UTEP Opens Two-Game Road Swing At ODU Saturday
Feb. 14, 2014
THE OPENING ACT
- UTEP (19-4, 8-2 C-USA) shoots for its 20th win of the year when it opens up a critical two-game road trip at Old Dominion (11-13, 4-6 C-USA) at 5 p.m. MST Saturday.
- The Miners have won six straight games, which ties as the eighth-longest streak at the school.
- Aiming for program-record 3rd straight year with 20+ wins but ODU is 8-3 at home in ‘13-14.
- This year’s team is the third in program history to stand at least 8-2 through 10 league games.
- Previous two squads (2007-08, 10-0 & 16-0 final; 2011-12, 10-0 & 16-0 final) to do so won a C-USA title.
- Four of the final six games in the regular season will be on the road.
- Tune in to 1150 AM or follow @UTEPWBB on twitter to stay up with the action.
INSIDE THE SERIES
- Old Dominion won the only meeting between the programs, 77-71, in a neutral-site contest on Feb. 24, 1989.
THIRD-BEST IN TEXAS SINCE 06-07
- The Miners have the third-most wins among all DI programs in the state of Texas since the start of the 2006-07 season.
- Recent national champions Baylor (235-39) & Texas A&M (207-63) lead the way while UTEP (170-72, has a firm grip on third.
- Lamar (154-92-4th), Texas (148-103-5th), TCU (147-98-6th), SMU (145-97-7th), Prairie View A&M (140-108-8th), Texas Tech (136-115-9th), and UTSA (128-110-10th) wrap up the top 10.
QUITE A RUN
- UTEP is 70-18 since the start of the 2011-12 season, including 19-4 this year.
- Have registered 50 double-digit wins in stretch.
- Only five double-digit losses in time frame.
- Aiding record were nine winning streaks of at least three games. The breakdown is as follows:
15 game (12/31/11 through 2/23/12)
10 game (11/12/11 through 12/17/11)
9 game (12/1/12 through 1/13/13)
9 game (11/8/13 through 12/15/13)
6 game (1/22/14 to present)
5 game (11/0/12 through 11/23/12)
4 game (3/1/12 through 3/10/12)
3 game (1/24/13 through 1/27/13)
3 game (3/8/13 through 3/14/13)
- Contrast that with one three-game losing skid.
- (RV) Middle Tennessee (9-1) tops the league.
- Tulane (9-2), East Carolina (8-2), UTEP (8-2) & Southern Miss (7-3) are only others above .500
- Charlotte, FIU & UAB are .500 in league play.
- The top-four finishers will earn a double-bye for the C-USA Championships.
- Teams 5-8 will secure a first-round bye
- Middle Tennessee (#28), Southern Miss (#50), UTEP (#51), East Carolina (#62) and Tulane (#96) all sport top-100 RPI rankings.
- C-USA is tied for the most top-100 RPI rankings among non-power conferences at five (Atlantic 10 & Wester Coast Conference). Overall the league is tied for seventh nationally in area.
- League teams stand a combined 124-54 at home.
RUNDOWN ON THE 2013-14 MINERS
(19-4, 8-2 C-USA, 14-1 home, 4-2 road, 1-1 neutral)
- On cusp of third straight 20+ win season, which would be a first at the school.
- Posted second-best start in school history (9-0).
- Split final four non-conference games to head into C-USA play at 11-2 on the year.
- Secured third straight & sixth overall 2-0 start to league play before dropping back-to-back tilts.
- Won all six games since to move to 19-4.
- Nash & Vitola missed last year due to torn ACLs.
- Willingham missed seven contests this year due to an injured left hand.
- Nine players earn at least 10.0 mpg, with seven logging +20.0 mpg.
- No Miner above 30.0 mpg, which also occurred during record-setting 2011-12 season.
- Six newcomers have played for UTEP this year.
LAST TIME OUT
- UTEP pushed its winning streak to six after an impressive 83-62 victory against FIU in front of a season-high and the eighth-largest crowd (5,102) in program history on Feb. 13.
- Freshman Sparkle Taylor (career-high 16 points, five rebounds), Kayla Thornton (14 points, 12 rebounds) and Kristine Vitola (12 points, six rebounds) helped the Miners pound the Panthers in the paint (50-14) and on the boards (48-36).
- It marked the single-season school-record 14th double-double for Thornton.
- UTEP drilled 44.1 percent from the floor (30-of-68) and drained 18-of-21 free throws.
