C-USA Leader UTEP To Play Host To Houston
Jan. 21, 2012
THE OPENING ACT
C-USA Leader UTEP To Play Host To Houston
Conference USA leader UTEP will vie for its seventh straight win when it challenges Houston at 1:05 p.m. at the Don Haskins Center. The Miners (16-2, 5-0) sit atop Conference USA, most recently winning at East Carolina, 66-56, on Jan. 18. The Cougars (2-15, 1-4) split their first two C-USA contests but have dropped three in a row since, including a 77-48 setback at Tulsa on Jan. 19. The game will stream live on Miner TV (subscription required) and fans can also get live updates by following the team on Twitter (@UTEPWBB).
Promos A Plenty
All military personnel will get in free as part of “Military Day.” It will also be the second of three scheduled “Grand Prize Giveaway Games.” Fans will have the chance to put in a ticket into the random drawing in which they could win the grand prize-an HDTV- or one of several other premium items (i.e. gift cards, autographed jerseys and much more).
Adams Closing In On 300 Career Wins
Head coach Keitha Adams is two wins shy of notching her 300th as a collegiate head coach. She has 171 victories with the Miners and claimed 127 previously at Independence Community College. She would become the fourth active head coach in C-USA to achieve the feat, joining Marshall’s Royce Chadwick (557-291), Tulane’s Lisa Stockton (415-205) & SMU’s Rhonda Rompola (375-244).
Keep That Fan Support Coming
UTEP is second in Conference USA at 1,473 fans per game. Helping that figure has been eclipsing 2,000 fans in three of the past four contests and five times overall in 2011-12.
Off & Running In League Play
The Miners are off to a 5-0 start in league play for just the second time in program history. The 2007-08 squad got off to a quick start in conference and never looked back en route to becoming the first women’s school in Conference USA history to run the gauntlet to finish 16-0.
On The Road As Well
The Miners have surged to a school-record 6-1 start on the road, topping the prior standard at this juncture (5-2 in 2007-08). The season standard for top mark in hostile territory is 10-3, which came in that historic 2007-08 campaign.
Not To Mention Overall
With a record of 16-2, the Miners have equaled their best record through 17 games in school history (2007-08). That 2007-08 squad climbed to 27-2 before suffering its third loss of the season & finished with a school record of 28-4.
It’s A Streak Thing
The Miners have two separate winning streaks of at least five games this year (10 & 6) to become the second team in program history to achieve the feat. The 1992-93 squad also did. (7 & 5 contests)
Pretty Select Company
UTEP is one of 10 teams nationally to be both undefeated in league play & have two or fewer total losses.
We Meet Again
Houston leads the series, 13-7, including claiming three meetings between the program’s during its C-USA championship season in 2010-11. UTEP has registered three series sweeps, which came in succession (2006-07, 2007-08 & 2008-09).
Following The Miners In 2011-12
Video and audio for every home game for the Miners on the year will be available through Miner TV on UTEPAthletics.com (subscription-based). All of the road contests on the season for UTEP will be broadcast on Talk Radio 1150 AM.
Staying Up Through Social Media
LIKE the team’s page on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/UTEPWomensBasketball) and follow the official team Twitter Feed (www.twitter.com/UTEPWBB) for the latest on the program. Additionally, connect with head coach Keitha Adams by following her on Twitter, @UTEPKeithaAdams.
Get Your Tickets Now
Six home games remain on the docket for the 2011-12 season, and individual tickets ($5 adults, $3 kids) can be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.
UTEP will conclude a stretch of playing three of four away from home when it takes on Southern Miss at 6 p.m. MST on Thursday. The game will air on 1150 AM.
GOING BACK IN TIME
UTEP Secures First Win In Greenville, 66-56
UTEP pounded East Carolina down low while punishing it on the glass on the way to picking up its first victory in four tries at Minges Coliseum, 66-56, on Jan. 18. The game was tied at 35 at the half but the Miners ripped control of the contest with an 11-2 run over the first nine minutes of the second stanza. The Pirates tried to rally but each run was answered with one by the visitors.
Stars Of The Contest
Gloria Brown posted her seventh double-double of the year (17 points, 11 boards) to lead the way while Anete Steinberga added a season-best 15 points and Kayla Thornton pitched in 10. Senior Kim Smith also stood out with a career-best five rebounds and a career-high-tying six assists in 26 minutes of action.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
The 411 On Houston As An Institution
The University of Houston is a public research university located in Houston, Texas, and it was founded in 1927. In terms of enrollment, it is the third largest in the state of Texas and rates 23rd nationally. It has plenty of notable alumni, including Fred Couples (golfing legend) Carl Lewis (Olympic gold medalist) and Jack Valenti (creator of the movie rating system/longtime president of the Motion Picture Association of America).
The 411 On Houston Basketball
Houston’s program was started for the 1975-76 season. It sports an all-time record of 606-483, including 2-15. The Courgars have made nine postseason appearances (5 NCAA/4 WNIT). It returned just one starter from last year’s team which was 26-6, including 16-0 in C-USA, & played in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Getting To Know The Houston Head Coach
Houston is under the direction of second-year head coach Todd Buchanan, who has guided his charges to a mark of 28-12 in that timeframe. Overall he is 127-125 in his 10th year as a collegiate head coach. Buchanan joined UH after going 80-68 in five years at Houston Baptist. He also was the head coach at the University of Montevallo from 1996-98.
Looking At The Houston Season
Houston, which lost star Porsche Landry three games into the year, has had a challenging campaign to date. It opened the year with nine straight setbacks before toppling Houston Baptist, 83-60, on Dec. 10. The Cougars lost their next three but bounced back with a 56-49 triumph at Southern Miss (1/8/12). It has come up short in the three tilts since, including a 77-49 road setback to Tulsa last time out on Jan. 19. UH is 2-15, 1-4 C-USA, and it is 1-5 overall away from home.
