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Miners upended 81-65 by UIC in West Palm Beach Classic Opener


West Palm Beach, Florida (KVIA) -- UTEP women’s basketball lost its opening match of the West Palm Beach Classic 81-65 to UIC. Mahri Petree had 13 points in the setback. 

The Miners’ (4-7) biggest lead was nine before the halftime break. UIC (7-3) was able to pull away in the second half, helped in part by 17 made free throws over the final two periods. 

Petree led the way offensively for the Miners. Jane Asinde, Erin Wilson, and Ivane Tensaie each scored nine, and Adhel Tac registered eight. 

Wilson paced the team with nine rebounds, followed by Tac with seven and Asinde with six.  

UTEP finished the game shooting 35.4 percent (23-65) from the floor and 40.0 percent (8-20) from three. The team hit 68.8 percent (11-16) from the charity stripe. Rebounding made the difference in the contest with UIC out rebounding the Miners 46-31, including 34-21 on the defensive glass. UTEP tallied 12 assists, seven steals, and one block. 

It was a back-and-forth ball game early, with the Miners holding a slight 19-17 edge at the end of the quarter. Asinde led the Miners with six points, followed by Wilson with five. Asinde also paced the team in rebounds with four. 

UTEP was up by as many as nine in the second period, but UIC managed to claw its way back into the contest and led by one, 39-38, at the half. Sow and Petree both had five in the quarter to lead the team, while Stanton posted four.  

At the half the Miners were shooting 43.8 percent (14-32) from the field, including 41.7 percent (5-12) from deep. UTEP struggled at the foul line, making 55.6 percent (5-9). The Miners had 13 rebounds, seven assists, and four steals.  

The Miners had shooting troubles in the third, allowing the Flames to stretch the lead to 13 (61-48) at the end of the period. Petree led the Miners with five points in the quarter. 

UTEP only got as close as 10 in the fourth, and UIC was able to put the game away, 81-65. Tensaie led the efforts in the final period with six points, followed by Wilson and Tac with four a piece.  

The Flames shot 44.6 percent (26-56) from the field, including 21.7 percent from beyond the arc, and made 78.8 percent (26-33) of their free throws. They grabbed 46 rebounds, 16 assists, and seven steals. Danyel Middleton paced UIC with 16 points. Dais’Ja Trotter and Makiyah Williams followed close behind at 13 points each. Trotter and Jaida McCloud both pulled down a team-high six boards. Middleton and Keimari Rimmer each had five.  


The Miners are back in action tomorrow when they take on Illinois in the second game of the West Palm Beach Classic. Tipoff is set for 11:15 a.m. MT/ 1:15 p.m. ET.  


Illinois (5-4, 0-1 Big Ten) is averaging 76.2 points and 36.9 rebounds per game. The Fighting Illini are shooting 46.8 percent from the floor and 32.0 percent from downtown, while also hitting 73.1 percent from the foul line. As a team, it is ranked in the top 100 in the nation in several categories. Illinois sits second in the Big Ten, 14th in the nation in turnovers per game (11.9), and second in conference, 23rd in NCAA in fouls per game (13.6). The Fighting Illini also rank sixth in the league, 36th in the country in field goal percentage (46.8) and fourth in the Big Ten, 59th nationally in turnover margin (4.11). Four players are averaging double digits in scoring, led by Genesis Bryant with 15.3 and Kendal Bostic with 12.3. Makira Cook is posting 11.0 points per game and Adalia McKenzie 10.3. Bostic also paces the team in rebounding with 8.9 per game. Brynn Shoup-Hill has a team-high 10 blocks on the year, while Bryant is leading the team in assists with 30. Bostic leads the Big Ten and ranks fourth in the nation in field goal percentage (70.3) and is third in conference, 63rd in NCAA in rebounds per game (8.9). 


Thursday will be the first meeting between UTEP and Illinois. 

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Rachel Phillips

UTEP Athletics


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