UTEP drops back-to-back games at Rice, falls to 2-2 in C-USA play


HOUSTON, Texas (KTSM) – The UTEP women’s basketball team had no answer for Conference USA powerhouse Rice, as the Owls sweep the Miners out of Houston with Saturday’s 55-43 win at the Tudor Fieldhouse.

The Miners (5-4, 2-2) struggled offensively in a second game of a back-to-back on Saturday, shooting 27.1 percent (16-59) and just 6-of-23 from three, while Rice (8-1, 4-0) took advantage of points in the paint (28) and capitalizing off UTEP turnovers (12 points) to capture their eighth win of the season.

The Owls have now won 39 of their last 41 Conference USA games dating back to 2018. Last season, Rice pushed their conference winning streak to 30 consecutive wins over league opponents before it was snapped, the longest in the history of Conference USA.

UTEP was led by Katia Gallegos, who was also the game’s leading scorer totaling 17 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Isis Lopes added eight points and five rebounds, while Michelle Pruitt tallied five points and four rebounds in the loss.

Rice had two players reach double figures with Sydne Wiggins leading the way with 15 points. Lauren Schwartz posted 12 points for the Owls, along with eight rebounds and two steals. Nancy Mulkey led Rice with 10 rebounds and six blocks.

UTEP will return home to host North Texas on Jan. 15-16 at the Don Haskins Center. The opening game on Friday is set to tip-off at 7 p.m. MT and will be streamed on ESPN+. Saturday’s contest is slated for 2 p.m. MT and will be streamed on CUSA.TV.

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