Clutch is the perfect word to describe the UTEP women's basketball team this season. They continued their historical run by defeating Louisiana Tech for the first time in program history in Ruston, 72-65 on Saturday night.  The Miners improved to 23-2, 14-1 in C-USA, have now won five in a row, and are 8-2 on the road.

The majority of the first half was a back and forth battle that consisted of four lead changes and nine ties during the first 13 minutes of the game.  LA Tech took a 19-17 lead with 7:17 left in the second quarter before the Miners went on a remarkable run to conclude the first half.  Utilizing a 13-3 run in the second quarter, UTEP took a 30-22 lead into the locker room at the half.

The Miners came out with ferocious intensity to start the third quarter by scoring the first 12 points to pad their lead.  Things were looking to get out of hand for the Lady Techsters when the Miners' lead increased to 22 points at 61-39 with 8:12 remaining in the quarter.  LA tech wasn't done fighting as they went on a 24-6 run over the next several minutes to trim the Miners' lead to 67-63.

As has been the case this whole season, UTEP fought courageously down the stretch and handed the Lady Techsters their first home loss of the season in conference play. LA Tech has historically been nearly flawless at home in conference play with a record of 190-27 all time at the Thomas Assembly Center, making the Miners' accomplishment that much more significant.

Photo by Brandon Cohn

Jenzel Nash played her heart out by achieving a near double-double with 24 points and nine rebounds, Starr Breedlove added 15 points and seven assists, while Lawna Kennedy tallied 10 points, and Chrishauna Parker contributed with 9 points and five boards.  The Miners maintained their one game lead in C-USA over Middle Tennessee with three games remaining in the regular season.

UTEP shot an efficient 43.6 percent from the floor making 24 of 55 shots, and went 23 of 28 from the charity stripe for an solid mark of 82.1 percent.  UTEP out rebounded the Lady Techsters 41-35 and held them to 39.7 percent shooting on 25 of 63 shots.

The Miners will return to El Paso for their final home stand of the season against Old Dominion next Thursday, and will take on Charlotte on Saturday before concluding the regular season at UTSA on March 3.  You can listen to all of those games on 600 ESPN El Paso.