All season long UTEP has been able to withstand a rough shooting night from the floor, and shut you down defensively to squeeze out a win, but that good luck of a streak ended with a 69-64 loss to UTSA Thursday night.
The Miners (25-3, 16-2) shot 26.7 percent from the field in the second half, and 37.1 percent for the game, while UTSA used a balanced offensive attack to shoot 47.8 percent and dashed UTEP's hope at a possible at-large NCAA Tournament bid.
It was the perfect storm for a UTEP upset, the Miners turned it over 17 times, shot poorly, were unable come up the inevitable defensive shut down stretch, and both Starr Breedlove, and Cameasha Turner fouled out in the fourth quarter.
Sara Anastasieska led three Roadrunners in double figures with a game high 14 points, UTSA was an efficient 6-of-8 from three point land despite turning it over 19 times.
UTEP won the rebounding battle 36-33, but it seemed like the same defensive energy, and overall execution we've seen all season didn't make the trip to San Antonio.
After a nip-and-tuck first quarter that ended in a Tamara Seda layup before the buzzer to give UTEP a 16-15 lead, UTEP made a second quarter that appeared to put the game away early.
Cameasha Turner would cap off a 14-3 UTEP run with a triple at the 4:21 mark of the second quarter which put UTEP in front 30-18. UTSA would miss four in a row from the field during the run, while a UTEP press forced four UTSA turnovers during the spurt.
Although UTSA would finish the half on a game changing 12-2 run to trim the UTEP lead to 32-30 at the half.
That run by UTSA turned another UTEP blowout win, into a battle.
Seda gave UTEP a 44-37 lead with a pair of free throws with 2:31 left in the third quarter, but the Miners went 4-of-15 from the field in the third quarter and held a slim 46-42 lead after three quarters.
UTSA was able to finally grab a lead by outscoring the Miners 9-4 in the first 1:24 of the fourth quarter to go up 52-50 in the opening stages of the final quarter
Breedlove would answer with six straight, including a 3-pointer to see-saw the lead back to the Miners who went up 56-52 as the clocked ticked to under seven minutes left in the game.
Both teams would trade blows and the lead over the next two minutes, but the Miners went cold, and UTSA put the Miners away from the free throw line.
The Roadrunners would score six straight to turn a one-point deficit right under the four minute mark, to a 63-58 lead with 2:44 left in the game.
UTEP finished the game 1-of-10 from the field, while UTSA made their final five free throws in the final minute, but UTEP had a chance to tie things up down the stretch.
Sparkle Taylor saw her 3-pointer with 41 seconds left go in-and-out with UTEP down 65-62. The Runners hit four in a row from the free throw line after the miss in the final 27 seconds to secure a major upset.
Turner led UTEP with 13 points, Breedlove and Chrishuanna Parker each scored 12 points, Tamara Seda added six points, and seven rebounds off the bench.
The regular season ends with a tough road loss, making the Conference USA Tournament even more important for postseason hopes. UTEP will more than likely fall out of the USA TODAY Top-25, but still have the number seed sewed up for next week.
UTEP will open the C-USA Tournament next Thursday morning in Birmingham, Alabama.