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UTEP Women’s Basketball: Miners use second quarter run to beat FAU 69-59

JORGE SALGADO

Four Miners scored in double figures, helping lift the weight of a six game losing streak off their shoulders as the UTEP Women’s Basketball team held off FAU 69-59.

FAU opened up a 16-6 lead four minutes into the opening quarter, as the Miners started 2-for-7 from the field, and trailed 22-14 after the first quarter.

The Owls hit six 3-pointers in the first quarter, but the Miners recovered and took control after it looked like things could get out of control early on.

UTEP trailed 22-12 in the closing seconds of the first quarter, but rallied to tie the game at 22 with a 10-0 run, and didn’t look back from there.

The run would swell to an 18-3 surge at one point, and the Miners took a 31-26 lead into the halftime break.

Sparkle Taylor knocked down a jumper midway through the third quarter giving UTEP a 44-31 lead and the Miners had outscored FAU 32-9 since trailing 22-12.

The Miners led by as much 15 in the latter stages of the third quarter, and struggled from the floor in the fourth quarter, although they used the free throw line as a lifeline in the fourth to withstand a late FAU run.

UTEP went 2-for-10 from the floor in the fourth, while FAU went on a 10-2 run and trimmed the lead to 62-59 with 2:47 left in the game.

FAU would miss their final five looks from the floor after that, and UTEP went 8-for-9 at the charity stripe in the fourth quarter to close things out.

Taylor led the way once again scoring 22 points, and adding nine rebounds to her line. Najala Howell was a key component during UTEP’s second quarter run, and scored 10 points on the night.

Katarina Zec also added 10 points, Tamara Seda chipped in 13 points, and eight rebounds.

FAU was trigger happy from long distance firing a 9-for-28 clip that helped UTEP own a 45-36 edge on the boards. The Miners were the more patient team, and held a 38-22 edge in points in the paint, and also had 18 second chance points via 14 total offensive rebounds.

UTEP only took 10 three-pointers going 2-for-10 and shot 41.7 percent, but were able to weather multiple storms to grab a much needed win.

The win keeps the Miners C-USA Tournament hopes well intact with a chance to further those odds in their favor with 13th place FIU coming into the Don on Saturday.

UTEP is currently in 11th place in the conference standings after Thursday’s action, improving their record to 7-20 overall, and 4-11 in C-USA play.