EL PASO, Texas – Freshman Soleil Montrose scored a team-high 23 points as UTEP dropped Texas Southern 80-65 on Wednesday night in the Don Haskins Center.

Montrose, a recent graduate of Mater Dei High School in California, exploded onto the scene with 19 first-half points for the Miners (3-0). For the game, she would go 9-of-18 from the floor and 3-of-4 from the perimeter while also bringing down six rebounds.

Having played on the big stage throughout her prep career, Montrose showed her confidence early, taking five of the first eight shots for the Miners and netting the first four points.

“Soleil is a freshman, but she had a breakout game,” UTEP Head Coach Kevin Baker said. “This is something that she can do. This is not going to be a one-time occurrence for her. You are going to see performances like that from her going forward. She’s a very talented young lady. We are very fortunate that she chose UTEP.”

UTEP was on top throughout, as Texas Southern (0-4) never held the lead.

Offensively, the Miners compiled numerous highlight-worthy plays, including a crossover by N’Yah Boyd in the third quarter that created the space needed to find Adhel Tac for a layup. The basket capped an 8-0 run for the Miners that stretched the lead to 55-32 with 6:04 remaining in the third quarter.

Boyd had a dazzling effort as the top distributor for UTEP, leading the team with seven assists to go with 14 points.

“Shot out to my teammates for getting open and making the right reads,” Boyd said. “It was easy for me to dish it off.”

In addition to Montrose and Boyd, Jazion Jackson also reached double figures with 12 points, four rebounds and four steals.

Eliana Cabral was key off the bench with nine points and six boards.

On the interior, Adhel Tac had seven points and six rebounds while Thaniya Marks put up eight points and grabbed three boards of her own.

Highlighted by a 10-of-16 (62.5 percent) performance from the floor in the second quarter, UTEP would go 27-of-65 (41.5 percent) on the night. Texas Southern shot 22-of-50 (44 percent) in the road loss.

In that second quarter, the Miners broke open the game with a 13-0 run to build the lead to 42-22 with 1:12 left before the half. Towards the end of the rally, Montrose buried a left-wing triple that was followed by a Cabral steal that she would turn into a coast-to-coast layup.

“Really proud of our team today,” Baker said. “It was definitely a team win. Coaches always want more than just the win. We always want more than what we get sometimes. A little disappointed that we gave up as many points as we did. I thought we lost our concentration in the fourth and we fouled about five or six times in a row down the floor, but that’s just the coach being overly critical. The positive things of the day were lots of great plays from a lot of talented people.”

For the third straight game, the Miners turned the opposition over at a high rate, as the Tigers were forced into 24 on the night.

Micah Gray scored a season-high 26 points for Texas Southern.

UTEP plays host to Texas State on Saturday night at 7 p.m. inside the Don Haskins Center in a game pairing two unbeaten teams.