The UTEP women's basketball team sent a clear message to the C-USA and the rest of the country Saturday afternoon; they are a legitimate threat. UTEP dominated Big 12 conference member Kansas State from the tip to the finish in a 84-39 blow out win.
The Miners would jump out to 30-4 lead with 8:15 left in the first half, spaked by an 11-0 run to start the game, a double digit lead that the Miners' that would never relinquish.
Kansas State came into the contest averaging 45.5 percent shooting from the field on the season and was held to 20 percent from the field in the first half.
UTEP used tough and fierce defensive effort to dominate the game forcing 34 total Wildcat turnovers that resulted in 37 UTEP points off turnovers. The Miners had 20 steals compared to only three for Kansas State.
A balanced scoring attack lead by Kayla Thornton's 15 points and 11 rebound effort, also saw five different Miners score in double figures.
Kristin Vitola added 12 points to go along with 6 rebounds, Cameasha Turner also had 12 points on 2/4 shooting from behind the arc.
Though it was a dominating rebounding performance that lead the way as UTEP grabbed 34 defensive rebounds and out rebounded Kansas State in the process 55-43 overall. Chrishauna Parker led the Miners with 12 rebounds, grabbing six offensive and defensive boards.
Parlaying into that gaudy stat is that tough defense that was much improved from Monday's match up with NMSU, as Kansas State did not get its first basket until the 13:12 mark of the first half.
Kansas State's leading scorer Leticia Romero came into the game averaging 20.5 points a game while shooting 75 percent from field was held to only only two points on 0/7 shooting from the field and forcing her into five turnovers.
The Wildcats did get 15 points from Kelly Thomson who has 5/12 from behind the 3-point line, Breanna Lewis also added 12 points and 5 rebounds. Kansas State was held to 26.3 percent shooting from the field for the entire game.
UTEP will host Northern Arizona on November 22 at the Don Haskins Center 7:05 PM.
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