UTEP Concludes Non-Conference Play At Texas A&M Thursday
Jan. 1, 2014
THE OPENING ACT
- UTEP will ring in the New Year while wrapping up non-conference action with a contest at SEC power Texas A&M at 5 p.m. MST Thursday.
- Tune in to 1150 AM or follow @UTEPWBB on twitter to stay up with the action.
- The Miners (11-1) have won consecutive contests, most recently dispatching Texas Southern, 87-61, on Dec. 29 while the Aggies (9-4) ran their winning streak to two by topping Arkansas State, 80-62, on Dec. 30.
- UTEP is off to an 11-1 start for the second straight year & third time overall.
- 2006-07 (14-1), and 2012-13 (14-1) also did so.
- Playing a non-conference game in the month of January for the first time since 2010-11 and the third time overall under Coach Adams.
- Is 4-6 all time on Jan. 2, but claimed three of past four games when playing on the date.
QUITE A RUN
- UTEP is 62-15 since the start of the 2011-12 season, including 11-1 this year.
- Have registered 44 double-digit wins in stretch.
- Only three double-digit losses in time frame (25 points, lost vs. Georgia Tech, 102-77, 12/20/13; 12 points, lost at Marshall 59-47, 2/14/13 & 12 points, lost vs. UCF, 89-77, 3/15/13).
- Aiding record were eight winning streaks of at least three games. The breakdown is as follows:
15 game (12/31/11 through 2/23/12)
10 game (11/12/11 through 12/17/11)
9 game (12/1/12 through 1/13/13)
9 game (11/8/13 through 12/15/13)
5 game (11/0/12 through 11/23/12)
4 game (3/1/12 through 3/10/12)
3 game (1/24/13 through 1/27/13)
3 game (3/8/13 through 3/14/13)
- Contrast that with one three-game losing skid.
THIRD-BEST IN TEXAS SINCE 06-07
- The Miners have the third-most wins among all DI programs in the state of Texas since the start of the 2006-07 season.
- Recent national champions Baylor (225-37) & Texas A&M (198-61) top the list while UTEP (162-69, including 11-1 this year) has a firm grip on third.
- Lamar (146-89-4th), TCU (142-92-5th), Texas (141-99-6th), SMU (140-90-7th), Texas Tech (136-103-8th), Prairie View A&M (134-104-9th) and UTSA (125-103-10th) round on the top 10.
INSIDE THE SERIES
- Texas A&M won the only meeting between the programs, 76-46, on Dec. 30, 1987.
- Ten of 11 wins by double figures.
- Marks the 8th season under Keitha Adams with at least 10 double-digit victories.
- Achieved four times in 27 years before Adams.
- Single-season school record is 20 (2011-12)followed by 2007-08 squad (18), 2006-07 (15), 1992-93 & 2012-13 (14), 2005-06 & 2009-10 (11). The 1988-89, ‘96-97 & ‘97-98 each had 10.
- This year’s team has a +19.4 scoring margin.
- While maintaining that figure will be near-to-impossible, the single-season school standard (+13.2, 2011-12) could be in reach.
- Set a school record with seven straight wins by double figures (11/8 through 12/3). Prior standard was six (2006-07 & 2011-12).
- Included in stretch were back-to-back wins by 45+ points for first time in school history.
- School-record 49-point differential vs. DI 1 foe in 92-43 win vs. Northern Arizona (11/22/13)
- Beat Kansas State by 45 points (84-39) on Nov. 16, its third-best margin of win vs. Dl opposition.
- Set school record for biggest halftime lead vs. DI opponent against KSU (46-13).
- Also won four straight games (11/12/13 to 11/27/13) by 20+ points in the stretch for first time since ‘06-07 & third occasion in the program’s history.
- Scored 70+ points in 11 of 12 games this year, including two in the 90’s & four in the 80’s.
- Better than 40% from the floor in eight tilts, including a season-high 55.0% vs. NM State (11/12)
- Committed 15 or fewer turnovers eight times.
- 3-of-15 (20.0%) on threes vs. Texas Southern.
- 14-of-33 (42.4%) from distance in Puerto Rico.
