Monday, November 14, 2016
Texas Southern Lady Tigers pummel UTEP 89-68, claim first win over Miners since 1981
At UTEP's Don Haskins Center, Kaitlyn Palmer drained eight 3-pointers and scored a game-high 24 points in her first game in a TSU uniform to lead the Lady Tigers to their first victory in a season-opening contest since 2013.
In all, the Lady Tigers (1-0) saw four players score in double figures, three of whom are newcomers at Texas Southern.
The Lady Tigers got 14 points apiece from UT–Arlington transfer Artavia Ford, and true freshman Chynna Ewing. Sophomore Joyce Kennerson scored 13 points for TSU, and was 9-of-10 from the 3-point line.
UTEP, the defending Conference USA champion, was led by Sparkle Taylor, who posted double-double totals of 14 points and 13 rebounds. Axelle Bernard scored 11 points for the Miners.
The win was Texas Southern's first over UTEP since defeating the Miners 77-65 in Houston on January 23, 1981. The triumph was also the Lady Tigers' first-ever win over the Miners on their home court.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Lady Tigers gave the Miners and their announced crowd of 1,289 an early indication of things to come when they scored 10 unanswered points late in the first period to take a 17-9 lead. Ford knocked down two jumpers during that span between the 5:40 and 1:38 marks of the opening quarter.
UTEP trimmed a deficit of seven points early in the second quarter to three points, but TSU answered with a 7-0 run to stretch its lead to 34-24 with 6:22 left to play before halftime.
The Lady Tigers outshot their opponents in each of the four quarters as they slowly added to their lead. After seeing UTEP cut their lead to single digits only once in the second half, the Lady Tigers delivered the knockout punch with an 8-0 run midway through the fourth quarter that stretched the advantage to 80-59. Palmer drained two of her 3-pointers during the run.
Texas Southern shot better than 42 percent in three out of the four quarters, and shot better than 50 percent in the second quarter (10 of 18, 55.6 percent) and fourth quarter (7 of 11, 63.6 percent).
On the other end of the floor, the Lady Tigers held UTEP to under 40 percent shooting in each of the game's first three quarters.
Palmer's eight 3-pointers were the most by a TSU player in a single game this decade.
While TSU shot 37.5 percent from 3-point range (9 of 24, 1 of 8 from players other Palmer), the Lady Tigers held UTEP to 25 percent shooting from behind the arc (5 of 20).
TSU held Taylor, last season's C-USA's Sixth Player of the Year, to 4-of-19 shooting from the floor. She scored 28 points in the UTEP opener against Northern Arizona.
UTEP lost to a SWAC opponent for the first time since Dec. 18, 1998, when the Miners lost 68-47 to Alcorn State in Mobile, Ala. That game was the second of two contests against SWAC opponents at the Coca-Cola Classic, as UTEP defeated Southern 89-70 the day before.
TSU starts the season 1-0 for the first time since 2013, when they opened with an 88-80 win at Tulsa in Coach Johnetta Hayes-Perry's first game leading the Lady Tigers.
The Lady Tigers visit Texas A&M–Corpus Christi on Wednesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
TEXAS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY ATHLETIC MEDIA RELATIONS