In a back-and-forth battle the UTEP Women's basketball team fought until the very end, but fell late to Old Dominion 77-68 on Saturday afternoon. The Monarchs came into the contest red-hot by winning their last eight games, thanks in part to six players averaging double figures and a stifling scoring defense, which ranks first in C-USA and eighth in the nation.

Despite being on a roll, the Miners stayed with ODU virtually the whole contest as there were seven lead changes and eight ties.  UTEP (13-9, 6-5 C-USA) led by three (60-57) with 7:55 to play before the Monarchs (20-3, 10-1 C-USA) scored six straight to put UTEP down by three (63-60). UTEP continued to battle but could not pull back ahead, with the Monarchs making enough plays down the stretch to hold off the Miners.

UTEP shot 39.3 percent (24-61) from the floor and had 15 assists to 13 turnovers. The Miners also won the boards (42-41), but the Monarchs overcame that as well. Katarina Zec poured in a career-high tying 22 points, while Ariona Gill added 13 points, nine boards, and Katia Gallegos tallied 11 points, seven assists, six rebounds. Sabine Lipe poured in 8 points in her second straight start,

Following the game Coach Baker noted, “I thought we played really well today, I’m proud of our team and glad we put ourselves in a position to win the game against a team that is 20-3 and has won nine straight. We’re just not quite there yet. I love this team and how we battled.”

UTEP will head cross country to lock up with WKU at 5 p.m. MST on Thursday and at Marshall ,11 a.m. MST on Feb. 15.  You can listen to Thursday's game on our ESPN2 secondary stream and Saturday's game on 600 ESPN El Paso with the Iceman.

More From 600 ESPN El Paso