UTEP bounces back with 30-point win over FAU on Senior Night


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — After seeing their nine-game winning streak come to an end on Sunday night, the UTEP women’s basketball team didn’t have to wait long to get back in the win column. The Miners dominating Florida Atlantic (FAU) in a 92-62 win on ‘Senior Night’ at the Don Haskins Center.

Prior to tip-off, UTEP honored its three seniors in what was their final game at the Haskins Center. Tia Bradshaw, Michelle Pruitt and DejaNae Roebuck have appeared in almost every game for the Miners in the last two seasons and finished their 2020-21 home slate on a high note.

UTEP (15-6, 12-4 C-USA) led FAU (7-9, 5-7 C-USA) by three at the half, but used a 32-point third quarter to put the game out of reach, while holding the Owls to just nine points in the period. The 32 points is the most for the Miners in a quarter this season and the most since scoring 36 points in the first quarter against FAU in the opening round of the 2020 Conference USA Tournament last March. It is the third-most points scored in a single quarter in program history.

“I would say it is one of the best quarters we have played defensively and we got offensive payoff because of it,” said head coach Kevin Baker. “I told the girls at halftime that I really loved the way we were defending and I thought that we would wear them down because we were defending so well. We did not play well yesterday and did not show up. Today was more indicative of who we are. Today, we were able to be a little bit more aggressive and put a little bit more pressure on them.”

The Miners shot 43 percent (34-of-79) from the floor while going 11-of-23 (37.9 pct.) from beyond the arc. Four different Miners reached double figures on the night, led by Katia Gallegos’ game-high 19 points. Gallegos also added six rebounds and five assists in the win.ย Roebuck and Isis Lopesย each added 15 points while Destiny Thurman chipped in with 12 points.

“We have a young team who is trying to feel their way through Conference USA and I thought we made a statement tonight,” said Baker. “We made a statement. I said that in one of our huddles that we needed to make a statement that yesterday was not the real us and today is. I thought our team did that.”

UTEP out-rebounded FAU 37-28 and received 42 bench points in the win.

“We’ve been on a nice run,” said Roebuck. “Being able to come back and bounce back while playing how we know how to play was big. We showed that we are still that team.”

UTEP will hit the road for its final regular season series at Charlotte on Feb. 26-27. Tip-off for both games is set for 1 p.m. MT.

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