UTEP (5-5) still had a chance for the win but Jalen Ragland, who led the Miners with 19 points, missed a 3-point shot. Cedrick Lang got the rebound with one second remaining but could not make the layup.
New Orleans (3-4), led by Cory Dixon and Matt Derenbecker with 12 points each, trailed 36-34 at the half.
A tip-in by UTEP's C.J. Cooper tied the score at 60 with 5:24 remaining. The Privateers pushed their advantage to 65-60 following a jumper and 3-point shot by Derenbecker. UTEP closed to 65-64. New Orleans had a 69-67 lead with 1:20 remaining. Derenbecker made one free throw. Lang followed with a layup as UTEP moved to within one 70-69.