EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- UTEP women’s basketball defeated Kansas City 62-60 in a wire-to-wire thriller on Saturday afternoon in theDon Haskins Center. The Miners came back from 11 down in the third quarter to secure the victory. Jane Asinde and Erin Wilson both posted double-doubles in the win.
Asinde led all players in multiple categories in her first game for the Miners. She posted 24 points, 14 rebounds, three assists and one block. Wilson had another big game, tallying 13 points (11 in the second half) and a career-best 12 rebounds. Veonce Powell showed her long-distance shooting prowess, setting career-highs in points (13), three pointers made (four), and three pointers attempted (five).
Adhel Tac added six points, one rebound and one assist before foul trouble kept her on the sideline. Delma Zita scored four points and dished out a career-high seven assists. Mahri Petree added two points, one steal, and four crucial offensive rebounds.
“We fought it out and made some big plays down the stretch,” Head Coach Keitha Adams said. “I thought in the third quarter Delma got us going in transition, which helped us and kind of changed the tempo. I thought Erin pulled off some big shots, and we did enough to get it done. A gutsy win.”
The first quarter was a tight battle between the two sides, with three lead changes and three ties. The Roos held a slight advantage for much of the opening 10 minutes, stretching the lead to five points with 4:43 remaining. The Miners clawed their way back into it within the final two minutes, and a Powell three gave them a four-point lead to end the quarter 17-13. Aside led all players with nine points in the first period.
The visitors got hot in the second quarter, shooting 57.1 percent (8-14) from the field, including 42.9 percent (3-7) from beyond the arc. UTEP struggled to find an answer, scoring 10 points in the period on 27.3 percent shooting. The teams headed to the locker room with Kansas City leading 37-34.
The Miners shot 31.8 percent from the floor in the first half. Asinde led the way with 15 points and eight rebounds, followed by Tac who added six points. Powell contributed four points while Wilson added two and tacked on four boards.
The third quarter started much as the last ended, with the Roos stretching their lead to 11 in the first three minutes. The Miners then found the rhythm they were looking for, going on a 20-6 run in final seven minutes of the quarter take a three-point lead 49-46. Asinde, Powell, and Wilson each scored six in the period, with Powell going two-of-two from three. Wilson pulled down five boards, including three on the offensive glass.
The fourth quarter was a back-and-forth affair, with the Orange and Blue holding narrow lead through eight minutes of play. Kansas City managed to tie it up, and then take a 60-58 lead with 43 seconds remaining. A foul sent Wilson to the line, but she went 1-for-2 to put it at 60-59.
The Miners managed to grab an offensive rebound and a timeout saw Coach Adams draw up the up the final play. On the inbound, Wilson set the perfect screen and Asinde was able to lay it in and draw the and one. She sunk the free throw and UTEP was able to hold on for the comeback victory.
“That was my main thing, to get my partner Jane open, I knew I had to hit her and set a really good screen so she can get that bucket,” Wilson said. “That was all I was focusing on in that play, and I set that good screen, and rubbed off and got the and one. That was a good call by coach as well.
The Miners finished with 32.8 percent shooting (38.5 percent from three) and 63.3 percent (19-30) from the charity stripe. The team pulled down 44 rebounds, nine assists, nine steals, and one block. They had 17 second-chance points and 24 points in the paint.
Three Kansas City players scored in double-digits, led by Nariyah Simmons with 15. Dominque Phillips had 11 and Alayna Contreras scored 10. Simmons and Ifunanya Nwachukwu both recorded eight rebounds, and Nwachukwu led all players with four blocks.
UTEP hosts Texas A&M – Kingsville on Tuesday, Nov. 14 in the last game of the opening home stand before heading on the road to take on California Baptist in Riverside next Saturday, Nov. 18.