UTEP Women's Basketball Notes: UAB (1:05 P.M. MST Sunday)
Feb. 5, 2011
THE OPENING ACT
UTEP To Battle UAB At 1:05 P.M. MST Sunday
UTEP will play host to UAB at the Don Haskins Center at 1:05 p.m. MT on Sunday. The Miners (12-8, 4-4 C-USA) have been idle since falling at Tulane, 69-63, on Jan. 30. The Blazers (10-11, 2-6 C-USA) have also been off for that timeframe, as they derailed Marshall, 74-46, last time out. It will be the only meeting on the year between the programs.
All About The Promos & Tickets
It will be “Super Bowl Jersey Day,” with all fans who wear any football jersey or apparel to get ready for the big game receiving free admission. Tickets for the game are also on sale at the UTEP ticket center. They may also be purchased on site prior to the start of the contest. The price for an adult admission, which includes the surcharge fee, is $7 while children (ages 12 or younger) tickets are $3.
How To Follow It
Audio and video of the game will be available through the all-access section of www.utepathletics.com. Live stats are also an option through the Gametracker link on the schedule page.
Taking Aim At Shooting History
UTEP enters the match-up against UAB having posted a school-record-tying nine straight games with a field-goal percentage of at least 40.0 percent. The feat was also achieved during the 1986-87 squad. In terms of conference-only contests, the effort by this year’s team (eight consecutive contests) has toppled the prior standard (seven). The mark had been held by the 2000-01 squad.
Quick Overview Of The C-USA Standings
All 12 Conference USA teams have won a game in league play, including nine which have picked up four or more. Houston (8-0) is the lone team without a loss while Tulane (6-3), Memphis (5-3) and Rice (5-3) are the only others above .500 at this point. UTEP (4-4), SMU (4-4), UCF (4-4), East Carolina (4-4) and Southern Miss (4-4) check in tied for fifth. UAB (2-6), Tulsa (1-6) and Marshall (1-7) are the only C-USA teams to have fewer than four league triumphs.
We Meet Again
The series is tied, 3-3, with all six of the contests having been claimed by the home squad. The Miners sport a mark of 3-0 against the Blazers in El Paso. Things have been tightly contested overall, with three of the past five match-ups being decided by fewer than six points. Last year UTEP bounced UAB, 68-59, at the Don Haskins Center on Feb. 18, 2010.
UTEP will head to the “Sunshine State” to square off against UCF at 5 p.m. MT on Feb. 10. The game will be aired locally in El Paso on KHRO 1150 AM. The contest can also be followed through gametracker.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
The 411 On UAB As Institution
UAB is a doctoral, public research university covering 83 blocks in the heart of Alabama’s largest city (Birmingham). UAB is ranked among the top-100 universities in the country and has a spot in the top 200 in the world according to the 2009 Academic Ranking of World Universities. The school was founded in 1969, and its enrollment was an institution-best 18,703 in the fall of 2010. Notable alumni include Regina Benjamin (Surgeon General of the United States), Steve Chiotakis (co-host of the NPR morning report), Deidre Downs (2005 Miss America) Vonetta Flowers (2002 Olympic gold medalist in bobsled).
The 411 On UAB Basketball
UAB’s program was started for the 1978-79 season. It has an all-time record of 489-467, including 10-11 this year. The Blazers have appeared in the postseason six times, with the most-recent showing coming when it advanced to the second round of the 2007 WNIT. It returned four starters and 10 letterwinners overall from last year’s squad, although 2010 C-USA Freshman of the Year Jala Harris is no longer with the program. Harris had paced the team in several statistical categories, including assists per game and points per game.
Getting To Know The UAB Sideline Boss
UAB is under the direction of seventh-year head coach Audra Smith, who has a mark of 91-110 at the school. She joined the program after serving as an assistant coach at Virginia from 1996-2004. Smith was a standout player for UVA (1989-92), helping it make a trio of appearances in the final four.
The Rundown On UAB’s ‘10-11 Season
UAB impressed early on with a mark of 2-1 before dropping back-to-back contests to slip to 2-3 on the year. The Blazers bounced back to reel off a season-best five straight games. UAB dropped three of the next four to close out non-conference play at 8-5. The Blazers were bounced in three straight and six of their first seven Conference USA contests but got back on track by routing Marshall, 74-46, on Jan. 30. Overall UAB is 10-11 on the year, including 2-6 in league play.
All About Winning & Losing With UAB
UAB (10-11, 2-6 C-USA) is 10-3 when leading at the half, 9-3 when keeping the opposition to below 60 points, 8-4 when eclipsing that figure and 7-4 in day games. The Blazers are 2-6 on the road, 7-3 at home and 2-2 in neutral-court contests.
This And That On UAB’s Offense
Only four players pitch in more than five points per game, including two in double figures. Two individuals have more assists than turnovers. Four different individuals have drilled at least 15 triples, including three with 20 or more. No other Blazer has accounted for more than eight three pointers. UAB has accounted for 16 offensive rebounds per game, which has been aided by seven players pitching in at least 25 on the season. UAB has registered 64 or more points in four of the past five games. It managed to do so just five times out of the initial 16 contests.
This And That On UAB’s Defense
Forty of the 65 blocks on the year by UAB have been by two players. Eight different individuals have recorded 10 or more steals on the season, including three with at least 34. The Blazers kept 13 of the first 14 foes on the year to fewer than 70 points, which resulted in a scoring defense of 55.7 ppga. Three of seven opponents have achieved the feat since, a stretch in which UAB is permitting 64.7 ppga.
Other Tidbits On UAB
Ten different players have garnered double digits in playing time on average. Two individuals have started every game of the season while five others have secured 10 or more starting nods.
GOING BACK IN TIME
UTEP Tripped Up At Tulane
UTEP fell at Tulane, 69-63, on Jan. 30. The Miners led by eight at the break (36-28) but the Green Wave rallied in the second half. Tulane outscored UTEP, 41-27, during the final 20 minutes, including a game-changing 13-3 push late in the contest. It turned a five-point UTEP lead (57-52) into a 65-60 edge for Tulane at 2:11. It proved the be the final lead change of the game.
Some Good And some Bad From The Game
UTEP shot a crisp 46.7 from the floor (21-of-45), drilled 18-of-22 (81.8 percent) at the charity stripe while also winning the rebounding battle (32-26) but came up short due to an inability to take care of the basketball. It committed 33 turnovers, which Tulane converted into 34 points. It rates as the second-most turnovers by the Miners in a conference contest and the ninth-highest sum overall in program history. . In a telling stat, all eight UTEP players who garnered double digits in playing time were harassed into three or more turnovers.
Couple Other Things On The Tilt
Tulane struggled to the tune of 34.5 percent (10-of-29) in the opening period but it heated up in the second half with a readout of 62.5 (15-of-24). The Green Wave made just 1-of-13 from distance but compensated for that fact by going 18-of-25 (72.2 percent) at the free-throw line in addition to giving the Miners fits with their full-court press.
CRASH COURSE ON 10-11 MINERS
The Basic Facts On UTEP Basketball
The 2010-11 season marks the 37th all time for UTEP. It sports an all-time record of 414-576, including 12-8, 4-4 C-USA this year, since the program was founded prior to the 1974-75 campaign. 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 is under the direction of the winningest coach in school history, Keitha Adams. The 2008 C-USA Coach of the Year and one of eight finalists for national coach of the year that season, Adams is 151-137 in her 10th year at the school. She is 278-174 all time in her 15th year overall as a collegiate coach. She has guided the Miners to four winning seasons, which matches the total such campaigns at the school in the previous 25 years before her arrival. UTEP returned seven letterwinners from last year’s squad (16-16 overall, 6-10 C-USA), including five individuals who started at last 15 games during the 2009-10 campaign. The Miners also added seven newcomers (four transfers & three true freshmen).
