UTEP Women’s Basketball Keys to Advancing in C-USA Tournament
Tomorrow night, the UTEP women’s basketball team will play Old Dominion in the first round of the C-USA Tournament. The game tips off at 8pm in El Paso and Traci Miller and I will be broadcasting it live on 600 ESPN El Paso. The Miners enter this year’s tourney as an 11-seed and have an uphill battle to try and advance deep into the postseason. However, anything can happen during March Madness. Here are my keys for UTEP’s success in Birmingham.
1. Handle the basketball. The Miners have been turnover prone this season and part of that is because of their lack of an experienced point guard. Lulu McKinney and Faith Cook have seen the majority of the minutes at the point. If both of them do a good job protecting the basketball and the rest of the team limits their unforced errors, the Miners will be in excellent shape.
2. Play suffocating defense. When UTEP guards well, they win games. It is as simple as that.
3. Rebound the basketball. UTEP has been a good rebounding team for most of the season when their post players have not been in foul trouble. Tamara Seda and Zuzanna Pucs need to control the glass to give the Miners a chance to advance.
4. Stay out of foul trouble. This has been a killer for UTEP this season. When players like Sparkle Taylor, Seda, Pucs, and Katarina Zec have been on the bench in foul trouble, the young Miners have not been able to step up. Keitha Adams needs her core to log as many minutes on the floor as possible.
5. Develop multiple scoring threats. Sparkle Taylor has had an incredible offensive season and deserved her Second Team All C-USA honors. However, she needs help on offense. McKinney, Seda, Pucs, Zec, Najala Howell, and Jakeira Ford need to produce offensively for UTEP to have a chance to advance.