A shorthanded UTEP women's basketball team fell in the closing seconds in their first road game of season, dropping a heartbreaking 61-57 loss to SMU in Moody Coliseum Sunday afternoon.
Things were tight from the tip as the lead changed hands eleven times in the first twenty minutes, though UTEP turned it over nine times in the first half allowing a 10-3 SMU run after a layup from Destynee Hives-McCray gave the Ponies a 37-30 with 1:45 left.
SMU would hold a 39-33 halftime lead, but Cameasha Turner and Stacie Telles would charge a 9-2 UTEP run right out of the break, and after Turner scored her seventh point of the sequence UTEP held a slim 42-41 lead.
The charge would eventually balloon into a 14-2 Miner run after another layup from Turner pushed the UTEP margin to 47-41 with 15:48 to play.
Stacie Telles would sink a three pointer to give UTEP a 54-48 lead with 7:32 left, but then the Miners shooting grew cold, and SMU made their move.
The Miners would miss their next eight tries from the field, while SMU went on a 9-0 run and jumped out to a 57-54 lead with 3:24 left in the game.
Less than a minute later Turner would tie things back up at 57 with a layup, then after a SMU turnover UTEP went back in front thanks to Telles finding Irene Gari who nailed a jumper that saw UTEP take a 59-57 lead heading under the two minute mark.
SMU's Alicia Froling tied the game back up at 59s just seconds later, then she put SMU up 61-59 sinking a jumper with 1:23 left after a Gari missed look from deep.
UTEP had two chances to tie things up in the final minute, but a missed jumper by Turner, and costly turnover with two seconds left by Lulu McKinney helped Kiara Perry seal things at the free throw line with a second remaining.
Turner led the Miners with 21 points, and six rebounds, Telles added nine points all coming via the three ball, but the Miners fell cold shooting 34.8 percent from the field, and 4/10 from the free throw line for the game.
Three Mustangs scored in double figures led by Hives-McCray who scored 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. Alicia Froling and Keely Froling both added 14 points each for SMU who pounded the Miners on the glass with a 51-32 rebounding advantage who were without senior rebounding ace Chrishauna Parker.
UTEP drops to 1-1 on the season and returns home Wednesday to face Northern Arizona at 7:00 p.m. El Paso time.