The Roster Report
UTEP’s 2010-11 squad is comprised of 16 players, including 10 upperclasswomen. The Miners have four seniors (Whitney Houston, Ashley Milian, Sviatlana Trukshanina & Tracy Wittebolle) and six juniors (Gloria Brown, Dietra Caldwell, Baiba Eglite, Briana Green, Kim Smith & Erika Warren). Green and Houston are currently sidelined with injuries, though, and are not expected to see action for the remainder of the season. Wittebolle missed a couple games due to injury, and Trukshanina has been hindered of late as well. The Orange and Blue have a trio of sophomores (Deanna Key, Anete Steinberga & Kristine Vitola) to go along with three freshmen (Erin McGarrachan, Kayla Thornton & Kelli Willingham).
The Rundown On The UTEP ‘10-11 Season
UTEP bolted out of the gates with a mark of 4-1 before losing two of the next three. The Miners bounced back to claim three of the next four, closing out non-conference play with a mark of 8-4. UTEP has alternated wins and losses since the onset of Conference USA action. Overall it is 12-8 on the year, including 4-4 within league action. The first six triumphs on the year were of the double-digit variety, with an average margin of victory of 21.2. The next four wins-including the 64-62 defeat of New Mexico (12/20) on the buzzer beater from Gloria Brown- were all by single digits. UTEP’s margin of victory for those games checked in at 5.8. The Miners pounded Rice (1/20) by 22 for win No. 11 before holding off Tulsa, 69-66, in the most recent triumph on Jan. 27. Seven of the Orange and Blue’s eight losses have been by single digits, including the last loss at Tulane (1/30), which was by six (63-69).
This And That On UTEP’s Offense
UTEP tallied 70+ points in each of the first five games for the first time in school history (prior standard 3; 1996-97) and seven of the initial nine while producing 74.1 points per game. It has achieved the feat just four times in the 11 contests since, with the ppg figure dropping to 69.1 in that period. The Miners have connected on at least 40 percent from the field in a school-record-tying nine straight contests and in 11 of the past 12 games. It eclipsed the figure just three times in the first eight contests on the year. The Miners registered 10-plus offensive rebounds in the first 13 games of the season before coming up shy of that figure at Marshall (1/9). They have achieved the feat in five of the six games since. UTEP has featured a balanced attack with eight different players having paced the team in scoring at least once. Five individuals contribute more than 8.0 ppg, including two in double figures.
This And That On UTEP’s Defense
UTEP held eight of its first 10 opponents on the year to below 70 points, which resulted in a scoring defense of 62.8. Four of 10 foes have done it since, and the Miners are permitting 67.9 ppg in the sequence. UTEP forced the opposition into 18.8 turnovers per game over the first nine games, which was aided by five foes making 20 or more giveaways. None of the next five foes had more than 16 but four of the past six have registered at least 20 turnovers. Seven of the initial 10 foes on the season drilled at least six three-pointers while combining to make 31.4 percent (61-194) of their treys. Only three have done it in the 10 games since, with the opposition checking in at 28.3 (43-152) during the sequence.
What Can Brown Do For You
Junior-college transfer (No. 2 PF/No.3 overall recruit out of the JC ranks) Gloria Brown has burst onto the scene for UTEP. She has registered more than half of UTEP’s blocks (41-of-81), while also pacing it in free-throws made (61), attempted (74), percentage (82.4) and points per game (11.5). She is second in field-goal percentage (57.1), offensive rebounds (46) and rebounds per game (5.6). Brown has done all of this in 16.6 minutes per game off the bench.
This And That Brown
Gloria Brown has reached double figures in scoring a team-high 13 times, including nine of the past 11 games. After enduring a stretch of making just 4-of-10 at the free-throw line in the middle part of non-conference play, she has connected on 43-of-47 in the 11 contests since. Brown committed a total of 39 fouls over the first 13 tilts (3.0 fpg) of the season before having a total of just seven in the next four contests (1.9 fpg). She has accumulated 12 in the three games (3.0 fpg) since. Brown has drilled better than 50.0 percent from the floor in 12 of the 15 contests that she has attempted at least five shots. Brown has blocked 26 shots in the past 10 games, including 18 in the past six. She registered 15 rejections over the first 10 tilts on the year.
Two-year starter and 2009 C-USA Freshman of the Year Dietra Caldwell is putting up solid numbers across the board as a junior. One of just two players in program history to have registered a triple-double (2/7/10 vs. Tulsa), she tops the team in minutes per game (32.8), total steals (27), three pointers made (41) and attempted (93). She checks in second for assists per game (3.9), points per game (10.0) and three-point percentage (44.1). She has drilled 45.1 percent of her shots (3rd team) while accounting for 4.4 rebounds per game (4th).
This And That On Caldwell
Dietra Caldwell has reached double digits in five of the eight Conference USA games. She had three such showings during non-conference action. Caldwell has registered eight turnovers combined the past four tilts. She had 15 the prior four. She has had six or more assists in five tilts this season. She achieved the feat three times combined during her first two years with UTEP. Caldwell has drilled at least two triples in seven of the past eight contests, and is a combined 21-43 (48.8 percent) during the stretch. She had four total such contests over the initial 12 tilts but did still sink a combined 20-50 (40.0 percent) in that period.
2010 All C-USA Freshman squad member Anete Steinberga- who had to sit the first half of the season last year- has started 19 of the 20 games in 2010-11. She has now been a starter in 34 of her 37 career contests with the Orange and Blue. The native of Latvia is third on the squad for field-goal percentage (47.8), offensive rebounds (41), points per game (9.3) and rebounds per contest (4.9). Additionally she is of four Miners to have garnered more than 20 minutes per game (21.4) on average.
This And That On Anete
Anete Steinberga averaged 5.7 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting 35.3 percent from the floor over the first six games. She has picked it up to the tune of 11.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg while making 51.6 percent of her shots since. Steinberga has committed 24 turnovers the past six tilts (4.0 tpg). She had just 24 in the initial 14 games (1.7 tpg). Overall she is making 2.4 tpg, which is still a solid improvement upon her average (3.64) as a freshman. Steinberga was called for 19 combined fouls in the first nine games (2.1 fpg) on the year but has been hit for 34 in the 11 since (3.1 fpg).
Freshman point guard Kelli Willingham joined UTEP from powerhouse program DeSoto High School (No. 87 guard nationally), and she has adjusted to this level pretty well. She is leads the team in assists per game (4.0) while rating second on the squad in minutes per game (32.4), total steals (26) and three-pointers made (25) and attempted (81). Willingham is providing 8.8 points per game (5th) while grabbing 2.6 rebounds per contest (7th team).
This And That On Willingham
Kelli Willingham is the lone Miner to have recorded an assist in every game of the season, including a career-high 11 (and also third most ever by a freshmen at UTEP) against Cal State Northridge (12/3). She has scored seven or more points in seven of the past nine contests, surpassing her effort of such tilts (six) through the first 11 tilts. After hitting on 42.4 percent (14-33) of three pointers through seven games, she has dipped to 22.9 (11-48) in the 13 tilts since. Willingham has registered eight steals the past four games, which topples her effort (seven) during the previous nine. She committed 25 turnovers (2.5 tpg) the first 10 tilts. Willingham has made 40 (4.0) since. Forty-nine of her 51 rebounds on the year have been at the defensive end.
