UTEP Falls to C-USA Preseason Favorite Middle Tennessee
The Miners looked to follow up a 15-point come from behind win over Charlotte on Thursday with a solid showing over C-USA preseason favorite Middle Tennessee, however, the Blue Raiders had other plans as they won 54-45 on Saturday afternoon. The Blue Raiders have owned UTEP in the short history of the series as they now hold a 4-1 edge with their latest victory.
With a record of 11-6, 2-2 C-USA, UTEP kept it close throughout the opening half as they trailed by one at 20-19 at halftime. The second half was a completely different story though as MTS peeled off 15 straight points in the third quarter to give the Blue Raiders a 38-22 edge with 2:35 to play in the period. UTEP had no answer for the stellar perimeter shooting of the Blue Raiders led by Anna Jones who tallied 30 points, and made eight triples en route to the victory.
Zuzanna Puc came off the bench to score 16 points while Jordan Alexander added 12, however, the Blue Raiders' defense held leading scorers Tamara Seda to 4 points and Najala Howell to a couple of points. One silver lining is that the Miners did shoot a better field goal percentage than MTS at 40.9% but simply couldn't overcome their barrage of three pointers in the second half.
UTEP will return to action when it wraps up its three-game homestand against Florida Atlantic at 7 p.m. MST Thursday. Steve Kaplowitz and Traci Miller will have the call on 600 ESPN El Paso.