A shorthanded UTEP Women's basketball team that was down to only six players lost at UNC Charlotte 62-39 on Saturday afternoon and has now dropped their last six games, eight of ten overall.  The Miners faced an uphill battle all afternoon long playing without sophomores Jordan Jenkins and Alexa Hoy, who both sustained injuries at Old Dominion on Thursday.

Combine that with the fact that Charlotte had only lost one game at home all season, has one of the nation's top points guards in Laia Raventos, and shoots the lights out from downtown, and the Miners were simply trying to stay afloat all afternoon long.  The 49ers were consistent throughout by shooting 50% from the floor (25-50), and an astonishing 57.1% (12-21) from 3-point range.  UTEP struggled offensively by shooting 30.6% (15-49) and 28.6% (6-21) from downtown.  Charlotte took full advantage of the Miners' 25 turnovers by scoring 31 points off of UTEP's blunders.

The Miners were in the game in the first quarter as they trailed by one at 8-7 with 3:24 left in the period before Charlotte would go on a 17-2 run and eventually took a 34-17 lead into the half.  A solid second-half performance and numerous scoring barrages enabled then to run away with the contest en route to their tenth win at home, improving to 12-8 overall.  The Miners, who dropped to 4-16, 1-6 in C-USA were led by Zuzanna Puc who had a near double-double with 13 points and 9 boards, Katarina Zec added 11 points and 6 rebounds, while Jordan Alexander tallied 7 and Ariana Taylor contributed with 5 points.

Following the conclusion of the game Coach Baker said, “I’ve never been in a situation like this where we had six players and I couldn’t be prouder of them, we battled the whole way, we didn’t quit. We play college athletics for a reason. It teaches these young kids to be resilient in times of adversity, and we’ve had plenty of that. They continue to fight and play good basketball. The ball doesn’t always go in for us like we want it but at the same time I liked the way we played in spots today. The biggest thing for us as everyone knows is we have to get healthy, and hopefully we can do that soon.”

After playing nine of their last eleven games on the road the Miners will return to the Don Haskins Center for a two-game stint against Marshall on Thursday and Western Kentucky on Saturday.  With nine games left in the regular season, UTEP will hope to get healthy prior to March so they can qualify for the C-USA Championships in Frisco.  You can listen to next week's games on 600 ESPN El Paso.


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