- The Miners swarmed to the ball defensively, making FIU, and in particular two-time All-American and the nation’s second-leading scorer Jerica Coley (29.8 points per game), work for everything it got. Coley managed just 10 points on 4-of-18 shooting from the floor, and it had a trickle-down effect on the rest of the squad. FIU finished at just 34.4 percent (22-of-64) from the floor while also being harassed into 16 turnovers.
GETTING TO KNOW OLD DOMINION
(11-13, 4-6 C-USA, 8-3 home, 2-8 away & 1-2 neutral).
- Went 7-7 in non-conference play, aided by a three-game winning streak to start December.
- Was 2-2 through four C-USA contests before dropping three straight to wrap up January.
- Claimed first two tilts in February before falling last time out, 68-52, at North Texas (2/8/14).
- Won five of first six home games on the year before dropping two of the next three.
- Is perfect at home (2-0) in the month of February.
- 8-2 when scoring at least 65 points.
- 1-9 when yielding 70 or more points.
- Six different players contribute +6.0 ppg
- Only two players better than 5.0 rpg.
- Top-four scorers all below 60% at charity stripe.
- First-year member of C-USA.
- Prestigious program with 43 total conference championships (21 regular/22 tournament) during its years in the CAA & Sun Belt.
- Made 25 NCAA Tournament appearances, including winning it all in 1985.
- Notable alumni include Ben Bailey (host of Cash Cab) and Nancy Lieberman (Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer).
THE BASIC FACTS ON UTEP
- This is the 40th season of UTEP women’s hoops.
- Stand 488-600 all time, including 19-4 in ‘13-14.
- Four 20+ win seasons (all since 2006-07).
- Two regular-season league championships (2008 & 2012) & one league tourney title (2012).
- Became first C-USA women’s team to go 16-0 while claiming initial league title in 2008.
- Finished 15-1 in 2012 & won C-USA tournament.
- Own C-USA single-season record for winning streak at 23, which was set in 2007-08.
- Appeared in 2008 & 2012 NCAA Tournaments.
- Earned at-large bid as #7 seed in 2008.
- Beat #10 seed Western Kentucky, 92-60 (3/22/08) in the first round of ‘08 “Big Dance.”
- Bowed out with 88-54 loss at two-seed & #4 nationally Stanford (3/24/08). Stanford ultimately lost in the NCAA title game.
- Awarded a #13 seed at 2012 NCAA Tournament, in spite of 29-3 record & winning both the C-USA regular-season & tournament title.
- Faced #4 seed & #12 in polls Penn State ‘12 NCAA First Round. Tied at the half (39-39) before eventually falling, 85-77, (3/18/12).
- Never played in WNIT.
- The University of Texas at El Paso is in the midsts of its centennial celebration, which will continue through ‘14-15.
- Notable alumni include former ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Sam Donaldson, well-respected NFL referee Ed Hochuli, former NASA astronaut Danny Olivas engineer & Dennis Poon, who designed Taipei 101 & some of the tallest buildings in the world.
THE ADAMS FILE
- UTEP is led by 13th-year head coach and the all-time win leader in program history, Keitha Adams, who is 225-161 in that time frame.
- Adams is 352-198 in her 18th year as a collegiate head coach, making her one of six active coaches in C-USA women’s basketball to have 300+ career victories.
- All four 20+ win seasons & six of the seven with 18+ wins at UTEP have been under Adams.
- 8th straight & 9th overall season with 16+ wins.
- Three such seasons in first 27 years of program.
- Both NCAA tournament bids & all three league championships at the school under Adams.
- 196-104, including 19-4 in ‘13-14, past 10 years.
- 115-156 was best record for 10-year stretch before her arrival.
- Earned votes in top-25 poll in three straight years & six times overall.
- Never achieved feat before Adams’ era.
- Nationally ranked for final six weeks of ‘07-08.
- 13 of 18 individual career record holders at UTEP currently play or have played for Adams.
- Coached 18 players who have gone on to play professionally. List includes ‘08 WNBA draft picks Izabela Piekarska & Natasha Lacy.
- Impacted the international game at the highest level, with Noni Wharemate representing New Zealand at ‘08 Olympic Games.
- Every player who has exhausted her eligibility at UTEP during her tenure has graduated.
- Leads C-USA & is 20th nationally at 80.0 ppg.
- Only two previous teams (1980-81, 71.5 & 2007-08, 71.4) finished at better than 70.0 ppg.
- Scored 70+ points in 19 of 23 games this year,
- 90+ points in three games, which ties the 1979-80 squad for the most in a single season.
- Program-best 14 games with 80+ points.
- The prior standard was nine (1980-81).
- Made 15 or fewer turnovers in 17 of 23 games.
