El Paso was not kind to the Cougars.
The Cougars (2-16, 1-5) saw the Miners (17-2, 6-0) up close but failed to conquer Conference USA-leading UTEP in a lopsided 87-43 loss on Sunday.
The 44-point loss is UH’s widest margin of defeat since fall to TCU by 45 points on Dec. 1.
Forward Kayla Thornton paced UTEP, nearly securing a double-double. She scored 18 points and chipped in on the glass with eight boards.
Despite solid efforts from senior guard Roxana Button and freshman forward Amanda Lawson, the Cougars lost control of the game early and entered half-time with a 20-point deficit. In fact, Button and Lawson were the only scorers for UH until Danielle Parks split her free-throw attempts with 4:44 left in the first half. Only three Cougars attempted a shot from the field before halftime.
Button finished with a game-high 20 points, connecting on 10-13 from the free-throw line, while adding five rebounds.
Lawson contributed eight points and corralled seven boards.
UTEP controlled the game by dominating inside. The Miners tripled the Cougars on points in the paint (36-12), and also out-rebounded UH 53-37. Forward Anete Steinberga led the Miners with a game-high 10 rebounds.
The Miners defense smothered the Cougars and prevented ball movement. The Cougars were held without an assist until 4:46 remained in the game when Voche Martin hit a jumper on a pass from Michelle White. White’s assist was the only one for UH for the entire game.
UH was also shut out from beyond the arc, missing all four of their three-point attempts. The Miners hit 9-24 three-point attempts