Texas A&M's Courtney Williams came in to tonight's game having matched scoring career highs in the Aggies past two games, she continued her hot streak, pouring in 21 points, leading the Aggies past the Miners 74-58, Thursday night in College Station.
Williams led an 11-4 run in the first half to give A&M a 21-10 lead with a 3-point dagger with 11:48 left on the first half clock.
Williams scored 13 straight for the Aggies during that span as they jumped out to a 28-16 lead with 6:51 left in the first half.
The tall, and aggressive Aggies shut down the Miners penetration in the first half, taking a 42-24 halftime lead, while UTEP struggled from all over the field, goose egging on seven tries from deep in the first half.
Cold shooting plagued the Miners to start the second, leading to a Courtney Walker layup that gave the Aggies a 50-28 lead right after the under 16 minute timeout.
Jenzel Nash was bumped on the way up on a tough driving layup which drew no foul, leading to an irate Keitha Adams picking up her first technical foul of the season.
That fire ignited her team to force 18 second half turnovers, sparking a 10-2 run to the cut the Aggie lead to 70-57 at the 4:24 mark in the second, after Stacie Telles fed Kayla Thornton for a bucket.
Thornton scored 18 points while grabbing 13 rebounds, capping off another stellar, gritty performance.
Athough it was not enough as her layup at 4:24 was the last field goal the Miners would come up with for the rest of regulation, helping the Aggies to sink 4 straight free throws to stop the hard fighting second effort from the Miners.
Jenzel Nash returned to the rotation after missing the Texas Southern game with the flu, pacing the Miners all game with 21 tough points, she converted 8 out of 10 free throws, while also forcing 3 steals.
Hats off to A&M coach Gary Blair as his Aggies packed the paint, making UTEP un-comfortable all night in the half court.
UTEP finished 32.8 percent from the field, and for the first time since 2005 the Miners failed to hit a 3-pointer.
Despite UTEP forcing 26 Texas A&M turnovers the Aggies were able out rebound UTEP 45-32 , though the Miners would not give up on defense in the second half in a very respectable effort.
The Texas A&M Courtney duo of Williams and Walker dug the Miners in a hole they just could not get out of.
Walker chipped in with 18 points and 6 rebounds, along with Williams' 21 points she stuffed the sheet with 7 rebounds and 5 assists, lets throw in her 6 turnovers as well just for good measure. A&M was in rtyhym for most of the night converting 19 assists into 26 field goals, and shooting 47 percent from the field.
Thornton's 13 rebounds puts her at 808 rebounds for her career, two shy of tying the 810 mark which is the highest total in school history as of today.
UTEP drops to 11-2 on the season, and will now anticipate for its third road game of the season, and first Conference USA game of the year against UAB on January 8th.
Great second half effort on defense from the Miners, the wizardry of one the best coaches in America will have them ready for conference, C-USA beware.