The UTEP women's basketball team continues to step up their intensity when everything is on the line as they knocked off a resilient opponent in Arkansas State to advance to the round of 16 of the WNIT.  The Miners' 74-68 victory kept the 5,023 fans in attendance on the edge of their seats the majority of the evening due to the intensity of the game, and they are now 18-0 at home this season.

The game was relatively close in the first half as the Miners led 19-14 following the conclusion of the first quarter, and took a 36-30 advantage into the locker room at halftime.  Both teams played their hearts out in the second half as the game remained close until the final horn.

Photo by Brandon Cohn

The Contest was tied at 68 in the final minute before Agata Dobrowolska hit the shot of her life on a turn around jumper with :45 ticks left to give the Miners a 70-68 edge. Arkansas State shot a three pointer on their ensuing possession and failed to convert.  Jenzel Nash would score on a flashy out-of-bounds play, then steal the ball on the following Red Wolves' possession, which led to Dobrowolska being fouled and making two clutch free throws to officially put the game away.

UTEP shot 44.4 percent from the field on 28 of 63 shooting, outrebounded the Red Wolves by a 39-28 margin, and outscored their bench by an astonishing mark of 28-8.  Their defensive presence was intense as usual as they forced 17 turnovers, and they improved tremendously from the charity strip in this contest as they made 13 of 16 free throws at 81.3 percent.  The Miners also dominated on second chance points 19-8, and outscored Arkansas State 7-0 on fast breaks.

UTEP vs. Arkansas State in the round of 32 of the WNIT. (Photo by Brandon Cohn)

Sparkle Taylor led all scorers for the Miners with 18 points and 6 rebounds, Cameasha Turner had a near double-double with 16 points and 8 boards, while Jenzel Nash also added 16 points as well.  Starr Breedlove contributed with 8 points, Tamara Seda tallied 7 points and 6 boards, and Agata Dobrowolska scored 6 points.

UTEP improved to 28-4 with the victory, and will continue their quest in the "Sweet 16" of the WNIT as they host TCU on Thursday at 7:05 p.m.  You can listen to that game on 600 ESPN El Paso with Steve Kaplowitz and Traci Miller.