The old expression 'close counts in horseshoes and hand grenades' has never been more evident than it was in Norfolk, Va on Saturday afternoon as the UTEP Women's basketball team almost pulled off an outstanding road win over ODU.  Despite leading for the majority of the game, the Miners' mediocre play in the fourth quarter and in overtime led to a devastating 56-52 loss; their fourth in a row to the Lady Monarchs.

The Miners, 14-11, 5-7 C-USA, led by 13, 46-33 with 6:21 to play in regulation before the Lady Monarchs went on a ridiculous run to score 10 consecutive points to cut the deficit to three with 54 seconds left.  Faith Cook knocked down a pair of free throws to put UTEP up by five at 48-43, but ODU got a 3-pointer, a steal, and then a lay-up to force the first tie of the game at 48-48 with 21 seconds remaining. Najala Howell had a golden opportunity to win the game at the buzzer, but her jumper rimmed out to send the contest into overtime.

The loss, which was UTEP's third straight, came at a crucial time as the season is winding down, and the Miners are tied for 7th in the C-USA standings currently.  To add insult to injury, after shooting 41.1 percent over the first three quarters of play, UTEP was a combined 2-16, 12.5 percent during the fourth quarter and overtime. The Miners also had eight of their 20 turnovers in that stretch, which gave ODU the opportunity to rally back.

Tamara Seda posted her 12th double-double with 11 points,14 rebounds to lead the Miners, while Faith Cook added 10 points, five assists, and Zuzaana Puc contributed with 10 points.  Najala Howell finished with nine points and 10 rebounds and Jordan Alexander added six points and nine boards.

UTEP will look to regroup as they will host UTSA at 7 p.m on Friday.  You can listen to that game with Steve Kaplowitz and Traci Miller on 600 ESPN El Paso.


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