(Courtesy: UTEP Athletics)
EL PASO, Texas - The UTEP women’s basketball program opened its regular season campaign with a decisive 75-58 victory over Western New Mexico Monday evening.
Four Miners scored in double figures, led by Mahri Petree with 16. Erin Wilson contributed 14, Luisa Vydrova had 13, and Adhel Tac tallied 10 in the win. Veonce Powell finished the night with eight points.
Tac paced the team in rebounds with seven, while Delma Zita and Wilson both added six. Zita was a bother on defense, posting a team-high four steals to go with four defensive boards.
Wilson ranked second in the team in steals with three.
“The two take-aways are we have to get a sense of urgency about rebounding, boxing out, and being physical, and we have to make our free throws every day,” Head Coach Keitha Adams said. “I thought Mahri gave us a real good spark and made some big plays. I thought Lu (Vydrova) scored nicely tonight. Erin Wilson was our best rebounder tonight. She really battled and our team needs to look like she did tonight on the boards.”
In the first period the Miners got out to a fast start, outscoring the Mustangs 9-1 in the first five minutes. WNMU then clawed their way back into it, coming within four twice. The home side led 16-12 at the end of the quarter. Petree paced the team in scoring with four points while Tac led in rebounds with three. Zita also snagged two steals in the first.
UTEP held the visitors scoreless for the opening six minutes of the second quarter, jumping to a 25-12 lead. The Mustangs again were able to close the deficit to eight points to wrap up the first half, 29-21.
Vydrova spearheaded the offensive efforts in the first half with seven points, three rebounds, and one steal. Powell also tacked on five points for the Miners.
Following the break, the Orange and Blue got out to a hot start, scoring 22 points in the third quarter. Petree led the charge with 12 points, followed by Tac with six. Zita and Wilson both tallied two steals in the third period. The Miners finished the quarter up 18, leading 51-33. UTEP went a perfect three-of-three from beyond the arc in the fourth.
In the final period Wilson provided the spark that led UTEP to the finish line, going four-of-five for nine points. Vydrova tacked on four and Tensaie, Powell, and Stanton all contributed three.
The Miners shot 47.5 percent (29-61) from the field including 38.5 percent (5-13) from three on the night while making 57.1 percent (12-21) from the charity stripe. UTEP recorded 36 rebounds, 12 assists, nine steals, and two blocks.
Silvia Blanco paced the Mustangs with 13 points, followed by Sydney Wright with 10 and Diamond Moore with eight. As a team WNMU shot 38.6 percent from the floor and 53.8 percent from the foul line.
Up next, the Miners will be back in the Don Haskins Center for a pair of home games. First, UTEP welcomes Kansas City on Saturday (Nov. 11) at 4 p.m. MT before playing host to Texas A&M – Kingsville next Tuesday (Nov. 14) at 7 p.m. MT.
“It feels great being back in here (the Don Haskins Center), there’s no question about it,” Adams said. “It’s such a beautiful arena and for me it’s home, it just feels great. Our fans are awesome, the community is awesome, and you feel that in there.”
Season tickets are available now for $65 or sit courtside for $150. Tickets can be purchased through the Eisenberg Family Ticket Office by calling (915) 747-UTEP, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, visiting www.UTEPMiners.com/Tickets, or in person at 201 Glory Road (Brumbelow Building, UTEP Campus), Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.