The Mustangs (13-18, 4-12 Conference USA) will enter next week's conference tournament as either the 11th or 12th seed, while UTEP (14-16, 7-9) will be the No. 8 or No. 9 seed.
Nyakundi opened the game with a pair of 3-pointers and a two-point basket as SMU took a 10-2 lead. Rodney Clinkscales finished off the opening-game surge with back-to-back 3-pointers that put the Mustangs ahead 25-7 with 6:38 remaining in the half.
UTEP, which hit just 3 of 13 shots and had five turnovers during that stretch, pulled within 33-24 by halftime but fell behind by as many as 21 points in the second half.
Julian Washburn led the Miners with 21 points.
Clinkscales had a season-high 11 for SMU.The Mustangs are next in action Wednesday, Mar. 7 when they play in the first round of C-USA Championship in Memphis, Tenn.