Dec. 26, 2011
Kayla Thornton Women's Basketball
The sophomore tallied a team-high 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting and shared the squad lead with seven rebounds in 31 minutes of action against UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 21. Thornton also posted a pair of steals. Four of her rebounds were of the offensive variety, which helped lead to 11 second-chance points for the Miners. Thornton's efforts aided UTEP to winning the rebounding battle, 35-34.
Michael Perez Men's Basketball
Perez earned a spot on the All-Tournament team at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic by averaging 17.7 points as UTEP captured third place in the tournament. The Miners faced three teams from the power conferences (Clemson, Kansas State, Auburn) and went 2-1 with a narrow loss to K-State (78-70). Perez scored a career-high 25 points while playing the full 40 minutes in the Miners' 61-48 win over Clemson. He scored nine points in the final five minutes, including a pair of big three pointers, in UTEP's 83-76 victory over Auburn. UTEP posted its first wins over ACC and SEC opponents since 1988 and 1989 respectively. For the week, Perez averaged 15.5 ppg while shooting 48.6 percent from the field, 47.6 percent from three-point range and 80 percent from the line. His .600 three-point field goal percentage (9-for-15) in the Diamond Head Classic led all players.