- 20+ free throws made in eight games & on pace to make 639, which would obliterate current school standard of 468 (2000-01).
- 30+ free throws attempted in seven games & on pace to take 943, which would shatter the current program record of 712 (1988-89).
- Deep squad, with 10 players earning at least 10.0 minutes per game, including six at +19.9
- Held foes to 52.8 ppg over first seven games & three of teams were held to less than 45 points.
- Allowed 78.0 ppg in the ensuing four but kept Texas Southern to 61 points, 10 points below its average on Dec. 29.
- Before reverting to form against TCU, the Miners had given up 70+ points in consecutive games for the first time since the 2010-11 season. That was also the last time three of four foes scored 70+ points.
- UTEP has not conceded 70+ points in three consecutive contests since late in the 2002-03 campaign, a span of 330 games.
- Six-plus steals in every game & 10+ eight tilts.
- On pace for 373 steals, which would top the single-season school standard (343, 2006-07 & 2007-08).
- Forced 17+ turnovers in 10 games, including five of 25 or more.
- Enjoyed school-record-tying stretch of three consecutive games (11/16/13 to 11/27/13) of holding opposition to fewer than 45 points.
- Opponents committed 20 or more turnovers in five straight games (11/16/13 through 12/3/13), for the first time since the 1996-97 season (six).
RUNDOWN ON THE 2013-14 MINERS
- The Miners are more than halfway to securing a third straight 20+ victory campaign, which would be a program first (22-10, ‘12-13 & 29-4, ‘11-12).
- UTEP returned four starters and seven letterwinners. Sophomore Irene Gari, junior Chrishauna Parker and seniors Kayla Thornton & Kelli Willingham started last year while sophomore Cameasha Turner earned a letter. Redshirt-sophomore Jenzel Nash & redshirt senior Kristine Vitola are also back after missing last year due to torn ALCs.
- Seven newcomers are in the fold, though Anzhelika Moiseychenko will redshirt season.
- UTEP will play host to the C-USA Championships (March 11-15, 2015) for the second time since joining the league.
GOING BACK IN TIME
- Kayla Thornton poured in 23 points and UTEP used a huge second half to topple upset-minded Texas Southern, 87-61, at the Don Haskins Center on Dec. 29.
- The Miners led by five (34-29) at the break before unleashing a lethal full-court press that befuddled the Lady Tigers. The visitors committed 18 of their 26 turnovers in the second half, which led to 26 of UTEP’s 53 points in the stanza.
- UTEP shared the ball well with 16 assists on 29 field goals while making 43.9 percent (29-of-66) from the floor. It also took care of business at the free-throw line (26-of-38, 68.4 percent).
GETTING TO KNOW TEXAS A&M
- Texas A&M is 9-4, including 6-0 at home.
- 4-0 start before dropping back-to-back games.
- 5-2 since, and is on two-game winning streak.
- Won 65 straight non-conference home games against unranked opponents dating to 2003.
- Closest home result was a six-point triumph against Washington (12/7/13).
- 115-16 at Reed Arena the past nine years.
- Every other home triumph by double figures.
- Is receiving votes for top-25 poll.
- Nationally ranked earlier in the year.
- Courtney Walker (12.7 ppg) leads a trio of players in double figures for scoring while two others contributor better than 7.0 ppg.
- Crushing opposition on the glass (+6.5 margin).
- Giving up just 55.8 ppg, aided by keeping four teams to less than 50 points.
- Notable alumni include Neal Boortz (Nationally syndicated talk show host with 6th-largest listening audience in US), Lyle Lovett (Country Western Singer) and Rick Perry (Governor of Texas).
THE BASIC FACTS ON UTEP
- This is the 40th season of UTEP women’s hoops.
- Stand 480-597 all time, including 11-1 in ‘13-14.
- UTEP has posted four 20+ win seasons in the past seven years.
- UTEP has won three conference titles, including claiming both the 2012 C-USA regular season & tournament championship.
- The Miners’ first league crown was in 2007-08 when they became the first C-USA women’s team to go 16-0 in league play. Aiding that was a school & league-standard 23-game winning streak
- UTEP has appeared in two NCAA Tournaments, forging a mark of 1-2 at the “Big Dance.” The Miners earned an at-large bid in 2008, advancing to the second round. UTEP secured the automatic bid last year but was derailed by national power Penn. State, 85-77.
