UTEP WBB’s Slump Continues Against Portland State
The UTEP Women's basketball team extended their losing streak to seven consecutive games following an 89-61 victory by Portland State at the Don Haskins Center on Sunday afternoon. Playing without their leading scorer Zuzanna Puc in the second half, the Miners struggled throughout the contest to stay with the Vikings, who remain undefeated at 6-0 on the season. UTEP took a 13-11 lead midway through the first quarter thanks to an Alexander 3-pointer, but Portland State would counter by going on a 6-0 run to take the lead and ultimately outscored the Miners 26-17 in the opening quarter.
The Vikings then extended their lead to 35-19 with 5:13 remaining in the first half. UTEP got within 11 points of PSU at 41-30 with 37 seconds left in the half, but a trey at the buzzer gave Portland State a commanding 44-30 edge heading into the locker room. The Miners got within 12 of PSU midway through the third quarter at 51-39, but the Vikings scoring frenzy was too much for UTEP to handle as they went on an 11-1 run and subsequently went on for the easy victory in what was their first ever visit to El Paso.
For the Miners, Redshirt-junior Ariona Gill posted her first career double-double 17 points, a career-best 12 rebounds, while Jade Rochelle added a career-high 11 points, Ariana Taylor a career-high 10 points, and Jordan Alexander tallied 8 points, as well as 8 boards. The Miners finished at 32.8 percent (20-61) from the floor, including 25.0 percent (3-12) from 3-point range. The Vikings shot 44.2 percent on 34-77 shooting and had a slight edge in rebounding (45-41). Portland State also had a significant advantage in terms of points in the paint (42-28) and fastbreak points (24-21). UTEP shared the ball effectively, recording 15 assists on 20 made field goals.
Following the game Coach Baker mentioned, “Anytime you give up 89 points you’re not going to win many games,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “I’m really disappointed in our performance. I don’t want to take anything away from Portland State. They’re a really good team and do a lot of really tough things. I just was really disappointed in the product as a whole today. I think we’re a much better basketball team than the way we played today.”
UTEP is now 2-7 on the season and will be idle for finals week before returning to action at Pacific-12 member Arizona at 6:30 p.m. MT on Dec. 17, a game that you can listen to on 600 ESPN El Paso with Duke Keith.