For the last month, the UTEP women's basketball team has been searching for the right formula to get back on the winning column. The team had lost five straight games, but that came to an end last night at the Don Haskins Center thanks to career highs from Zuzanna Pucs and Najala Howell. Pucs dropped 27 points to lead all scorers and Howell pulled down 16 rebounds as the Miners led wire to wire in an 86-70 victory over FIU. The win clinches a spot in the 12-team C-USA Tournament next week and the Miners could be seeded anywhere from 8th to 12th depending on the outcome of Saturday's games.

The Miners built up a 21-point lead in the first half before the Panthers closed to within seven points at the break. FIU cut the deficit to three points with four minutes left in the game, but UTEP closed on a 13-0 run to end their five game losing streak. Five Miners finished in double figures, including Puc (27), Tamara Seda (18), Howell (11), Alexander (11), and Cook (11). The team will wrap up the regular season tomorrow at 1 p.m. against Western Kentucky for Senior Day. 600 ESPN El Paso will have the call with Duke Keith and Traci Miller.