UT El Paso controlled the middle and outscored TCU by 22 points in the second and third quarters to advance to the WNIT quarterfinals with a 79-71 victory Thursday night over the Horned Frogs.
The Miners (29-4) improved to 19-0 at home this season and will have home-court advantage when they play Oregon at 8 p.m. Monday for a spot in the semifinals.
Starr Breedlove led UTEP with 21 points and Jenzel Nash and Cameasha Turner both finished with 20 points for the Miners, who shot 50 percent from the field.
Zahna Medley led TCU (18-15) with 20 points, five rebounds and six assists. The Frogs also got 17 points from Jada Butts, and Veja Hamilton added 13 points and 13 rebounds. TCU made 22 free throws but shot under 39 percent from the field.
TCU got off to a fast start and led 24-17 at the end of the first quarter, but it couldn’t maintain that pace and managed only 10 points in the second quarter as UTEP took a 41-34 at halftime. The Miners then outscored the Frogs 17-9 in the third quarter to build a 58-43 advantage going into the fourth quarter.
TCU cut the deficit to 64-55 with 6:23 to play, but the Frogs couldn’t get that close again until Caitlin Diaz hit two free throws with 3:44 to cut the lead to nine. However, UTEP’s Chrishauna Parker made a 3-pointer on the next possession and the Miners were able to hold on down the stretch.
It was the 15th game all-time between these teams, but the first meeting in 15 years. TCU leads the series 8-7.