm
UPDATED: Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 11:29pm
El Paso, TX — Kayla Thornton (23 points, 10 rebounds) and Chrishauna Parker (10 points, 10 rebounds) each recorded double-doubles, and UTEP used smothering defense to down Old Dominion, 65-55, for its seventh straight win in front of a passionate crowd of 3,972 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center Saturday evening.
The Miners (20-4, 9-2 C-USA) held the Lady Monarchs (11-14, 4-7 C-USA) to 28.3 percent from the floor (17-of-60), including just 12.5 percent (3-of-24) in the second stanza, helping make a 33-25 halftime deficit a distant memory by the end of the night.
Thornton poured in 15 points after the break while Jenzel Nash came off the bench to add 12 of her eventual 17 points in the contest which helped UTEP outscore ODU, 40-22, over the final 20 minutes.
The Miners have now reached 20 victories for a program-best third straight year. UTEP is 71-18 in the timeframe, with 51 of those triumphs being of the double-digit variety.
UTEP won the battle of the boards (45-43) while also enjoying a 28-16 advantage in points in the paint. The Miners recorded 17 assists on 22 field goals and only committed 13 turnovers.
ODU only had 12 giveaways but it was done in by the porous second-half shooting.
The two sides traded runs to start the game, and it was tied at 19 with 7:16 to play in the first half. That changed quickly, though, with ODU taking advantage of UTEP going cold from the floor to peel off 12 straight points.
The Miners did well to score on their final three possessions of the period to get the deficit down to eight, 33-25, heading into halftime.
Thornton came out firing to start the second half. She scored 10 points in the first 3:23 of the period while helping the Orange and Blue pull even at 35. ODU managed to break the tie with one of its three field goals in the stanza but the momentum belonged to the Miners.
The visitors put together a 9-0 run over a four-minute span, with the final five points by Cameasha Turner making it 47-41 with 9:17 left in the game. The advantage remained six (54-48) with 4:52 to play only to have ODU score six straight points to forge the seventh and final tie of the tilt.
UTEP remained calm, though, closing out the contest in style with an 11-1 run.
The Miners will wrap up the road trip by playing at North Texas at 6 p.m. MST Wednesday. The game will be broadcast on 1150 AM and fans can also stay up with the action by following the team on twitter (www.twitter.com/UTEPWBB).