UTEP To Play At Rice In National TV Tilt
Feb. 3, 2012
THE OPENING ACT
UTEP To Play At Rice In National TV Tilt
UTEP will return to the hardwood to play at Rice at 10 a.m. MST in a nationally-televised tilt (Fox Sports Networks) on Sunday. The Miners (19-2, 8-0 C-USA) have been idle since derailing UCF, 65-38, for their eighth straight victory. The Owls (11-11, 5-4 C-USA) had a three-tilt win streak snapped with a 65-57 loss at Marshall on Feb. 2. Ron Thulin (play-by-play) & Debbie Antonelli (color) will have the call for FSN. The game will also be broadcast locally in El Paso on 1150 AM & fans can get live updates through following the team’s official Twitter feed (@UTEPWBB).
Match-Up Of 300+Win Coaches
The contest pits two of the five active head coaches in Conference USA women’s basketball with 300+ career victories. UTEP’s Keitha Adams and Rice’s Greg Williams both joined the club with respective triumphs on Jan. 26.
On The Cusp Of 20 Wins
This year’s Miners are on the verge of becoming the third in program history to reach the 20-win plateau. The school standard was set by the 2007-08 team (28-4), with the 2006-07 squad (22-8) checking in second all time.
Putting The Success In Perspective
For the fourth time in the past six seasons, the Miners have posted at least 18 wins. Prior to Keitha Adams’ tenure, the Miners only had one campaign with more than 16 victories, which came when the 1992-93 squad finished at 18-10.
Have Enjoyed 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).
Getting Some Love Nationally
UTEP has received votes in both major top-25 polls in consecutive weeks for the first time since the 2007-08 campaign and second occasion overall in program history, The Miners were tied for 36th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll with three votes while sharing a spot for 38th with four votes in the AP version.
Off & Running In League Play
The Miners are off to an 8-0 start in league play for 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. Overall, there have now been seven league teams to open up at 8-0.
Getting It Done On The Road
The Miners have surged to a school-record 7-1 start on the road, topping the prior standard at this juncture (6-2 in 2007-08). Overall, the seven road wins rank tied as the second most in a single season in program history (1980-81 & 1992-93). The season standard for top mark in hostile territory is 10-3 (2007-08).
Flying High At Home
UTEP stands at 12-1 at home, which rates tied as the second-best mark at the point in program history. The 1988-89 squad did so (finished 12-1), as did the 2006-07 team (finished 16-2). The only undefeated home mark in program history was in the 2007-08 campaign (14-0).
Not To Mention Overall
With a record of 19-2, the Miners have equaled their best record through 21 games in school history (2007-08). That 2007-08 squad climbed to 27-2 before suffering its third loss of the season & finished at a program-best 28-4.
It’s A Streak Thing
The Miners have two separate winning streaks of at least five games this year (10 & 9) to become the second team in program history to achieve the feat. The 1992-93 squad also did, but it used short surges (7 & 5 contests.
Pretty Select Company
UTEP is one of nine teams nationally to be both undefeated in league play & have two or fewer total losses.
Getting It Done Against Top-100 RPI
UTEP is 3-1 vs. teams currently in the top-100 of the RPI, with wins at Tulane (36), Idaho State (64) & Memphis (82) and a two-point setback at Arizona State (51).
Not To Mention League Leaders
The Miners are 4-0 against teams currently in first place of their league.
We Meet Again
Rice leads the overall series, 23-11, but the Miners have had some success of late. UTEP has posted a mark of 9-4 against the Owls since the start of the 2006-07 season. RU has the upper hand, though, at home with a mark over 14-3. The two teams split the season series last year, with the Owls staking a 76-69 triumph at home on Feb. 17, 2011.
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
Four 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 start a two-game homestand when it plays host to Marshall at 7:05 p.m. MST Thursday, Feb. 9. All kids will get in free.
GOING BACK IN TIME
UTEP Overwhelms UCF, 67-38
Senior Briana Green scored a season-high 13 points, and UTEP defended with vigor in a 67-38 rout of UCF in front of a campaign-best 4,029 fans at home on Jan. 29. The Miners led by double figures for the final 30 minutes of the contest, including being up by 20+ over the last 14 minutes. Freshman Jenzel Nash came off the pine to join Green in double figures (12).
Points At A Premium
UCF managed just 38 points, which tied as the second-fewest points permitted by the Miners in a league game in program history. It was just one off of tying the school standard, which was set in a 52-37 Miners’ triumph at New Mexico (3/1/95).
