UTEP Improves to 13-1 with a Tremendous Comeback Win Over UAB
UTEP continued their impressive winning streak by knocking off their nemesis UAB 62-54 on Sunday night at the Don Haskins Center. The win concluded an exceptional week of conference play as the Miners defeated C-USA preseason favorite Middle Tennessee on Thursday. Fans in attendance were treated to an exciting night of basketball where UTEP continued to show their resiliency in a challenging contest where they trailed the majority of the evening.
The Miners are now 13-1 for the third time in program history, 4-0 in C-USA, and are without question the best team in the conference. Most importantly, UTEP defeated a team in UAB that beat them twice last season, including in the first round of the C-USA Tournament. UTEP spread the ball around and had numerous contributors as Sparkle Taylor led all scorers with 21 points, Jenzel Nash added 14, Cameasha Turner tallied 13 and Tamara Seda poured in 7.
Cameasha Turner nearly had a triple-double with 13 points, 11 boards and 8 steals. Turner's 8 steals tied the record for second most in school history. The game truly was a tale of two halves as the Blazers, who are the top defensive team in C-USA, held UTEP to a mere 22.6 percent shooting from the field in the first half. In the second quarter alone, UAB's man to man defense virtually shut down the Miners' prolific offense by holding them to a 2 of 14 stretch from the field. UAB led 28-21 at halftime.
The Blazers took a 42-36 lead into the fourth quarter before the Miners went on a run for the ages thanks to a bold move by Coach Adams to implement the full court trapping 2-2-1 press. Adams noted following the game that, "our kids wanted to run the 2-2-1, and I asked if they really wanted to run it? And they said 'yeah we want to run it,' which I think is really neat." UTEP went on a 16-3 tear to take a 51-45 lead and never looked back as they outscored the Blazers 26-12 in the fourth quarter.
Between the Miners' suffocating full court press and an offensive explosion that concluded with the team shooting 69 percent on 9 of 13 shots, UTEP showed the heart of a champion by putting away UAB in an extraordinary manner. There is no question that this is a very special team that has unlimited potential. If they keep playing like this, undoubtedly this squad will be ranked in the top 25.
The Miners will host UTSA next Sunday at 1:05 p.m. before heading to the east coast to play FAU and FIU. You can listen to Sunday's game on 600 ESPN El Paso's free app radiopup, and all UTEP women's basketball games on 600 ESPN El Paso.