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UTEP Women's Basketball: UTEP cruises past FIU 69-57 to sweep Florida swing

UTEP took care of business in Florida, improving to a school record 16-1 overall, and 7-0 in conference play.

Starr Breedlove scored a game high 20 points, on 8-of-10 shooting, adding five steals, and four rebounds leading UTEP past FIU 69-57 for a perfect 7-0 start in C-USA play.

UTEP led by as much as 19 in the final two minutes of the first half,  and held FIU to just 30 percent shooting from the floor in the game, limiting the Panthers to a 17 percent shooting percentage in the final quarter.

Lulu McKinney started in place of Cameasha Turner, and finished with 17 points, Jenzel Nash had a rough shooting afternoon while dealing with foul trouble but went 5-of-5 from the free throw line adding 12 points, eight rebounds, and four assists.

The Golden Panthers held their own on the boards, but UTEP won the rebounding battle 46-40.

UTEP grabbed 21 offensive boards for 15 second chance points, but FIU cashed in on 17 second chance points via 20 offensive boards that kept things from getting out of hand.

The Miners jumped out to a 24-7 lead after the first quarter, and shot right at 50 percent in the first half to take a 37-21 halftime lead.

FIU actually rolled off an 11-0 run in the second quarter but Starr Breedlove and Lulu McKinney couldn't be stopped as each connected on three, three pointers in the first half, with Breedlove finishing the half with 17 points.

UTEP maintained a double digit lead the entire third quarter, but FIU scored six straight to open the fourth quarter which made things interesting for a small stretch.

FIU's Amari Hawkins would hit four free throws in a row to cut the lead to 59-50 with 6:41 left in the fourth quarter during the spurt.

As she's done late in the fourth quarter before, Sparkle Taylor would answer with back-to-back buckets to put UTEP in front 63-51 at the 3:08 mark to stop the run, and keep the current  seven game winning streak alive.

Taylor scored 12 points, and Daeshianna McCants came off the bench to add seven rebounds during a stretch in where UTEP was getting beat on the glass.

It wasn't all pretty as UTEP turned it over 21 times, and shot just 9-of-17 from the free throw line, but the Miners battled some roster adversity with UTEP the absence of UTEP's two senior leaders.

After the game on her post game radio interview, Keitha Adams revealed that Cameasha Turner suffered a concussion and was ruled out minutes before the game started.  UTEP was also without forward Chrishauna Parker who had to attend to a family death in her hometown of Houston.

Despite the adversity, UTEP clamped down on defense, forcing 20 turnovers that led to 26 points off turns, and the big first half performances from McKinney, and Breedlove proved to the difference.

UTEP returns home next week for a two game homestand that opens with Southern Miss. on Thursday, and Louisiana Tech on Sunday.