Kayla Thornton is a special, once in a lifetime player, she had herself a special Tuesday night against I-10 rival New Mexico State. The former Irvin High grad scored a game high 22 points on 8/15 shooting while adding 12 rebounds as the Miners routed the Aggies.
UTEP as a whole shot 55 percent for the game as the offense really got going in the second half. At one point in the second half the Miners were shooting a scorching 75 percent for the half with three minutes left, as they pulled away with tough defense and dagger three pointers that blew the Aggies away.
Both teams traded buckets and turnovers in the first half as Thornton lead the way offensively and on the boards for the Miners.
Thornton took over early and often as she scored the first six UTEP points and grabbed seven rebounds in the first twelve minutes of the game.
She had her double-double by the three minute mark of the first half, grabbing five defensive and offense rebounds at the half.
NMSU shot a frosty 3/13 from behind the arc in the first half, and only shot 36.8 from the field for the entire game as the Miners turned up the defense in the second half limiting NMSU to only 20 second half points.
Stacie Telles had another solid game for the Miners, the El Pasoan scored 16 points including 3/5 3-point shooting, she is now 6/8 from behind the arc in her first two games as a Miner. She also does a good job getting to the free throw line as she sank 5/6 from the charity stripe.
She seemingly gave the Miners the lead going away late in the first half with a huge three-pointer to give UTEP a four point lead, then coming up with a an even bigger steal with 12 seconds as she raced to the rack and earned two free throws to give the Miners a 39-33 lead at the half.
The Miners would start the second half on the 9-0 run and would never look back as they would force 14 steals and 17 total Aggie turnovers.
Telles, along with fellow point guard Kelli Willingham carried the load from behind the 3-point line as Willingham knocked down 4/6 attempts from trey accounting for all of her 12 points.
The Miners shot 10/22 from three point land for the game, including 6/9 three point shooting in the second half.
The largest lead was 37 with 3:19 remaining, by then Keitha Adams had emptied her bench as NMSU would actually finish the game on a 16-4 run.
The Aggies had four players score in double figures, lead by Vanessa Garner's 16 points, Sasha Weber added 13 including 8 in the first half.
The Miners had four players score in double figures as well. Jenzel Nash scored all of her 14 points on 4/6 shooting in the second half, Nash also added 5 rebounds and 5 assists as well for the victorious Miners.
Next up for the Miners is the 2-0 Kansas State Wildcats out of the Big 12 Saturday 2:00 PM in The Don Haskins Center.
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