Four-year Irvin High School standout (1,953 career points & 884 rebounds) Kayla Thornton has been a solid player for her hometown Miners during her freshman season. She is tied for the team lead in double-doubles (two) while pacing it in offensive rebounds (49) and rebounds per game (6.1). She rates second on the squad in free-throws made (42) while placing third in free-throw attempts (57), fourth in total steals (21) and sixth in points per game (6.5). Thornton has played in every game of the year, including four starts, and is one of 11 Miners to garner double figures in playing time on average (18.1).
This And That On Thornton
Kayla Thornton reached double figures in scoring in four of the first six contests on the year while recording 11.2 points per game. She been denied doing so in 11 of the 13 contests since, and is at 4.5 ppg in the stretch. She registered seven or more rebounds in nine non-conference contests, and boasted 7.7 rpg during the stretch. Thornton has been limited to one-such game during C-USA play, which has led to a 3.6 rpg in the period. She had 3.6 offensive boards per game in non-league play but is at 0.8 orpg in C-USA action.
Senior forward Ashley Milian has played in 19 games on the year, including starting the past nine. She rates leads the team in field-goal percentage (57.9) while pacing fourth in offensive rebounds (28). She is providing 3.1 rebounds per game (5th) and 5.9 points per game (7th). Milian is one of 11 Miners to have secured double digits in minutes played on average (12.1).
This And That On Ashley
Ashley Milian started off slowly in 2010-11, averaging 1.6 points, 1.3 rebounds and 6.6 minutes in her first seven games of the year. She picked it up in a big way, with 10.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg in 15.8 mpg in the ensuing eight games. She has been held to 5.0 ppg and 2.5 rpg in the four contests since. Milian has eclipsed 50 percent from the floor in five of the seven games she has taken at least five shots.
All About Sveta
Senior Sviatlana Trukshanina, the second-most accurate three-point shooter in program history (.419), has played three minutes in the past six games while dealing with an injury. Overall she has played in 14 contests-including eight starts- and is one of 11 Miners to have earned at least 10 minutes of action on average (15.1). The native of Belarus is third on the team in three-pointers made (17) and attempted (50). Seventeen of her 23 field goals on the campaign have been of the three-point variety. Overall she is chipping in 4.5 ppg, 1.1 rpg and 1.0 apg.
This And That On Sveta
Sviatlana Trukshanina started slow on the year with just 15 points through her first five games (3.0 ppg), which was impacted by her going 3-of-12 from three-point range in that timeframe. She tallied 38 points (7.6 ppg) in the next five contests, with the 12-of-24 from distance powering the stretch. She hit 2-of-14 treys while tallying 3.3 ppg in the next three games before being limited of late with the injury.
Last year Kristine Vitola became the first freshman post to start a season opener at UTEP since 2006. She started the first four contests of the year and has earned a starting nod eight times overall in 2010-11. Vitola is one of two Miners with double digits (19) in total blocked shots. The 6-4 post is tied for fifth on the team in rebounds per game (3.1) and 10th in points per game (4.1). Vitola is one of 11 Miners to have garnered double digits in playing time on average (12.7).
This And That On Vitola
Kristine Vitola got off to a solid start on the year with 7.3 points per game and 5.5 rebounds per game through the first eight contests on the year. She has slipped to 2.5 ppg and 1.5 rpg since. Vitola’s scoring output throughout the season-and her career for that matter- has had a correlation with her performance as a rebounder. She has registered 11 career games, including five this year, with at least six rebounds. She is producing 8.1 ppg for her career in those tilts, including 8.8 in 2010-11. When falling short of that figure, those numbers drop to 4.1 and 2.2 respectively.
Erika Warren, a product of Midland College, ventured to the Sun City heralded as the No. 3 SF in the JC ranks by Dan Olson’s Collegiate Girls’ Basketball. She has appeared in 19 of the 20 games, and is one of 11 Miners to have garnered double digits in playing time on average (14.9). She has registered 12 steals, and 32 of her 42 total rebounds have been at the defensive end. Overall Warren, who was 61-7 in two years at Midland College, is providing 4.3 ppg (9th), 2.2 rpg (8th) and 1.1 apg
This And That On Warren
Erika Warren had 4.0 points per game and 3.5 rebounds per contest in the first two tilts of the season before dropping off to 0.9 ppg on 7.7 percent shooting (1-13) and 1.1 rpg in 7.1 mpg over her next eight games. She has been a different player since the New Year, with 7.6 ppg on 51.0 percent shooting (25-49) and 2.8 rpg in those nine tilts. After missing her first seven three-point attempts on the year, Warren has drilled 7-of-10 from distance. She has double digits in playing time in 10 straight games. She had four such contests prior to the stretch.
Former Pasadena City College standout guard Kim Smith, a starter on the 2009 state championship squad, is in the first of her two years with UTEP. She has played in all 20 games, including starting the past six. She is second in the squad in free-throw percentage (82.1). She is one of 11 UTEP players to have earned double digits in playing time on average (12.9). Overall she is chipping in 2.7 ppg, 1.1 rpg and 0.5 apg.
This And That On Smith
Kim Smith combined to score 16 points in the first 11 contests of the year before matching that figure with a breakthrough performance at NM State (1/2). She produced nine points over the next six games but surpassed that sum with a 12-point showing in the triumph against Tulsa (1/27). Smith played a career-high 33 minutes in that contest and w as a flawless 8-of-8 at the free-throw line. Last time out she was held scoreless while grabbing three boards at Tulane (1/30).
Eglite Eager To Get It Going
Junior guard Baiba Eglite tallied five points (all against Texas State, 12/17) to go along with an assist and a rebound in a combined 21 minutes during her first five games played this year. She has produced 13 points and two rebounds in 35 minutes since. Aiding those figures were setting season-highs for minutes played (12) and points (eight) in the triumph against Rice (1/20). Overall she is as at 2.0 ppg, 0.3 rpg and 0.1 apg in 6.0 mpg.
Senior forward Tracy Wittebolle appeared in 16 games last year (16 points, 24 rebounds overall), including earning her first career start against Houston (1/10/10) where she grabbed a personal-best five rebounds. She showed off a good shooting touch in her first action of the season in 2010-11, knocking down a pair of jumpers vs. ENMU (Nov. 20). Overall she has played five minutes in three games, scoring four total points.
McGarrachan’s The First
UTEP has never shied away from landing top international talent, and 5-11 freshman guard Erin McGarrachan certainly fits that billing. A Central Scotland Institute of Sport (CSIS) athlete, she was she was the leading scorer and rebounder in the junior national league. McGarrachan is the first native of Scotland to play for the Orange and Blue. She has appeared in three games on the campaign, pitching in three points and three boards.
El Paso native and former Eastwood High School standout Deanna Key played a combined eight minutes in four games as a freshman last year. She has appeared in two games in 2010-11 with the highlight coming in the triumph against Texas State (12/17). Key scored her first career points on a jumper while also grabbing a rebound in four minutes of action. She also continues to be an important individual at practice on a daily basis.
THIS AND THAT
Keep Up With Keitha On KROD
Every week throughout the year, head coach Keitha Adams will join AM-600 KROD sports talk show host Steve Kaplowitz to discuss all things women’s basketball. The segment has been in the 6 p.m. hour on Wednesdays thus far this year. It can be listened to locally on AM 600 or on the web at www.krod.com.
Check Out The Miners On YouTube
From post-game interviews to different features, a great way to get to know more about UTEP women’s basketball (and all the other Miner sports too) is to watch some videos on the athletic department’s youtube channel. Subscribe now at www.youtube.com/UTEPAthletics.com.
