EL PASO, Texas — — Friday's matchup between Colorado and UTEP in the postsesaon WNIT figured to come down to rebounding, free throws and the home crowd.

In the end, all three factors favored the host Miners in a 68-60 win for UTEP in front of an WNIT record crowd of 8,234. UTEP advances to Monday's Elite 8 against Washington. Colorado finishes the season 19-15.

The Miners outrebounded Colorado 43-26 and made 26-30 of free throws, outscoring Colorado by 21 at the charity stripe.

"I thought the crowd was a difference," said Colorado forward Jamee Swan, who had a team-high 15 points on 7 of 10 shooting from the field. "They got on us early and got some momentum going. Also their rebounding was huge. They did a nice job on the boards."

UTEP started the game fast scoring the game's first 9 points as the Buffaloes struggled with turnovers and break downs on defense. The Miners made six of their first eight shots from the field.

But the Buffaloes were able to get back into the game behind their defense. UTEP wound up shooting just 37.9 percent in the first half and had eight turnovers. Colorado hurt itself with 10 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes. The Buffaloes were led by Swam with eight points and six rebounds in the first half, while Ashley Wilson had six points.

The Miners were led by Kristine Vitola's 12 points. Colorado held UTEP's leading scorer Kayla Thornton to no points on 0 for 6 shooting in 11 minutes. She was averaging 20.2 points entering the game.

In the second half, the game went back and forth. Colorado led briefly in the second half and the game was tied at 50 with 5:54 left in the game. But the Miners were better down the stretch defensively and were on fire from the line. UTEP made its final 20 free throws of the game.

"UTEP is physical, athletic and plays well as a team," Colorado coach Linda Lappe said. "We did a good job defensively to get back into the game. But down the stretch, we struggled some offensively to get good shots. And we aren't used to being outrebounded. UTEP did a really good job in the paint. To have a chance to win late despite the rebounding and free throws says a lot about our team."

Wilson added 10 points for the Buffaloes, who had 21 turnovers in the game but shot 47.2 percent from the field.

The Miners, who had 20 turnovers, managed to shoot just 34.5 percent for the game. Vitola hurt Colorado inside with 22 points on 7 of 13 shooting from the field and a perfect 8 for 8 from the foul line.

Vitola's 22 points were her second most this season. Thornton added 11 for UTEP, while Chrishauna Parker added 10 points and 12 rebounds.

"We battled," Colorado guard Lexy Kresi said. "The atmosphere was great and it was tough on us. The slow start can be attributed to the great crowd."