UTEP fans break attendance record at WNIT Elite 8 game

10,227 watch Miners beat Washington Huskies 70-63

EL PASO, Texas - Turnout for Monday night's game was record-breaking yet again.

10,227 fans watched the UTEP Miners beat the Washington Huskies, 70-63.

The fans were already filling the Don Haskins Center 30 minutes ahead of tip-off.

Everyone ABC-7 talked with said they're thrilled to be a part of the crowd.

"They all are into it in the same way and that makes the difference," said Dan Tovar. "The crowd makes a huge difference. So I'm very proud of the UTEP Miner fans."

The crowd is contributing to a growing fan base -- and even helping boost sales of a local kettle corn business.

"We would get 200 to 300 people at the regular games, and now it's about 8,000 or 9,000 so it's incredible," said Hector Sarabia of Southwest Kettle Corn. "If they keep advancing, let's hope it's here!"

While some aren't sure if the excitement is mostly from bandwagon fans, others are optimistic.

"I think people are going to start buying season tickets for the women's games," said Michelle Dominguez. "And I think people are going to start taking women's games a lot more serious."     

This is the first time UTEP has played in the WNIT.
UTEP is the first C-USA squad since 2002 and the third in conference history to advance to the WNIT quarterfinals.
The Miners play in the semifinal game Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Don Haskins Center.

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