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UTEP Women's Basketball: Miners grind out 62-55 win over UTSA

Things got physical early and often, but UTEP executed down the stretch for their fifth straight win.

It wasn't pretty, but like they've done all season the UTEP women's basketball team just finds ways to win.

UTEP turned it over 16 times, shot just 35 percent from the field, but this time it was execution on both ends down the stretch in forcing steals, and a few clutch baskets by Sparkle Taylor helped UTEP improve to 14-1 overall, and 4-0 in C-USA play.

The first quarter was a physical, offensive struggle with both teams shooting under 40 percent from the field, and combining for six turnovers in the quarter.

UTEP led 14-12 after the first ten minutes, Jenzel Nash had four assists and four rebounds in the first quarter, her fourth assist would be a nice dish to Tamara Seda for layup with six seconds left to end the quarter.

UTSA continued to frustrate UTEP with their 2-3 zone early into the second quarter, but then UTEP got themselves going like they have all year with a little defensive pressure that led to a run.

The Runners would turn it over five times in a six minute span, while UTEP went on a 9-0 run capped off by a Sparkle Taylor jumper from the left corner to give UTEP a 30-20 lead with 1:02 left until halftime.

UTSA would get back-to-back layups to stop the run, but Cameasha Turner found Sparkle Taylor right under the basket for layup and a 32-25 halftime lead.

UTEP put their foot on the gas mid-way through the third quarter that gave them plenty of breathing room in the third.

The Miners would force five more turnovers this time during a 4:58 UTSA scoring drought, helping UTEP race out to an 8-0 run and a 40-27 lead with 4:38 left in the third.

UTEP led 45-37 after three quarters, but UTSA chipped away at that lead in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter.

UTSA made four of their first five looks from the field in the fourth quarter, and cut the lead to 52-46 after a bucket from Crystal Chidomere at the 5:26 mark of the fourth.

Chidomere would follow that up with a layup, then UTEP went on a four and a half minute scoring drought with the score stuck at 52-48 Miners.

Taylor ended the UTEP scoring drought with a jumper from around the free throw line, then she would hit another jumper after grabbing an offensive rebound to put UTEP in front 56-49 with 1:28 left.

Although UTSA couldn't get a clean look, and turned it over multiple times, while shooting 2-of-8 down the stretch as UTEP made 5-of-6 free throws in the final 30 seconds to seal the deal.

Cameasha Turner led UTEP with 18 points, and six rebounds, Jenzel Nash had a very good all around game with 13 points, six rebounds, eight assists, and four steals.

Taylor finished with 15 points, and seven rebounds,  on 6-of-12 shooting with her two jumpers down the stretch being the difference in the outcome.

UTSA actually out rebounded the Miners 45-43, but turned it over 25 times leading to 23 UTEP points off turnovers.

The Miners scored on only 38 percent of their 79 possessions, shooting 35 percent from the field in the game, but tough defense, and taking care of the ball in the fourth quarter were things UTEP did very well to close out their three game C-USA home stand.

UTEP will hit the road for Florida with FAU on Thursday, and FIU on Saturday.