- Nailed 78 total three pointers in C-USA play.
- Hit 32 triples the final nine non-conference tilts.
- 71.0% at free-throw line, which would me the third-best figure in program history.
- Hit 20 or more free throws in 11 games.
- Better than 44% from floor in nine contests, including three of the past four.
- Kayla Thornton paces team with 19.5 ppg, which would be second-best ever at school.
- Holly Russ (22.2 ppg, 1990-91) holds record.
- Five others at better than 5.0 ppg.
- Gloria Brown (12.1 ppg, 2011-12) was last reserve to average double figures in scoring.
- Held foes to 52.8 ppg over first seven games, aided by a field-goal defense percentage of 32.6 (125-of-384).
- Allowed 75.9 ppg the next 11 contests, with the opposition nailing 43.9 percent (302-of-688).
- Was much better the ensuing three games, with foes being held to 59.3 ppg one a combined 33.2 percent (63-of-190) shooting.
- Allowed Louisiana Tech to sink 43.3 percent (29-of-67) from the floor & tally 75 points
- Limited FIU to 34.4% & 62 points last time out.
- At least 7 steals in 20 games, with 10+ 12 times.
- 12th squad in school history with 100+ blocks.
- Forced at least 17 turnovers in 15 games.
- Opponents committed 20 or more turnovers in five straight games (11/16/13 through 12/3/13), for the first time since the 1996-97 season (six).
- Enjoyed school-record-tying stretch of three consecutive games (11/16/13 to 11/27/13) of holding opposition to fewer than 45 points.
- Records are made to be broken, so here is a list of single-season records that are in jeopardy.
Category 2013-14 Record
Double-Digit Wins 16 20 (2011-12)
Free Throws 445 468 (2000-01)
Free Throw Attempts 627 712 (1988-89)
Home Wins 14 16 (2006-07)
Rebounds/Game 44.9 44.5 (1996-97)
Scoring Margin 14.1 13.4 (2011-12)
Scoring Offense 80.2 71.5 (1980-81)
- Senior Kayla Thornton could become the first Miner to average a double-double. Other records in jeopardy are listed below.
INDIVIDUAL SINGLE SEASON
Category 2013-14 Record
Double-Doubles 14 Same
10+ points streak 22 23 (A. Steinberga, ‘12-13)
Field Goals 161 217 (L. Watson, ‘88-89)
Points 449 600 (H. Russ, ‘90-91)
Rebound Avg 10.6 10.0 (B. Stoney, ‘79-80)
Rebounds 244 294 (C. Parker, ‘12-13)
- Here is the list of individual career standards that have already or could be broken.
Category (Player) Number Record
DBL/DBL (Thornton) 35 SAME
Field Goals (Thornton) 535 SAME
Free Throws (Thornton)321 359 (J. Hughes, ‘06-10)
FT Attempts (Thornton)448 492 (J. Hughes, ‘06-10)
Games Won (Seniors) 86 SAME
Games Played (Vitola) 120 120 (T. Williams, ‘06-10)
Points (Thornton) 1,465 1,555 (J. Hughes, ‘06-10)
Rebounds (Thornton) 932 SAME
3 Pointers (Willingham)198 208 (A. Billhymer, ‘93-97)
- Sixteen of 19 wins by double figures.
- Marks the eighth season under Keitha Adams with at least 10 double-digit victories.
- Achieved four times in 27 years before Adams.
- Single-season school record is 20 (2011-12)followed by 2007-08 squad (18), 2006-07 (15) & this year’s squad.
- This year’s team has a +14.1 scoring margin.
- The current school standard is +13.4 (2011-12).
- Set a school record with seven straight wins by double figures (11/8 through 12/3). Prior standard was six (2006-07 & 2011-12).
- Included in stretch were back-to-back wins by 45+ points for first time in school history.
- School-record 49-point differential vs. DI 1 foe in 92-43 win vs. Northern Arizona (11/22/13)
- Beat Kansas State by 45 points (84-39) on Nov. 16, its third-best margin of win vs. Dl opposition.
- Set school record for biggest halftime lead vs. DI opponent against KSU (46-13).
- Also won four straight games (11/12/13 to 11/27/13) by 20+ points in the stretch for first time since ‘06-07 & third occasion in the program’s history.
CHECK THE STATS
- The difference between winning & losing can be stark. Here’s UTEP’s breakdown.
