The UTEP women's basketball continued their impressive run Sunday afternoon, coming back from a double digit deficit to pick up a big road win over the previously unbeaten Kansas State Wildcats. The Miners actually trailed 48-38 with only 5:27 to play, before storming back for the 52-50 victory.
Kayla Thornton led the way for the Miners, finishing with an impressive stat line that included 15 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, and a steal. Chrishauna Parker added a double-double of her own, finishing with 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Anete Steinberga added 13 points and 8 boards.
The win improves the Miners to 9-1 on the season, with their only loss coming at New Mexico State, 69-68. Up next, they'll take on the New Mexico Lobos, Thursday in the Don Haskins Center, and will wrap up the non-conference slate with games against Sam Houston State and the University of Texas-Pan American.
What is most impressive of the Miners' early season run, is that they have done it without a couple of key players. Both Jenzel Nash and Kristine Vitola, who entered as two of the top players on this team, went out early on with season ending injuries.
UTEP head coach Keitha Adams had this to say following the loss of Nash, and her has team certainly lived up to the challenge:
"Part of sports is facing adversity. When someone goes down, someone else needs to step up."
Normally, those types of losses would dash a teams' hopes, but that's not the case with this team. They have persevered, and find themselves near the end of the non-conference run, still as one of the best, if not the best team in Conference USA.
And, while they may not yet be getting the credit deserved on the national scale, they are being noticed by the rest of the conference. Kayla Thornton is this week's C-USA Co-Player of the Week, the second time a Miner has earned the honor this year. Also, freshman Irene Gari was named the Freshman of the Week last week, for her efforts in wins over New Mexico State and Eastern New Mexico.
It cannot be understated just how good of a job head coach Keitha Adams and her staff continue to do with this basketball program. Her team finished 29-4 a season ago, and is off to another impressive start. Let's hope they can keep it going against the Lobos. Make sure to get out there and support!