UTEP to challenge C-USA leader Rice on the road

UTEP

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The UTEP women’s basketball team (15-12, 8-8 C-USA) will open up the final week of the regular season by playing at co-league leader Rice (19-8, 14-2 C-USA) at 6 p.m. MT on Thursday. The game will be streamed by CUSA.tv (subscription based).

The Miners have won two of their last three games, including their last time out against Southern Miss, 80-72, to improve to 3-0 under Kevin Baker on ‘Senior Day.’

UTEP hung with Rice in January’s matchup at the Don Haskins Center. The Owls prevailed 69-61, but the Miners know they can play with the likes of Rice.

“We are certainly a lot better than the last time we played them,” said head coach Kevin Baker. “That makes it an exciting matchup for us because we are playing really well right now.”

“We had a lot left to give and I think that’s what we are going to do this game. We need to come out with our all and show them who we really are,” said freshman guard Katia Gallegos.

After dropping consecutive contests, the Owls have peeled off three straight wins. Most recently, it came in the form of a 73-60 overtime victory at LA Tech last Saturday. Dating back to the 2018-19 season, Rice is 37-2 at home, including 22-1 in league play. The last home C-USA loss for the Owls was to LA Tech on March 1, 2018. Rice is 11-1 at home (7-0 in C-USA) this season.

UTEP is alone in seventh place in the league at 8-8, while Rice is tied for first place at 14-2 alongside ODU.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

UTEP has scored 80+ points in three straight games, tying for the second-longest stretch in program history … the standard (four in-a-row) happened earlier this year … Katia Gallegos (139 assists) needs four assists to break the Miner freshman record that is currently held by Shalana Taylor (142 assists, 2004-05) … regardless of class, Gallegos is seventh on the UTEP single-season list … she is four shy of taking over fifth place on that list … Avery Crouse has hit double figures in scoring for three straight games for the first time of her career.

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