In 19 Wins (Average Stats)
Team Pts FG% 3fg% FT% RB TO
UTEP 82.4 42.5 33.1 71.7 45.9 14.4
Opp. 62.3 36.7 31.1 63.1 38.6 20.3
In 4 Losses (Average Stats)
Team Pts FG% 3fg% FT% RB TO
UTEP 69.8 37.7 31.5 66.7 40.0 18.8
Opp. 84.2 48.8 35.4 66.7 43.2 17.0
- 5-0 on year & 64-3 with +20 assists during the Keitha Adams era.
- 7-0 on season & 78-12 under Adams when opposition has more turnovers than field goals.
- Undefeated in 2013-14 (16-0) & 172-36 overall during Adams’ era when leading at the break.
- 18-2 on year & 151-52 under Adams when winning the rebounding battle.
- 13-1 on year & 65-4 under Adams when scoring 80 or more points.
- Has not conceded 70+ points in three straight games since early in league play in 2003, a span of 341 contests.
- 52-13 when Kristine Vitola starts.
- 47-15 when Chrishauna Parker starts.
ALL ABOUT THE SCHEDULE
- UTEP will play host to the C-USA Championships (March 11-15, 2014) for the second time since joining the league.
- UTEP’s opponents at the conclusion of non-conference play were 59-73 (.447), for a strength of schedule of 256.
- UTEP’s strength of schedule has jumped to 125th since starting C-USA play (235-215, .522).
- The Miners’ remaining opponents are a combined 73-62 (.541), which ranks as the 102nd-toughest schedule left.
- UTEP’s foes (past & future) are a combined 297-266 (.531) which is 110th nationally.
- UTEP went 2-2 on the year against teams from power conferences.
HOME SWEET HOME
- 145-55 at home during Keitha Adams’ era.
- 137-37 in El Paso since 2003-04.
- 110-23 since ‘06-07, with 12+ wins each year.
- Four 10+ win seasons in 27 years before Adams.
- Only one of those teams (12-1, ‘88-89) hit mark.
- 43-6 since the start of 2011-12
- 14-1 in 2013-14, aided by a 10-0 start (2nd ever).
- Single-season record (16-2, ‘06-07) in jeopardy.
- Chance to match 2006-07 squad (16-2) for most home wins in a single season.
- Last two-game home skid was in 2009-10.
- Have not dropped 2 league home tilts in span of 7 days since 2005-06 (first year in C-USA).
ALL ABOUT THE FANS
- UTEP has paced C-USA in attendance & been among top 50 nationally in back-to-back years.
- All four non-conference home games of 3,000+ fans at school have been under Keitha Adams.
- 26 of the 32 home games in school history with 3,000+ fans occurred during Adams’ tenure.
- 24-8 all time in such contests, including 21-5 under Adams.
- 57-92 on road during Keitha Adams’ era.
- 14-52 in hostile territory her first five seasons.
- 43-40, including 4-2 this year, since 2006-07.
- 19-9 since the 2011-12 season.
- School-record 3rd straight year with 4+ road wins.
- Needs a win at either ODU (2/15), North Texas (2/19), Rice (3/1) or Florida Atlantic (3/5) to secure a 7th season with a winning percentage of .500 or better for seventh time under Adams.
- Feat achieved once in first 27 years of program.
- Two wins in final four would ensure the third winning road record under Adams.
- Never happened before Adams.
Class of 2014 (Thornton, Vitola & Willingham)
- This year’s senior class has aided UTEP to a school-record mark of 86-32 since 2010-11.
- Has led UTEP to back-to-back 20+ win seasons.
- UTEP never had three straight 20+ win seasons.
Kayla Thornton (Senior)
- Owns school records for double-doubles (34), rebounds (920) & field goals (531).
- Owns school records for double-doubles (35), rebounds (932) and field goals (535).
- Second all time at UTEP in points (1,465).
- Jareica Hughes’ (2006-10) mark (1,555) will be Thornton’s by year’s end if she stays healthy.
- Also has top-10 rankings for free-throws made (321-3rd), free-throws attempted (448-3rd), field-goal attempts 1,203-3rd), steals (184-3rd), rebounding average (8.0-t4th), games played (117-t4th), starts (98-5th), minutes played (3,064-6th), blocked shots (59-9th) and scoring average (12.5-9th) & field-goal percentage (44.5-10th).
- Voted C-USA Player of the Week five times, including four selections in 2013-14.
- Back-to-back second-team All C-USA selection.
- 2012 C-USA All-Tournament Team.
- 2014 Preseason All C-USA team member.
Kristine Vitola (Senior)
- Ranks fourth all time at UTEP for blocks (154)
- Appeared in 120 games, putting her even with Timika Williams’ (2006-10) school record.
- Eighth in free-throw percentage (75.6).
