The UTEP men's and women's basketball seasons are going in opposite directions. While the men have lost four of their last five conference games, including five straight on the road, the Miner women are riding a seven game win streak.

The team is currently 12-5 on the season and 9-3 in C-USA. That is good for second in the western division. What is even more surprising is that no Miner has won a C-USA Player of the Week honors for the 2020-21 season.

Ruben R Ramirez
Ruben R Ramirez

Sophomore point guard Katia Gallegos has been terrific all season long, averaging 15.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, and nearly 5 assists per game. There is a plenty of balance behind Gallegos, with five players all scoring between 7.1 and 8.9 points per game. Seniors Dejanae Roebuck (7.1 ppg/3.6 rpg) and Michelle Pruitt (8.9 ppg/6.4 rpg), junior Destiny Thurman (8.1 ppg), and sophomores Avery Crouse (8.9 ppg/5.0 rpg) and Isis Lopes (8.5 ppg/3.2 rpg) have all stepped up for head coach Kevin Baker. Junior Sabine Lipe (4.6 ppg/3.2 rpg) and freshman Elina Arike (4.8 ppg) have also been contributors.

As you watch the UTEP women in action each game, Coach Baker uses a rotation consisting of 10-11 players. He has always utilized a deep roster, especially when he has a quality lineup from top to bottom. The fact that his team is so balanced is a big reason why they have played well in C-USA games. Gallegos is the leader and everyone has bought into Baker's plan, demonstrating a terrific chemistry that most team's crave.

"Our team is really learning how to guard and learning how to get stops at big times," Baker said after Sunday's overtime win over UAB. "I am really proud of this group. It is tough to win any game in college basketball, but it is sure tough to win seven in a row, so I am proud of this team for being able to do that."

Looking ahead, UTEP will play in Miami this weekend against FIU (7-7, 6-4) before returning home the following week to host FAU (4-8, 2-6). The Panthers will be a good challenge for the Miners since they are currently third in the east division, while the Owls are last in the east. UTEP travels to Charlotte to challenge the second place 49ers (6-7, 5-3) the final week of the regular season before they prepare for the C-USA Tournament. There is no reason why the Miners cannot continue to stay near the top of the standings and enter Frisco next month as a team that can continue to play on this postseason.

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