This And That On Houston’s Offense
Porsche Landry had 22.0 ppg in three games before going down with an injury, leaving UH with just two players at better than 8.0 ppg. They are in the form of C-USA scoring leader
Roxana Button (18.8 PPG) & Amanda Lawson (8.8 PPG). Button has hit half of the team’s three pointers (29-58) but has been plagued with 32 assists to 82 giveaways. No individual has more helpers than turnovers. Four players have more than 20 offensive rebounds, with Terran Alford (41) & Lawson (31) topping the list. Lawson (.415) is the only player to be better than 38 percent from the floor. Lawson has drilled 93 free throws while Tahlia Pope has made 21 but no one else has more than 18 FTM. Houston is last in C-USA for assist-to-turnover ratio (0.4), assists per game (8.2), field-goal percentage (32.4) & scoring offense (54.1).
This And That On Houston’s Defense
Four players have 18+ steals, with Roxana Button (26) and Michelle White (21) setting the pace. Mae Woods (11), Terran Alford (11) & Voche Martin (8) are responsible for 30 of the 46 blocked shots on the season. Houston is last in C-USA for field-goal percentage defense (41.8), rebounding margin (-7.4), scoring defense (71.9)& steals per game (7.7)
CRASH COURSE ON UTEP HOOPS
The Basic Facts On UTEP Basketball
2011-12 marks the 38th season for the UTEP women’s basketball team. The Miners have an all-time record of 434-584, including 16-2 this year. They have registered 13 campaigns of .500 or better. Six of them, including five straight, have come during head coach Keitha Adams’ tenure. UTEP has been a member of four leagues, including being affiliated with Conference USA since the start of the 2005-06 season. The Miners have one postseason appearance and one conference championship to their credit, both of which came during the historic 2007-08 season (28-4 overall, 16-0 C-USA). UTEP returned three starters (and eight letterwinners (four guards, four posts) overall from last year’s squad (16-14, 7-9 C-USA). Six newcomers, all guards (freshmen Syerra Davis, Jenzel Nash, Chrishauna Parker & Marissa Rodriguez, sophomore Ryah Lacy and junior Melisa Mendes) are in the mix for the Orange and Blue in 2011-12.
Getting To Know Coach Adams
UTEP is led by the winningest coach in program history, Keitha Adams. She is 171-145 in her 11th year at the school, including 16-2 this year. Overall Adams is 298-182 in her 16th season as a collegiate head coach, having compiled a mark of 127-37 in a five-year run at Independence Community College. Adams has delivered the three most successful seasons in program history (22-8, 2006-07, 28-4 2007-08 & 18-12 in 2009-10). She was the 2008 C-USA Coach of the Year/finalist for national honor after leading the Miners to their first league championship & postseason bid (advanced to second round of NCAA Tournament). Every player who has exhausted her eligibility at UTEP during her tenure has graduated.
Talk About A 10-Year Stretch
Including the mark of 16-2 in 2011-12, the Miners are now 168-120 over the past 10 years (2002-03 season-present). The effort obliterates the prior standard at the school for a decade-long stretch (115-155 from 1990-91 through 1999-2000).
Winning Mark At Major Junctures
Thanks to the start (16-2), UTEP has now rolled off a school-record eight straight seasons with a winning record at the 15-contest juncture (prior standard four). They are also guaranteed of their program-best seventh consecutive campaign for the 20-game mark (prior record six). Additionally, the Miners were above .500 for the fifth time in the past six years through 10 tilts.
The Miners have featured at least one player from the El Paso area in every year of the Keitha Adams era, with this year’s team sporting a pair. Sophomore forward Kayla Thornton starred at Irvin High School in El Paso while freshman guard Marissa Rodriguez grew up in the area before moving to San Antonio and playing high school basketball at San Antonio Reagan.
Taking Advantage Of National Spotlight
The Miners are 8-5 in national TV games during the Keitha Adams era, including 1-0 this year (66-60 win vs. Memphis). UTEP is also slated to play on national TV for the game at Rice (2/5/12), which will also be broadcast by Fox Sports Networks.
Success In Non-League Play
UTEP is 87-56 in non-conference play during the Keitha Adams era, which was aided by going 11-2 this year. The Miners have posted a school-record seven straight years of .500 or better in non-league play (prior standard four, 1994-95 through 1997-98).
In Brief 2010-11 Year-In-Review
UTEP overcame the loss of four key players to injuries at various points in the year on the way to finished with an overall record of 16-14 during the 2010-11 season. The Miners fought hard throughout the year, with a single-season school record 12 of the 14 setbacks coming by single digits. UTEP was 13-6 in El Paso, including 8-3 during non-conference play.
TRENDING WITH THE TEAM
The Miners are at 68.2 ppg in the past five games, an improvement from 57.6 ppg during the previous six. They hit 47.4 percent (27-57) from the floor at ECU (1/18/12), a big improvement upon their combined effort of 35.6 percent (88-247) in their first four league games. After making 29.4 percent (5-of-17) from three-point range against Tulsa (1/12/12), UTEP has dipped to 17.4 percent (4-of-23) since. It has back-to-back games with 20+ turnovers. The Miners had 15 or fewer in seven of the prior 10. UTEP made just 52.6 percent (10-of-19) at the free-throw line at ECU. It had nailed 76.6 percent (90-of-117) in the previous five games.
UTEP hasn’t allowed more than 63 points in regulation this season. Included in the stretch was keeping a program-best 10 straight opponents (prior mark, five, 2007-08) to fewer than 55 points, with six of those squads failing to crack the 50’s. UC Santa Barbara, which hit 40.8 percent from the floor on Dec. 21, is the only opponent to get into the 40’s. Nine have failed to eclipse 34%. UTEP has forced 18+ turnovers in three straight games, its best streak since doing so in the initial eight tilts. The Miners have registered 9+ steals in three straight games & 15 times total. UTEP has blocked 5+ shots in five consecutive contests & 12 occasions overall.
