There are good performances, and then there are those that define a team by solidifying their ability to win in a hostile environment with a superior effort that displayed how great this group  is becoming right before our eyes.  UTEP's 89-72 victory at Southern Miss on Thursday evening was just that kind of a milestone for the program as they moved to 10-4 on the season, 3-0 in C-USA play.  The Miners’ 89 points tie as the most in a league road contest in school history.  They also did so in an 89-74 win at UCF on Feb. 24, 2008.

After a close back-and-forth opening frame, the Miners scored the most points ever in a quarter, (28) in a road game in program history as they took a 51-31 lead into the half.  The 51-points accumulated by UTEP in the first half were also the most they've ever scored in a half on the road in program history.  The Miners forced 16 turnovers that were converted into 28 points.  UTEP also controlled the boards (39-28), with Taylor’s career-high nine rebounds setting the tone in the area.

UTEP drilled 52.5 percent (32-61) from the floor, the fourth-highest percentage in a road conference contest in program annals.  The Miners have scored at least 89 points in consecutive league games for the first time in program history.  They piled up 96 points in the home win against Florida Atlantic.

Four players scored double-digits in the victory, as freshman Katia Gallegos led all Miner scorers with a career-high 23 points, 5 rebounds and 8 assists, Katarina Zec added 21 points, Ariana Taylor contributed with 14 points and 9 boards, and Ariona Gill scored 13 points.

Katia Gallegos displayed true heart as she was injured late in the fourth quarter by a hard foul, sat out a few minutes, and came back in to ice the game by scoring the last nine points of the contest for UTEP.

Following the game Kevin Baker noted, “We played extraordinarily well in the first half “that’s about as good as we’ve played all year and we needed that to win here at Southern Miss. I’m proud of the team. This team is playing really, really well right now, and I hope everybody jumps on board. These are a special group of kids. To come in on a road game and play as well as this, that says a lot.”

The Miners will conclude their road swing at Louisiana Tech on Saturday at 1 p.m. MT/2 p.m. CT Saturday.  You can tune in on our ESPN2 stream with the Iceman Brandon Cohn.



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