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Miners will play Texas Tech on Thursday in Lubbock to open WNIT campaign

EL PASO, Texas -- The Miners learned Monday that their first round opponent in the WNIT will be Texas Tech.

It's the first time UTEP will compete in a postseason tournament since 2016 and just their third time in the WNIT.

"I think it's great," forward Elina Arike said. "It's my first time playing in the postseason and although it was heartbreaking against Middle Tennessee it's great that we were recognized."

"For six years it's what I've been trying to do, get our team in postseason play and try and get a team good enough to do that so I really am proud of that," UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. "Mostly I'm excited for the players who have done everything that we've asked them to do this year to be postseason eligible and have made UTEP proud and hopefully we can continue to do that."

Continuing to make Miner nation proud starts on Thursday in Lubbock when the Red Raiders and Miners play at 5 p.m. MT.

Texas Tech is 18-14 this season and went 6-12 in the Big 12 Conference. At home, the Lady Raiders boast an impressive 13-6 record in front of an average of 4,990 fans per contest.

The Miners meanwhile went 20-11 on the season, highlighted by an 11-3 mark at home. It's the third time in program history they've played in the WNIT.

On both previous occasions the Miners have found great success. Overall, the Miners are 8-2 in the WNIT and 9-4 across all postseason play.

In 2014, UTEP finished as the runner-ups after an incredible run to the championship game against Rutgers.

The 2016 team reached the quarterfinals after winning three games to start the tournament.

Those Miner teams played all of those games inside the confines of the Don Haskins Center. UTEP put in a bid for Round 1 of the WNIT this year, but Texas Tech had a larger average crowd for the season and were given the home game as a result.

Article Topic Follows: Sports

Rachel Phillips

Rachel Phillips is the weekend sports anchor and reporter


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