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UTEP women's basketball: Strong Third Quarter Lifts UTEP over Hampton 78-54

Starr Breedlove, and Jenzel Nash spearheaded a strong third quarter to help UTEP start the season 3-0.

Starr Breedlove scored 15 of her 22 points in the third quarter including a 6-of-6 shooting performance in the second half, as UTEP clamped down on defense and owned the boards in the final twenty minutes to overwhelm Hampton 78-54.

Jenzel Nash led all scorers with 23 points, and also added eight rebounds for UTEP who shot 50 percent in the second half.

The Miners got off a hot, then cold start in the first twenty minutes, and a held a slim 26-24 halftime lead.

UTEP started 6-of-15 from the field, but would finish the half 2-of-10 including a drought that allowed Hampton to keep things nip and tuck.

The Miners led 21-14 with 7:27 left until halftime, then UTEP went 0-of-6 from the field, and turned it over six times during a scoreless five minute stretch.

UTEP forward Agata Dobrowolska stopped a 7-0 Hampton run with a 14-footer from top of the key breaking a 21-all tie to end the UTEP drought with 2:12 left in the second quarter.

UTEP would take an early 31-28 lead in the third quarter after Starr Breedlove hit a jumper, then a three pointer at the 7:24 mark of the third that sparked the Miners triumphant third quarter.   UTEP hit their first four shots of the second half with Breedlove, and Nash each knocking down a pair of good looks.

Keitha Adams would then switch to a full court 2-2-1 press, and the Miners finally got some separation with stellar defensive pressure, along with the hot hands of Breedlove and Nash.

UTEP went on a 7-0 run themselves with five points coming from Breedlove as UTEP took their largest lead at that point of the game at 45-34 with 2:24 left in the third quarter.

The Miners finished off their momentum changing third quarter by holding Hampton to a 2-of-10 finish from the field, while taking a 55-40 lead at the end of the third quarter.  UTEP out scored Hampton 29-16 in the third quarter.

UTEP out rebounded Hampton 24-22 in the first half, but dominated the boards 17-13 in the second half to hold a 43-35 edge for the game.

Leading for almost 37 minutes in the game, UTEP forced 22 turnovers that led to 25 UTEP points off those Hampton turnovers, and out scored Hampton 52-30 in the second half.

Keitha Adams & Co. will now take their 3-0 record against a very good UC-Riverside in the opening round of the UTEP Thanksgiving Classic Friday at 7:05 p.m. in the Don Haskins Center.