Program-Best Nine Straight Years With 10+ Wins
UTEP (12-8) has already secured its school-record ninth straight season with 10 or more victories on the year. The effort eclipses the prior program standard (eight), which was from 1991-92 through 1998-99. The Miners have accounted for 16 victories per season during this current stretch, compared to 13 from ‘91-99.
Twenty-Game Record Report
UTEP stands at 12-8 at the 20-game mark, which allowed it to sport a winning record at this juncture for a school-record sixth straight season and seventh overall under Keitha Adams. Before Adams’ arrival, UTEP never put more than three such seasons in a row and had a total of five such campaign.
Winning Mark Once Again Through 15 Contests
As result of opening up the year at 10-5, the Miners (now 12-8) have posted a winning record through the 15-game mark a school-record seven successive seasons. The prior standard was four consecutive campaigns (1994-95 through 1997-98). There have now been 16 such starts in program history, seven of which have come during the Keitha Adams era.
Not Too Shabby Through 10 Games Again
Thanks to the 7-3 start, the Miners (now 12-7) had a winning record through the first 10 games of the season for the fourth time in the past five years. There have now been nine such starts in program history, four of which have been during Keitha Adams’ direction.
Took Care Of Business In Non-Conference Play Again
The Miners concluded non-conference play at 8-4, marking their school-record sixth straight season with a winning mark in non-league action. UTEP has been at .500 or better outside of league play in nine consecutive campaigns, with the lone year it failed to do so coming in Keitha Adams’ first year on the sidelines (2001-02). The effort matches the effort of such seasons by the Orange and Blue from the program’s inception (1974-75) through the end of the 2000-01 season. Of those campaigns, five were of the winning variety.
UTEP has reeled in a trio of individual honors thus far in 2010-11, thanks to freshman guard Kelli Willingham & junior forward Gloria Brown. Brown had a double-double (22 points, 10 rebounds) in the win against UC Irvine (11/13), and thus was named the C-USA Co-Player of the Week on Nov. 15. Willingham averaged team highs in minutes (37.0) and points (15.0) to help the Miners secure runner-up honors at the UTEP Thanksgiving Classic. She was voted as the C-USA Freshman of the Week (Nov. 29) while also landing on the all-tournament team.
Putting Up The Points
UTEP exploded for a season-high 94 points against Texas State, marking its highest scoring game since tallying 105 against Southern Miss on Feb. 21, 2009. The Miners have surpassed 90 points eight times during the Keitha Adams era. Overall UTEP is producing 71.3 ppg on the year which is good enough for fourth in Conference USA. The school record for single-season scoring offense is 71.5, which was set by the 1980-81 squad.
Shooting It With Ample Accuracy
UTEP has posted a school-record-tying nine straight games with a field-goal percentage of at least 40.0 percent. The feat was also achieved during the 1986-87 squad. Overall the Miners have drilled 43.8 percent from the field to top Conference USA. The figure would rate second all time at the school for single-season FG%. The current mark (45.0) was set by the 1980-81 squad.
The Miners have registered seven double-doubles on the year, thanks to Gloria Brown (UC Irvine, 11/13 & ENMU, 11/20) Kayla Thornton (Alcorn State, 11/22 & Idaho State, 11/26), Ashley Milian (at Memphis, 1/13), Anete Steinberga (Texas State, 12/17) and Kelli Willingham (Cal State Northridge, 12/3). Brown became the first Miner to achieve the feat in a season opener since Marta Dydek (16 points, 11 rebounds, vs. UT-Dallas, 11/20/04) and the seventh overall.
Getting After It On The Glass
The Miners have won the battle of the boards 14 times in 2010-11, and they are 10-4 on those games. Additionally, they have posted two tilts (+26, UCI, 11/13, +21 Texas State, 12/17, & +18, ENMU, 11/20) where they have out-rebounded the opposition by at least 18. UTEP had two such contests from the 2005-06 season through the 2009-10 campaign, a stretch of 153 games. Overall the Miners’ rebounding margin is +4.5, which rates second in Conference USA.
Offense Is Easy When You Share
The Miners tallied 29 assists (third-highest single-game sum in school history) on the way to piling up a season-high 94 points in the triumph against Texas State (12/17). Overall on the season UTEP is accounting for a 15.6 assists per game to place second in Conference USA.
Get That Weak Stuff Out Of Here
The Miners have registered eight games with at least a quintet of rejections, including a season-high 10 blocked shots against Alcorn State (11/22). Overall on the year UTEP has compiled 81 swats (41 by Gloria Brown), with the 4.1 bpg placing it third in Conference USA.
Life At The Line
UTEP has drilled 10 or more free throws in 13 of the 20 games on the season, including the school-record-setting performance for makes (40) and attempts (54) against East Carolina (1/6). Overall the Miners have connected on 70.0 percent (291-416) at the charity stripe to rate second in Conference USA.
Owning The Paint
UTEP racked up 50 points in the paint against Texas State (12/7), equaling the highest total for points of that nature since also doing so at UCF on Feb. 24, 2008. The last time the Miners tallied more than 50 in the paint was when they compiled 60 against UT-Permian Basin on Nov. 16, 2006. Overall on the year the Miners have accounted for 29.4 ppg in the paint ,compared to 23.3 ppg by the opposition.
The Bench Bunch
UTEP has received a double-digit scoring effort from its bench in 19 of the 20 games on the year, including 15 with 25 or more points. The Miners’ reserves had their best showing with a 46-point explosion in the triumph against Rice (1/20). That marked the most points by the back-ups since a 55-point outing against Western New Mexico on Dec. 1, 2009. Overall UTEP is receiving 29.4 points per game from its bench, compared to just 16.8 ppg by the opposition’s back-ups.
All About Turnovers
UTEP committed 18.8 turnovers per game over the first five games of the year before enjoying a solid stretch of 15.4 tpg during the next nine contests. It has been harassed into 22.3 tpg in the six games since, including a sum of 57 the past two tilts. Overall the Miners have been forced into 18.4 tpg on the campaign.
Miners Making It Tough On Opposition
The Miners have forced the opposition into committing double figures in turnovers in 138 straight games and in all but three of the contests during the Keitha Adams era. UTEP’s top showing in that area this year has been harassing Texas State (12/17) into 26 giveaways. Overall, Miner foes have committed 17.9 turnovers per game.
Freshman forward Kayla Thornton and sophomore guard Deanna Key are carrying on the trend of local talent competing for the Orange and Blue under head coach Keitha Adams. The Miners have featured at least one player on the team from the El Paso area in every year of the Adams era.
Tough To Replace These Two
While the Miners returned several key players, two individuals they have had to replace due to graduation were Jareica Hughes & Timika Williams. Williams is the lone player in program history to have amassed more than 1,000 career points, 700 rebounds and 100 steals, and she holds the school record for games played (120). Hughes, a two-time C-USA Player of the Year, owns nine career records at UTEP. They are: assists (599), field-goals made (527), free-throws made (359) and attempted (492), minutes played (3,777), points (1,555), starts (114), steals (277) and wins (84).
2009-10 Year In Review
UTEP posted its school-record fourth straight season with a mark of .500 or better by going 16-16 last year. The Miners were a stout 12-4 at home and picked up a trio of victories in neutral-setting. UTEP pitched in 63.4 points per game on 42.6 percent shooting (752-1,766), including 34.3 (199-581) from beyond-the-arc. The opposition was held to 62.5 ppg and 37.7 (683-1,814) from the floor, but hurt the Miners by out-rebounding them, 38.3-35.5, on average.
