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North Texas Halts UTEP's Streak 73-64

It started off in the Miners favor, though the turnover bug struck again as UTEP fell to North Texas Wednesday night 73-64.

Al Carillo-AC Photo

The North Texas Mean Green put a stop to UTEP's seven game winning streak, knocking off the Miners 73-64 in Denton's Super Pit.

Alexis Hyder foreshadowed the night North Texas would have from deep, well for the first half at least, as she opened things up with a long ball for an early 3-0 North Texas lead.

UTEP literally rebounded their way back to the lead with a Sparkle Taylor layup that gave UTEP A 17-13 lead, prompting a Mean Green timeout with 11:48 left in the opening half.  The Miners held a 17-4 advantage on the boards during the first nine minutes of the contest.

North Texas would answer right out of the timeout with a Laura McCoy 3-pointer that put them back within one at 17-16.

Another Sparkle Taylor layup, followed by Taylor splitting a pair from the line saw UTEP up 22-18 at the 8:19 mark, then North Texas spurted a run they would never look back at.

UTEP would go on an almost nine minute field goal drought, with North Texas sporting a 14-0 run, and a 34-22 lead after Alexis Hyder sank a triple to cap off the run with three minutes left.

The Miners finished the half on a 4-0 swing thanks to buckets from Kayla Thornton and Irene Gari, though an ugly 39-29 deficit stared the Miners in the face as the halftime buzzer sounded.  North Texas finished the first stanza 6 out of 14 from downtown.

North Texas forced 11 first half turnovers, most during their 14-0 run, and continued to hit key shots in the second half as UTEP fiercely tried to cut at the lead.

Every time the Miners would trim the lead to eight or seven in the first ten minutes of the second, North Texas, namely Eboniey Jeter answered every Miner jab with an answer of her own.

Chrishauna Paker cut the lead to 61-55 with a deuce, only to have Hyder respond with a layup, though the Miners had grooved, and battled their way back into the game as the five minute mark approached.

A valiant effort of the last three minutes saw the Miners show plenty of fight, but eventually come up short in the end.

Cameasha Turner brought the lead back to six with a huge trifecta, 64-58 Mean Green with 3:37 left to play.

North Texas again weathered a Miner storm with a pair of free throws, though Kelli Willingham's three-pointer made the come back a possible reality with UTEP now down 66-61 as things ticked under three minutes.

The Miners again were able to get a stop, though Jenzel Nash could not get a pair of freebies to go down, splitting the pair with UTEP down 68-64 with 1:35 left.

Breisha Winn put things away on the next North Texas possession with another layup for the Mean Green leading UTEP to go completely cold in desperation time, as the Mean Green sank free throws, and walked away with a win.

Jeter had a game high 18 points to go along with 12 rebounds, she led four North Texas players in double figures who helped them to a 40 percent shooting mark for the game.

Breisha Winn and Alexis Hyder each chipped in 15 points, while Desiree Nelson added 14 points.  After a hot start from three-point land, the Mean Green went 0/7 in the second half, though the Miners 18 turnovers haunted them all night.

Kayla Thornton notched another double-double with 16 points, and 13 rebounds, although she was 6/22 from the field, Sparkle Taylor continues her solid contributions off the bench with 13 points, 4 rebounds, on 6/9 shooting.

Jenzel Nash had an active night 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists.

UTEP turned over, and shot themselves out of the game at times, most notably during the final five minutes, shooting 36.5 percent from the floor as a team, and 5/26 from behind the three-point line.

The loss drops UTEP to 20-5 overall, and 9-3 in C-USA play.

Keitha Adams will have to regroup the ladies very quickly with a talented East Carolina coming into the Don Saturday night.  This was supposed the be a game to break a second place tie, the Miners will now try to just fight their way back into second place.