UTEP Women Win 81-74 Physical Basketball Game Over ECU
If anyone believes that women's college basketall is a finesse game, they were not at the Don Haskins Center last night to watch the Miners host East Carolina. In one of the most physical games I have seen, UTEP was able to get by East Carolina 81-74 on Pack The Don night. 5,568 fans were in attendance and were treated to a very entertaining game. El Pasoan Kayla Thornton led all scorers with 23 points but her body also took an incredible amount of punishment by the ECU defense.
Thornton was beat up after diving for multiple loose balls and taking a forearm to the face from the Pirates' Shae Nelson late in the game. The Miners' senior forward was so incensed by the technical foul that it appeared she was ready to go after Nelson. However, teammate Chrishauna Parker was able to settle her down. After the game, Thornton collapsed in the tunnel area while signing autographs and was taken by stretcher to the hospital for observation. She was released early this morning and UTEP will know more about her condition on Monday.
Jenzel Nash came off the bench to score 22 points for the Miners, who led 33-31 at halftime. ECU came out firing in the second half and actually led the game by five points with six minutes left to play. However, UTEP outscored the Pirates 26-14 from that point on to get the win and improve to 21-5 on the season. More importantly, they took a one game conference lead over East Carolina and are in second place. The Miners will host UT San Antonio this Wednesday at 7pm and it will be "Senior Night" for Thornton, Kristine Vitola, and Kelli Willingham.