The UTEP women's basketball team dominated the rebounding margin throughout the game, while shooting over 40 percent from the field, and behind the three point line to outlast NMSU 78-73 Friday night.
Cameasha Turner poured in a game, and career high 27 points to go along with 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 steals for the Miners who out rebounded NMSU 44-27 on the night.
After an early 9-0 run that saw UTEP grab an early 11-5 lead, the Aggies would go on a 7-1 run themselves after a pair of Shanice Davis free throws made it 24-23 UTEP with 7:06 left in the half.
The Miners would get seven straight points from Stacie Telles to close out the half with a 41-37 lead.
Things would get heated in the second half of this rivalry tilt.
NMSU made their move in the early stages of the second half with a 9-1 run capped off by a Zaire Williams three pointer that tied things up at 48 with 15:37 left.
But it would take more than just prayer, three point attempts to crack Turner and her crew.
Back-to-back three pointers from Stacie Telles and Turner helped UTEP answer with an 10-2 run themselves that pushed the lead to back up to 58-50 in favor of the Orange and Blue at the 13:01 mark of the second half.
Though the Aggies kept chipping away, cutting the lead down to three two times in the final ten minutes, and four twice in the final stretch.
Though a pair of free throws by Stacie Telles would put the Miners back up 78-68 in the final minutes as UTEP continued their stout rebounding down the stretch, also forcing a couple of costly NMSU turnovers in final couple of minutes to lock in their first win of the season.
Turner led three Miners in double figures, as Telles chipped in 13 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Freshman guard Lulu McKinney added 12 points, and 4 assists, she also nailed two momentum changing three pointers in the game.
UTEP was an efficient 8/19 from behind the three point line, and had 16 offensive rebounds to the Aggies 19 defensive boards.
Shanice Davis led NMSU with 21 points, Sasha Weber and Brianna Freeman both added 10 points each, though the Aggies just could not overcome the UTEP assault on the boards.
UTEP senior Chrishuanna Parker had 7 points and 6 rebounds in the first half, though suffered a possible concussion and did not see any action in the second half.
The Miners will now get ready for their first road trip this Sunday at SMU 1 p.m El Paso time.
A great dominating effort on the boards is something UTEP will have to bring night in and night out, and with the athletes and will to rebound that shown Friday night UTEP found themselves a coaches dream of an identity