USM drops two straight against UTEP, UTSA


USM fell short on a two- game stop in Texas against the University of Texas-El Paso and the University of Texas- San Antonio.

After a 35-point loss to La. Tech on Jan. 24, the Lady Eagles traveled to El Paso to take on UTEP, who came in on an eight-game winning streak.

Early in the game, both teams displayed that stopping each other’s offenses would be a major task at hand. A total of five lead changes occurred in the first period alone. The Lady Eagles shot a decent 44 percent from the floor while holding UTEP to just 30 percent in the quarter.

With the game tied at 16 after the first quarter, the Miners went on a 5-0 run early in the second quarter to put them up 21-16. The Lady Eagles managed to score just one basket before allowing another 10-0 run for the Miners, putting the score at 31-18.

A scoring drought costed the Lady Eagles in the third quarter as they allowed the Miners a 15-point lead. The Golden Eagles allowed the Miners to shoot 57 percent in the second quarter and extend their lead, 36-26.

UTEP took a two-point lead heading into the final quarter, 51-49.

UTEP increased their lead to five with a little more than five minutes left on the clock in the final quarter, 59-54. The Golden Eagles did not go down without a fight, as they made a rally of their own to cut the deficit to two with four minutes left in the quarter, 60-58.

UTEP showcased impressive defense late in the quarter as they forced the Golden Eagles to commit two costly turnovers and 10 in total for the quarter.

The Lady Eagles could not manage to mount a comeback as UTEP shot 7-of-8 from the field in the final minutes of the game to preserve the 72-64 win.

Unable to capture their second road win of the season from UTEP, the Lady Eagles embarked on their journey from El Paso to San Antonio to take on The UTSA Roadrunners.

After a hot start in the first period for the Golden Eagles, the Lady Eagles failed to maintain that momentum against the Roadrunners. The Lady Eagles were able to score a quick six points but failed to score a single basket after the seven-minute mark in the first period. These scoring struggles allowed the Roadrunners to take a late nine-point lead at the end of the period.

The tide seemed to turn in the second period as the Lady Eagles soon saw their own lead as they mounted a 16-0 run. The Lady Eagles maintained a five-point lead going into halftime, 27-22. Momentum would not stay on the Lady Eagles’ side as they managed to score the first basket of the second half, but failed again to score a basket for more than four minutes. In this time, the Roadrunners capitalized on the Lady Eagles struggles and mounted a comeback of their own. The Roadrunners managed a 7-2 run with a little more than a minute left on the clock to take the lead, 35-34.

After gaining the lead late in the third quarter, the Lady Eagles never managed to take another lead. Both teams had shooting woes in the fourth quarter, as both teams shot below 40 percent. Low shooting hindered the Lady Eagles as they were only able to score five points in the quarter. The Lady Eagles went on to lose their first ever to UTSA, 47-41.

“You have to say congratulations to UTSA, but we just didn’t score the ball,” said head coach Joye Lee-McNelis. “We had every opportunity, but we didn’t score the ball.”

The 41-point output from the Golden Eagles is a record- low for the season. Jayla King was the only Lady Eagle to reach double figures in points, as it seemed nothing could get going on offense for the rest of the team.

The Lady Eagles host North Texas at home on Feb. 4. Tip- off is set for 6 p.m