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UTEP Women's Basketball: Miners survive late Southern Miss charge, escape with 57-54 win

A blowout turned into a battle late in the fourth quarter.

Cameasha Turner led all scorers with 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting, as UTEP held off Southern Miss. in the closing seconds for a 57-54 road win.

Despite shooting under 40 percent for the game, and a 10-of-22 mark from the charity stripe, UTEP forced 25 turnovers and held Southern Miss. to just 36 percent shooting for the game.

The Miners opened up an 18-point lead late in the third quarter, but USM rolled off  a 13-5 run in the final 3:46 of the fourth quarter to cut the UTEP lead to 55-54 with six seconds left.

Lulu McKinney would then swish a pair of free throws to give UTEP a 57-54 edge, giving USM one more shot for a tie.

Although Starr Breedlove stole the inbound pass with two seconds left to give UTEP their fourth straight win.

UTEP would start a bit sluggish early on, starting 3-of-10 from the field, but would end the first quarter on an 11-1 run that pushed UTEP out in front 18-7 after the opening quarter.

The Miners flustered USM into 14 turnovers, and a 22.2 shooting percentage in the first half, taking a 29-19 lead into the halftime break.

Breedlove finished with 12 points, Jenzel Nash added nine points, and three steals before she fouled out.

UTEP out rebounded the Golden Eagles 43-37, but the Miners sloppy play down the stretch with the big lead led to 21 points off 21 UTEP turnovers in the game.

Minus junior scoring guard Sparkle Taylor who missed the game with the illness, UTEP was able to defend their way to improve to 22-2 overall, and 12-1 in Conference USA play.

UTEP will now head to Ruston to face Louisiana Tech Saturday afternoon.