We Love The Three Ball
UTEP has nailed 36.2 percent (115-318) of its three-point shots on the year, which would rate as the third-best single-season standard at the school. The program mark is 38.2, which was set in 2008-09. The Miners haven’t been consistent from game-to-game, though. They have had seven games where they have made at least 40 percent from distance. They are a combined 58-of-117 (49.6 percent) in those contests. UTEP has fallen shy of 40 percent in the other 13 games. It is a combined 60-of-209 (28.7 percent) in those tilts.
Threes A Plenty Since 2008
From the time the three-point shot was introduced in college basketball (1986-87) until the end of the 2007-08 season, UTEP tallied eight games with double figures in three-pointers made. The Miners have registered 10 such contests since, compiling a school-record five in 2008-09, three last year and two in 2010-11.
158 Straight Games With A Triple
UTEP enters the game against UAB having made at least one three-point shot in a program-record 158 straight games. The last time UTEP failed to fill up a triple in a contest was on Dec. 30, 2005. Overall, UTEP has nailed a three in all but four tilts during the Keitha Adams era.
Who Needs The Two-Point Shot Anyway
UTEP has had four games on the year (Idaho State, 11/26; Cal State Northridge, 12/3; at Memphis, 1/13 & Rice, 1/20) where it shot the ball better from three-point land than it did on two-point tries. It is 4-0 in those tilts. Overall on the year, though, the Miners are much better on twos than threes. UTEP has connected on 46.7 percent (391-837) on twos and 36.2 percent (118-326) on threes. For what it is worth, the opposition has hit on 42.7 percent (334-782) on twos and 30.1 percent (104-346) on treys.
ALL ABOUT THE FINAL SCORE
Jekyll & Hyde
There have been two different Miner clubs this year, with the Dr. Jekyll version showing up 12 times and the Mr. Hyde unit appearing on eight occasions.
In 12 Wins (Average Stats)
Team Pts FG% 3fg% FT% RB AST TO STL BLK
UTEP 76.8 45.4 38.9 70.7 43.2 16.9 18.1 7.2 4.0
Opp. 62.2 35.4 28.6 68.3 34.3 10.6 18.3 8.8 2.0
In Eight Losses (Average Stats)
Team Pts FG% 3fg% FT% RB AST TO STL BLK
UTEP 63.2 41.2 32.3 68.0 34.6 13.5 18.8 9.8 4.1
Opp. 70.1 44.1 32.4 69.8 36.6 14.4 17.3 8.8 4.4
Something Magical About That 70-Point Barrier
UTEP is 68-6 over its past 74 games, including 9-2 in 2010-11, in which it has eclipsed 70 points. Overall the Miners stand at 97-12 during the Keitha Adams era when achieving the feat.
Doesn’t Take A Basketball Wiz To Figure This Out
UTEP is 76-12 in the past 88 contests, including 10-4 this year, when it has drilled better than 40.5 percent from the floor. The Miners had started the season at 7-0 when doing so but have gone 3-4 since in such games.
Three-Point Success Add Up To Wins
UTEP stands at 44-7 in its past 51 games, including 5-2 this year, when connecting on at least 40 percent from three-point land (min. five made).
Better Get Ready To Rebound
UTEP is 10-4 this year and 21-6 over the past 27 games when out-rebounding the opposition. Overall the Miners are 88-36 during the Keitha Adams era when doing so. Conversely, UTEP has lost 17 of its past 21 contests when failing to win the battle of the boards.
Helping Hand Leads To Triumphs
UTEP is a robust 47-2 under Keitha Adams, including 4-0 in 2010-11, when registering at least 20 assists in a contests. Sharing hasn’t always been so common, though. UTEP compiled 19 such games from 1984-85 until the last year before Adams’ arrival (2000-01). The Miners were 13-6 in those contests.
As Does Forcing Turnovers
The Miners are 55-15 since the start of the 2004-05 season, including 5-3 this year, when forcing the opposition into committing 20 or more turnovers.
Turning Up The Pressure
UTEP is 35-3 since 2006-07 and 54-12 overall under head coach Keitha Adams when forcing the opposition into committing more turnovers than field goals made in a game. The Miners are 5-0 in the situation in 2010-11.
Making Free Throws Can Help
UTEP is 39-8 over the past 47 contests, including 5-3 this year, when knocking down better than 70 percent at the free-throw line (minimum 10 FTM).
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, including 3-1 this year, in games in which they were below 61-percent from the free-throw line (minimum 10 attempts.
The Miners have won 15 of their past 23 regular-season contests in which they made more three pointers than free throws.
Other Trends For Winning & Losing With UTEP
UTEP (12-8) is 10-2 when holding to opposition to below 40 percent from the floor, 10-5 when leading at the half, 9-2 when playing on weekdays, 7-1 in games decided by 11 or more points and 3-4 in games decided by less than five points.
Caldwell’s Career Looking Like An Elite One At The School
Junior guard Dietra Caldwell recently became the third Miner in program history, joining former greats Jareica Hughes (2006-10) & Kasia Krezel (2004-08) to have registered at least 700 career points, 200 assists, 100 three pointers made and 100 steals. She boasts 797 career points (16th), 227 assists (8th), 161 three-pointers made (2nd) and 107 steals (16th). Caldwell is also making a dent for the school career standards in other categories. She has started 71 games (8th) while earning 2,455 minutes of playing time (10th).
Trukshanina’s Career Isn’t Too Shabby Either
Senior Sviatlana Trukshanina (485) is closing on becoming the third active Miner (Dietra Caldwell & Briana Green) to have racked up at least 500 career points. Helping her cause has been 116 three pointers (5th). Trukshanina is also 20th for career games played (95). UTEP is 74-40 during her career. She is fifth at the school for wins during an individual’s career. Former Miner greats Jareica Hughes & Timika Williams (2006-10) share the standard at 84 while fellow past standouts Kasia Krezel & Izabela Piekarska (2005-08) are tied for third place at 76.
All About The Triple
There have been six players in program history to make at least 100 three-pointers, and two of them are current Miners. Junior guard Dietra Caldwell (161) is second all time at the school while senior guard Sviatlana Trukshanina (116) checks in fifth. Former standout Amy Billhymer (1993-97) holds the school standard at 208, followed by Caldwell (161) and Jareica Hughes (2006-10) at 142 . Kasia Krezel (2004-08) is fourth all time with 138 while Trukshanina is fifth. Terri Powell, who made 109 during her career, (1987-89) is the only other Miner to have drilled 100+ treys.
Sophomore forward Kristine Vitola has blocked 19 shots on the year, elevating her career total to 44. The effort places her eighth all time at the school. The school standard is certainly safe, though, with former UTEP great Kim Watts (1978-82) holding the record with 264 career blocks. Vitola has a shot, however, at becoming just the fourth Miner to post 100 career blocks by the time her career concludes. Former greats Izabela Piekarska (2004-08, 252) and Marta Dydek (2003-05, 100) are the only other individuals to have posted triple digits in blocks.
Adams Adding To Record With Every Win
Tenth-year UTEP head coach Keitha Adams, already the winningest coach in program history, has compiled a mark of 151-137 in the timeframe. She has led her charges 148-112 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).
That’s The Way To Share
Freshman point guard Kelli Willingham (12 points, 11 assists) notched her first career double-double against Cal State Northridge (12/3). The 11 assists rate as the third most in a single game by a UTEP freshman and tie as the fifth-highest sum regardless of class in program history. Furthermore, it marked the most assists with just one turnover in program history.