- The school is in the midst of its centennial celebration, which will continue through ‘14-15.
- Notable alumni include former ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Sam Donaldson, well-respected NFL referee Ed Hochuli, former NASA astronaut Danny Olivas engineer & Dennis Poon, who designed Taipei 101 & some of the tallest buildings in the world.
THE ADAMS FILE
- UTEP is led by 13th-year head coach and the all-time win leader in program history, Keitha Adams, who is 217-158 in that time frame.
- Adams is 344-195 in her 18th year as a collegiate head coach, making her one of five active coaches in C-USA women’s basketball to have 300+ career victories.
- All four 20+ win seasons & five of the six with 18+ wins at UTEP have been under Adams.
- She has produced seven straight & eight total seasons with 16+ wins.
- Feat achieved three times in 27 years prior.
- Both NCAA tournament bids & all three league championships at the school under Adams.
- 186-103, including 11-1 in ‘13-14, past 10 years.
- 115-156 was best record for 10-year stretch before her arrival.
- Earned votes in top-25 poll in three straight years & six times overall.
- Never achieved feat before Adams’ era.
- Nationally ranked for final six weeks of 07-08.
- 12 of 18 individual career record holders at UTEP played for Adams.
- Coached 18 players who have gone on to play professionally. List includes ‘08 WNBA draft picks Izabela Piekarska & Natasha Lacy.
- Impacted the international game at the highest level, with Noni Wharemate representing New Zealand at ‘08 Olympic Games.
- Every player who has exhausted her eligibility at UTEP during her tenure has graduated.
CHECK THE STATS
- Hit at least one three pointer in 243 straight games. Last game without a trey was 12/30/05.
- 1-0 on year & 60-3 with +20 assists during the Keitha Adams era.
- 6-0 on season & 77-12 under Adams when opposition has more turnovers than field goals.
- 10-0 on year & 143-50 under Adams when winning the rebounding battle.
TAKING ON POWER CONFERENCE SCHOOLS
- UTEP is 8-36 all time vs. teams in power conferences (at point of the game).
- Miners are 5-1 in the situation since 2012-13.
- UTEP is 2-1 this year, topping Big 12 member Kansas State, 84-39, on Nov. 16 & besting SMU of the American Conference (features #1 UCONN & #7 Louisville), 76-71 on Dec. 7 while falling to ACC power Georgia Tech, 102-77, on Dec. 20.
- This game is the fourth such type on the year.
- The Miners were 3-0 in the scenario last year.
- UTEP downed Pacific 12 members Arizona State (60-54, 11/18/12) & Arizona (64-53, 11/23/12) while also toppling Kansas State on the road (52-50, 12/16/12).
HOME SWEET HOME
- Home record of 140-54 in Keitha Adams era.
- 104-22 since 2006-07, including 9-0 this year.
- 66-34 was most wins over 8 years before Adams.
- 38-5 over past 43 home games.
- On track for 8th straight year of 12+ home wins.
- Four 10+ win seasons in 27 years before Adams.
- Only one of those teams (12-1, ‘88-89) hit mark.
- Have not lost back-to-back games in El Paso since falling by combined 4 points in final 2 home games of 2009-10.
- Have not dropped 2 league home tilts in span of 7 days since 2005-06, its first year as C-USA member.
ALL ABOUT THE FANS
- UTEP has paced C-USA in attendance & been among top 50 nationally in back-to-back years.
- All four non-conference home games of 3,000+ fans at school have been under Keitha Adams.
- 25 of the 31 home games in school history with 3,000+ fans occurred during Adams’ tenure.
- 23-8 all time in such contests, including 20-5 under Adams.
- UTEP rolled to a 80-61 win at NM State on Dec. 3, its first road contest of the 2013-14 season.
- The match-up against Texas A&M is the second & final non-conference road tilt.
- The games against Georgia Tech (L, 102-77, 12/20/13) & Belmont (W, 88-74, 12/21/13) were part of the Puerto Rico Classic.