Not Just Winning But Winning Big
Twelve of UTEP’s 16 wins have come by double figures, which ranks as the fourth most in a single season at UTEP. The standard is held by the 2007-08 squad (18), followed by the 2006-07 team (15) & 1992-93 squad (13). Seven of the triumphs have been by at least 20 points, which only trails the eight such victories in 2006-07.
Even In Defeat, UTEP Is Competitive
Dating to the start of last season, 16 of the 18 setbacks in that timeframe have been by single digits. The Miners were saddled with a single-season school record 14 defeats by fewer than 10 points in 2010-11 while the two losses in 2011-12 have been by a combined three points.
Playing Time A Plenty
UTEP has 12 players earning double figures in minutes played (min. appearance in 75% of games played), which checks in as the most in the country according to Stats Inc. Sophomore guard Kelli Willingham tops the list at 26.1 mpg, while five others are snagging better than 17.0 mpg.
The Bench Bunch
The Miners’ back-ups are accounting for 36.4 points per game, which has been aided by 30+ points in 14 of the 18 contests. UTEP has six outings with 40+ points, including a Keitha Adams era best 55-point showing against Texas State (12/31/11).
Diving Deeper With The Reserves
UTEP’s bench has outscored the opposition’s reserves in every game, with a double-digit advantage in 17 of the 18 contests. Furthermore, the Miners’ reserves have either out-scored the opponent’s starters (eight) or matched them (two) 10 times.
Ready To Rebound
UTEP was out-rebounded in the first two games but has won the battle of the boards in 13 of 16 contests since. Overall the Miners boast a C-USA best +8.3 margin.
Controlling The Paint
UTEP is generating 33.1 points per game in the paint, which has been helped with 13 games of 28+ points. The Miners have eclipsed 40 points down low on six occasions. The opposition has managed just 21.0 ppg in the paint. Northern Colorado, which had 30 points in the paint on Dec. 13, is the lone foe to get above 28.
FRONT COURT VETS TRENDING
What Can Brown Do For You
Gloria Brown was the 2011 second-team all C-USA member & Newcomer/Sixth Player. After a two-game stretch with a total of 12 points, Brown has reached double figures in consecutive contests. Overall she has 11 such showing while managing at least eight points 16 times. She has 10+ rebounds in five of the past seven games. She had three such contests prior to the stretch. She was 3-of-5 at the line against ECU. She had made 18-of-19. Brown hit 7-of-8 shots against the Pirates, snapping out of a three-game shooting slump where she was at 28.0 percent (7-of-25). She has had at least four blocks in four of the past five tilts, and is responsible for 53 of the team’s 102 rejections on the year.
Junior Kristine Vitola has made huge strides from her first two seasons with UTEP. Her shooting percentage is up from 36.8 to 43.4, scoring average has gone from 4.7 to 5.8 & rebounding average moved from 3.3 to 6.1. She had six points at ECU (1/18/12), doubling her sum the prior two games. She hit 3-of-6 from the floor against the Pirates, emerging from a cold shooting stretch of 6-21 (28.6 percent) during the first four C-USA contests.
She has had four consecutive contests with four or fewer rebounds, which doubles the amount overall in the first 13 tilts. Vitola was 1-of-2 at the free-throw line vs the Idaho State (11/12/11) but has gone 23-of-25 since.
Sophomore Kayla Thornton has been an impact player with high-energy motor. She has reached double figures for scoring in four straight & five of the past six games. She did so five times in the 12 contests prior. Thornton had six boards at ECU (1/18/12), snapping a string of five in a row with at least seven. She was 2-of-4 at the line against the Pirates. She had made 18-of-21. She has 3+ offensive rebounds in six straight contests to surpass her sum (four) of in the first 12 tilts.
Junior Anete Steinberga, a two-year starter, has been utilized both as a reserve (14) and starter (three) this season. After tallying double figures just one in the first 15 games played, she has done so in two of the past three tilts. Steinberga has made 12-of-19 from the floor in the stretch. She had gone 2-of-12 in the previous four. Steinberga has defended smartly, with two or fewer fouls in 15 of the past 16 match-ups.
BACK COURT VETS TRENDING
Willingham’s Will To Succeed
Kelli Willingham, a 2011 All C-USA Freshman honoree, has registered back-to-back games (7/4) with at least four assists for the first time this season. She had three or fewer helpers in the prior seven games. She made both field goals attempted (threes) at ECU (1/18/12). She was 3-of-16 in the three games prior. She has logged 28+ minutes in three straight games & in six of the past eight. She did so just twice in the first 10 tilts. She has made four straight & 20 of the past 23 at the free-throw line.
No Ordinary Smith
Senior Kim Smith has been a quality on-ball defender while getting involved in the offense in her second & final season for the Miners. She has matched her career high (six) in assists in two of the past three games & has at least two helpers in 12 of 14. Smith had a career-high five boards at ECU (1/18/12), matching her sum from the prior six contests. She also had an offensive board against the Pirates, equaling her effort over the first 17 games. After starting 16 straight, Smith came off the bench vs. ECU.
Not Easy Being Green
Senior Briana Green, who has fought through a pair of season-ending injuries (freshman & junior),has played injury free this year. Green is scoreless in four straight & has eight points on 3-of-17 shooting in the past seven contests. She had 12 points while making 5-of-11 prior to the slump. After playing 20+ minutes in consecutive contests, she has earned a total of 26 in the five games since. She has hit multiple three pointers in a trio of contests, and is a combined 6-of-15 in them. In her other 15 games, Green is 4-of-20 from beyond-the-arc.