- Third Miner with 700+ points (767), 500+ rebounds (521) & 100+ blocks (154).
- 20th Miner with 2,000+ minutes played (2,256).
Kelli Willingham (Senior)
- Pure shooter on both free throws & triples.
- Second at UTEP for FT percentage (79.2, three-pointers made (198) and three-pointers attempted (549).
- Seventh in 3-PT field-goal percentage (36.1).
- Third in minutes (3,359), tied for third in starts (103) & 10th in field-goal tries (903) & scoring (980).
- 20 points shy of being 10th Miner with +1,000)
- Jareica Hughes’ (2006-10) school standard for assists (599) but Willingham has firm hold on second (346)
- Joined Hughes as only Miners with 900+ points (980) & 300+ assists (346).
Chrishauna Parker (Junior)
- Aided UTEP to a mark of 70-18, including back-to-back 20+ win seasons.
- Only player in program history to rank in the top 10 for career assists & rebounds.
- Sixth at UTEP in career rebounds (593).
- Ranks 10th for career rebounding average (7.1)
- Also a member of the 600-point club (617)-
- Fourth for career field-goal percentage (46.5)
- Eighth in assists (234)
CLIFFSNOTES ON 2013-14 CAMPAIGN
at UTEP 85, Louisiana Tech 75 (2/5/14)
- Senior Kristine Vitola (career-high 23 points, 10 rebounds) and senior Kayla Thornton (22 points, 11 rebounds) each recorded double-doubles to help lift UTEP past upset-minded Louisiana Tech, 85-75, at the Don Haskins Center on Feb. 5
- Trailing 70-69 with 3:29 to play, the Miners turned to their seniors. Vitola and Thornton were ready to carry the load, scoring a combined 11 points during a game-closing 16-5 surge to extend UTEP’s win streak to five
- 30 3PT attempts (tied fourth all time at UTEP).
UTEP 86, at Tulane 72 (2/1/14)
- Kayla Thornton put up big numbers for her 12th double-double (29 points, 18 rebounds) on the year, and UTEP played a great second half to post a convincing 86-72 win at Tulane on Feb. 1.
- The Miners outscored the Green Wave ,58-37, over the final 20 minutes on the way to extending their win streak to four.
- UTEP nailed 58.8 percent (20-of-34) from the floor in the second half to finish with a solid 44.6 percent (29-of-65) overall for the game.
- It had success both inside and out, with seven of its 11 three pointers (tied eighth most in school history) coming in the second stanza
- Kelli Willingham (14 points), Kristine Vitola (13 points) and Stacie Telles (11 points) all joined Thornton in double figures while Jenzel Nash pitched in eight points and freshman Sparkle Taylor added six points and six boards.
at UTEP 77, Marshall 50 (1/29/14)
- Sophomore Irene Gari came off the bench to score a season-high 18 points, and UTEP thundered past Marshall, 77-50, at the Don Haskins Center Jan. 29.
- The Miners never trailed.
- UTEP hit 45.2 percent (28-of-62) from the floor, aided by 21 assists on 28 field goals.
- Stacie Telles ran the offense well with a career-high seven assists, but more importantly, did not have any turnovers, in 20 minutes of action.
- Marshall was held to 28.6 percent (16-of-56) & had 22 turnovers that led to 24 UTEP points.
- The Miners enjoyed advantages in points in the paint (26-12), second-chance points (19-5) and bench scoring (31-18) & won boards (40-38).
UTEP 67, at UTSA 56 (1/25/14)
– Kayla Thornton notched her 10th double-double (21 points, 16 rebounds) of the year, and UTEP made all the hustle plays in a 67-56 road conquest of UTSA on Jan. 25.
- In a game in which knocking down shots was a challenge for both sides (UTEP 23-of-69, 33.3 percent & UTSA 20-of-59, 33.3 percent), the difference came on the glass.
- UTEP won the boards (57-36), aided by 23 offensive boards. That led to a 19-5 cushion in second-chance points.
- The Miners never trailed & led by as many as 17.
- Kristine Vitola nearly posted a double-double (15 points, nine rebounds) while also blocking three shots.
- Sparkle Taylor came off the bench to set career highs for points (nine) & rebounds (seven).
at UTEP 86, Southern Miss 85 (1/22/14)
- Chrishauna Parker posted a huge double-double (21 points, 16 rebounds) to fuel the biggest comeback in program history, with UTEP erasing a 23-point second-half deficit to topple Southern Miss, 86-85, in overtime at the Don Haskins Center on Jan. 22
- The Golden Eagles led 45-22 with 16:31 to play but the Miners fought all the way back.