- Overall road record of 54-90 under Keitha Adams.
- UTEP is 40-37 on the road since 2006-07, including the 1-0 mark this year.
- 17-7 over past 24 road contests.
- 25-57 was the best seven-year record before Adams.
- Two winning road seasons under Adams.
- Never happened in first 27 years of program.
- Twice finished at .500 during Adams’ tenure.
- Only occurred a pair of times before her.
Class of 2014 (Thornton, Vitola & Willingham)
- Aided UTEP to record of 78-29 since 2010.
- Program standard for most wins by a class over four years is 84 (Jareica Hughes & Timika Williams, 2006-10).
- Has led UTEP to back-to-back 20+ win seasons.
- Aiming for unprecedented third straight 20+ victory season at the school.
Kayla Thornton (Senior)
- Owns UTEP record for double-doubles (27).
- Closing in on Kim Watts’ (1978-82) career rebounding mark (810). She had five rebounds against Texas Southern (12/29), to move into second place with 795.
- With big scoring numbers, has put herself in a position to possibly break the UTEP school standard for total points as well. .Jareica Hughes (2006-10) holds record at 1,555.
- Is nine points (1,243) shy of moving past both Izabela Piekarska (2004-08) at 1,251 & Be Stoney (1977-81) at 1,249. At that point, Thornton would only trail Hughes.
- Also has top-10 rankings for field-goals made (458-4th), steals (158-t4th), starts (88-5th), free -throws made (267-5th), field goal attempts (1,042-6th), free-throws attempted (376-7th), rebounding average (7.5-t8th), minutes played (2,715-9th), games played (106-t9th) and field-goal percentage (44.0-t9th), blocked shots (51-10th) and scoring average (10.7-10th).
- Back-to-back second-team All C-USA selection.
- 2012 C-USA All-Tournament Team.
Kristine Vitola (Senior)
- Ranks fourth all time at UTEP for blocks (133).
- Currently eighth in career games played (109) but if she stays healthy will break Timika Williams’ (2006-10) school record of 120.
- 18th Miner with 600+ points (622) & 450+ rebounds (466).
- Closing in (1,956) on becoming 20th Miner with 2,000+ minutes played.
Kelli Willingham (Senior)
- Is third all time in three-pointers made (168) & attempted (476) while ranking fourth for starts (94).
- Jareica Hughes’ (2006-10) school standard for assists (599) is safe but Willingham is going to take over second place soon.
- She needs only five assists to move past both Ana Valtierra (2002-07) at 324 & Terri Pedregon (1991-95) with 326 to take over the spot.
- Is the fifth Miner to log 3,000+ minutes (3,048).
- Joined Hughes as only Miners with 800+ points (875) & 300+ assists (322). Hughes is the UTEP record holder for both points (1,550) & assists (599).
Chrishauna Parker (Junior)
- Ranks fourth all time at UTEP for blocks (133).
- Aided UTEP to a mark of 62-15, including back-to-back 20+ win seasons.
- Eight rebounds shy of becoming the 16th Miner to reach 500.
- Is 10th for career rebounding average (6.8).
- Is also a member of the 500-point club (542)
- With 14 more field goals made, will qualify for career FG % list. Her current readout of 48.4 would tie for fourth.
- Five assists shy of becoming the 12th Miner to hit 200.
CLIFFSNOTES ON 2013-14 CAMPAIGN
UTEP 88, Belmont 74 (12/21/13)
- Kayla Thornton turned in a virtuoso performance by setting career highs in points (36), rebounds (16) and blocked shots (four) to guide UTEP past Belmont, 88-74, inside Guillermo Angulo Coliseum in its final game of the Puerto Rico Classic on Dec. 21.
- Thornton’s 36 points are the most by a Miner since 1991 and the third-highest total in school history. Holly Russ (40 vs. UTSA, 2/19/91 and 37 vs. Baylor, 12/17/91) holds the top-two slots in program annals.
- She had 23 pts & nine rbs at the break, to help UTEP lead 49-26 heading into halftime.
- Belmont made things interesting by cutting that margin down to seven (74-67) with 2:50 to play but the Orange and Blue kept their composure.