Brown’s Big Debut
Gloria Brown poured in 22 points against UC Irvine on Nov. 13. The effort ranked tied as the third-most points for a Miner in her debut, trailing only Anete Steinberga (24 points vs. Houston, 1/10/10 & Holly Russ (24 points vs. NM State, 11/28/90). She also became the first UTEP player since Kiana Taylor (15 points, 12 rebounds vs. Bellhaven, 11/27/93) and the third overall to register a double-double in their initial game.
Talk About Domination On The Boards
The Miners out-rebounded UC Irvine by 26 (54-28) on Nov. 13. It is the largest positive rebounding margin against Division I opposition since the 1999-00 campaign (+27 vs. Prairie View A&M, 11/21/99) and ties as the third-biggest ever in program history.
The game against East Carolina (1/6) was marred by a program-record combined 63 fouls between the two teams. The Pirates were tagged with 36 infractions, which equals the most fouls by a Miner opponent in a contest (Bellhaven, 11/27/93). A total of seven players fouled out, including five by ECU, which rates tied as the most combined disqualifications in a UTEP game (U.S. International, 1/29/89). The two teams joined up to go 67-of-90 at the charity stripe, which set the school standards for most combined free throws made and attempted.
Brown & Steinberga Lead The Way At The Line Against ECU
Junior Gloria Brown (12-of-12) and sophomore Anete Steinberga (11-of-16) were the top performers at the charity stripe for UTEP against East Carolina (1/6/). It marked the first time since the 1986-87 season and just the second occasion ever at the school that two players reached double digits in free throws made in the same game. Former Miner standout and current color analyst for the internet/radio broadcast, Traci Miller, and Dawn Coy both drilled 12 tosses at the charity stripe against Oregon State (12/21/86).
More On Brown’s Big Night At The Line
Gloria Brown matched former standout Noni Wharemate for the most free throws made by a Miner in a game without a miss. Wharemate achieved the feat against San Jose State (3/6/03). Only one other Miner (Jareica Hughes, 11-of-11, vs. Rice 3/7/08) has ever had a flawless showing at the charity stripe with at least 10 or more makes. Overall, Brown’s 12 conversions rate tied as the sixth-highest single-game sum in school history.
HOME SWEET HOME
Loving Life In El Paso
UTEP opened the year with seven straight contests in El Paso, which equaled the longest homestand to christen a campaign in program history. (2008-09). The Miners are 64-14 in El Paso since the start of the 2006-07 season, 10-3 this year. UTEP entered 2010-11 having strung together a school-record four straight seasons with 12 or more home triumphs. The Miners reached double figures for home triumphs a combined four times in the 27 years prior to Keitha Adams’ tenure, with the high water mark (12-1) coming in 1988-89.
Home Games A Plenty In 2010-11
UTEP, 10-3 in El Paso thus far this year, will have played 17 regular-season home games during the 2010-11 regular season. That figure ranks tied as the second-most home games in program history. The Miners were 16-2 at home in 2006-07 while forging a mark of 12-5 in 2008-09.
Don’t Take Things For Granted
Under head coach Keitha Adams, UTEP has posted a program-best eight straight years with at least nine home victories and boasts an overall record of 99-46 in El Paso. The Miners had six such seasons in the 27 years prior to her tenure, and were a combined 163-142
Life On The Road
The Miners dropped their first two road contests of the season before bouncing back to claim two of the next three. UTEP has been tripped up by a total of eight points in its past two road games. Overall the Miners are 2-5 away from home on the year, including 1-3 in league action. The effort surpasses the overall total of away triumphs during the 2009-10 season when UTEP (1-10 overall, 1-7 C-USA). The Miners are 37-80 on the road under Keitha Adams but they stand at 24-29 in that area since the start of 2006-07.
Keeping It All In Perspective
Before Keitha Adams’ arrival in the Sun City, UTEP never finished with a winning road record and only had two years (2-2; 1974-75 & 7-7; 1992-93) where it managed to have a winning percentage of .500. The Miners were a combined 68-241 in hostile territory the 27 years before Adams’ tenure. They were held at two triumphs or fewer in 14 of those campaigns.
Have Had Some Big Wins In Years Past
UTEP boasts 15 double-digit victories on the road under head coach Keitha Adams. The Miners compiled 32 such victories the prior 27 years to her arrival in the Sun City, and almost half of them (13 of the 27) were at the hands of non-division I opposition.
Tough To Win On Road When Shots Don’t Fall
The Miners have lost 40 straight road games when falling shy of 33.0 percent from the field. The last time UTEP picked up a win under those circumstances was on a 74-51 defeat of New Mexico State on Nov. 26, 1996. The Miners made 29 free throws in that game-the most ever in a road tilt in program history- to overcome the overall poor shooting.
All About The Road Opener
UTEP claimed its first two road openers and was 3-3 through the first six seasons of the program’s history in such games. A brutal stretch ensued with 12 straight losses before the Miners picked up a victory in their first road contest of the 1992-93 season. Overall UTEP slipped to 8-29 in the initial road tilt of the campaign, including 2-8 under head coach Keitha Adams after falling at UCSB, 68-50, on Dec. 11.
THIS IS UTEP BASKETBALL
Golden Age Of Women’s Hoops
It is the golden age of women’s basketball at UTEP. The Miners (12-8, 4-4 C-USA) entered the year on the strength of four straight seasons with a winning percentage of .500 or better for the first time in school history. During her tenure head coach Keitha Adams has directed the team to four winning campaigns overall, including a school-record three successive seasons from 2006-07 to 2008-09. From the 1978-79 campaign to the 2002-03 season (26-year stretch), UTEP did it four times.
Unprecedented Success Under Adams
Behind Keitha Adams the UTEP women’s basketball team has soared to heights that even the most ardent of Miner fans could possibly imagine. Before Adams patrolled the sidelines, the Miners had never won more than 20 games in a campaign, let alone compete in a postseason tournament (no WNIT or NCAA appearances pre Adams). Consider the following.
· UTEP has the second-most wins of any league team (110) since joining Conference USA prior to the start of the 2005-06 season.
· It is 96-48 since 2006-07, including 62-14 at home.
· UTEP has earned 48 honors and set 72 individual/team school records since the start of the 2006-07 season.
· Only 20+ win seasons (22-8, 2006-07 & 28-4 2007-08) and postseason appearance (2008 NCAA Tourney) at school have been in stretch
· UTEP went 28-4 in 2007-08, including historic 16-0 in C-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 Keitha Adams have graduated
Among The Best That C-USA Has To Offer
UTEP, which joined Conference USA prior to the start of the 2005-06 season, has the second-most wins (110) of any team in the league in the time frame. Only Tulane (118) has more than the Miners. Additionally, the Orange and Blue are 96-48 since the start of the 2006-07 campaign. The winning percentage of 66.7 trails only the Green Wave (68.7) during that period.
CLIFF’s NOTES ON THE YEAR THAT HAS BEEN
UTEP Topples Tulsa, 69-66
Junior Gloria Brown poured in 20 points, including seven in the final three minutes, to help UTEP down Tulsa, 69-66, in front of a season-high 2,642 fans at the Don Haskins Center on Jan. 27. The Miners led by one early on in the second stanza before rattling off eight straight points. The surge afforded UTEP a nine-point advantage (34-25) with 17:01 to play. The Golden Hurricane continued to fight, whittling the deficit down to one on a trio of occasions. The home side would never relinquish the lead, though, much in part thanks to Brown and solid shooting at the free-throw line.