Second-year Miner & senior Erika Warren missed all five shots while being held scoreless at ECU (1/18/12). She had five points on 2-of-3 shooting to go along with a free throw at Tulane (1/15/12). She had fewer than 10 minutes of playing time in two of the first five games but hasn’t been in single digits since. After a stretch of nailing six free throws in a row, she has made two of her past five.
Senior Baiba Eglite is healthy & has appeared in 12 games as a senior. She has missed her past seven field goals, including 0-5 from three-point land. She had been 9-16 & 6-11, respectively prior to the stretch. Seven of her 10 FGM have been of the three-point variety.
Whitney Worth The Wait
Senior Whitney Houston transferred to UTEP from Colorado prior to the start of the 2010-11 season, but she missed a year-and-a half due to a knee injury. She has played in six contests. She has scored nine points, with five of them coming in six minutes against Texas State (12/31/11).
Freshman Chrishauna Parker was a top-50 guard nationally out of Atascocita HS. After coming off the bench for nine of her first 10 appearances, she has started the past seven contests. She had two points & two boards at both Tulane (1/15/12) & ECU (1/18/12), halting a personal-best stretch of three straight games with 6+ points & rebounds. Parker is 8-of-20 at the free-throw line over the previous eight contests. While her scoring has dipped of late, she has still gone 6-of-12 from the field in the past four contests.
Mendes Means Business
Junior Melisa Mendes was an all-conference performer at NW Florida State College. Mendes was scoreless at Tulane (1/15/12) & did not play at ECU (1/18/12). She had seven points against Tulsa (1/12/12). Mendes has made multiple three pointers in a quartet of contests, and is a combined 10-of-20 from distance in those games. She is 4-of-31 on triples in the other tilts on the year.
The Name Is Nash
Freshman Jenzel Nash joined UTEP as the program’s first Parade All-American after leading the nation in scoring with 37.7 ppg for Worthing HS. For the first time at the collegiate level she has scored 5+ points in consecutive contests, including a career-best 25 points at Tulane (1/15/12). She has played 14+ minutes six times this year, and is accounting for 12.8 ppg while hitting 44.4 percent from the floor (28-of-63) & 69.0 (20-29) at the free-throw line. In her other 11 games played, she has had 1.2 ppg while making 13.9 percent from the field (5-of-36) and 50.0 percent (2-of-4) at the charity stripe. She is 17-of-21 at the free-throw line in the past four games. She was 5-of-10 in that department to start the year. She has 10 rebounds the past two tilts, matching her sum from the previous nine. Nash made her first career start at ECU (1/18/12).
Lace It Up With Lacy
Sophomore Ryah Lacy, who led Grayson County College to a fifth-place finish nationally, has missed the past three games due an in injury. She made a combined 5-of-12 from the floor for 12 points against Houston Baptist (11/19/11 & NM State, 11/29/11). In her other 11 contests played she checks in at 5-of-25 for 11 points. She has posted one steal (or more) in 11 of her 13 games played.
Davis Does It
Syerra Davis, a top-50 guard who won three straight state titles with Tolleson HS, was 0-6 from the floor in her first five games as a Miner, but she is 3-of-5 in her six contests since. She had two boards against Texas State (12/31/11), matching her sum from the previous six. Half of her rebounds have been at the offensive end. She has been a DNP since C-USA play started.
Welcome Home, Marissa
Freshman Marissa Rodriguez grew up in El Paso before starring at San Antonio Reagan High School after her family moved. She has appeared in three games, securing four minutes and a rebound in that timeframe.
New Line Impacting Miners
The three-point line was moved back this year, and it has had an impact. Through 18 games, the Miners are down from 36.9 percent (114-of-309) in 2010-11 to 27.5 percent (86-of-313) on three-point shooting this season. The opposition has also suffered, though, slipping from 31.4 percent (102-of-325) to 24.3 (59-of-243).
Threes A Plenty Since 2008
From the time the three-point shot was introduced in college basketball (1986-87) through 2007-08, UTEP had eight games with at least 10 triples. The Miners have compiled 11 since, including one during the 2011-12 season.
185 Straight Games With A Triple
UTEP has made least one three-point shot in a program-record 185 straight games. The last time UTEP failed to fill up a triple in a contest was on Dec. 30, 2005. They have hit one in all but four games during Keith Adams’ era.
STAT LOVERS’ LANE
Jekyll & Hyde
There have been two different Miner clubs this year, with the Dr. Jekyll version showing up 16 times and the Mr. Hyde unit appearing on two occasions.
In 16 Wins (Average Stats)
Team Pts FG% 3fg% FT% RB TO
UTEP 70.4 41.3 27.9 69.5 44.8 16.3
Opp. 53.5 32.8 23.8 72.4 35.2 19.5
In 2 Losses (Average Stats)
Team Pts FG% 3fg% FT% RB TO
UTEP 46.5 34.0 23.3 51.9 37.5 15.0
Opp. 48.0 36.2 27.6 60.0 39.0 15.5
The Magical 70-Point Barrier
The Miners are 106-12 during the Keitha Adams era, including 7-0 this year, in games which they eclipsed 70 points.
UTEP holds a record of 88-15 in the past 103 contests in which it has hit on at least 40.5 percent from the field. The Miners are 10-0 in the situation this year.
It’s All About The Triple
UTEP sports a mark of 47-9 in its past 56 games when making 40 percent or better from three-point range (min. 5 3PM). The Miners are 1-0 in area this season.
Better Get Ready To Rebound
UTEP has a record of 102-41 under Keitha Adams, including 36-10 in the past 46 games, when out-rebounding the opposition. It is 11-1 in the situation this year, with the lone loss coming to UCSB (12/21/11).
Helping Hand Leads To Triumphs
UTEP is a robust 53-2 under Keitha Adams, including 4-0 this year, when registering at least 20 assists in a contest. Sharing hasn’t always been so common, though. UTEP compiled 19 such games from 1984-85 through 2000-01, going 13-6.
