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Fourth-Quarter comeback lifts UTEP over Lady Techsters, 61-57

Photo Courtesy: UTEP Athletics

(Courtesy: UTEP Athletics)

EL PASO, Texas - UTEP women’s basketball (7-11, 2-3 CUSA) bested LA Tech (8-12, 2-3 CUSA) 61-57 in a Thursday night battle in the Don Haskins Center. Seven Miners scored in the contest.

It was a hard-fought contest for the Orange and Blue, who trailed for much of the game before pulling ahead in the final 10 minutes of play. LA Tech led by as much as seven points with just under seven minutes remaining in the third quarter. But the Miners fought back and took the go-ahead lead on a Mahri Petree offensive board and bucket to take a one-point edge (44-43) at the 9:36 mark of the fourth quarter.

The game went down to the wire, and a gutsy steal from Delma Zita in the dying seconds sealed the win for the Miners.

Prior to Zita’s pickpocket, the Lady Techsters got within a point on an and-1 (58-57) with 15 seconds remaining in the contest. Following the three-point play, Petree hurled a full-court pass on the inbound play in which Erin Wilson hauled it in between multiple LA Tech players and converted a layup to put the Miners up three (60-57) with 12 seconds remaining. Zita was fouled after her steal and hit one of two free throws to solidify the victory.

Petree led UTEP with 15 points, followed by Aaliyah Stanton with 13, and Wilson with 10. Jane Asinde tallied nine points, seven rebounds, and two blocks. Mariama Sow posted a career-best six points, including 4-4 from the line, four rebounds, and one block.

Wilson grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and Zita snagged four steals in the game. Petree added to her strong shooting night with four rebounds, three assists, three steals, and two blocks.

UTEP finished the night shooting 42.9 percent (21-49) from the field and 69.6 percent (16-23) from the charity stripe. The Miners grabbed 39 rebounds, had seven assists, and seven steals on the night. They also swatted six blocks, the most in a single game this season.

“I think we rebounded better than we did our last two games, and I think our players wanted it.,” Head Coach Keitha Adams said. “I thought Mariama (Sow) came in a did a great job giving us some length down there against 44. Mahri (Petree) was big today. I think our point guards managed the game. We’ve been struggling with that, and I think today we did a lot better.”

Neither side allowed much offense to start the game. LA Tech held a narrow 17-15 lead at the end of the period. Wilson led the scoring efforts for UTEP with four points, followed by Stanton with three. Wilson also had a team-high five rebounds in the quarter. Asinde and Luisa Vydrova both pulled down three.

The Lady Techsters led by as many as six in the second quarter, and led by three, 30-27, at the break. Petree paced the Miners with eight points in the first half, followed by Stanton with five. Wilson topped the team in rebounds with seven and Vydrova had four.

At the half UTEP shot 36.7 percent (11-30) from the floor and 66.7 percent (4-6) from the foul line. The team pulled down 20 rebounds, had three assists, three steals, and four blocks.

The Miners were stout on defense in the third, and trailed by one, 43-42, with one quarter remaining. Petree continued to lead the Miners with 11 points. Stanton and Wilson trailed closely with eight and six points, respectively. Wilson paced UTEP on the glass with nine rebounds.

A second-chance two-point field goal from Petree put UTEP ahead by one to start the fourth, and the team put in the work on defense to ensure the win. The Miners outscored the Lady Techsters 34-27 in the second half, and out rebounded them 19-7.

LA Tech shot 40.0 percent (22-55) from the floor and 77.8 percent (7-9) from the line. The team pulled down 26 rebounds, had 15 assists, seven steals, and one block. Anna Larr Roberson posted a game-high 23 points to go with seven rebounds. Silvia Nativi put up nine points on 3-4 shooting from distance and added six assists.


The Miners are back in the Don Saturday to take on Sam Houston. Tipoff is set for 2:00 p.m. MT.

Article Topic Follows: UTEP

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Adrian Ochoa

Adrian Ochoa is ABC-7’s Sports Director.


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