Free Throws Were Big
UTEP connected on 89.7 percent (26-of-29) at the charity stripe, including a perfect 4-of-4 over the final 13 seconds against Tulsa (1/27). Junior Kim Smith was flawless on all eight of her tries. Gloria Brown sunk 8-of-10 while junior Dietra Caldwell was 4-of-4. Freshman Kelli Willingham only had two attempts, but they were the biggest of the game. She was fouled with seven seconds remaining and the Miners clinging to a one-point edge. Willingham calmly sank both tosses, and a desperation three-point shot by Taleya Mayberry was errant.
Remain Perfect In “Pack The House” Games
With the triumph against Tulsa (1/27), UTEP improved to a flawless 5-0 when holding its “Pack The House” promotion. The Miners were certainly aided in the game against the Golden Hurricane with a season-high 2,642 fans in attendance.
SMU Outlasts UTEP, 81-79
UTEP erased an 18-point second-half deficit but a pair of Alisha Filmore free throws with 2.6 seconds left allowed SMU to prevail, 81-79, on Jan. 23. The Miners trailed 64-47 with 10:04 to play before roaring back with a 24-5 run over a span of 5:46. The Mustangs countered with a 7-2 push, and they would not trail again.
Wild Final 28 Seconds
UTEP was down four with 28 seconds to play before freshman Kelli Willingham, who paced the squad with 16 points (all second half) converted on a jumper. SMU then missed two free throws but it came up with the offensive board. Willingham used quick hands to register a steal, and she tied the tilt at the line after she was fouled on a breakaway lay-up. After a timeout the Mustangs inbounded the ball to Fillmore, who was fouled on a drive into the lane. She then calmly converted both free throws to break the tie, and a desperation three-point, half-court shot by junior Erika Warren fell short as the horn sounded.
More On The UTEP/SMU Game
Both teams shot it exceptionally well from the floor, with each eclipsing 50 percent. The Miners drilled 50.8 percent (30-59) of their shots, including 42.9 percent (9-21) from three-point range. SMU was a bit crisper, checking in with respective figures of 58.3 (28-48) and 61.5 (8-13). Free throws proved to be far from that. UTEP hit 10-of-21 from the charity stripe while SMU struggled to make only 17-of-29, although Alisha Filmore eventually came through in the clutch.
UTEP Falls To Houston, 70-62
UTEP made a furious rally to slice a 15-point second-half deficit all the way down to two but ultimately came up shy to visiting Houston, 70-62, at home on Jan. 18. The Miners shot a crisp 46.0 percent from the floor (23-50)-compared to 37.1 percent (23-62) by the Cougars while also winning the rebounding battle (37-35) but fell due to an inability to take care of the basketball. UTEP committed 23 turnovers, including 15 in the second half, and was out-scored 29-11 in points off giveaways.
Key Players From The Contest
Gloria Brown (14 points), Ashley Milian (12 points) and Dietra Caldwell (10 points) all reached double digits in scoring for UTEP against Houston (1/18). Brown was also active defensively with a career-high six blocked shots.
UTEP Stops Memphis’ 10-Game Winning Streak, 60-55
Senior Ashley Milian registered her first career double-double (15 points, 11 rebounds) while Dietra Caldwell (17 points) and Anete Steinberga (13 points) also reached double figures in scoring to help lead UTEP to an emotional 60-55 triumph at Memphis on Jan. 13. The effort allowed the Miners to halt the Tigers’ 10-game winning streak, in addition to ending their 18-contest unbeaten stretch inside Elma Road Fieldhouse.
Quick Rundown On The Game
UM enjoyed early leads of 3-0 and 4-2 before UTEP pulled even at six. The visiting side then rattled off six straight points to stake a 12-6 edge (13:47), one which it would never relinquish. The Orange and Blue carried a 10-point lead (35-25) into the locker room. UTEP pushed its advantage out to as many as 17 (44-27) with 16:55 remaining in regulation before holding on down the stretch.
UTEP Edged At Marshall, 62-58
UTEP was derailed at Marshall, 62-58, in a nationally-televised (CBS College Sports) game on Jan. 9. The Miners were up 53-52 with 2:55 to play before a 6-0 run by the Thundering Herd put the home squad up for good. The sequence marked the 13th and final lead change of the game.
This And That On That Tilt
UTEP shot the ball better (24-of-57, 42.1 percent) than Marshall (22-of-55, 40.0 percent) while also committing fewer turnovers (12 compared to 15) but was ultimately done in at the free-throw line an on the glass. The Thundering Herd connected on 16-of-23 at the charity stripe- compared to 3-of-4 by the Miners- with the discrepancy in part due to the home side enjoying a 43-25 advantage in rebounding.
Drop Off At The Line To Say The Least
UTEP set school records for free throws made (40) and attempted (54) in the victory against East Carolina (1/6), while also tallying 26 points in the paint. The Miners registered 30 points in the paint in the loss at Marshall (1/9), but were just 3-of-4 at the charity stripe. The four tries at the free-throw line rate tied as fifth-fewest in school history.
All About League Road Openers
UTEP slipped to 7-23 all time in league road openers, including 2-4 since joining Conference USA (2005-06). Keitha Adams’ teams are now 3-7 in the situation, including 2-2 since 2008.
UTEP Topples East Carolina, 89-80, In C-USA Opener
Behind a school-record-setting performance at the free-throw line, UTEP downed East Carolina, 89-80, in the Conference USA opener for both teams at the Don Haskins Center on Jan. 6. The Miners set single-game school standards for free throws made (40) and attempted (54). The prior respective program standards were 36 (Oregon State, 12/21/86) and 53, (Bellhaven, 11/27/93). The effort by UTEP rates second for both categories in the overall C-USA record books. It did set a standard for league only games with attempts, shattering the prior mark of 48 (Depaul vs. Charlotte, 2/15/98).
Continuing The Recent Success In League Openers
UTEP is 5-2 since 2005 in league openers, including 4-1 at home during that time frame. Overall the Miners are 5-5 in conference christeners during the Adams era.
Not So Much Before
UTEP went 3-12 (1980-81 to 2000-01) in conference openers, which included separate losing streaks of five and seven games. The Miners were without conference affiliation from 1985-86 to 1988-89.
UTEP Topples New Mexico State, 74-67
Juniors Kim Smith (16 points) and Erika Warren (13 points) each set career highs in scoring to help the UTEP women’s basketball team earn a season split in the SONIC® ® America’s Drive-In® battle of I-10 with a 74-67 victory at New Mexico State on Jan. 2. The Miners trailed by five (36-31) with 15:33 before going on an 11-1 run. They would never trail from that point on. NM State tried to rally down the stretch, but the Orange and Blue took care of business at the free-throw line. UTEP connected on 11-of-14 at the charity stripe over the final 1:23, effectively erasing any chance for the Aggies to rally.
A Season’s Work In A Day
Not only did Kim Smith (16 points) and Erika Warren (13 points) have career days in the triumph against NM State (1/2/11), but they also equaled their effort for scoring on the season in the process. Smith had entered the game with 16 points on the year while Warren checked in with 13.
UTEP Falls At Denver, 72-63
Senior Ashley Milian poured in a season-high 14 points while Gloria Brown and Anete Steinberga each pitched in 13 points but it wasn’t enough as the UTEP women’s basketball team fell, 72-63, to Denver on the road on Dec. 22. The Miners dug themselves early holes of 8-0, 10-2 and 25-13 and could never ultimately recover, with the Pioneers (8-5) holding off several rally attempts. UTEP used a 20-9 surge down the stretch to cut the deficit down to one but it could never take the lead.
