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Record-breaking crowd cheers as UTEP heads to WNIT Final Four

By: Bill Melugin
EL PASO, Texas -- The University of Texas at El Paso women's basketball team is headed to the final four for the Women's National Invitational Tournament.

A record-breaking crowd cheered on as the Miners defeated the Washington Huskies Monday Night at the Don Haskins Center 70 to 63.

"I'm ecstatic. Words can't express what I'm feeling right now," said Coach Keitha Adams. "I'm so proud of our players and I'm so proud of El Paso. The chemistry that we have in the Haskins Center right now is unbelievable, and the fans and El Paso are helping us do this."

UTEP will now face South Dakota State at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Don Haskins Center for the WNIT semifinals.

UTEP set a postseason attendance record during their game against Colorado on Friday, which drew more than 8,000 fans, but on Monday, they eclipsed that amount with an attendance of 10,227.

"We've been here when there's not been more than (300) or 400 fans so it's nice to see these kinds of crowds supporting women's athletics, said Jose Andalis," UTEP fan.

UTEP came into the match-up at 27-7, while the Huskies were 20-13.

Since the start of the 2012 season, the Miners were 6-2 against teams from power conferences in the postseason and are 3-0 against PAC-12 teams, the conference Washington belongs to.

The Miners currently lead the WNIT in attendance, with an average of more than 5,800 fans showing up to each game.

Adams said Wednesday nights game will beat Monday nights attendance, and fans will reach the Don Haskins Center's capacity.

"I have a feeling Wednesday night (will be) 12,220. That's been my dream all along. It just keeps coming up and coming up, and I think Wednesday night is the night. Were going to get it," Adams said.

Tickets for Wednesday's game will go on sale at 8 a.m. on Tuesday for $5 for students, $10 general admission and $15 floor seats.

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