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UTEP holds off Zias

EL PASO, Texas — The University of Texas-El Paso ran off an 18-2 spurt over the first eight-plus minutes of the second half Sunday and defeated Eastern New Mexico University 70-55 in a women’s basketball exhibition game.

Marta Dydek came off the bench for 20 points and guard Vaida Zagurskyte scored all but two of her 18 points in the second half for the Division I Miners, who pulled away from a 32-30 halftime lead after a competitive first half.

Junior guard Laci Lee of Portales had team-highs of 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Zias, while junior post Loren Scarlett added 12 points. The Zias played competitively except for turnovers — they committed 28, including 20 in the second half, to 17 for UTEP.

Lee had a basket and two assists as the Zias opened a 6-0 lead three minutes into the game, and a 3-pointer by Texico sophomore Elizabeth Richards made it 9-2 at the 16:21 mark.

The Miners countered with nine consecutive points, but never could build more than a four-point lead in the half. The Zias took their final lead 28-26 on a basket by Scarlett with 2:37 to go.

They tied the score 30-30 on a basket by Richards with 1:10 left. Sussie Kruuse’s put UTEP in front at the break on a jump shot with 18 seconds to play.

Dydek’s 3-pointer made it 50-32 with 11:51 left. The Zias countered with a 9-0 run featuring baskets from four players to pull to 52-43 with under nine minutes left.

They got as close as 62-55 on a basket by Lee with 2:06 to go before the Miners scored the final eight points, six by Zagurskyte.