UTEP Advances to the Elite 8 of the WNIT with a Win Over TCU
The Miners continued their magnificent post season run by defeating interstate foe TCU 79-71 on Thursday night at the Don Haskins Center in front of 7,024 fans. With the victory, UTEP advanced to the Elite 8 of the WNIT, and will face Pac-12 power conference opponent Oregon on Monday evening. The victory also extended the Miners' epic record at home this season to 19-0, and they are now 9-3 in post season play, including 8-1 in the WNIT.
TCU began the game on fire by shooting 60 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from downtown as they led by as many as 11 points in the first quarter. The Horned Frogs led 24-17 after one quarter of play, and held a 29-17 edge with nine minutes remaining in the second quarter. UTEP then demonstrated their championship spirit by stepping up their intensity throughout the remainder of the quarter by playing arguably their most complete basketball of the season.
Following a nearly flawless finish to the second quarter which cumulated with a 24-5 run, the Miners took a 41-34 lead over TCU into the locker room at halftime. Their tremendous momentum from the end of the first half carried over into the third quarter as the Miners outscored the Horned Frogs 17-9 thanks to a 17-4 run to take their largest lead of 58-43 heading into the fourth quarter before sealing the deal with the win. Overall the Miners outscored the Horned Frogs 41-12 during their spectacular run in the second and third quarters.
UTEP forced 25 turnovers, and shot an efficient 50 percent form the field for the game on 29 of 58 shooting, which matched the program's post season record. They outrebounded TCU 38-36, and shot 64.3 percent from the charity strip, making 18 of 28 free throws. In a rare occurrence, their bench was outscored by TCU's reserves by a 20-9 margin.
Starr Breedlove led all scorers by tallying 21 points with 5 rebounds, 2 steals, and 8 assists. Both Cameasha Turner and Jenzel Nash finished with 20 points, while Chrishauna Parker achieved a near double-double with 9 points and 10 boards. It was a significant night for Jenzel Nash as she became only the 12th player in UTEP women's basketball history to join the career 1,000 point club.
The Miners will continue their quest for the WNIT championship as they host Oregon on Monday at 7:05 p.m. The Ducks come into the contest with a 23-10 record. You can listen to that game with Steve Kaplowitz and Traci Miller on 600 ESPN El Paso.