Women's Basketball

Miners Drill Rice 79-57

Jan. 20, 2011

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El Paso, Texas - Forty-eight points by the UTEP Miners in the second-half propelled them to a 79-57 victory over the visiting Rice Owls in a Conference USA women's basketball tussle in the Don Haskins Center. The Miners were only ahead by one (31-30) at the half. Rice's Jessica Kuster led all scorers with 19 points and she also pulled down a game-high 9 rebounds.

In the first half, the Owls started strong and were up 13-7 when UTEP got on a roll and outscored Rice 24 to 6 for a 31-19 lead, capped by a three-pointer from Erika Warren at 3:22. Twenty of UTEP's points in that run were in the paint.

Rice then finished the final three minutes of the half outscoring the Miners 11-0. The Owls committed 14 turnovers in the first half as they were troubled by UTEP's trapping 2-3 half-court zone. The Miners, with 11 baskets in the paint, shot 44 percent to Rice's 38 percent.

It was tight early on in the second half, as the Owls pulled ahead 42-41 (14:39) on a made trey by Memri Carmon. The Miners then answered with five points of their own to retake the lead that they would not relinquish.

A basket by Kuster brought the Owls to within two at 48-46 (11:16), when Warren delivered another dagger from three-point land to start a 20 to 4 Miners' run that ended with them ahead 68 to 50.

Rice was behind 68-54 (2:46) after two Kuster baskets and there was time still left to do some damage, but UTEP finished the game by outscoring the Owls 11 to 3 for the final margin.

Led by Warren's 14 points, UTEP had six Miners in double-digit scoring. Anete Steinberga, Gloria Brown, and Kayla Thornton all scored 12 points, while Kelli Willingham and Dietra Caldwell contributed 10 points apiece.

The Miners shot an eye-popping 69 percent from the field in the second half to finish at 53.3 percent. Rice concluded the contest shooting 35 percent from the field.

Morgan Mayse was the only other Owl in double-digits with 12 points, while Carmon finished with a season-high 9 points, two shy of career-high.

Rice hosts UAB on Sunday at 2 p.m. inside Tudor Fieldhouse.

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