UTEP (14-7, 6-3 Conference USA) had a nine-point run near the end of the first half and led 45-38 at the break.
Middle Tennessee pulled to within five after two free throws by Reggie Upshaw made it 71-66 with 5:07 left. But Earvin Morris drilled a 3-pointer and Vince Hunter followed with a layup, and UTEP held the Blue Raiders to one field goal over the last 5:43 of the game.
Middle Tennessee (12-10, 5-4 Conference USA) was led by Upshaw with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Jacquez Rozier added 12 points.