Draining It From Distance
UTEP nailed 53.3 percent (8-of-15) from three-point range, its second-best readout on the season. Jenzel Nash, who was 2-of-15 from distance entering the tilt, was 2-of-3 while Briana Green sank all three tries.
Best Fan Support In C-USA
UTEP leads C-USA in attendance with 1,785 fans on average, including 3,072 fans per game sine the onset of league play. Helping that figure has been eclipsing 2,000 fans in five of the past five contests and seven times overall in 2011-12.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
The 411 On Rice As An Institution
Rice University is located in Houston, Texas, and it has a current enrollment of 5,760. The school opened in 1912 and was founded after the controversial passing of its namesake, prominent businessman William Marsh Rice, who left a $4.6 million (equates to $112 million now) founding endowment in his will. Rice has plenty of notable names to have attended the school. Among them are Lance Berkman (MLB all-star), Thomas Cruikshank (former chairman & CEO of Haliburton), Howard Hughes (once richest man in world), John Kline (US Congressman) and Peggy Whitson (U.S. Astronaut.)
The 411 On Rice Basketball
Rice’s program was started for the 1978-79 season. The Owls have garnered eight postseason bids, all of which have come since the 1997-98 campaign. RU has been a participant in the WNIT six times, most recently in 2007. It has played in a pair of NCAA Tournaments, with the last bid occurring in 2005. The Owls have been affiliated with a trio of leagues, including Conference USA since 2005-06.
Get To Know The Rice Head Coach
Rice is under the direction of seventh-year head coach Greg Williams, who sports a record of 100-111 at the helm of his alma mater’s women’s basketball program. Overall Williams stands at 301-250 in 18 years as a collegiate head coach. He has an extensive background, having started his coaching career immediately upon graduating from Rice in 1970. He served as a student assistant for a squad which won its league title. He was a full-time assistant at the school from 1971-76. His first head coaching job came with the Dallas Diamonds of the WBL. Other head coaching experiences include Houston, Colorado State and the Detroit Shock.
Looking At The Rice Season
Rice opened up the year with a pair of losses before posting a season-best four-game win streak. It then endured a stretch of 2-6 but recovered nicely by claiming five of the next six tilts. The sequence came to a close with a 65-57 setback at Marshall (2/12/12) last time out. Overall Rice is 11-11, 5-4 C-USA play. It has excelled at home, though, standing 7-3 , including a flawless 4-0 in league action.
This And That On Rice’s Offense
It is a two-headed attack for Rice, with Jessica Kuster (17.4 ppg) and Briana Hypolite (10.8) leading the way. No other Owl contributes more than 6.0 ppg. Kuster (43.7 percent) is the lone regular to connect on better than 35 percent from the field. Rice likes the triple, with three players, Jessica Goswitz (28), Hypolite (23) & D’Frantz Smart (21) all making better than 20 on the season. Megan Shafer( 17) has gotten in on the act as well. Rice crashes the glass, with Kuster (71-3.6), Goswitz (45-2.0) & Christal Porter (44-2.0) accounting for more than two offensive rebounds per contest. Smart is the only player with more assists (82) than turnovers (56).
This And That On Rice’s Defense
Jessica Kuster has blocked 40 of the team’s 89 shots, and is at 11.4 rebounds per game (fifth nationally). Christal Porter (5.2) is the only other player with more than 5.0 boards per contest. D’Frantz Smart (70 steals) leads a trio of Owls with more then 30 steals, helping the team rank second in C-USA at 11.7 spg. After giving up 96 points in the second game of the year at Oklahoma State, Rice hasn’t permitted more than 70 points. Ten of those squads have been limited to fewer than 60.
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 437-584, including 19-2 this year. 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 174-145 in her 11th year at the school, including 19-2 this year. Overall Adams is 301-182 in her 16th season as a collegiate head coach, (127-37 at Independence Community College), making her one of five active C-USA coaches with 300+ triumphs. Four of the five seasons in program history with at least 18 wins have been in her tenure. Additionally, seven of the 10 campaigns all time at UTEP with 16+ wins are courtesy of Adams. 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 19-2 in 2011-12, the Miners are now 171-120 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
UTEP posted a school-record eight seasons with a winning mark through 15 games (prior standard four) & a program-best seven consecutive campaigns for the 20-contest juncture. 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.
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
For the second time this season, UTEP has tallied 67+ points in three straight games ... better than 44.0% from floor in three of past four ... combined 35.6% first four league games ... 20+ turnovers in three of past five tilts, matching sum of such contests over first 16 ... 78.0% (32-of-41) at free-throw line past two games ... 56.4% (22-of-39) prior two ... 21 three-pointers on 24.7% shooting in six-game slump ... nailed 22 triples at readout of 39.3% in past three tilts .. 20+ assists in two of past three contests to nearly match sum of such games (three) to start year ... season-low eight offensive boards vs. UCF (1/29/12) ... averaged 16 during prior 12 games, with 19+ five times.
