UH falters down stretch in loss to UTEP, snapping winning streak
Going for its third-straight victory, UH knew had its work cut out for it against UTEP, who has won 10 of its last 11 games.
But the Cougars couldn’t overcome their shooting woes, and the Miners outlasted them in a 65-54 victory Sunday at Hofheinz Pavilion.
The opening minutes of the game was an offensive struggle. Both teams frequently turned the ball over and couldn’t seem to find the bottom of the net.
The Cougars’ defense kept the Miners without a basket for almost seven minutes and went on a 9-0 run with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
Junior forward Te’onna Campbell (6 pts, 16 rbs) was a huge spark for the team in the first half. After a missed 3-pointer by freshman guard Alecia Smith, Campbell pulled in the offensive rebound and put it back in for a bucket.
Campbell would soon strike again.
After a UTEP 3-pointer, Campbell took a steal and went the length of the court before drawing a foul. She connected with both of her free throws to give her team a 15-12 lead with 6:37 remaining in the opening half. Campbell led the team with 11 rebounds, and the Cougars had 22-21 entering halftime.
The second half turned out to be a different story. UTEP senior center Anete Steinberga proved to be unstoppable in the frontcourt, said head coach Todd Buchanan.
“The kid is a nice player, but for us to just be dominated by her with our post core baffles me. She just outworked us,” Buchanan said.
Despite the Cougars’ continuous offensive struggles, they were down only 45-43, but the trajectory of this game would change when junior forward Kayla Thornton hit a 3-pointer to put the Miners up by three.
“That was the turning point of the game where the momentum shifted, and we just couldn’t pick it back up,” said senior guard Porsche Landry.
The Cougar’s just couldn’t find any rhythm offensively. Every time they would make a basket, the Miners would counter with Steinberga, who had 16 second-half points.
“We didn’t carry our intensity. We didn’t meet their intensity. We have to do better in the second half in the rest of our games,” Campbell said.