EL PASO, Texas—UTEP held off a CSU Bakersfield second half rally to defeat the Roadrunners 74-61 in women’s basketball play Wednesday afternoon at the Don Haskins Center.
The Miners (3-9) opened the game on a 17-5 run as CSUB missed 12 of its first 14 shots. UTEP would only miss six field goal attempts (8-of-14) in the opening frame as UTEP would lead the Roadrunners 24-11 at the end of the first quarter.
"We dug ourselves a big hole to get out of in the first quarter," said CSUB head coach Greg McCall."
The Roadrunners scored the first four points of the second quarter to reduce the UTEP lead into single digits. However, CSUB turned the ball over on its next three possessions as the Miners extended the lead out to 12. The ‘Runners fought back, reducing the lead to eight on three different occasions in the second quarter. UTEP pounded the post, getting to the line four times in the final two minutes of the half. The Miners made three of those four attempts and would lead 37-27 at halftime.
The UTEP lead ranged from 10-13 points for most of the third quarter. Trailing 50-41, Alexxus Gilbert went coast-to-coast for a layup to cut the Miner lead to seven which resulted in a UTEP timeout.
The teams exchanged turnovers before UTEP turned the ball over against the CSUB press. Daije Harris went the distance for a layup and a 50-45 Miners’ lead. Faith Cook was fouled which resulted in a pair of successful free throw attempts. An offensive Roadrunner foul led to Sparkle Taylor basket. After a CSUB miss, Jazmyne Bartee grabbed the offensive board and was fouled. The 6-2 center was successful on her free throw attempts as the third quarter closed with CSUB trailing 54-47.
Tylinn Carter’s field goal 58 seconds into the fourth quarter reduced the UTEP lead to five. After a stop, Carter again scored to create a one-possession game. The Roadrunners got a stop on the defensive end and worked the ball down low to Carter. She drove the lane and was fouled. She could only make 1-of-2 free throw attempts. Led by Tamara Seda who scored four, the Miners mounted an 11-1 run over the next 2:33 that put the game away for UTEP.
'I was pleased with our efforts to get back into the game," McCall said. "We got ourselves in a position to tie it, but we couldn't get the job done."
Carter was one of three CSUB players in double figures with 13 points. She also posted seven rebounds. Aja Williams scored 13 points and had six rebounds. Bartee scored 12 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and blocked two shots.
Taylor paced UTEP with 16 points. Seda and Najala Howell each scored 15 while Ax Bernard had 11. UTEP shot 40% from the field (23-of-57) compared to 36% for CSUB (24-of-66). The Miners were 22-of-27 from the free throw line (81%) compared to 11-of-16 (69%) for the Roadrunners. UTEP committed 20 turnovers while the ‘Runners turn the ball over only 14 times. UTEP outrebounded CSUB 47-39.
The Roadrunners (4-9) return home Saturday when CSUB closes out 2016 by hosting Cal Poly (4-7) at 2 p.m.