- The Miners went 9-of-10 at the free-throw line in the final 1:22 to seal the win.
Georgia Tech 102, UTEP 77 (12/20/13)
- UTEP put up a good fight but ACC power Georgia Tech had simply too much firepower, as the Miners sustained their first loss of the year, 102-77, inside Guillermo Angulo Coliseum at the Puerto Rico Classic Dec. 20.
- Problems arose, though, in trying to slow down the Jackets’ one-two punch of Kaela Davis (26 points) and Tyaunna Marshall (23 points).
- The duo teamed up for 33 in the first half, which helped Tech stake a 54-38 lead at the break.
- UTEP regrouped and played even (33-33) with Tech over the first 16 minutes of the second stanza. The Jackets, who used a full-court press the entire game, used a 15-6 push to account for the 25-point margin.
- Points in the paint (59-28), points off turnover (25-8) and rebounding (52-42) all favored Georgia Tech
at UTEP 87, SE Louisiana 65 (12/15/13)
- Kayla Thornton posted her fifth double-double this season (16 points, 10 rebounds) to lead a quartet of players in double figures, and UTEP remained undefeated with a 87-65 conquest of Southeastern Louisiana on Dec. 15.
- Led by two (14-12) six minutes in before kicking it into high gear with a 24-3 run to blow the game wide open.
- Connected on 48.7 (37-of-76) shots from the floor, and shared the ball well with 19 assists.
- 32-7 cushion in points from the bench.
- Also enjoyed advantages in points in the paint (56-32), points off turnovers (30-21), fast-break points (19-4) and points off turnovers (30-21).
at UTEP 76, SMU 71 (12/7/13)
- Kayla Thornton (21 points, 10 rebounds) and Chrishauna Parker (12 points, 15 rebounds) recorded double-doubles while Jenzel Nash provided a spark off the bench with 19 points to help lead UTEP past long-time rival SMU, 76-71, at home on Dec. 7.
- The Mustangs, who were 8-1 entering the game, jumped out to a double-digit lead (14-4) six minutes into the contest.
- UTEP used a 31-14 run to carry a 35-28 cushion into halftime & extended it out to 47-2 with 15:29 to play.
- SMU wasn’t done, though, especially not with Keena Mays at its disposal. Mays, who finished with a game-high 34 points, refused to let her squad go down without a fight. It whittled the deficit down to two (56-54) with 7:28 to play, but UTEP would not relinquish the advantage.
- Free throws (25-of-37) and winning the rebounding battle (47-45) proved vital, as did committing only 15 turnovers against a well-executed press by the visitors.
UTEP 80, at NM State 61 (12/3/13)
- Kayla Thornton (20 points), Chrishauna Parker (career-high 19 points), Jenzel Nash (14 points) and Irene Gari (10 points) all reached double figures in scoring to help power UTEP to an 80-61 road conquest of I-10 rival New Mexico State on Dec. 3.
- Sixth sweep of series during Keitha Adams era.
- Miners led by four (39-35) at the break before finding another gear to leave NM State in dust.
- Forced 24 turnovers, including 17 in second half, while holding Aggies to 38% shooting.
- No such issues for UTEP, which had just 12 turnovers & nailed 42.6% of its shots.
- UTEP also hit its free throws (20-of-26) & won the battle of the boards (39-34).
at UTEP 73, Texas State 60 (11/30/13)
- Led 41-23 at half & the advantage swelled to as many as 22 (54-32, 11:58 to play).
- Texas State never got closer than 12 rest of way.
- There were 56 combined infractions in the game (30 on UTEP, 26 on Texas State), with the Miners knocking down 21-of-32 free throws and TSU finishing at 14-of-30 from the charity stripe.
- UTEP won the rebounding battle, 44-40, aided by 12 from Chrishauna Parker & 10 from Thornton.
at UTEP 63, Northern Colorado 40 (11/27/13)
- Fueled by a huge second half (42-16), UTEP dispatched upset-minded Northern Colorado, 63-40, at the Don Haskins Center on Nov. 27.
- The Bears led by three (24-21) at the break.
- UTEP hit 46.6 percent (27-of-58) of its shots.
