EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Brenda Fontana (career-high eight points) and Adhel Tac (career-high eight points) combine for 16 points off the bench, Avery Crouse poured in a game-high 15 points, and UTEP improved to 3-0 on the season with their 76-61 win over New Mexico State at the Don Haskins Center on Wednesday night.
The Miners have now won five straight over the Aggies in the Battle of I-10.
“I wasn’t aware that we had won five games in-a-row [against NMSU], because they’re always pretty good, but it’s because we recruit really good players,” said UTEP head coach Kevin Baker. “When you recruit really good players, you can win five games in-a-row against an opponent, and I’m really proud of that.”
Katia Gallegos added 14 points and four assists for UTEP, while Teal Battle tallied nine points in the win. The Miners also smothered the Aggies’ offense, forcing a season-high 28 turnovers and blocking four shots.
“I thought our defensive energy was really good,” said Baker. “We didn’t play well in the first half, we were missing easy shots, kind of turned it over a bit, but our defense was solid. We had some miscues here and there, but for the most part the defensive energy was really good. We guarded the ball tough, we forced so many turnovers that in turn got us points and got us out of the funk.”
Tayelin Grays scored 15 points for NMSU, while Taylor Donaldson (13 points) and Molly Kaiser (12 points) also scored in double figures in the loss. The Aggies falling to 2-1 on the season.
“It didn’t go the way that we would like, but we’ll have another opportunity at them in a couple weeks,” said NMSU head coach Brooke Atkinson. “We have to clean some things up, and just be ready to battle them next time.”
The Miners will host Northern Arizona this Saturday with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Don Haskins Center. The Aggies will play LSU on Friday, Nov. 26 in the San Juan Shootout.