UTEP Hasn’t allowed more than 63 points in regulation ... eight opponents have fallen shy of 50 ... 19 of 21 teams have shot worse than 40 percent ... 11 haven’t eclipsed 34% ... forced 18+ turnovers in five of past six games ... blocked 6+ shots 13 contests, including three games with nine ... after allowing Memphis (1/8/12) to go 5-of-11 on threes (45.5%), opponents have made just 20.5% (15-of-73) ... overall opponents made 32.8% (375-1143) from the floor while tallying 52.2 ppg ... effort has resulted in +16.6 scoring margin.
Records Are Made To Be Broken
The school standards for field-goal percentage defense (36.5; 2005-06), rebounding margin (+7.0, 1992-93), scoring defense (57.2, 1992-93) and scoring margin (+9.6, 2007-08) are in serious jeopardy, while the record for blocked shots in a season (171, 1981-82) could be had as well.
Not Just Winning But Winning Big
The Miners have posted a school-record nine wins by at least 20 points this season, while compiling 14 double-digit triumphs. The program standard for double-figure victories is 18 (2007-08), followed by the 2006-07 team (15).
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 tied for most in the country according to Stats Inc. Sophomore guard Kelli Willingham tops the list at 25.8 mpg, while five others are snagging better than 17.0 mpg.
30-Minutes Not The Norm
Only 12 times this year has a Miner had 30 minutes or more of playing time, with Kelli Willingham (five) & Kayla Thornton (five) sharing the honors for most on the team. Gloria Brown & Jenzel Nash are the only others to do so.
The Bench Bunch
The Miners’ back-ups are accounting for 37.5 points per game, which has been aided by 30+ points in 16 of the 21 contests. UTEP has eight 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 20 of the 21 contests. Furthermore, the Miners’ reserves have either out-scored the opponent’s starters (nine) or matched them (three) 12 times.
Ready To Rebound
UTEP was out-rebounded in the first two games but has won the battle of the boards in 16 of 19 contests since. With a +9.2 margin, the Miners are on track to break the school standard (+7.0) which was set in 1992-93.
Controlling The Paint
UTEP is generating 32.7 points per game in the paint, which has been helped with 15 games of 29+ points. The Miners have eclipsed 40 points down low on six occasions. The opposition has managed just 21.4 ppg in the paint, with only two teams (Northern Colorado (30, 12/13/11) & at Southern Miss (38, 1/26/12) topping 29.
FRONT COURT VETS TRENDING
What Can Brown Do For You
Gloria Brown was the 2011 second-team all C-USA member & Newcomer/Sixth Player ... 10 blocked shots past two games, nearly matching sum (11) from prior three ... 16-of-28 from field past four games to snap out of slump of 28.0 percent (7-25) prior three ... at least four blocks in six of past eight tilts ... grabbed 26 rebounds past two games, including 2nd-most ever (19) in school history at USM (1/26/12) ... 10+ boards in six of past 10 tilts.
Junior Kristine Vitola has made huge strides from her first two seasons with UTEP ... shooting percentage up from 36.8 to 44.1, scoring average gone from 4.7 to 6.1 & rebounding average moved from 3.3 to 6.3 ... averaging 8.0 ppg & at 50.0% from floor past four games ... 4.0 ppg & at 28.6% in prior seven ...grabbed 20 rebounds last three games ... had nine prior three ... missed three free throws first 18 games (24-of-27) of year before going 2-of-5 at Southern Miss (1/26/12) but was perfect (2-2) vs. UCF (1/29/12).
Sophomore Kayla Thornton has been an impact player with high-energy motor ... after five straight & six of seven with 10+ points, scored 12 points past two games ... 8+ boards in five of six but has 10 total boards last two tilts ... two offensive boards vs. UCF (1/29/12), halting eight-run game of 3+ ... played 30+ minutes five times, which shares the team lead.
Junior Anete Steinberga, a two-year starter, has been used as both reserve (15) and starter (6) this year ... had 8 points while making 4-of-5 vs. UCF (1/29/12) ... 4 points on 0-of-8 shooting prior two tilts ... 23 boards past four games to match total from prior nine ... seven assists past three games to match sum prior 13 ... started past three times.
