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UTEP Women’s Basketball: UTSA rolls UTEP 97-76

Alex Nicolas

UTSA used an explosive second quarter to pull away from UTEP 97-76 Saturday afternoon in San Antonio dropping UTEP to 5-13 overall, and 2-4 in C-USA play.

UTEP led 18-17 after the first quarter of play, but did not have an answer for UTSA senior forward Tesha Smith who posted a career day for the Roadrunners.

Smith scored 22 first half points, going 8-for-8 from the free throw line as the Roadrunners outscored UTEP 35-17 in the second quarter to take a 52-35 lead into the halftime break.

UTEP trailed by just one, 20-19, with nine minutes left until halftime, but UTSA shot 63.2 percent in the second quarter and UTEP never recovered.

UTSA put their largest lead on the scoreboard with 4:52 left in the fourth quarter leading the Miners by 24. UTEP forced 20 turnovers, but only cased in on 10 points off turnovers, and struggled in the rebounding department.

Smith finished with 38 points and nine rebounds, two points shy of a school record for points scored in a game. Loryn Goodwin added 20 points helping UTSA shoot 48.4 percent from the field in on the afternoon.

UTSA also out rebounded UTEP 43-32 that led to a dominating 14-5 edge in second chance points.

Sparkle Taylor led UTEP with 16 points, Lulu McKinney, and Naj Howell each added 15 points. McKinney hit five 3-pointers, but the rest of the team went 3-for-12 from long distance.

Free throw shooting was another small factor, UTEP 12-for-23 from the line, while UTSA went 31-for-39 with three players attempting more than eight free throws in the game.

UTEP returns home next Thursday to face WKU, admission is free for the 7 p.m. Mountain Time tip off.