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Miners End Season With 85-77 Loss to Penn State

UTEP Miners
Playing in her final game, Gloria Brown led the way for UTEP with 18 points and 10 rebounds. (Courtesy of Joe Murphy and C-USA)

All season long Keitha Adams had every right to play the ‘Dangerfield card,’ and complain about her teams’ lack of respect.  There was a point in the season when the Miners had won 15 straight and their two losses were by a combined three points.  Despite a 29-3 regular season record, UTEP never cracked the top 25 in either poll.

Adams never once complained about the national lack of respect.  She knew her team would have to earn respect on the court.  Even after winning the C-USA tournament, the Miners were rewarded with a 13 seed and first round date against Big 10 regular season champs Penn State.

UTEP more than held their own against a team ranked in the top 15.  Kelli Willingham’s three pointer with 4:34 to go in the first half gave the Miners a 34-27 lead, their largest of the game.  The Lady Lions went on a 12-5 run to end the half tied with UTEP at 39 a piece.

Maggie Lucas’s jumper with 18:31 to go gave the Lady Lions a 43-41 lead that they would never relinquish.  Lucas lived up to her billing as Penn State’s best player.  The sharp shooting guard overcame a shaky start to lead all scorers with 23 points.  Lucas’s backcourt mate, Alex Bentley, contributed 21 points for the Lady Lions.

Playing in her final game, Gloria Brown came off the bench to lead the Miners with 18 points and 10 rebounds.  Jenzel Nash, Kayla Thornton, and Kelli Willingham all scored in double figures.

Tonight’s loss was a tough way for a great team to end the season, but the Miners were able to hang tough with the regular season champs from the Big 10.  Gloria Brown’s presence will be tough to replace, but Keitha Adams has a ton of talent returning next season.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the Miners find their way back to the dance in 2013!

 

 

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