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UTEP Women's Basketball: Long Beach State's Defense Frustrates UTEP

UTEP faced a major defensive test, and came up empty at the Beach Classic.

You can't win them all they say, and it held true Friday night in Long Beach, California as the Long Beach State 49ers put on a defensive clinic to end UTEP's unbeaten run with a 47-40 win in the Long Beach Classic.

UTEP shot 31.9 percent from the field, turned it over 26 times, and gave up 18 offensive rebounds in the game to mark the first blemish on the 2015-16 record.  The Miners also came up cold at the free throw line with a 8-of-21 clip.

A mixture of tough defense, and cold shooting led both teams to combine for 2-for-17 start from the field in the first six minutes, while UTEP turned it over 12 times in the first quarter.  And the end of an ugly, defensive first quarter, the game would be tied up at 7.

Long Beach State threw defensive wrench, after defensive wrench from the tip-off and into the second quarter.

17 first half turnovers was the end result as UTEP fell behind 23-15 at halftime, playing enough tough defense on their end to keep things within reach.

Beach opened the second half on a 8-1 run growing the lead to 31-16 with 6:51 left in the third quarter.

Keitha Adams would pick up a technical a few minutes later trying to spark a run after disputing a questionable call, but the Beach continued to frustrate the Miners despite shooting 29.1 percent from the field themselves.

In an odd fashion, UTEP finished the game on a 14-0 run after being down by 21 in the final 6:17 of the fourth quarter with most starters from both teams on the bench, but it was too late.

Long Beach hit six three pointers and turned it over 24 times, although Raven Benton provided 13 points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals to push the Beach to 8-3 on the season.

Jenzel Nash was the only Miner to reach double figures with 13 points, as a team the Miners shot 2-of-14 from behind the three point line, and lost the rebounding battle 44-41.

UTEP's starting guard trio of Nash, Cameasha Turner, and Starr Breedlove combined for 13 turnovers that discombobulated the Miners from the start, and never allowed UTEP to grab an offensive flow.

UTEP will face off with UNLV tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. Mountain Time in Long Beach.