As Does Forcing Turnovers
The Miners are 63-15 over their past 78 games that they’ve forced the opposition into committing at least 20 turnovers. UTEP is 7-0 in the situation this year. Ten have committed 18 or more.
Turning Up The Pressure
UTEP is 62-12 during the Keitha Adams era, including 44-3 since the start of the 2006-07 campaign, when forcing the opposition into committing more turnovers than field goals made in a game. The Miners are 8-0 in the situation this year.
Making Free Throws Can Help
UTEP is 47-10 over the past 57 contests when knocking down better than 70 percent at the free-throw line (minimum 10 FTM), including 7-0 in 2011-12.
Finding A Way To Win When Not Though
Dating to the start of the 2006-07 campaign, the Orange and Blue boast a head-scratching mark of 23-11 in games in which they were below 61-percent from the free-throw line (minimum 10 attempts. They are 3-2 in that area this year.
The Miners are 16-8 in their past 24 regular-season contests, including 1-0 this year, in which they have made more three pointers than free throws.
Start Them Up
Adams Adding To Record With Every Win
Eleventh-year UTEP head coach Keitha Adams, the winningest coach in program history, has compiled a mark of 170-145 in her time in the Sun City. She has led her charges to a record of 167-120 from the start of the 2002-03 campaign. From the program’s inception in 1974-75 through the end of the 1990-91 season, six different coaches aided UTEP to a record of 145-286. Sandra Rushing was 123-175 in 11 seasons on the sideline (1990-91-2000-01).
Green’s Got It Going On
Briana Green’s career has been hindered with injuries (missed 29 games), making her numbers across the board even more impressive. She is sixth for individual wins (65) & 10th for assists (190). She is one of 25 Miners with at least 75+ steals (79) one of 27 with 600+ points (614). She has logged 2,050 minutes of playing time, making her one of 16 in the program to have 2000+.
Brown Getting It Done In All Areas
Gloria Brown will leave a big dent in the UTEP record books despite joining the program as a junior. She is currently first all time at the school for career field-goal percentage at 55.1 (215-390) & FT percentage at 79.8 (138-173). Brown has piled up 571 points to become the 11th Miner to reach the half-century mark as a junior transfer & 35th overall. Additionally she is tied for first in blocks per game (2.5), third for total blocks (118) & fourth in double-doubles (15).
Vitola’s A Big Shot Blocker Too
Junior Kristine Vitola has swatted 76 shots in her career, which ranks fifth all time at the school. She has also tallied 390 career points while grabbing 309 boards in 79 games play.
Steinberga Marching Toward 500
Junior Anete Steinberga is slowly but surely making the climb toward joining the 500-point club at UTEP. She had a season-best 15 points at East Carolina (1/18/12), and now stands at 433 for her career.
Was A Historic Start To The Season
UTEP opened up at 10-0 (now 15-2) to stand alone for the best start to a season in program history, besting the prior standard out of the gates (7-0) during the 1996-97 season. The Miners became the first Conference USA school since 2004-05 & fifth overall to open up with 10 straight wins. Overall it tied as the third-best start in league history.
Piled Up The Non-League Wins
UTEP went 11-2 in non-conference play. The 11 wins tied for the most in school history heading into the start of league action, matching the effort by the 2006-07 squad (11-1).
Nash’s Star Showing At Tulane
Freshman Jenzel Nash poured in 25 points to go along with seven rebounds and seven steals at Tulane (1/15/12). She is the second player in school history to have at least 25-7-7 (of that combination) in a single game. Former standout & current WNBA player Natasha Lacy achieved the feat with 25-8-8 in an 86-69 rout of Southern Miss in the semifinals of the 2008 C-USA tournament on March 8, 2008.
UTEP roared back from 19 down to defeat Memphis, 66-60, on Jan. 8. The come-from-behind triumph is the biggest in terms of league games for UTEP, eclipsing the prior standard (15) in a 67-64 defeat against UAB on Jan. 18, 2008. Overall it equals the effort by the Miners in 72-71 OT win against Illinois State on Dec. 19, 2004.
Now That’s Balance
The Miners racked up 81 points against Lamar (12/1/11) despite their leading scorer for the game (Melisa Mendes) finishing with only 10 points. UTEP averaged 47 points in 29 games dating to the 1983-84 season in which its leading scorer finished with 10 or fewer points. It only eclipsed 60 in one of those contests, with a 71-point effort against McNeese State on Nov. 24, 1989.
Dominant Three-Game Stretch
The Miners blew past Denver, 80-49, on Nov. 26, New Mexico State, 63-27, on Nov. 29 & Lamar, 81-52, on Dec. 1, which marked the first time they won three straight games by at least 29 points against a Division I foe for the first time in school history.
Historic Night Of Defense
UTEP smothered New Mexico State (11/29/11), setting program records against a division I opponent for fewest points allowed in a half (eight)and game (27) and field-goal percentage defense (18.4 percent). Additionally, it ranked as the third-fewest points permitted by a Conference USA school.
The Miners sunk 11 three pointers in the win against Denver (11/26/11), which rated tied for the seventh-highest single-game total in program history.
Crashing The Glass
UTEP secured 29 offensive rebounds, the third most in program history, which led to 33 second-chance points in the win against Houston Baptist (11/19/11). Overall the Miners tallied 60 rebounds, which was their highest sum since the 2005-06 season and tied for ninth overall in school history.
Gloria Was Glorious
Gloria Brown flirted with a triple-double (21 points, nine boards, eight blocks) while playing a career-high 31 minutes in the win at NM State (11/16/11). The eight rejections rate third all time at the school, trailing only former Miner Izabela Piekarska’s single-game effort (10, twice).