- UTEP outscored USM, 59-38, in the second half.
- Parker grabbed one of her nine offensive rebounds to set up Kelli Willingham’s game-tying three with a little more than a minute left.
- It marked the first tie since early in the game.
- USM went back ahead with a lay-up but Parker ensured OT with two clutch free throws with 34 seconds remaining in regulation.
- Southern Miss struck first in OT but a 9-2 run put UTEP by five with 1:37.
- USM peeled off five straight points to pull even.
- Kayla Thornton, who poured in 26 points, then split a pair of free throws & stole the ball on a bad pass to seal the historic comeback.
- UTEP won the rebounding battle (46-44), while also enjoying advantages in points off turnovers (25-15) and second-chance points (22-14).
Charlotte 92, UTEP 86 (1/18/14)
- Five different Miners reached double figures in scoring & UTEP forced 22 turnovers only to have visiting Charlotte ride the hot hand of Hillary Sigmon (32 points) to pull off a 92-86 victory at the Don Haskins Center Jan. 18.
- The 178 combined points tied as eighth-most in program history.
- UTEP is now 61-4 under Keitha Adams when scoring 80+ points.
- Marks the first home loss of the campaign.
- Led 34-26 with 4:26 to play in the first half but Charlotte closed the period on a 14-4 run.
- 49ers used 10-0 midway through second half to grab a 13-point lead & never relinquished it.
- Boards (43-40), and second-chance points (22-14) favored UTEP but Charlotte shot 61 percent.
at Middle Tennessee 69, UTEP 58 (1/15/14)
- UTEP sustained a hard-fought 69-58 loss at Middle Tennessee on Jan. 15.
- The Miners shot a better percentage from the floor (42.9 to 39.0) while also outrebounding (43-36) the Blue Raiders but were plagued by turnovers & fouls.
- Season-high 25 turnovers led to 27 MT points, with eight of them due to offensive fouls.
- 28 fouls, including the eight on offensive.
- MT was 17-of-32 at the free-throw line.
- UTEP was 9-of-17 at the charity stripe.
- Kayla Thornton posted a double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds) before fouling out for the first time since her freshman season and the second occasion of her career.
at UTEP 97, Tulsa 66 (1/11/14)
- Senior Kayla Thornton posted a monstrous double-double (22 points & school-record-tying 20 rebounds) while sophomore Jenzel Nash poured in a season-best 24 points, and UTEP toppled Tulsa, 97-66, in its C-USA home opener on Jan. 11.
- Nailed 12 three pointers, which ties as the sixth-highest sum in school history.
- Season-high & ninth-most points in school history, aided by 20 assists on 36 field goals.
- Thornton was first Miner with 20/20 game. Former Miner great Kanequa Chancellor fell just shy of the feat with 18 points and 20 boards against SE Missouri State on Nov. 29, 1997.
- Thornton was voted C-USA Player of Week after averaging 22.5 points & 13.5 rebounds.
UTEP 85, at UAB 76 (1/8/14)
- Kayla Thornton tallied 23 points while grabbing seven board to become the school’s all-time leading rebounder and Kelli Willingham added 18 points (on six threes) to propel UTEP to an 85-76 road conquest of UAB at Bartow Arena in the Conference USA opener for both squads on Jan. 8.
- UTEP drilled 41.3% from the floor (26-of-63) from the floor, including 9-of-18 (50.0%)
- Making free throws (24-of-27) and winning the rebounding battle (43-31) were also big factors.
- Thornton’s seven rebounds gave her 815 for her career to surpass former Miner great Kim Watts’ prior standard (810, 1978-81)
- Fifth straight win in a league opener.
- Now 8-5 in the situation under Keitha Adams.
- 7-2 in league lidlifters since joining C-USA.
- 12-21 in conference openers, with the 4-16 record in such games being a big factor.
at Texas A&M 74, UTEP 58 (1/2/14)
- Jenzel Nash scored a season-high 20 points and UTEP forced 25 turnovers but it wasn’t enough to offset a challenging shooting night in a 74-58 loss at SEC power Texas A&M on Jan. 2.
- UTEP trailed by 25 with 8:23 to play before a 16-4 run in four minutes cut the deficit to 13.
- Texas A&M had only four free throws & six points total in the final 6:24 but held on due to its defense.
- UTEP was held to a season-low 32.8 percent (21-of-64) & was 0-of-12 on three pointers.
- It marked the first time since 2005-06 that the Miners didn’t connect from distance in a game.