Brown’s Buzzer Beater Lifts UTEP Past New Mexico, 64-62
Junior Gloria Brown poured in a career-high 23 points, including converting a lay-up on an up-and-under move as time expired, to UTEP to an exhilarating 64-62 win against rival New Mexico at the Don Haskins Center on Dec. 20. The Miners never trailed in the contest, and kept their composure to the end despite the Lobos clawing back from five down (62-57) with 2:12 to play. UNM pulled even with 22 seconds left after Lauren Taylor sunk a pair of free throws. UTEP inbounded the ball to freshman Kelli Willingham, who broke the press and raced up the court as precious seconds ticked off the clock. Willingham got the ball to senior Sviatlana Trukshanina, who fed Brown in the post with about four seconds remaining in regulation. The 6-2 forward faced up, and used the aforementioned up-and-under move to get to the hoop. She released the ball just before the buzzer sounded and it dropped through the net.
Miners Stomp Texas State
UTEP raced out to a 7-0 lead and used a 20-5 run midway through the opening period on the way to stomping in-state foe Texas State, 94-57, at the Don Haskins Center on Dec. 17. Anete Steinberga (22) and Ashley Milian (13) points led the way for the Miners, with each then tallying season-high point totals.
Cleaning Up On The Glass
UTEP out-rebounded Texas State (12/7) to the tune of 49-29, which was aiding by securing a season-high-tying 21 offensive boards.
UTEP Falls At UCSB
UTEP was tripped up in its first road contest of the season, 68-50, by UC Santa Barbara inside the Thunderdome on Dec. 11. The Miners led by three (33-30) at the half only to have the homestanding Gauchos roar back after the break. UCSB outscored UTEP, 38-17, over the final 20 minutes, including a game-deciding 13-1 surge midway through the stanza. The sequence turned what was a precarious 48-46 UCSB edge into a comfortable 61-47 padding in a span of only three minutes and 18 seconds.
UTEP Drills Cal State Northridge, 79-59
Buoyed by 11 three pointers and a solid effort on the boards (43-34), UTEP stomped Cal State Northridge, 79-59, inside historic Memorial Gym on Dec. 3. The Miners, who never trailed in the contest, closed out the first half on a 24-6 run to stake a 19-point lead (40-21) at the break. They continued to pour it on the second stanza, eventually extending their cushion out to as many as 33 (73-40). The Matadors, to their credit, played hard to the final whistle but never were able to get closer than 20.
Green Gets It Going
Junior guard Briana Green led the way by pouring in a season-high 20 points against Cal State Northridge. She was locked in from distance, drilling 5-of-9 three-point attempts.
UTEP Edged By Arkansas In Tournament Title Tilt
UTEP gave Southeastern Conference foe Arkansas everything it wanted before ultimately falling, 59-56, in the championship contest of the fourth-annual UTEP Thanksgiving Classic on Nov. 27. It was a defensive-minded game, which featured seven ties and 13 lead changes. The Miners led by as many as seven (twice in the first half), and were up by two (53-51) with 5:50 to play. The Razorbacks surged ahead on a 5-0 run but Kristine Vitola sank three free throws over the next couple of possessions to tie the game at 56 with 1:36 left. UA regained the advantage, for good as it would turn out, after a C’eira Ricketts made a free throw. She knocked down two more in the waning seconds to put the unbeaten visiting squad up, 59-56, with 11 seconds to play. Junior Briana Green’s three-pointer as time expired came up short, though.
UTEP Shoots Past Idaho State, 77-66
Behind a barrage of three pointers (11-of-19) and a solid showing defensively UTEP downed Idaho State, 77-66, in its first game of the Thanksgiving Tournament on Nov. 26. The Miners never trailed in the game, and were up by 11 (36-25) at the break. UTEP led by as many as 19 twice, including 64-45 at 5:45 to play in the second half. ISU used a 14-4 run to slice the deficit down to seven (67-60 at 2:45) but it could get no closer than that down the stretch.
Freshman Kelli Willingham poured in career-high 23 points while fellow classmate Kayla Thornton recorded her second straight double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds) to lead the way for the Miners in the win against Idaho State (11/26).
UTEP Races Past Alcorn State, 85-72
Fueled by Kayla Thornton’s first career double-double (17 points, 11 rebounds), an excellent all-around game by junior Dietra Caldwell (25 points, 6 rebounds & 6 assists) and a quality second half, UTEP dispatched a feisty Alcorn State squad, 85-72, at home on Nov. 22. The Miners trailed by one (40-39) with 19:01 to play in the second half but changed that quickly with a game-deciding 16-6 surge over the next six minutes. The Lady Braves were unable to get any closer than seven from that point, and UTEP enjoyed a double-digit advantage over the final eight minutes of the game.
UTEP Eases Past Eastern New Mexico
UTEP raced out to an early 7-0 lead and never looked back en route to posting a wire-to-wire 79-48 win against Eastern New Mexico at home on Nov. 20. The Miners were up by 15 at the half (37-22) and put things on cruise control in the second stanza. The Zias got no closer than 21 over the final 11 minutes of the contest.
Key Players From The ENMU Contest
Junior forward Gloria Brown led the way with a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds), while Anete Steinberga (12 points) and Kelli Willingham (11 points) reached double figures for scoring as well. Freshman Kayla Thornton contributed nine points and eight rebounds in 17 minutes of action off the bench, with Kristine Vitola (eight points, six caroms) and Dietra Caldwell (eight points, five assists and four rebounds) also impressing.
UTEP Drops OT Heartbreaker To NM State
In a game in which featured nine ties and 15 lead changes, UTEP was edged out by New Mexico State, 80-75, in overtime in the SONIC® America’s Drive-In® battle of I-10 at home on Nov. 17. The Miners led 67-58 with 2:23 to play in regulation but the Aggies forced OT on the strength of a 12-3 run to close out the period. The two teams traded blows in the extra session before NM State pulled ahead (76-75), and it managed to hold on down the stretch.
UTEP Powers Past UC Irvine
A dominating effort on the boards (54-28), timely runs and stifling defense added up to a 72-57 home win for UTEP against UC Irvine on Nov. 13. The Miners used a 19-3 run late in the first half to help build a 13-point halftime lead (47-34), and the Anteaters could get no closer than 12 from that point on.
Brown Deliveries The Goods
Junior-college transfer Gloria Brown came off the bench to lead the way for the Miners with a double-double (22 points, 10 rebounds) in only 17 minutes of action vs. UCI. The She connected on 10-of-15 shots from the floor, in addition to knocking down both of her tosses at the charity stripe.
More Miner Standouts From UCI Game
Dietra Caldwell joined Gloria Brown in double digits (17 pts.), while also securing eight boards. Sophomore Kristine Vitola pitched in eight points and a career-high nine rebounds while fellow classmate Anete Steinberga finished with six points and seven caroms. Freshman Kelli Willingham was effective in running the offense, dishing out a game-high seven assists.
UTEP is now 18-19 all time in season openers, including a mark of 15-6 when doing so in El Paso. The Miners moved to 5-5 in campaign lidlifters under head coach Keitha Adams, and they stand at 5-2 under her direction when starting the year in the Sun City. In terms of home openers, UTEP is 24-13, including 7-3 under Adams’ direction.
UTEP Downs St. Mary’s
Powered by a solid showing defensively and a balanced approach on offense, UTEP romped St. Mary’s, 67-37, in an exhibition contest at home on Nov. 7. The Miners led by 10 (26-16) at the break before running over the Rattlers (41-21) in the second stanza. Five different players scored at least seven points for the Orange and Blue, with Gloria Brown, Briana Green and Kayla Thornton leading the way with 10 points each. Freshman guard Kelli Willingham (nine points), junior forward Erika Warren (eight points) and sophomore post Anete Steinberga (seven points) also got in on the action.