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UTEP Women's Basketball: Tamara Seda's big game carries UTEP past CSU-Bakersfield 74-61

JORGE SALGADO

UTEP's Tamara Seda posted a monster double-double with 15 points, and 17 rebounds, also blocking four shots, and altering many more leading UTEP to a nice 74-61 win over CSU-Bakersfield Wednesday afternoon in the Don Haskins Center.

Seda was a key component in the Miners most complete effort on the season. They held the Roadrunners to just 36.4 percent shooting from the floor, UTEP owned the boards with a 47-39 edge, and used 17 second chance points to finish off their grueling non-conference slate.

UTEP shot 57.1 percent in the opening quarter, and used a 20-6 spurt in the final 6:33 of the opening quarter to grab a 24-11 lead after the initial 10 minutes of play.

Seda led the strong start with three blocks, and six points, and five rebounds in the first seven minutes of the game.

The second quarter wasn't as smooth offensively as the first quarter was for UTEP, but the Miners maintained their double digit lead throughout the second quarter and into halftime leading the Roadrunners 37-27 at the break.

UTEP extended their lead to 44-31 after a jumper from Sparkle Taylor just three minutes into the third quarter, then UTEP led by nine with just 35 seconds left in the third quarter.

Although CS-Bakersfield made things interesting in the final quarter for a small stretch until UTEP's defense tightened up.

A 13-4 Roadrunner run that started from the 3:08 mark of the third quarter cut the lead to 54-52 with 7:37 left in the game.

UTEP responded with some tough defense, forcing three empty trips for CS-Bakersfield during a 9-0 UTEP run ended with a an Ax Bernard 3-pointer pushing UTEP's lead to 63-52 with just under six minutes left to play.

An excellent 22-of-27 mark from the free throw line helped UTEP close things out down the stretch, improving to 3-9 overall ahead of conference play which starts Sunday.

Three other Miners joined Seda in double figures, Najala Howell also scored 15 points off the bench on an efficient 5-for-8 shooting outing.

Sparkle Taylor led the scoring attack with 16 points, while Bernard chipped in 11 points, hitting three 3-pointers. UTEP ended the night shooting 40.4 percent from the field, and went 6-for-17 from behind the 3-point arch.

Despite committing 20 turnovers, UTEP led for 37 minutes, but most importantly they showed major improvement after a long layoff with conference play coming up this weekend.

UTEP will host UTSA Saturday afternoon in their C-USA opener.