Thursday night’s run for the UTEP Women’s basketball team was the perfect remedy for a young team trying to find their way in November.
The Miners got off to an almost perfect start, were able to empty the bench, and most importantly grabbed some confidence back in a 93-46 drubbing of lower division Western New Mexico.
UTEP raced out to a 27-0 lead in the first seven and a half minutes of the game thanks to some great ball movement that led to easy shots, and a half-court trapping press that smothered the visitors in the opening quarter.
It took WMNU until the 1:45 mark of the first quarter to knockdown their first field goal, but by then, UTEP was up 27-5 and had this one in the bag before the first quarter ended.
Zuzanna Puc made her first three tries from the field and ended the night with 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting and added seven rebounds for UTEP.
Sparkle Taylor recorded a double-double once again with 13 points, and 11 boards in just 16 minutes. Lulu McKinney dished out nine of the Miners’ 26 assists providing steady point guard play from the opening possession.
Six different Miners scored in double figures, Katarina Zec scored 11 points, while Najala Howell and Tamara Seda each recorded double-doubles. Both scored 10 points, Howell finished with 12 rebounds, while the 6’4 Seda pulled in 14 boards.
Freshman guard Jakeira Ford was 5-of-7 from the floor, and scored 13 points to go along with four rebounds in 14 minutes.
UTEP shot a crisp 61.2 percent from the field, and scored 24 of their points in the open floor on fast-break’s.
Things will get tough for UTEP as they will play LSU, NC State, and Kansas State in consecutive days apart of the 2016 Paradise Jam in the US Virgin Islands starting next Thursday at 1:35 p.m. Mountain Time.
Every practice, and game has been a teaching moment for this young UTEP team since they assembled in October. And over the Thanksgiving weekend, they’ll get a nice taste of what big-time college basketball is all about.