UTEP looked as if they may pull an upset at home against Western Kentucky Thursday night until they were undone by 12 second half turnovers.
The Miners led 32-30 at the half and then again led at multiple points in the second half, but sloppy play helped Western Kentucky end the game on a 21-7 run to claim a 72-60 victory.
UTEP interim head coach Phil Johnson said he feels his team let another game slip away.
"Another second half problem. And I don't think it was a meltdown so much. We just didn't handle the ball," he said. "We had four turnovers in the first and 12 in the second. We just kind of self-destructed. And I don't think it was so much what they did. It was just self-imposed mistakes."
UTEP fell to 7-15 overall with a 2-8 mark in Conference USA. Meanwhile, Western Kentucky is now 16-6 with a sterling 8-1 record in C-USA. They trail Middle Tennessee by a half-game for first place in the conference.
The Miners have now lost four in a row and seven of their last eight games. They find themselves in 13th place out of 14 teams in Conference USA with eight regular season games remaining.
Omega Harris led the way for UTEP with 16 points while Paul Thomas added 10 points of his own. No other UTEP player scored in double figures.
On a good note, center Matt Willms, who has spent much of the season sidelined with a foot injury, was able to play 13 minutes Thursday. He scored four points while adding two rebounds and a block in his limited time on the court.
The Miners will next play Marshall at home on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.