- Another factor was rebounding, which was in favor of Texas A&M (45-32). UTEP had more offensive rebounds (12) than the Aggies (11), with the margin being more of an indication of the shooting percentage than anything else.
at UTEP 87, Texas Southern 61 (12/29/13)
- Kayla Thornton poured in 23 points and UTEP used a huge second half to topple upset-minded Texas Southern, 87-61, at the Don Haskins Center on Dec. 29.
- The Miners led by five (34-29) at the break before unleashing a lethal full-court press that befuddled the Lady Tigers. The visitors committed 18 of their 26 turnovers in the second half, which led to 26 of UTEP’s 53 points in the stanza.
UTEP 88, Belmont 74 (12/21/13)
- Kayla Thornton turned in a virtuoso performance by setting career highs in points (36), rebounds (16) and blocked shots (four) to guide UTEP past Belmont, 88-74, inside Guillermo Angulo Coliseum in its final game of the Puerto Rico Classic on Dec. 21.
- Thornton’s 36 points are the most by a Miner since 1991 and the third-highest total in school history. Holly Russ (40 vs. UTSA, 2/19/91 and 37 vs. Baylor, 12/17/91) holds the top-two slots
- She had 23 pts & nine rbs at the break, to help UTEP lead 49-26 heading into halftime.
- Belmont made things interesting by cutting that margin down to seven (74-67) with 2:50 to play but the Orange and Blue kept their composure.
- The Miners went 9-of-10 at the free-throw line in the final 1:22 to seal the win.
Georgia Tech 102, UTEP 77 (12/20/13)
- UTEP put up a good fight but ACC power Georgia Tech had simply too much firepower, as the Miners sustained their first loss of the year, 102-77, inside Guillermo Angulo Coliseum at the Puerto Rico Classic Dec. 20.
- Problems arose, though, in trying to slow down the Jackets’ one-two punch of Kaela Davis (26 points) and Tyaunna Marshall (23 points).
- The duo teamed up for 33 in the first half, which helped Tech stake a 54-38 lead at the break.
- UTEP regrouped and played even (33-33) with Tech over the first 16 minutes of the second stanza. The Jackets, who used a full-court press the entire game, used a 15-6 push to account for the 25-point margin.
- Points in the paint (59-28), points off turnover (25-8) and rebounding (52-42) all favored Georgia Tech.
at UTEP 87, SE Louisiana 65 (12/15/13)
- Kayla Thornton posted her fifth double-double this season (16 points, 10 rebounds) to lead a quartet of players in double figures, and UTEP remained undefeated with a 87-65 conquest of Southeastern Louisiana on Dec. 15.
- Led by two (14-12) six minutes in before kicking it into high gear with a 24-3 run to blow the game wide open.
- Connected on 48.7 (37-of-76) shots from the floor, and shared the ball well with 19 assists.
- 32-7 cushion in points from the bench.
- Also enjoyed advantages in points in the paint (56-32), points off turnovers (30-21), fast-break points (19-4) and points off turnovers (30-21).
at UTEP 76, SMU 71 (12/7/13)
- Kayla Thornton (21 points, 10 rebounds) and Chrishauna Parker (12 points, 15 rebounds) recorded double-doubles while Jenzel Nash provided a spark off the bench with 19 points to help lead UTEP past long-time rival SMU, 76-71, at home on Dec. 7.
- The Mustangs, who were 8-1 entering the game, jumped out to a double-digit lead (14-4) six minutes into the contest.
- UTEP used a 31-14 run to carry a 35-28 cushion into halftime & extended it out to 47-2 with 15:29 to play.
- SMU wasn’t done, though, especially not with Keena Mays at its disposal. Mays, who finished with a game-high 34 points, refused to let her squad go down without a fight. It whittled the deficit down to two (56-54) with 7:28 to play, but UTEP would not relinquish the advantage.
- Free throws (25-of-37) and winning the rebounding battle (47-45) proved vital, as did committing only 15 turnovers against a well-executed press by the visitors.
UTEP 80, at NM State 61 (12/3/13)
- Kayla Thornton (20 points), Chrishauna Parker (career-high 19 points), Jenzel Nash (14 points) and Irene Gari (10 points) all reached double figures in scoring to help power UTEP to an 80-61 road conquest of I-10 rival New Mexico State on Dec. 3.
- Sixth sweep of series during Keitha Adams era.
- Miners led by four (39-35) at the break before finding another gear to leave NM State in dust.
- Forced 24 turnovers, including 17 in second half, while holding Aggies to 38% shooting.
- No such issues for UTEP, which had just 12 turnovers & nailed 42.6% of its shots.
