EL PASO, Texas – For the second time this season, UTEP is set to take on LA Tech, this time with the meeting slated for Saturday at 1 p.m. MT inside the Don Haskins Center.
 
The Miners (9-3, 2-1 C-USA) defeated the Lady Techsters (9-5, 2-2 C-USA) 62-54 in Ruston to start conference play on Dec. 18.
 
This is the lone game of the week for UTEP and will be Miners Kids Club Day.
 
GAME COVERAGE
Fans can watch the game on Saturday on CUSA.tv with Mando Medina calling the action courtside. Live stats will be available on the UTEP SIDEARM Stats Portal.
 
SCOUTING LA TECH
The Lady Techsters picked up a nice win at home over Rice on Thursday by a 79-74 final to get back to .500 in league. In the win, Keiunna Walker was one of three players who scored in double figures, leading the way with a season-high 26 points to pair with what was also a season-high seven boards. Walker is the leading scorer once again this season for LA Tech, averaging 15.6 points with 3.5 rebounds per game. She gets to the line regularly, with her 91 free throw attempts ranking second in C-USA this year. Her 71 makes is first in conference and 21st nationally. The inside-out combo for the Lady Techsters typically also features Anna Larr Roberson, though she has not played since the Dec. 18 loss to UTEP. Roberson averages 13.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Amaya Brannon and Salma Bates are a pair of other players to watch. Brannon posts 8.2 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while Bates leads the team with 50 assists.
 
ALL-TIME SERIES VS. LA TECH
This is the second and final regular season matchup between the Lady Techsters and the Miners, with UTEP picking up a 62-54 win in Ruston on Dec. 18 to begin conference play on a high note. In that one, Jazion Jackson and Adhel Tac each contributed career days. Jackson racked up a career-high five 3-pointers to finish with 17 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals. Tac grabbed a career-high 12 boards with 12 points. LA Tech is 16-9 in the all-time series.
 
TAC CONTINUING STRONG SEASON
In her second campaign with the Miners, Adhel Tac has stepped into a starter role and experienced plenty of success, averaging 7.3 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Most recently, Tac scored a career-high 15 points at Rice last Saturday on a 7-of-12 effort from the floor with four rebounds, two assists and a steal. The 6.9 boards per contest is sixth in the conference. 
 
SIX STRAIGHT WINS AT HOME
Dating back to an 86-79 overtime victory against Southern Miss last February, the Miners have won six in a row at home, including a perfect 5-0 mark this year.
 
REBOUNDING LIKE A BIG
Jazion Jackson has led UTEP in rebounding in back-to-back games, tying a career high each time with nine rebounds. Over the last three games, Jackson is averaging 8.7 rebounds per game to raise her average for the season to 5.7. She has brought down five or more boards seven times this season, including in four straight games.
 
SO FAR IN CONFERENCE
UTEP is allowing just 58.0 points per game over the first three conference tilts, a total which is second in C-USA. Additionally, opponents are averaging just 29.3 rebounds per game in league action against the Miners, which is the best mark in the conference. UTEP is currently tied for second with FIU and Florida Atlantic in the standings.
 
RETURNING HOME
UTEP has recorded three consecutive winning seasons at home, including a 10-4 mark last season. Including this season, the Miners are 37-12 inside the Don Haskins Center since the beginning of the 2019-20 campaign. Dating back to last season, UTEP has won six straight at home and is a perfect 5-0 in 2022-23.
 
BAKER ON LA TECH
“They are a very good basketball team. They run a unique style of offense, so we are already guarding that in practice. We play them every year and they are always really good. They are always very well coached. It’s all about Keiunna Walker and her getting to the rim, and Roberson posting up on the inside and doing what she does. They are very solid defensively and are hard to score against, and that makes them very difficult. We are working on everything that LA Tech does offensively and defensively, and I’m really enjoying that because we don’t normally get a week to prepare for an opponent, and as a coach, I like that. I’m not sure players do, but coaches love that.
 
BAKER ON CONFERENCE TO THIS POINT
“It couldn’t be better. I am so proud of how we have played our three conference games. We won two of them, and even the game that we lost we put ourselves in a position to win. Really, at the end of the day, that’s all you can ask for. I love this team. I love how they are playing, and I think we are only going to get better from here. We are already a handful to guard. It’s one of those things where we would be sitting 3-0 right now if we had made a few more layups in the first half against Rice, but I’m really enjoying this team. I’m enjoying watching them grow and get better each day, and I think we can certainly contend for a Conference USA title.”
 
LAST TIME OUT
UTEP led for over 29 minutes before a 12-1 Rice run to end the game as the Owls won 62-53 in Houston last Saturday.
 
JAZION DISHING OUT ASSISTS
Jazion Jackson distributed a team-high seven assists at Rice. Her 28 on the season trails N’Yah Boyd by a pair for the team lead.
 
THE LEAGUE AT HOME
The Miners (5-0) are one of four C-USA teams that are unbeaten at home this season, joining Middle Tennessee (6-0), Florida Atlantic (7-0) and UAB (6-0). 
 
LIMITING TURNOVERS AT HISTORIC RATE
With just 13.8 turnovers per game this season, the Miners are keeping possession of the basketball at one of the best clips in program history. The only UTEP team to average less turnovers per contest was the 2008-09 team at an average of 13.0 per game.  
 
GETTING TO THE LINE
UTEP averages 15.6 free throws made per game, ranking 28th nationally and fourth in C-USA. The Miners are averaging 21.9 attempts per game, ranking 32nd nationally and fourth in the conference.
 
NO FREEBIES FOR OPPONENTS
On the contrary to the surplus of opportunities that UTEP has generated at the stripe, the opposition has made just 9.5 free throws per game. If the opponents of the Miners were a team, they would be ranked 300th nationally.
 
CROUSE IN TOP-10 FOR GAMES STARTED
Avery Crouse has started 92 games in her career as a Miner, ranking ninth in program history. Kelli Willingham has the all-time record with 117 starts from 2010-14.    
 
UTEP WINNING TURNOVER MARGIN
One key area for UTEP this season has been a +4.9 turnover margin that is second in the conference and 34th nationally. The Miners are forcing opponents into 18.7 turnovers per game while committing just 13.8 of their own.
 
STEALS FOR JACKSON
Junior guard Jazion Jackson leads C-USA with 28 steals in her first season with the Miners. Jackson averages 2.3 steals per game, ranking second in C-USA and 73rd nationally.
 
LIMITING OPPORTUNITIES
LA Tech took just 39 shots in the UTEP win in the conference opener, the lowest number the opposition has recorded in the Kevin Baker era.
 
THE STARTING FIVE
The starting lineup of N’Yah BoydJazion JacksonAvery CrouseAdhel Tac and Elina Arike has taken the floor to begin five straight games. In the win at LA Tech, Boyd, Jackson, Crouse and Tac each played 36 minutes or more.
 
WHAT’S NEXT
The Miners face a busy schedule over the next couple of weeks, starting with a Wednesday game at UTSA on Jan. 11. UTEP returns home for games in the Don Haskins Center on Jan. 14 and Jan. 16 against Rice and Charlotte.
 
HOME TICKET INFO
Tickets start at $8 for regular season games while groups of 10 can purchase tickets for $5 a piece. Fans can buy single-game tickets at the Eisenberg Family Ticket Office by calling (915) 747-UTEP, visiting UTEPMiners.com/tickets, by emailing tickets@utep.edu, or by stopping by in person at 500 W. University Ave., 79968 (Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).