RUSTON, LA (KTSM) – Tae Hardy saw a potential game-winning three-pointer fall short as time expired and UTEP dropped its fourth consecutive game to Louisiana Tech on Saturday, 60-58.

The defeat was the Miners’ fourth in a row by single digits as they’ve lost the last four by a total of just 14 points. UTEP fell to 8-7, 1-3 in Conference USA with the defeat while LA Tech improved to 10-6, 3-2 in league play.

UTEP’s free throw-shooting woes once again came back to bite them, as the Miners went just 11-20 from the charity stripe, in addition to 18 turnovers, 14 in the first half that hurt UTEP’s ability to get its offense going.

“In close games, you have to value the basketball and you have to make free throws,” UTEP head coach Joe Golding said. “You can’t have 14 turnovers in the first half and expect to win a game on the road. That’s your typical Saturday C-USA slug fest and we knew it’d be ugly. The first half lost us the game. It’s very disappointing.”

The Miners trailed by 10 points at halftime, but used an 11-3 run to open the second half to tie the game at 40.

After the Bulldogs went on a 11-1 spurt to regain a double-digit lead, the Miners once again dug their heels in. UTEP held LA Tech without a field goal for over seven minutes, from the 9:56 mark of the second half, to the 2:03 mark to get back within one point.

However, UTEP could never tie the game or regain the lead from there, as the Bulldogs made enough free throws down the stretch to get the victory.

“We’re a tough team. We just have to continue to coach them. We have to keep valuing the basketball and making free throws,” Golding said.

The Miners will now fly home to El Paso and regroup, before hosting UTSA on Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Don Haskins Center.