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UTEP Women's Basketball: Houston Baptist Frustrates Miners

The Miners fell to Houston Baptist 87-77 Saturday afternoon.

Alex Nicolas-www.minerrush.com

Shanice Steenholdt scored 27 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead Houston Baptist past UTEP 87-77 Saturday afternoon in the Don.

UTEP shot a cold 34.5 percent in the first half, and allowed the Huskies to jump out to an early 15-8 lead in the midst of a 10-3 HBU run in the early stages of the game.

HBU would sprint out to a 14 point lead thanks to an easy layup from former Miner Erin McGarrachan that saw HBU hold a 36-22 lead at the 4:41 mark.

Though the Miners would finish the half on a 8-2 run thanks to a three from Stacie Telles, and a jumper from Irene Gari to cut the margin down to 38-33 in favor of Houston Baptist at halftime.

But it was Houston Baptist who did the little things to hold their lead through a tightly contested second half.

Tayler Jefferson would sink a three pointer to give HBU a 45-37 lead at the 17:51 mark of the second half that seemingly woke up the Miners.

Stacie Telles and Cameasha Turner knocked home a pair of three pointers to spark an 8-0 UTEP run that would tie things up at 45 with 16:13 left in the game.

UTEP struggled at the free throw line going 21/34 for the game, and 9/17 in the second half which would eventually doom the Miners down the stretch.

Though UTEP had its moments to put this one in their win column.

Lulu McKinney nailed a three ball that gave UTEP a 56-55 lead, then Stacie Telles laid one in from inside the paint that gave UTEP a 67-64 lead with 6:50 to go.

Though from that point, HBU would outscore UTEP 23-10 including six straight free throws from Jefferson in the final minute to close out UTEP in a big upset win.  The Miners would cut HBU leads to under three points on two or three occasions but could never grab control during the final 6:50 of the game.

Irene Gari carried UTEP with 26 points, and 7 rebounds, Cameasha Turner added 18 points, and was busy with seven rebounds, three assists and four steals.   Lulu McKinney scored 13 points with four rebounds and four assists though was 5/15 from the field.

Houston Baptist exposed the Miners in the paint outscoring UTEP 44-24, as four scored in double figures for HBU.

Monet Neal was 5/6 from the field good for 16 points, Jefferson finished 15 points, and Rachel Arthur added 11 before fouling out.

The Huskies also won the battle of boards with a 45-36 margin, and sprinted out to 12 fast break points compared to just four for UTEP.  The Miners shot 36.8 percent from the field, and despite forcing 24 turnovers just could not physically keep HBU off the glass, and out of the paint.

The loss evens UTEP's record at 3-3 as the Miners will get ready for the Lobos of New Mexico in the Pit on December 14th.