Double Your Pleasure
Gloria Brown posted a double-double (18/10) in the season opener, becoming the first Miner to register the feat in consecutive years. Overall she has 14 double-doubles in her two years at UTEP (4th all time), with six of those coming this season.
HOME SWEET HOME
Loving Life In El Paso
The Miners are 77-18 in El Paso since the start of the 2006-07 season, including 10-1 this year. Keitha Adams’ charges have strung together a school-record four straight seasons with 12 or more home triumphs. UTEP only had four campaigns where it even reached double figures in home wins during the first 27 years of the program, with the high water mark (12-1) coming in 1988-89.
Home Games A Plenty In 2011-12
By year’s end, the Miners will have played 17 home games (nine non-conference & eight C-USA), which ties as the third-highest figure in program history. The school standard (19 games, 13-6 record) was set last season, which was aided by the Miners playing host to the 2011 Conference USA Tournament. UTEP rolled to a record of 16-2 in 2006-07 while forging a mark of 12-5 in 2008-09.
Don’t Take Things For Granted
UTEP has posted a program-best nine straight years with at least nine home victories and boasts an overall record of 112-50 in El Paso during the Keitha Adams era. The Miners had six such seasons in the 27 years prior to her tenure, and were a combined 163-142.
Not Too Shabby Of A Homestand
UTEP rolled to a record of 5-0 in its homestand from Nov. 19 through Dec. 1. The Miners’ largest deficit during the sequence was three, 5-2 with 18:47 to play first half against Lamar. Overall UTEP only trailed for a combined time of two minutes and 25 seconds in the five games.
Road Wins Starting To Add Up
UTEP is off to a 6-1 start on the road, the best start away from home in program history. Overall the six triumphs ranks as the fourth most in a single-season at the school. The program record is 10 (2007-08) while the 1980-81 & 1992-93 squads each grabbed seven victories.
Making Progress On The Road
UTEP is 44-84 on the road under Keitha Adams, but they have made strides of late. UTEP is 32-33 away from home dating to the 2006-07 season, including the 6-1 record this year.
Appreciating The Efforts Under Adams
UTEP is almost ensured of its second winning record on the road under Keitha Adams & fourth year at .500 or better away from home. Prior to her arrival, the Miners’ never had a winning road mark & were at .500 just twice in 27 years.
Have Had Some Big Wins Away From Home
UTEP boasts 19 double-digit victories on the road under head coach Keitha Adams. The Miners had 27 such victories before her tenure, 13 were against non-DI schools.
Did You Know
The Miners are 2-1 on the year (wins at New Mexico & Tulane, loss at Arizona State) when falling shy of 33.5 percent from the floor in road games. UTEP had dropped 41 straight such contests dating to the 1996-97 campaign.
Miners Picked Fourth In Preseason Poll
UTEP was selected tied for fourth in the 2011-12 Conference USA Preseason Poll, as voted upon the league’s 12 head coaches. Gloria Brown was tabbed to the all-conference preseason team, which was also revealed by the league office on Oct. 6. Memphis was selected as the preseason favorite, with Tiger guard Brittany Carter being named the preseason player of the year.
Getting It Done Of Late In League Openers
UTEP is 6-2 since 2005 in league openers, including 4-1 at home during that time frame. Overall, the Miners are 6-5 in conference christeners during the Keitha Adams era. They were
3-12 before her.
Especially On The Road
The Miners are now 3-2 in league openers on the road since 2008 & are 4-7 overall in the situation under head coach Keitha Adams. UTEP was 4-16 prior to Adams’ tenure in its initial conference road contest.
THIS IS UTEP WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
UTEP has piled up more than 100 victories since the start of the 2006-07 season.
UTEP has posted a school-record five straight seasons with a record of .500 or better in the sequence
Only 20+ win seasons and postseason appearance at school occurred during stretch
UTEP went 28-4 in 2007-08, including historic 16-0 in Conference USA play
Effort tied the 1966 men’s national champions for most wins by a basketball team in school history
Advanced to second round of ‘08 NCAA Tournament after drilling Western Kentucky, 92-60
Nationally ranked in polls final six weeks of ‘07-08 and received votes at start of ‘08-09
One of eight schools in country with multiple players chosen in ‘08 WNBA Draft
All players who have exhausted eligibility under head coach Adams have graduated
CLIFF’S NOTES ON THE 2011-12 SEASON
Nash Carries Miners Past Tulane, 65-64 In OT
Jenzel Nash poured in a career-high 25 points, and UTEP got three stops in the final 45 seconds on the way to handing Tulane its first home loss of the season, 65-64, on Jan. 15. Nash scored six points in the extra session, including banking in a jump shot with 1:11 to play in OT that would serve as the eventual game-winner.
It’s Not Over ‘Til The Fat Lady Sings
The Miners closed regulation on a 12-3 run to force OT in the eventual win at Tulane (1/15/12). Kayla Thornton hit her first three pointer of the season to pull UTEP within one (55-54, 1:27 to play), and Gloria Brown eventually tied it by sinking two clutch free throws with 20 seconds to play.
Brown Tabbed C-USA Player Of The Week
Gloria Brown was named the Conference USA Player of the Week, the league office announced on Jan. 9. Brown helped lead the Miners to a perfect 2-0 start in league action by averaging 12.5 points, 11 rebounds, 5.0 blocks and 2.5 steals in 23.5 minutes.
UTEP Topples Tulsa, 67-56
Kayla Thornton scored 17 points and UTEP used a solid approach defensively on the way to downing Tulsa, 67-56, on Jan. 12. The Miners led the final 37:45 of the game, and were up by at least seven points over the final 10 minutes.
Tulsa hit just 29.4 percent from the floor, and had only six second-half field goals. It finished with more free-throws made (23) and turnovers committed (20) than total field goals (15).
