BOCA RATON, Florida (KTSM) – UTEP (13-16, 6-12 Conference USA) men’s basketball fell to Florida Atlantic (26-3, 16-2 Conference USA) at Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena on Saturday.

UTEP’s first and only lead of the game came from the first basket of the contest. After that, FAU came back with a 30-8 run to put UTEP down double-digits early on. UTEP managed to cut the deficit down to nine points before halftime but never got any closer.

“Credit to FAU, they stuck together and didn’t move to the portal (last year),” UTEP head coach Joe Golding said. “They came back and have a darn good basketball team. They hit 11 3-pointers and we had no chance. Our ball movement wasn’t good tonight. I thought we took tough shots. When you take tough shots and turn it over, they get in transition. It wasn’t pretty for us.

Calvin Solomon led the Miners in scoring with 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the floor. Ze’Rik Onyema posted his second career double-double, as he recorded 11 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. They were the only two UTEP players to reach double figures in the scoring department.

FAU had four players finish the game in double figures when it came to scoring. Alijah Martin led the way with 21 points. Johnell Davis had 12 points. Michael Forrest and Brandon Weatherspoon each contributed 10 points.

With the win, Florida Atlantic clinched the Conference USA regular season title, the first in program history, along with the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. The Owls also finished the season with a perfect 17-0 record when playing at home.

A short-handed UTEP team is ready to go back home to the Don Haskins Center to finish up the regular season after their trip to Sunshine State.

“We’ve got to get back to El Paso,” Golding said. “We’re banged up, we’re hurt. We competed at times, but we have a short bench.”

UTEP will set its sights on grabbing two wins at the Don Haskins Center to finish up the 2022-23 regular season. The Miners kick things off by playing host to Western Kentucky on March 2 at 7 p.m.