The UTEP Miners women's basketball team opened the 2013-14 season with a 75-58 win over the UTPB Falcons Friday night in the Don Haskins Center.
The Miners out rebounded the undersized Falcons 52-37 and lead by 28 points with ten minutes left to play.
The first half demonstrated how close games will be officiated with the new NCAA rule changes, as both UTEP and UTPB were in the double bonus by the seven minute mark of the first half, and were also whistled for 24 personal fouls combined in the first half attributing to UTEP's 24 free throw attempts.
UTEP guard Jenzel Nash made her return from last years season ending injury, but was a victim of the whistle as she was in foul trouble most of the night and only played 12 minutes.
UTPB came out in a tough, active zone and created some UTEP turnovers early leading to wasted possessions, though the Miners responded on defense forcing 13 first half turnovers and used the fast break to jump out to a 9-0 lead.
The Miners would go on an 11-2 run to stretch that lead into double figures while holding UTPB to only 18 percent shooting in the first half.
El Paso's own Stacie Telles would knocked down two key three pointers down the stretch of of the first half that would give the Miners a 43-23 leading going into the break.
In the second half UTEP would show its depth as eleven different players played ten minutes or more in the game, lead by Chrishauna Parker's 12 point, 12 rebound effort.
Telles would finish with 12 points on 3/3 shooting from behind the arc and she handled the point guard duties for most of the second half.
UTPB showed some life late in the second half, they forced 18 UTEP turnovers in total, and were led by Giselle Loya's 18 points all coming by the way of the three ball.
Though it was the Miners size, depth, and speed that were just way too much for the Falcons. Kayla Thornton had a rough shooting night for the Miners, going 2/10 from the floor but had 9 points and 9 rebounds.
The Miners will now prepare for two tough non-conference home games against I-10 rival New Mexico State on Tuesday and the Big 12's Kansas State next Saturday.
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