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UTEP women’s basketball team will host WNIT championship game

By: Bill Melugin
EL PASO, Texas -- A sold-out crowd at the Don Haskins Center erupted as the University of Texas women's basketball team clinched a spot in the Women's National Invitational Tournament championship game.

It was a close game between the Miners and South Dakota State, but UTEP came out on top with a 66 to 63 win.

They will play against Rutgers Saturday at 1 p.m., and the game will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.

Wednesday's game was an official sellout, with 12,222 tickets sold by 10 a.m.

"I got mine this morning. I was kind of scared because they already had 10,000 sold, and I was like, 'Whoa, we're not going to get in!' But we got some," said Valira Luna, a UTEP fan. "I think it's amazing. It should be like this every game during the season, not just right now; it should be throughout the whole season, supporting our girls all the time."

Wednesday's sellout is the first ever for the UTEP women's basketball program and the first at the Don since the 2010 men's basketball opener against Pacific.

Head coach Keitha Adams has said playing in front of a sold-out crowd has been her dream - a dream that finally came true Wednesday.

"All I can say is Thank you to El Paso, Adams said. My dream has always been 12,222 people. What an amazing feeing it would be for our players and El Paso made it happen, so all I can say is Thank you, and were having so much fun in there. Our fans are having fun, our players are having fun, and the beautiful thing is we get to do it again."

Before the game ended, a large crowd lined up in front of the UTEP Ticket Center to purchase tickets for Saturday's game. Fans can expect the championship game to sell out as well.