Lady Toppers blow chance at title, lose at UTEP

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Western Kentucky led for much of the afternoon behind a career-high 31 points from Ivy Brown, but a fourth-quarter comeback by Texas El Paso dealt the Lady Toppers an 80-75 loss and a chance at a conference championsip in the regular season finale for both teams Saturday inside the Don Haskins Center.

The Lady Toppers (21-8, 12-4 Conference USA) led for much of the first half and into the third quarter, but the Miners (16-13, 7-9 CUSA) held a 53-45 scoring advantage over the final 20 minutes of play to come away with the win.

Brown matched her career high on 11 of 20 shooting from the field, including 4 of 7 from three-point range. Brown matched the program record with 16 points in the third quarter and had 22 points in the second half.

Tashia Brown added 19 points and seven rebounds and Whitney Creech tallied a career-best nine assists.

Tamara Seda (21), Jordan Alexander (19) and Zuzanna Puc (19) each reached double figures for the Miners, who shot 57.7 percent (30 of 52) from the field on the day.

Western Kentucky will be the No. 2 seed in next week’s Conference USA tournament in Frisco, Texas, playing at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.