It was not Tulsa’s day Saturday as it dropped a 97-66 setback to UTEP in El Paso, Texas.
Liesl Spoerl and Kadan Brady came off the bench to lead the team with 12 points each. Ashley Clark also finished in double digits with 10 points.
The Golden Hurricane (7-6 overall, 1-1 in Conference USA) got the first two baskets of the game from Clark, giving them a 4-0 lead. But they were never in front after that.
UTEP (13-2, 2-0), led by Kayla Thornton’s double-double of 22 points and 20 rebounds, led 50-37 at halftime and kept adding on the advantage as the game progressed. Jenzel Nash led the Miners in scoring with 24 points. Kelli Willingham scored 17 points and Kristine Vitola scored 15.
TU coach Matilda Mossman said that the absence of one of her players affected the team in the area of rebounding.
"We missed Stevi Parker today, more defensively and for her rebounding, but it is awful how many rebounds we gave up," Mossman said. "They got so many second shots. They just worked us over on the glass, they are big and physical, and if they aren't the best team in the league I don't know who is.
"I am proud of our effort and the way we played. Our team didn't play badly,” Mossman said. “We gave great effort, but UTEP is really good and tonight they were really, really good."
Tulsa shot 41 percent (27-of-66) from the floor, 38 percent (8-of-21) outside the 3-point arc and hit 33 percent (4-of-12) from the foul line.
UTEP shot 47 percent (36-of-77) from the field, 50 percent (12-of-24) in 3-pointers and was 81 percent (13-of-16) in free throws.
The Golden Hurricane will return home to meet UAB Wednesday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.