Steinberga Steps Up
Stunning Comeback Lifts UTEP Past Memphis, 66-60
UTEP equaled the biggest comeback in school history, erasing a 19-point halftime deficit to down Memphis, 66-60, on Jan. 8. The Miners used a 36-12 surge, including a 17-0 run to start the stanza, to not only erase the 41-22 deficit but take a lead they would never relinquish. The Tigers pulled within two (62-60) with 24 seconds left but UTEP sealed the comeback by knocking down its final four free throws.
Nash Was Big
Jenzel Nash was instrumental in the rally. Nash scored the first five points and nine total during a 17-0 run to open the period and get UTEP back in the game. After Memphis had pulled back ahead, the Miners struck back with eight in a row, and six of them came from Nash. She hit 7-of-11 from the floor and was 7-of-9 at the charity stripe.
Thornton Was Too
Big Rebounding Night Sends UTEP Past SMU
Gloria Brown posted her third consecutive double-double (17 points, 11 rebounds), Kelli Willingham added 16 points and UTEP crushed SMU on the boards in a 64-53 win inside Moody Coliseum on Jan. 8. The Miners out-rebounded the Mustangs 52-28,including a dominant readout of 32-9 in the second half. The effort afforded UTEP an advantage of 15-4 on second-chance points, with 13 of those points coming over the final 20 minutes.
Welcome Back, Kristine
Kristine Vitola was back on the court after missing one game due to an illness, and she looked to be in good form at SMU (1/5/12). The junior toyed with a double-double before finishing with nine points & eight boards in 29 minutes of action.
That’s How You Close Out A Contest
UTEP led by two (55-53) with 3:10 to play but out-scored SMU 9-0 down the stretch to close out the contest in style. The Miners iced it late by going 5-of-6 at the free-throw line in the final minute of action.
UTEP Thrashes Texas State, 81-58
Kayla Thornton poured in a career-high 20 points, Gloria Brown notched her second straight double-double (10 points, 13 rebounds) and Baiba Eglite provided a spark off the bench with a season-high 11 points to help UTEP rout Texas State, 81-58, on Dec. 31. The Miners trailed 12-8 with 10:36 to play in the first half before going on a 17-5 run on the way to taking control of the contest. Eglite fueled the sequence with a trio of three pointers, and the Bobcats who had won three in a row- never recovered.
Houston Shows Her Skills
Senior Whitney Houston, who made her UTEP debut at Arizona State (12/28/11), displayed some scoring ability by pitching in five points in six minutes of action against Texas State (12/31/11).
Arizona State Holds Off UTEP, 47-45
Kelli Willingham’s potential go-ahead three pointer from the right wing was blocked with seven seconds to play, allowing Arizona State to creep past UTEP, 47-45, inside Wells Fargo Arena on Dec. 28. It was a back-and-forth defensive battle, with seven ties & nine lead changes. The Miners trailed by four (47-43) with 1:20 remaining in regulation but held the Sun Devils scoreless down the stretch to give themselves a chance at a comeback.
Vitola Has Another Big Night On Boards
Kristine Vitola notched her third double-digit rebounding effort to that point with a career-high 11 boards at Arizona State (12/28/11).
UTEP Falls For First Time, 49-48, To UCSB
UTEP was saddled with its first loss of the season in challenging fashion, falling to UC Santa Barbara, 49-48, on a last-second shot by Sweets Underwood at home on Dec. 21. The Miners led 47-40 with 2:56 to play only to have the Gauchos close out in the contest on a 9-2 push, which was capped by Underwood’s short jumper off an out-of-bounds play with 0.4 seconds remaining.
Sometimes Shots Don’t Fall
UTEP finished at 35.2 percent from the floor (19-of-54), with a readout of 18.8 percent (3-of-16) from three-point land impacting that figure. The Miners heated up in the second stanza to drill 45.5 percent from the floor, including 2-of-4 from distance, but ultimately it wasn’t enough.
Miners Pick Up Votes In ESPN/USA Top-25 Poll
UTEP received a pair of votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ top-25 poll on Dec. 19. It marked the earliest point in a season that UTEP had garnered votes in either of the top-25 polls, besting prior mark from 2007-08 season.
Miners Roll To 68-48 Win At Loyola Marymount
Kelli Willingham poured in a season-high 18 points to help lead UTEP to a 68-48 triumph at Loyola Marymount on Dec. 17. The Miners bolted out to a 15-2 lead. The Lions fought back to trim the deficit to four on a couple of occasions but the Miners used a 14-6 surge to carry a 37-25 advantage into the locker room. LMU never got closer than eight from that point on.
Brown Powers Miners Past UNC, 74-51
Gloria Brown recorded her third double-double of the season (16 points, 11 rebounds)to help the Miners post a 74-51 conquest of Northern Colorado at home on Dec. 13. The Miners were up 19-17 with 9:17 to play in the first half before putting together a 20-2 run to break the game wide open. They led 41-27 at the half, pushed their advantage out to as many as 31 (74-43).
Balanced Approach Does It
Seven different players scored at least six points against Northern Colorado (12/13/11). Gloria Brown keyed the efforts with 16 while Anete Steinberga registered a season-high 11 points to join her in double figures. Chrishauna Parker (nine points), Kayla Thornton and Kelli Willingham (eight points) and Kristine Vitola and Baiba Eglite (six points) all got in the act as well.
Willingham Dishes It Out
Sophomore Kelli Willingham tallied a season-high nine assists while committing only one turnover to help the Miners turn in an efficient offensive night against Northern Colorado (12/13/11). UTEP finished with 20 assists on 28 field-goals made.
UTEP Smothers New Mexico, 53-43
Stifling defense, a quality effort at the free-throw line and baskets at key times carried UTEP past New Mexico, 53-43, on the road on Dec. 10. Gloria Brown (12 points, 7 rebounds), Briana Green (10 points), Kelli Willingham (10 points) and Kristine Vitola (six points, 10 rebounds) led the way for the Miners.
