POSTED: Sunday, March 3, 2013 - 10:31pm
UPDATED: Sunday, March 3, 2013 - 11:03pm
Anete Steinberga tallied a career-high 25 points to lead a quartet of players in double figures but UTEP was edged by SMU, 73-71, inside Moody Coliseum Sunday afternoon.
The senior's final points came with 10 seconds to play, which tied the tilt for the fourth and last time at 71.
The Miners (19-9, 7-8 C-USA) retreated on defense only to have Steinberga foul the Mustangs' (21-7, 12-3 C-USA) Gabrielle Wilkins with 5.9 seconds left.
Wilkins hit both free throws and UTEP in-bounded from underneath its own basket.
Kayla Thornton received the pass on the run and was fouled at halfcourt. It was only the sixth infraction of the period on SMU, and UTEP had to put it in play again with 4.6 seconds left.
Once again it went to Thornton, whose running three-point try refused to go down as time expired.
It was a cruel conclusion to the contest for UTEP, which shot 44.4 percent (28-of-63) while holding SMU to just 36.5 percent (23-of-63).
The Mustangs overcame the poor shooting day as result of outrebounding UTEP, 43-38, in addition to a significant advantage in the free-throw department.
SMU finished 23-of-31 at the charity stripe while UTEP was 6-of-8.
"We've got tremendous heart and are pretty resilient," UTEP head coach Keitha Adams said. "It was there for the taking. I'm proud of the team's effort just disappointed with the final result."
Cameasha Turner responded to getting her third start of the season with a career day. She posted a double-double ( 10 points/12 rebounds) to easily eclipse her prior career highs (7 points/4 boards).
Thornton also had a double-double (10 points/10 rebounds). Kelli Willingham registered 10 points to round out the Miners in double digits.
UTEP sank a season-best nine three pointers, with three of them courtesy of freshman Diamond Posey. Posey's nine points are a career high.
The Miners did a good job of taking care of the ball with only 14 turnovers, which aided in their 17-15 advantage in points off giveaways.
Akil Simpson recorded 19 points to pace a trio of Mustangs in double figures.
UTEP will wrap up the regular season when it plays host to Tulane at 7:05 p.m. Friday. There will be free admission to the contest.