What a difference a point guard can make. The 2020-21 UTEP women's basketball team is 3-0, including a pair of overtime wins against NMSU and a come from behind fourth quarter win against Incarnate Word. The one constant in all three performances has been the play of Katia Gallegos.

The sophomore point guard out of Franklin High School came into the season as a Conference USA Preseason Team selection after leading the team in assists her rookie season. She was also named to the Nancy Lieberman Award Preseason Watch List. The 2020-21 season has a long way to go, but Gallegos has already given Miners fans a glimpse into the kind of player she is quickly turning into.

"They seem to excel with the clock ticking down and a lot of it has to do with the ball being in (Gallegos’) hands and her being a playmaker," UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said after their 81-73 overtime win over the Aggies last night. Gallegos finished that game with 22 points, 6 assists, 5 steals, and 5 rebounds in a career-high 41-minutes played. She is averaging over 21-points per game to lead the team, but more importantly, her leadership and clutch baskets in big situations have sparked the Miners. Her teammates are also feeding off of that momentum, especially Michelle Pruitt, Avery Crouse, and Dejanae Roebuck. Like Gallegos, all three of them have been huge for UTEP late in games.

Michael P. Reese.
Michael P. Reese.

The one knock on Katia's game is turnovers and she has a team-leading 15 in three contests. However, the good greatly outweighs the bad when she is on the floor for the Miners, and the El Paso native has a knack for making the spectacular play in the biggest moments of a close game. Much like the UTEP men over the years, the women have been most successful when they have had a great point guard leading the team. Since Gallegos is still just a sophomore, Miners fans can dream big over the next 3 years.

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