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UTEP Women's Basketball: Miners Throttle Northern Arizona, Improve to 4-0.

The UTEP women's basketball team improves to 4-0 by thrashing Northern Arizona, 92-43.

The first ten minutes of Friday's night ball game looked very similar to the wins against UTPB and Kansas State.  UTEP forcing turnovers with tough defense, and Kayla Thornton catalyzing an early UTEP run with 10 points in the first ten minutes as the Miners routed Northern Arizona 92-43.

The Miners would jump out to an early 14-4 lead by three Thornton steals, she could have had 15 in the first half though she missed some easy layups.

In first five minutes of first half the Miners forced eight Northern Arizona turnovers, while holding them to only one field goal in that period of time.

UTEP would stretch that lead to 45-20 at the halftime break, making it the first time in school history they have held a 25-point or more lead in consecutive games.

El Pasoan Stacie Telles had her first career start, in place the injured Kelli Willingham, and delivered with 8 points to go along with 5 assists and 3 steals.

The Miners would unleash the three ball in the second half lead by Anete Kirsteine who went on a 4/6 three-point shooting show in the second half, after going 1/3 in the first half.

Kirsteine would finish with a game high 15 points, and played with a heavy heart after a tragedy in her hometown of Riga, Latvia. She not only honored her country by her huge three point barrage, she was also wearing the Latvia flag as her hair ribbon.

She also sparked a 14-0 run with three straight bombs from beyond the arc, UTEP was already up 60-30 when she started raining on the Northern Arizona zone, stretching the Miner lead to 74-30 with eight minutes left in the game.

The Miners have now forced 63 turnovers in the last 80 minutes of basketball, and held the Lumberjacks to thirty-two percent shooting from the field in the game.

For the second straight game the Miners also held a player who came in averaging more than 20 points in check.

Amanda Frost scored 24 points in their opener, and was held to only 11 points on 4/8 shooting including 1/8 from behind the three-point line, fouling out in the process with a couple of frustration fouls.

The Miners had four players score in double in figures, including Latvian Kristin Vitola who scored 10 points, and 5 rebounds. Kayla Thornton had 12 points, and 5 rebounds, in limited minutes as Keitha Adams had nine players players play 15 or minutes in the blowout win.

The win is also the largest win against a division one opponent, and marked the first time in school history UTEP has won back-to-back games by 45-plus points.

The past two games the Miners also have outscored their opponents 91-33 in the first half of those games.

The Miners take the weekend off and get ready for next Wednesday's contest against Northern Colorado 7:05 PM in the The Don Haskins Center.