Southern Miss (9-19, 4-13 C-USA) trailed by 10 points, 58-48, with 4:35 left, but Shadell Millinghaus drilled a 3-pointer and Matt Bingaya hit a jumper to make it a five-point game, 58-53 with under four minutes left.
Julian Washburn put the Miners in front with the second of two free throws, 59-58, but Millinghouse took it back with two from the line with 1:41 remaining. Carey hit his jumper for the lead late and Bingaya added a free throw for the final margin.
Earvin Morris scored 26 points to lead UTEP, which is in third place in the conference with two games remaining, both at home, against North Texas and Rice. UTEP was without coach Tim Floyd, who served a one-game league suspension.