BACK COURT VETS TRENDING
Willingham’s Will To Succeed
Kelli Willingham was a 2011 All C-USA Freshman honoree who has played well again this year ... 1-6 from floor vs. UCF (1/29/12) ... 8-17 prior three games ... three offensive boards first 19 games but has two since ... made 5-of-10 past three pointers after going 1-of-5 vs. Houston (1/22/12) ... turnover-free against UCF ... had five at Southern Miss (1/26/12) ... hadn’t committed more than three previously this year ... played 30+ minutes five times, which shares the team lead.
No Ordinary Smith
Senior Kim Smith has been a quality on-ball defender while getting involved in the offense ... has only one game with more turnovers than assists on year ... overall is team-best +30 (59-29), aided by 14 helpers to three giveaways past four contests ... 13 rebounds last four games to top sum (12) prior 11 .. tallied 4+ points a total of four times in the first 14 contests on the year ... done so in four of past seven.
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 ... season-high 13 points vs UCF (1/29/12) to almost match sum (14) from prior nine ... made 3-3 from distance vs. UCF to get out of 2-of-12 skid ... 6-of-11 from field overall past three games .. was 3-of-17 prior eight ... 9-of-18 in four games with 2+ triples ... 4-of-22 when failing to do so.
Second-year Miner & senior Erika Warren has
been both reserve (16) & starter (four) this year ... 2-of-4 shooting for 7 points vs. Houston (1/22/12) ... five points on 2-6 shooting in two games since ... 11 turnovers past three contests, matching sum from prior 11 tilts ... nailed six straight free throws at one point but is 5-of-11 since ...played 7 minutes vs. UCF, halting string of 14 straight with 10+.
Senior Baiba Eglite is healthy & has appeared in 14 games as a senior ... tallied 9 points, all on triples vs. Houston (1/22/12) ... attempted just one FG in 11 combined minutes in two games since ... 10 of 13 FGM have been of three-point variety.
Whitney Worth The Wait
Senior Whitney Houston transferred to UTEP from Colorado prior to the start of the 2010-11 season ... missed a year-and-a half due to knee injury ... logged double figures in two of past three games ... 19 points on year, with three separate contests of five points ... 1-5 from three over first six appearances but has hit on 2-of-4 since.
Mendes Means Business
Junior Melisa Mendes was an all-conference performer at NW Florida State College ... hit 1-of-2 shots against UCF (1/29/12) ... 10-of-39 prior six games ... 1-of-2 from three-point range against Memphis (1/8/12) but is 2-of-14 since ... two offensive boards at Southern Miss (1/26/12) to surpass total over prior six ... 10-of-20 from three when making multiple triples in a quartet of games ... 5-of-38 in other tilts.
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 ... played 14+ minutes eight times this year and is accounting for 11.9 ppg, with 44.3 percent shooting (30-of-68) & a readout of 66.7 (22-of-33) at FT-line ... other 12 games played has 1.4 ppg, 15.0 percent (6-40) and 4-of-6 (66.7) at line ... 21-27 at FT line past six games ... 5-of-10 to start year ... 2-of-3 from three-point range vs. UCF (1/29/12) ... 2-of-15 prior ... 19 rebounds past five games to eclipse sum (18) from first 15 ... has started two of past four contests.
Davis Does It
Syerra Davis was a top-50 guard who won three straight state titles with Tolleson HS ... 0-6 first five games as a Miner but 6-of-10 since ... has scored in past four appearances ... half of her boards are offensive.
Welcome Home, Marissa
Freshman Marissa Rodriguez grew up in El Paso before starring at San Antonio Reagan High School after her family moved ... has appeared in three game ... secured 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 21 games, the Miners are down from 36.4 percent (124-of-341) in 2010-11 to 29.3 percent (108-of-369) on three-point shooting this season. The opposition has also suffered, though, slipping from 30.9 percent (113-of-366) to 23.6 (64-of-271).
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.
188 Straight Games With A Triple
UTEP has made least one three-point shot in a program-record 188 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 19 times and the Mr. Hyde unit appearing on two occasions.
In 19 Wins (Average Stats)
Team Pts FG% 3fg% FT% RB TO
UTEP 71.1 41.4 29.8 69.9 45.4 16.4
Opp. 52.6 32.5 23.1 70.9 35.1 19.2
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 108-12 during the Keitha Adams era, including 9-0 this year, in games which they eclipsed 70 points.
UTEP holds a record of 90-15 in the past 105 contests in which it has hit on at least 40.5 percent from the field. The Miners are 12-0 in the situation this year.
It’s All About The Triple
UTEP sports a mark of 48-9 in its past 57 games when making 40 percent or better from three-point range (min. 5 3PM), including 2-0 this year.
