Keitha Adams didn't have to say a word, down 24-21 at the half, being pounded on the boards 31-10, her veterans did all the all talking at the half and produced on the floor en-route to a Don Haskins like defensive clinic in the second half in a 63-40 win Wednesday in the Bear's Den.
The cold November air must have carried into the gym, as both teams came out icy cold, UTEP was shooting 4/14 from the field, while the Bears shot a Colorado frosty 2/14 with 11:52 left to play.
Though the Bears owned the boards in the first frame, 14 of their 31 first half rebounds were on the offensive side, 9 of Northern Colorado's first 17 points were off second chance opportunities.
Rebecca Howell would hit a 3-pointer to cap a off a 14-0 Bear run that would give them an eight point lead, answered by a 6-0 UTEP run to bring the lead within two with three minutes left in the first half.
The Bears would grind out the rest of the half to grab that halftime lead, holding the Miners to 37 percent shooting for the half.
The first 34 seconds of the second half would preview the rest of the half, UTEP forced two Northern Colorado turnovers forcing coach Jaime White to call an early timeout.
Twelve more forced turnovers later, UTEP jumped out to a 52-32 lead. Kayla Thronton had four steals in the first eight minutes of the half.
In total the Miners had 16 steals, which would lead to 24 second half points off turnovers for the Miners, and 36 for the game, while forcing 30 total turnovers in the game.
UTEP has now forced 127 turnovers in their first five games of the season.
Thornton finished with 21 points, 5 rebounds, 6 steals, though Jenzel Nash sparked a 31-8 UTEP run the in the second half with a huge three pointer that gave UTEP a five point lead, she finished with 8 points.
UTEP would stretch that lead to 25 with five minutes left via that huge second half run sparked by Nash.
Irene Gari also sparked the 42-16 second half scoring advantage, with 11 second half points, she finished with 14 points on 6/7 shooting from the field and added 5 rebounds.
The Miners shot 54.8 percent in the second half, at the 3:55 mark the Miners were shooting 69.6 percent from the field as the Miners pounded the paint with 42 points scored there for the game.
Howell lead the Bears with 15 points, though they just could not get any buckets as the fierce Miner defense held them to 30 percent shooting from the field as the final buzzer sounded, though the Bears won the battle of the boards 46-31.
The Miners return to action Saturday November, 30th against Texas State at 7:05 PM in the Don Haskins Center.
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