The UTEP women's basketball team used a 19-point lead at the end of the first half (33-14) and kept momentum in the second half to beat UC Riverside, 63-50, in the season opener.

The Miners' defense forced 29 turnovers that led to 25 points on the night. Katarina Zec led the Miners with 18 points, while freshman Katia Gallegos scored nine points, five assists, two steals and no turnovers in her debut.

 

“It was a great team win for us and I’m super excited about the way our team played,” head coach Kevin Baker said. “We pressed for 40 minutes, and that’s not an easy thing to do. I’m really proud of them and hope to grow with this. Our journey began tonight and it was a good way to start, but we’ve got a long way to go.”

UTEP will face NM State in the Battle of I-10 in Las Cruces, N.M. on Wednesday.