UTEP kept the Lobos to 25.5 percent from the floor and harassed them into committing 22 turnovers.
Winning At The Pit Is Always Special
Thanks to the effort at New Mexico (12/10/11), the Miners picked up their first win at The Pit since the 1994-95 season to stand at fourth all time (4-20). Additionally, it marked the Lobos’ first double-digit home setback of the season.
Miners Crush Lamar, 81-52
UTEP played its most complete game of the year to remain undefeated on the season with a resounding 81-52 victory against Lamar on Dec. 1. Eight different players scored at least seven points for the Miners (7-0).UTEP bolted out to a 39-21 halftime lead, extended it to as many as 36 (79-43) before putting it on cruise control down the stretch.
How Sweep It Is; UTEP Crushes NM State, 63-27
Behind stifling defense, UTEP cruised past New Mexico State, 63-27, to complete the sweep of the Sonic Battle of I-10 series at the Don Haskins Center on Nov. 29. The Miners led 23-8 at the break and were up by at least 30 points over the final 10 minutes of the contest. It marked the largest margin of victory in the series for the Miners and the second-biggest overall.
UTEP limited NM State to just 9-of-49 shooting from the floor, including 1-of-11 from beyond-the-arc on Nov. 29. The Miners also harassed the visitors into committing 25 points, only two shy of the Aggies’ point total.
Break Out The Brooms
The effort against NM State (11/29/11) locked up the Miners’ first sweep of the series since 2007-08 and ninth overall. Five of the sweeps have come during Keitha Adams’ tenure. UTEP is now 13-9 against the Aggies under Adams, making her the lone coach in school history to have a winning record against their Sonic I-10 rivals.
UTEP Stomps Denver, 80-49,
UTEP overpowered Denver, 80-49, in a clash of unbeaten squads on Nov. 26. Sophomore Kelli Willingham poured in a season-high 18 points to lead a quartet of players in double figures. UTEP was up, 40-26, at the half and led by as many as 38 (80-42) at one point. The Miners drilled 11 threes (t7th-most school history), with Willingham making four of them.
Getting It Done At The Line
UTEP used good movement & motion to earn ample trips to the free-throw line against Denver (11/26/11). The Miners hit a campaign-best 19-of-27 at the free-throw line.
UTEP Takes Down UTPA, 62-51
Powered by Gloria Brown’s second double-double on the year, UTEP dispatched UTPA, 62-51, on Nov. 22. The Miners jumped out to a 29-17 lead at the half, extended it to as many as 19 (58-39 with 4:56 to play) before a mini run late made the final score a little more aesthetically pleasing for UTPA. The Miners dominated down low, scoring 40 of their 62 points in the paint, in addition to winning the rebounding battle, 40-35.
Brown & Vitola Got It Done
Gloria Brown led the way for the Orange and Blue with 13 points, 11 rebounds while also registering five blocked shots against UTPA (11/22/11). Kristine Vitola recorded eight points to go along with five boards to support Brown.
Plenty Of Playing Time
Head coach Keitha Adams used 14 of the 15 played dressed in the win against UTPA (11/22/11). Twelve of those 14 logged at least 10 minutes on the court.
UTEP Routs Houston Baptist, 82-53
Kayla Thornton posted a double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds) while freshman Jenzel Nash poured in a career-high 18 points to propel UTEP past Houston Baptist, 82-53, at home on Nov. 19. The Huskies led 2-0 led but the Miners used an 11-0 run to stake an advantage they would never relinquish. UTEP led 43-17 at the half before putting it on cruise control in the second half.
Big Rebounding Nights For Vitola & Warren
Kristine Vitola and Erika Warren both got after it on the glass with nine rebounds each. The nine board is a career high for Warren,while it matched Vitola’s personal-best at the time (since eclipsed).
Nash Finds Her Rhythm
Jenzel Nash was 0-7 from the floor in her first two collegiate games before breaking through against Houston Baptist (11/19/11). She nailed 8-of-16 from the floor, including a dazzling fake on a one-on-one situation midway through the second half on a lay-up to bring the crowd to life. She finished with a team-high 18 points.
Brown Leads UTEP To 76-72 OT Win At NM State
Gloria Brown poured in 21 points while grabbing nine rebounds and blocking eight shots to help lead UTEP to a 76-72 overtime victory at New Mexico State in the SONIC® ® America’s Drive-In® battle of I-10 on Nov. 16. The Aggies scored the first two points of OT before the Miners ripped off nine straight to surge ahead, 70-63, with 3:03 to play. NM State eventually whittled the margin down to two (74-72) but Melisa Mendes came up with a clutch steal and sank a pair of free throws with six seconds left to seal the win.
Other Standouts At NM State
Chrishauna Parker delivered 11 points and five rebounds in 27 minutes in her first career start while Melissa Mendes. Kristine Vitola came through with eight points-including six in OT- to go along with eight rebounds.
UTEP trailed by as many as nine in the first half and was down by six with 9:27 to play. The Miners utilized a 17-3 run over the next seven-plus minutes on the way to surging into the lead (60-52). NM State forced OT by closed the period on a 9-1 run, including a lay-up at the buzzer.
UTEP Rides Big Second Half To Topple ISU, 79-63
UTEP thumped Idaho State, 53-28, during a dominating second half on the way to securing a 79-63 win in the 2011-12 season opener for both squads at the Don Haskins Center on Nov. 12.
Defense Does It
The Miners held the Bengals to 30.8 percent (16-of-52) from the floor, including just 4-of-26 (15.4) in the second half. ISU committed 27 turnovers, which led to 28 UTEP points.
Unselfish play helped with UTEP registering 20 assists on 29 field goals against Idaho State (11/12). Kelli Willingham & Kim Smith accounted for half of them, with five helpers each.
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