UTEP women race past UIW in season opener, 81-47


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Teal Battle scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds in her UTEP debut, Destiny Thurman tallied 16 points, while Katia Gallegos added 12 points, as UTEP raced past Incarnate Word, 81-47, in the Miners’ season opener at the Don Haskins Center on Thursday night.

Eliana Cabral, who also made her UTEP debut on Thursday night, was the fourth Miner in double figures (10 points) in the win. The Miners forced 25 turnovers and outrebounded the Cardinals, 38-29.

“I was mainly pleased with our defense,” said UTEP head coach Kevin Baker. “Anytime you hold anybody to 47 points, you’ve done a pretty good job. [In the third quarter] those were points off steals, points in transition. We got out and ran a little bit, which is what we’re really good at. It was helpful, because we weren’t scoring in our half-court offense.”

UTEP shot 48 percent from the floor (30-63), including 39 percent from three-point range (7-18). Avery Crouse scored five points, pulled down seven rebounds and dished out two assists. Erin Wilson added seven points in her UTEP debut, while Mahri Petree (five points), Elina Arike (four points), Dagne Apsite (four points) and Brenda Fontana (two points) got into the scoring column as well. The UTEP bench outscored UIW, 28-16.

“It’s always good when you can get players experience off the bench,” said Baker. “I thought our bench came in and played really well.”

The 34-point win was the largest in a season opener during the Baker era, while it was the second-largest margin of victory over a Division I school in the season opener in program history (98-63 vs. Houston Baptist in 2015). UTEP improving to 5-0 in season openers under Baker.


The Miners will host North Dakota on Saturday. Tip-off set for 1 p.m. MT at the Don Haskins Center.

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