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UTEP women's basketball: Miners can't shake FAU down the stretch, drop sixth straight

UTEP excelled on the boards, but couldn't find it from the free throw line in a 68-63 loss to FAU.

SB Nation

UTEP pulled in 22 offensive rebounds, but shot just 8/17 from the free throw line which led to their sixth straight loss, dropping a 68-63 battle to Florida Atlantic Thursday night in the Don.

The Miners would jump out to an early 13-4 lead, but FAU would connect on six three pointers in the first half to close the gap as the Owls would finish 50 percent from the field in the first twenty minutes but still trailed UTEP 36-34 at halftime.

UTEP was rolling offensively in the first half, assisting on 10 of their 15 first half field goals, but FAU's sharp outside shooting kept them in it, and helped them take an early second half lead they would never give up.

Kat Wright and Morgan Robinson opened the second half with back-to-back threes for FAU, as the lady Owls took a 43-40 lead at the 17:12 mark of the second half.

FAU would extend their lead to 52-45 at the 10:36 mark thanks to back-to-back layups from Shanesse Bailey.

With their effort on the boards, the Miners kept chipping away at the lead, although made a costly momentum changing mistake down the stretch.

Cameasha Turner would get inside the paint for a layup to bring UTEP within a 60-59 deficit as both teams suddenly when on a scoring drought as things headed under the four minute mark.

Still down 60-59 with possession, and time now ticking down to under three minutes, Stacie Telles would commit a costly turnover leading to a quick basket, and foul by Robinson with 2:49 left to play.

UTEP would never recover from the miscue even though they would come within one possession twice in the final two minutes, but couldn't get prayer answered from deep, and Robinson would seal it with a pair of freebies with 23 seconds left.

Three Miners scored in double figures led by Sparkle Taylor who scored 18 points, Irene Gari added 13 points, and 12 rebounds, Cameasha Turner added 15 points.

To cure the shooting woes, Keitha Adams said on her post game show the only cure is to go back to the gym and put up shots.

UTEP shot 36.2 percent from the field, and 5/23 from deep, though the Miners held a 43-34 edge on the boards for the evening.

FAU also had three in double figures with Robinson matching Sparkle Taylor for game high honors with 18 points, Kat Wright scored 15 points on 5/8 shooting, and Bailey added 12 points for FAU who finished 53.3 percent as a team from the field.

Despite winning almost every statistical category except the shooting mark, part of the struggle during this slide has been the poor shooting, but Keitha Adams said she will challenge her young team to fight back with a vengeance the rest of the way.

As expected out every Keitha Adams team, there is no lack of effort or heart from this hardworking group.  A few shots fall and the Miners may come out on the other side of things on a few occasions during this frustrating losing streak.

The Miners see their record fall to 8-11 overall, and 3-7 in conference play with Florida International heading over to the Don Saturday afternoon.