Better Get Ready To Rebound
UTEP has a record of 105-41 under Keitha Adams, including 39-10 in the past 49 games, when out-rebounding the opposition. It is 14-1 in the situation this year, with the lone loss coming to UCSB (12/21/11).
Helping Hand Leads To Triumphs
UTEP is a robust 55-2 under Keitha Adams, including 6-0 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 64-15 over their past 78 games that they’ve forced the opposition into committing at least 20 turnovers. UTEP is 8-0 in the situation this year. Eleven foes have committed 18 or more.
Turning Up The Pressure
UTEP is 64-12 during the Keitha Adams era, including 46-3 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 10-0 in the situation this year.
Making Free Throws Can Help
UTEP is 48-10 over the past 58 contests when knocking down better than 70 percent at the free-throw line (minimum 10 FTM), including 8-0 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 24-11 in games in which they were below 61-percent from the free-throw line (minimum 10 attempts. The Miners are 4-2 in that situation this year.
The Miners are 17-8 in their past 25 regular-season contests, including 2-0 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 174-145 in her time in the Sun City. She has led her charges to a record of 171-120 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 (69) & 10th for assists (196). She is one of 25 Miners with at least 75+ steals (79) one of 27 with 600+ points (633). She has logged 2,094 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 54.6 (224-410) & FT percentage at 80.7 (155-192). Brown has piled up 607 points to become the 10th Miner to have at least 600 after transferring in as a junior & 28th overall. Additionally she is tied for first in blocks per game (2.5), third for total blocks (128) & fourth in double-doubles (16).
Vitola’s A Big Shot Blocker Too
Junior Kristine Vitola has swatted 81 shots in her career, which ranks fifth all time at the school. She has also tallied 416 career points while grabbing 329 boards in 82 games played.
Looking Back On 10-0 Start
UTEP opened up at 10-0 (now 19-2) 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).
Brown Delivers The Goods Vs. USM
Gloria Brown poured in a career high 27 points, aided by making a school-record 17 free throws, while grabbing the second-most rebounds (19) in program history in a dominant display at Southern Miss (1/26/12). She also equaled the school standard for free-throws attempted (19).
UTEP Stomps Houston, 87-43
UTEP bolted out to a 41-21 lead at the half and never looked back on the way throttling Houston, 87-43, to secure its largest margin of victory in a conference game in program history on Jan. 22.
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 16 double-doubles in her two years at UTEP (4th all time), with eight of those coming this season.
HOME SWEET HOME
Loving Life In El Paso
The Miners are 79-18 in El Paso since the start of the 2006-07 season, including 12-1 this year. Keitha Adams’ charges have strung together a school-record five 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 114-50 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 7-1 start on the road, the best start away from home in program history. Overall the seven triumphs rate tied as the second most in school history. The program standard is 10 (2007-08) while the 1980-81 & 1992-93 squads each grabbed seven victories.
Making Progress On The Road
UTEP is 45-84 on the road under Keitha Adams, but they have made strides of late. UTEP is 33-33 away from home dating to the 2006-07 season, including the 7-1 record this year.
Appreciating The Efforts Under Adams
UTEP is 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.
Quick Overview Of League Standings
Every team except UTEP (8-0) has at least two losses. Nine of the 12 squads have four or more victories. Four teams have three or fewer setbacks, in the form of the Miners (8-0), Memphis (6-2), UAB (6-2), Tulane (5-3) & SMU (5-3). East Carolina (0-8) is the only team without a conference triumph.
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 8 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
Brown Powers UTEP To 70-63 Win At Southern Miss
Gloria Brown posted a monstrous double-double and head coach Keitha Adams secured her 300th collegiate win after UTEP downed Southern Miss, 70-63, on the road on Jan. 26. UTEP started the second half on a 12-2 run, which not only erased a 30-28 halftime deficit but also propelled it into the lead for good. The Lady Eagles tried to rally but each push by the home side was countered by the Orange and Blue.
Who Else Drew Praise
Kelli Willingham tallied 13 points, including sinking four big three pointers while junior Kristine Vitola added 12 points and seven boards. Kim Smith also played an important role. She registered two assists, had a career-high-tying five boards and played 25 minutes of turnover-free basketball in a game which the Miners had 25 miscues.
UTEP Stomps Houston, 87-43
UTEP bolted out to a 41-21 lead at the half and never looked back on the way throttling Houston, 87-43, to secure its largest margin of victory in a conference game in program history on Jan. 22.
All 13 Miners who saw action scored at least four points, with sophomore Kayla Thornton leading the way with 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting. The Miners’ bench poured in 48 points, out-scoring the entire UH squad in the process.
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.
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 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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