UTEP Women’s Basketball Back in NCAA Tournament
Saturday night, the UTEP women's basketball team accomplished their season-long goals. The Miners capped off their C-USA regular season title with a comeback win over Tulane in the C-USA Tournament Championship. The win was the 29th overall for head coach Keitha Adams and her Miners this season, a new team record. What was even more impressive was that the Miners trailed the Green Wave for most of the game.
One of the many reasons I love this team is that they never panic. Even though UTEP looked nervous in the beginning of the game, they settled down and trailed Tulane by only six points at halftime. However, the Green Wave scored early in the second half and the Miners trailed by 12 points with just over 15 minutes left to go. Eventually, UTEP took the lead with 7:46 left to play. Tulane answered with eight straight points and it looked liked the Miners' dream season could be over.
UTEP senior Gloria Brown had other plans. Despite scoring only two points in the first half, Brown erupted for 18 second half points and added 11 rebounds. When the Miners needed a leader to spet up, Brown was there to carry the team on her shoulders. El Pasoan Kayla Thornton had a near double-double of 14 points and 9 rebounds while Erika Warren scored 12 points for the Miners. Click here to view the final boxscore from the game.
Monday at 5pm, UTEP fans will find out where the Miners will be playing in the NCAA Women's Tournament. As far as seeding, I think they will be either a 10 or 11 seed. As of late Sunday night, ESPN.com's Charlie Creme had UTEP as an 11 seed. I would love that, because I think the Miners are very capable of defeating a 6 seed and even a 3 seed. The last time Keitha Adams took a team to the NCAAA Tournament in 2008, her Miners were seeded 9. They defeated 8-seed Western Kentucky in the first round but lost to top seed Stanford two days later. Let's hope this time, UTEP can