Former Louisville transfer Starr Breedlove scored 15 points, and Cameasha Turner added 11 points as UTEP used a strong second half to cruise to a 66-50 win over St. Mary's (Texas) Saturday afternoon in the Don Haskins Center.
UTEP started sluggish on offense with five turnovers and only three field goal attempts in the first three minutes of the game, and trailed 5-2 after Breedlove swished home two free throws for UTEP's first points of the contest.
The Miners would finish the first quarter with Sparkle Taylor hitting a 9-foot baseline jumper at the buzzer to give UTEP a 15-12 lead after the first ten minutes of the game in which UTEP shot an ice cold 5-of-17 from the field.
Cameahsa Turner would then continue that stretch and push UTEP to an 11-3 run to start the second quarter that gave UTEP a little more separation. Turner provided seven points during the run, and her layup at the 6:46 mark would give UTEP a 22-13 lead.
UTEP owned the offensive glass and used seven second chance points while holding St. Mary's two just three field goals in the final five minutes of the first half to take a 36-25 lead into the halftime break.
Keitha Adams started the second half with a four guard look, and St. Mary's took advantage on the boards, cutting the UTEP to 36-33 after back-to-back baskets from St. Mary's Emily Troell.
But then UTEP would go on a 9-2 run with Jenzel Nash grabbing two offense rebounds off her own misses, and putting home a reverse one-handed layup to put UTEP ahead 46-35 with 3:50 left in the third quarter.
11 of Breedlove's points came in the second half, while St. Mary's shot 33 percent in the second half.
UTEP led by as much as 17 in the fourth quarter, and out rebounded St. Mary's 52-37 on the afternoon.
JUCO transfer Tamra Seda added eight points, and six rebounds leaving almost 10 points on the floor via missed layups. Lulu McKinney pitched in with eight points, and Jenzel Nash added six points and seven rebounds in her return to the floor.
The Miners next game will be for real, as the Miners open the season next Sunday against Houston Baptist at 2:05 p.m. in the Don Haskins Center.