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UTEP Defends Way To 20th Win

The UTEP women's basketball team completely shut down Old Dominion in the second half, en route to a 65-55 win.

Anthony Salom-MinerRush.com

Keitha Adams just finds ways to win.

Old Dominion jumped out to a 10-0 early run, breaking a 19 all tie, putting UTEP in an early 10 point hole, 29-19 with four minutes left in the first half.

Both teams traded runs throughout the first half, ODU's run was a momentum shifting streak that ended at 12-0, UTEP finished the half on a four point swing but still trailed 33-25 heading into the halftime break.

Then all of a sudden the Miners arose, and put this one ice, literally.

Kayla Thornton finished off an 8-0 run with a huge three point dagger, bringing the Miners within two, just two minutes into the second frame.  Thornton reeled of 10 points in the first 3:23 of the second, running the UTEP edge to 10-0, and tying up the game at 35's.

UTEP used a five point swing started off with a long bomb from Cameasha Turner, then Turner grabbed a rebound on the ensuing defensive possession, taking it her self the other way for a Miner bucket, 47-42 UTEP as the clock ticked under nine minutes.

The Monarchs shot 3/24 in the second half, thanks in part to tough Miner D, though LaQuanda Younger sank a triple that tied things back up, 54-54, at the 3:37 mark of the second stanza.

That field goal would the last of the game for the home team, as UTEP charged out of Norfolk on an 11-0 run to finish this one, including five straight freebies from the free throw line good for their seventh straight win.

Kayla Thornton was again phenomenal, scoring a game high 23 points, and 10 rebounds. Jenzel Nash chipped in 17 points, as the Miners out scored the Monarchs 40-22 in the second half.

UTEP dominated the boards in the second as well for a 29-18 edge, and also took care of the ball down the stretch playing with extreme poise in front of 3,972 fans on the road.

Tuner also finished with a double-double, going for 10 points and 10 boards, Shae Kelley scored 19 points for ODU, though was 4/15 from the field, she also had 8 rebounds.

Overall, ODU shot 28.3 percent for the game, also going 1/18 from deep, leading to UTEP winning the battle of the boards 45-43.

The dominance continues under Keitha Adams, as UTEP has now won 20 games in three straight seasons, improving to 20-4 overall, and 9-2 in C-USA play.

Next up on the road is a visit to North Texas Wednesday night at 6:00 PM MT.

The win helps UTEP keep pace in a crowded C-USA regular season title chase.

Middle Tennessee is all alone at the top at 10-1, Tulane has a half game advantage over UTEP and East Carolina, Tulane sits at 10-2, while UTEP and East Carolina are 9-2.  UTEP faces East Carolina next Saturday.

The Miners RPI was 46th before this one, and also had a 115th SOS, which I will forcast if the Miners win out, they should be a lock for the big dance, though three of the last five are on the road down the stretch of what is turning into a special season.