HOUSTON - The University of Houston women's basketball team dropped a 71-51 decision to UTEP in Conference USA action on Sunday afternoon at Hofheinz Pavilion.
Senior guard Roxana Button led Houston with 20 points and five assists in 40 minutes of action, while freshman forward Amanda Lawson also scored in double figures with 12 points.
The Cougars and Miners (24-2, 13-0) went back-and-forth early on, as Button knocked down a jumper to tie the contest at 10-10 with 14:10 remaining.
Freshman Danielle Parks picked up where she left off from Thursday's contest, draining a 3-pointer at the 11:41 mark to put Houston ahead 14-12.
The two teams remained tied at 16-16 with just over 10 minutes remaining and the Miners held just a one-point advantage with under eight minutes left before the break when UTEP mounted a run to end the half.
The Miners pushed their advantage to eight points with 3:29 left to play when Button did her best to keep the Cougars in the contest, forcing a turnover and dishing to Terran Alford to cut the deficit to six with 2:22 remaining.
The Cougars couldn't overcome UTEP's size and depth, however, as the Miners took a 10-point lead into the break, outscoring Houston by a 19-9 margin over the final 10 minutes of the half.
The Miners carried their momentum over to the second half, opening the final 20 minutes by forcing back-to-back turnovers that led to fast break layups to push the advantage to 14 points.
UTEP outscored the Cougars 17-5 over the second half's first eight minutes to build a 22-point advantage.
Houston opened the contest hitting five of its first 10 shots, but cooled down near the end of the first half, shooting just 32 percent (15-of-46) for the game.
With 20 points, Button climbed three spots on the career scoring charts at Houston, surpassing Porsche Landry (2008-present), current WNBA star Sancho Lyttle (2003-05) and Ann Moon (1977-81) for 19th spot with 1,100 points.
Button tallied 20 or more points for the 12th time this season, while Lawson scored in double figures for the 10th time in 13 league contests.
The Cougars return to action to take on cross-town rival Rice at Tudor Fieldhouse at 7 p.m., Thursday.