- UTEP also hit its free throws (20-of-26) & won the battle of the boards (39-34).
at UTEP 73, Texas State 60 (11/30/13)
- Led 41-23 at half & the advantage swelled to as many as 22 (54-32, 11:58 to play).
- Texas State never got closer than 12 rest of way.
- There were 56 combined infractions in the game (30 on UTEP, 26 on Texas State).
- The Miners knocked down 21-of-32 free throws and TSU finished at 14-of-30 from the charity stripe.
- UTEP won the rebounding battle, 44-40, aided by 12 from Chrishauna Parker & 10 from Thornton.
at UTEP 63, Northern Colorado 40 (11/27/13)
- Fueled by a huge second half (42-16), UTEP dispatched upset-minded Northern Colorado, 63-40, at the Don Haskins Center on Nov. 27.
- The Bears led by three (24-21) at the break.
- UTEP hit 46.6 percent (27-of-58) of its shots.
- UNC shots 27.5 (14-of-51) percent & committed 30 turnovers that led to 36 UTEP points.
- UTEP out-scored UNC in points in the paint (42-16) & on fast-break tries (15-2) to more than compensate for losing the rebounding battle 46-31.
at UTEP 92, Northern Arizona 43 (11/22/13)
- UTEP jumped out to a 25-point (45-20) halftime lead and didn’t let up on the way to recording its largest margin of victory (49) ever against a Division 1 team in a 92-43 thrashing of Northern Arizona at home on Nov. 26.
- UTEP harassed the Lumberjacks into making 29 turnovers while also holding them to 32.0 percent shooting from the floor.
- The 29 giveaways led to 31 points for the Orange and Blue.
- UTEP registered 20 assists & hit 50% from field.
- Transfer Anete Kirsteine came off the bench to tally a career high 15 points- all on triples- to lead a quartet of Miners in double figures for scoring.
- Overall 11 different players scored in the game, showing off the Orange and Blue’s depth in the process.
- UTEP drained the seventh-most three pointers (11) in a contest in program annals.
at UTEP 84, Kansas State 39 (11/16/13)
- UTEP forced 34 turnovers and held Big 12 member Kansas State to 26.3 percent shooting from the floor in a 84-39 shellacking at the Don Haskins Center on Nov. 16.
- The 45-point differential is the third-biggest (second at the time) margin of victory against a Division 1 opponent in school history, which was aided by the program’s biggest halftime lead (46-13) vs. a DI foe.
- Five different Miners reached double figures in scoring, with senior Kayla Thornton leading the way with her school-record 23rd career double-double (15 points, 11 rebounds).
- UTEP drilled 35-of-47 from the free-throw line and also won the rebounding battle, 54-43.
- It is the third most free throws made & ties as the fourth-highest for free throw attempts.
- But the day belonged to the defense, with UTEP forcing 34 turnovers. That ties as the sixth-highest sum by an opponent in school history.
- The Orange and Blue finished with 20 steals, equaling their eighth-highest single-game sum.
- Junior Chrishauna Parker, who posted a game-high 12 boards, recorded the sixth-best sum for steals (seven) by a Miner in school history.
- Thornton was named the C-USA player of the week as result of efforts vs. Kansas State & NM State.
at UTEP 94, NM State 69 (11/16/13)
- Four different Miners reached double figures in scoring to help UTEP pound NM State, 94-69, in the first round of the “Battle of I-10” this year at the Haskins Center on Nov. 12
- UTEP led wire-to-wire.
- It was the Miners’ 2nd-biggest margin of victory in the series against the Aggies.
- UTEP equaled fifth-highest second-half scoring sum in program history by pouring in 55.
- Kayla Thornton led the way with a double-double (22 points, 12 rebounds).
- UTEP hit 55.0% (33-of-60), aided by going 20-of-29 (69.0%) in the second half.
at UTEP 75, UTPB 58 (11/8/13)
- Chrishauna Parker registered a double-double (12 points and 12 rebounds) and UTEP’s bench provided 49 points to lift it past UTPB.
- Junior-college transfer and El Paso native Stacie Telles matched Parker with 12 points, including nine on triples.
- The Miners led the Falcons picked second in the Heartland Conference, 43-23, at the half.
- Eleven different Miners scored in the game. Senior Kayla Thornton had nine points & nine rebounds & freshman Sparkle Taylor pitched in eight off the bench, aided by six makes on 12 tries at the charity stripe.
- Senior Kristine Vitola chipped in six points and grabbed seven boards in an efficient 18 minutes of action in her return to the court after missing most of last year with a torn ACL. Sophomore Jenzel Nash, who redshirted last year as well due to a torn ACL, pitched in four points and four boards while battling foul trouble.
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