Three weeks ago, the UTEP women's basketball team was tied for fourth place in the C-USA standings. Since then, the Miners have lost five straight games and suddenly they are in danger of missing the conference tournament next week in Frisco. The good news is that UTEP (14-13, 5-9) hosts Florida International (7-20, 4-10) Thursday night and that game will determine if the Miners make the C-USA Tournament.

Should UTEP defeat the Panthers, they will sweep the season series. However, a loss to FIU would put both teams in a tie for 12th place in C-USA. Since they would split the season series, the next tiebreaker is record against the league in descending order. FIU defeated both Rice (3rd place) and Louisiana Tech (4th place) giving them the edge over the Miners. The 13th and 14th place teams in the league do not get to play in the C-USA Tournament.

It is incredible to think that a five-game losing streak late in the season could drop UTEP nine spots in the conference standings. However, that is the reality facing head coach Kevin Baker and his team. The Miners have been in every game during the streak, but their inability to finish strong has hurt them. UTEP has lost these five games by a combined 19 points. Despite everything, a win against FIU assures the Miners an opportunity to play in Frisco and continue their season. 600 ESPN El Paso will broadcast the game beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday night.

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