- UNC shots 27.5 (14-of-51) percent & committed 30 turnovers that led to 36 UTEP points.
- UTEP out-scored UNC in points in the paint (42-16) & on fast-break tries (15-2) to more than compensate for losing the rebounding battle 46-31.
at UTEP 92, Northern Arizona 43 (11/22/13)
- UTEP jumped out to a 25-point (45-20) halftime lead and didn’t let up on the way to recording its largest margin of victory (49) ever against a Division 1 team in a 92-43 thrashing of Northern Arizona at home on Nov. 26.
- UTEP harassed the Lumberjacks into making 29 turnovers while also holding them to 32.0 percent shooting from the floor.
- The 29 giveaways led to 31 points for the Orange and Blue.
- UTEP registered 20 assists & hit 50% from field.
- Transfer Anete Kirsteine came off the bench to tally a career high 15 points- all on triples- to lead a quartet of Miners in double figures for scoring.
- Overall 11 different players scored in the game, showing off the Orange and Blue’s depth in the process.
- UTEP drained the seventh-most three pointers (11) in a contest in program annals.
at UTEP 84, Kansas State 39 (11/16/13)
- UTEP forced 34 turnovers and held Big 12 member Kansas State to 26.3 percent shooting from the floor in a 84-39 shellacking at the Don Haskins Center on Nov. 16.
- The 45-point differential is the third-biggest (second at the time) margin of victory against a Division 1 opponent in school history, which was aided by the program’s biggest halftime lead (46-13) vs. a DI foe.
- Five different Miners reached double figures in scoring, with senior Kayla Thornton leading the way with her school-record 23rd career double-double (15 points, 11 rebounds). The prior standard was 22, held by Amy Pack (1999-01).
- UTEP drilled 35-of-47 from the free-throw line and also won the rebounding battle, 54-43.
- It is the third most free throws made & ties as the fourth-highest for free throw attempts.
- But the day belonged to the defense, with UTEP forcing 34 turnovers. That ties as the sixth-highest sum by an opponent in school history.
- The Orange and Blue finished with 20 steals, equaling their eighth-highest single-game sum.
- Sophomore Chrishauna Parker, who posted a game-high 12 boards, recorded the sixth-best sum for steals (seven) by a Miner in school history.
- Thornton was named the C-USA player of the week as result of efforts vs. Kansas State & NM State.
at UTEP 94, NM State 69 (11/16/13)
- Four different Miners reached double figures in scoring to help UTEP pound NM State, 94-69, in the first round of the “Battle of I-10” this year at the Haskins Center on Nov. 12
- UTEP led wire-to-wire.
- It was the Miners’ 2nd-biggest margin of victory in the series against the Aggies.
- UTEP equaled fifth-highest second-half scoring sum in program history by pouring in 55.
- Kayla Thornton led the way with a double-double (22 points, 12 rebounds).
- UTEP hit 55.0% (33-of-60), aided by going 20-of-29 (69.0%) in the second half.
at UTEP 75, UTPB 58 (11/8/13)
- Chrishauna Parker registered a double-double (12 points and 12 rebounds) and UTEP’s bench provided 49 points to lift it past UTPB.
- Junior-college transfer and El Paso native Stacie Telles matched Parker with 12 points, including nine on triples.
- The Miners led the Falcons picked second in the Heartland Conference, 43-23, at the half.
- Eleven different Miners scored in the game. Senior Kayla Thornton had nine points & nine rebounds & freshman Sparkle Taylor pitched in eight off the bench, aided by six makes on 12 tries at the charity stripe.
- Senior Kristine Vitola chipped in six points and grabbed seven boards in an efficient 18 minutes of action in her return to the court after missing most of last year with a torn ACL. Sophomore Jenzel Nash, who redshirted last year as well due to a torn ACL, pitched in four points and four boards while battling foul trouble.
at UTEP 81, St. Mary’s (TX) 51 (11/2/13)- EXH
- Kayla Thornton poured in 22 points to lead a quartet of Miners in double figures, and UTEP throttled St. Mary’s, 81-51, in the exhibition game.
- The Miners led 40-17 at half & were up by 30+ points for the final 13 minutes of the contest.