EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – UTEP (11-4, 4-2 Conference USA) women’s basketball saw its two-game winning streak snapped after they suffered a 73-62 loss to Rice (11-4, 2-4 Conference USA) at the Don Haskins Center on Saturday.
“I think you have got to give Rice credit today, they just played better than we did,” Baker said. “We just picked a heck of a time to go cold and not be able to make a shot. We missed 23 layups, so that’s the difference in the game as far as we are concerned because when you are on one end and you are not able to score, it affects your defensive energy on the other end, and I think that is what happened to us today. We normally play really, really good halfcourt defense, and we didn’t today. I think it was a direct result of missing a layup and not have the energy to be able to guard the way we typically guard on the other end.”
UTEP was 23-of-61 (37.7 percent) overall for the game and hit 14-of-19 (73.7 percent) at the free throw line. The Miners outrebounded Rice 34-31 on the day.
Jazion Jackson and Elina Arike led the Miners in the scoring department as they both recorded 11 points. N’Yah Boyd and Sabine Lipe each had 10 points on the night.
Ashlee Austin led the Owls, scoring a team-high 15 points along with grabbing eight rebounds and six assists.
It was a very competitive game in the first half. Rice entered halftime with a 39-34 lead.
In the second half, that is when things started to get away from UTEP. The Owls expanded their lead to double digits. 48-38, at the 5:22 mark of the third quarter after an India Bellamy lay-up.
UTEP never managed to cut that double digit deficit down to single-digits for the rest of the game as Rice went hold on to the lead and take a 73-62 win once the final buzzer sounded.
“We just didn’t make shots today,” Arike said. “We didn’t make the easy shots that we can make, and that is one of many reasons why we lost. I think we always play hard though. I can count on my teammates to always play hard.”
It will be a quick turnaround for UTEP. The Miners will face off with Charlotte on Monday, Jan. 16 at the Don Haskins Center. Tipoff is at 1:00 p.m. MT.