UTEP's Lulu McKinney hit a three pointer to break a 63-all tie in the final minute as UTEP forced 20 turnovers, and owned the offensive boards in a 71-65 win in the Pan American Center over the New Mexico State Aggies.
Four of UTEP's five starters reached double figures led by Jenzel Nash who scored a game high 16 points and added six rebounds to her line. Agata Dobrowolksa notched her first career double-double with 15 points, and 14 rebounds, while Cameasha Turner added 13 points, and Starr Breedlove chipped in 12 points, and eight assists.
The Miners out rebounded NMSU 43-38 including 18 offensive rebounds that led to 13 second chance points in the ball game.
UTEP came out firing on all cylinders in the first 1:31 of the game to start an exciting first quarter of runs.
Agata Dobrowolska would score UTEP's first five points with an inside move in the paint, then she would drill a three pointer on UTEP's second possession that seemed to open the flood gates early for UTEP.
Jenzel Nash would then force a steal leading to an easy Starr Breedlove fast break layup and just like that UTEP was up 9-0 forcing NMSU to call a quick timeout at the 8:29 mark of the first quarter.
The Miners would force five turnovers in NMSU's first eight possessions and a take 16-3 lead during a 7-0 run after a put back off an offensive rebound by Dobrowolska with 6:46 left in the first quarter.
UTEP would start 9-for-12 from the field, but NMSU's Abby Scott would charge a 12-2 NMSU run with four consecutive three pointers, the fourth tied the game at 21 with 1:39 left in a wild first quarter.
The Aggies finished the first quarter on a 19-5 run to the things at 23 after the first ten minutes of action.
Then UTEP's pressure defense took things over in the second quarter with a dagger run that gave them a halftime cushion.
UTEP started the second quarter on a 13-0 run by forcing eight turnovers one of which led to a fast break layup for Breedlove and gave UTEP a 36-23 lead with 4:42 left until halftime.
A fast paced first half would then turn into a defensive third quarter.
Despite a three minute NMSU scoring drought, the Aggies kept things close with a tough zone as UTEP shot just 4-for-15 from the field in the quarter.
Jenzel Nash would make a baseline jumper as time ran down in the third quarter to give UTEP a 50-44 lead after three periods.
Cameahsa Turner would come up with a block on the defensive end, that led to a layup for Tuner putting UTEP ahead 52-46 with 8:54 left in the fourth quarter that gave UTEP some momentum to start the final quarter.
But the Aggies would not go away quietly.
NMSU would out score UTEP 15-9 from that point, capping the run off with a three pointer by Shanice Davis to tie the game up at 61 with 3:17 left in the game.
As Keitha Adams drew it up, UTEP continue to defend and rebound their way to a seventh straight win as NMSU finished the game 2-for-10 from the field, while McKinney's three pointer with 47 seconds left helped UTEP finish the game on a 8-2 run as the Aggies would go the final 3:07 without a field goal.
The Miners trailed for only 24 seconds, holding NMSU to 38 percent shooting from the field led by Abby Scott who paced NMSU with 15 points on 5-of-8 three point shooting.
NMSU would drop into a zone in the second half that forced UTEP into a 3-of-19 clip from behind the three point, but the Miners were able to weather 11 NMSU three pointers with tough pressure defense that gave UTEP 17 points off turnovers, and nine key defensive rebounds from Dobrowolska.
Next up for UTEP is a Monday night date with UTPB at 7:05 p.m, in the Don Haskins Center.