UTEP Aims To "Pack The House" Vs. East Carolina Saturday Night

Keitha Adams

Feb. 21, 2014


-  UTEP (20-5, 9-3 C-USA) will look to “Pack The House” when it plays host to East Carolina (21-4, 9-3 C-USA) at 7:05 p.m. MST Saturday.

-  The Miners and Pirates are tied with Southern Miss for 3rd in C-USA at 9-3 on the year.

-  A UTEP win would give them tiebreakers over both the Pirates and Golden Eagles.

-  It will be a “Grand Prize Giveaway Game,” with fans having the chance to win either a flat screen TV or a mini iPad.

-  Get four free tickets by purchasing any Papa John’s pizza or by stopping by the Montana/Airway location of Howdy’s.

-  Teachers throughout the El Paso community can call (915) 747-6065 to learn how they can receive a school packet with free tickets to the game as well.

-  In midst (1-1 thus far) of playing four of final six regular-season games on the road.



-  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 (237-39) & Texas A&M (209-63) lead the way while UTEP (171-73, has a firm grip on third.

-  Lamar (155-93-4th), Texas (149-104-5th), TCU (147-100-6th), SMU (146-97-7th), Prairie View A&M (142-108-8th), Texas Tech (136-117-9th), and UTSA (129-111-10th) and Stephen F. Austin (129-111( wrap up the top 10. 


-  UTEP is 3-1 in El Paso vs. ECU & 4-4 all time.



-  Miners have won three straight against Pirates.

-  Met annually since both teams joined C-USA

All-Time Results Vs. East Carolina

Date                    Result                          Location

2-17-06              L, 72-77 (OT)              El Paso

2-15-07              L, 64-66                   Greenville

2-10-08              W, 81-54                      El Paso

2-5-09                L, 43-73                   Greenville

2-11-10              L, 54-64                   Greenville

1-6-11                W, 89-80                      El Paso

1-18-12              W, 66-56                 Greenville

1-13-13              W, 81-66                      El Paso


Bold denotes Keitha Adams era



-  UTEP is 71-19 since the start of the 2011-12 season, including 20-5 this year.

-  Have registered 51 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)

    7 game (1/22/14 through 2/15/14)

    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 (11-1) tops the league.

-  Tulane (10-2), which will play host to the Blue Raiders in the regular-season finale on March 5, is alone in second place.

-  East Carolina, Southern Miss & UTEP are tied for third at 9-3.

-  The top four finishers in the league will secure a double-by for the C-USA tournament.

-  It is in a sense a game of musical chairs, with five teams fighting for the four spots.

-  UAB & Charlotte are each 6-5 while Old Dominion, FIU & North Texas are all 5-7.

-  Teams 5-8 will secure a first-round bye      

-  Middle Tennessee (#28),UTEP (#41), Southern Miss (#49), East Carolina (#61) and Tulane (#81) 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 this area.


(20-5, 9-3 C-USA, 14-1 home, 5-3 road, 1-1 neutral)

 - Third straight 20+ win season, a program first.

-  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 seven straight games before falling at North Texas, 73-64, on Feb. 19 & slip to 20-5, 9-3 C-USA.

Kristine Vitola is the only Miner to start every game.              Chrishauna Parker, Kayla Thornton Cameasha Turner have started 24 of 25 tilts.

Kelli Willingham (15), Stacie Telles (10), Jenzel Nash (two) & Anete Kirsteine (one) also have been among the starting five this year.

-  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. 


-  Senior Kayla Thornton recorded her 16th double-double (16 points, 13 rebounds) of the year but UTEP’s seven-game win streak was snapped in a 73-64 loss at North Texas on Feb. 19.

-  The Miners led 22-18 with 9:18 to play in the first half, aided by a 20-6 rebounding edge in stretch.

-  The Mean Green closed the period on a 21-6 surge, including a 16-0 run, to put the Miners in a double-digit hole (39-28) heading into the locker room.

-  UNT outrebounded UTEP, 9-4, in sequence while also forcing them into making three of their 11 turnovers in the period

-  UTEP fought back in the second half but UNT had an answer to every run.

-  The Miners got within four (68-64) with 1:35 left but North Texas scored the final five points of the contest.

-  The Miners won the boards, 48-41, but the Mean Green held a 35-28 advantage in that area over the final 28 minutes of the contest.

Jenzel Nash (11 points) and Sparkle Taylor (13 points) joined Thornton in double figures for scoring

-  Senior Kristine Vitola grabbed 10 rebounds.



(21-4, 9-3 C-USA, 13-0 home, 7-3 away & 1-1 neutral).

-  Surged out to an 8-0 start.

-  Wrapped non-conference play at 12-1.

-  Split its first two C-USA games.

-  Won eight of the next nine, with the lone loss coming in OT at Southern Miss.

-  Had five-game winning streak halted at UTSA, 61-60, last time out on Feb. 20.

-  First loss on the year was by 10 points (86-76, vs. Grand Canyon on Dec. 14).

-  Three setbacks since by a combined four points.

-  East Carolina is one of two teams in the league (Tulane is other) to be in the top-five of C-USA for both scoring offense (72.7-4th) & scoring defense (60.0-2nd).

Jada Payne (19.6 ppg-5th C-USA) & Abria Trice (16.3-9th C-USA) pace the attack, making ECU the only team in C-USA with two players rank in the top-10 in stats for scoring.

Janesha Ebron runs the offense with 4.8 assists per game (5th C-USA).

-  2-3 on year when allowing at least 70 points.

-  Averaged 77 points during non-conference play.

-  Slipped 68.7 ppg since onset of C-USA action.

-  Notable alumni include Sandra Bullock (actress), James Maynard (founder of Golden Corral restaurant chain) & Vince McMahon (WWE Chairman).



-  This is the 40th season of UTEP women’s hoops.

-  Stand 490-600 all time, including 20-5 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 in the 2012 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 midst of its centennial celebration, which will continue through the 2014-15 academic year.

-  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.


-  UTEP is led by 13th-year head coach and the all-time win leader in program history, Keitha Adams, who is 226-162 in that time frame.

-  Adams is 353-199 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 five 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.

-  197-105, including 20-5 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.



-  Second in C-USA & is 21st nationally at 78.9 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 first 23 games.

-  Heads into ECU match-up having fallen short of 70 points in back-to-back contests for the first time this season.

-  Held to 37.2 percent (45-of-121) in those games.

-  Had been better than 44% in three of prior four contests & nine times total on the campaign.

-  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 18 of 25 games.

-  71.2% at free-throw line, which would me the third-best figure in program history.          

-  Hit 20 or more free throws in 11 games.

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.

-  Reserve guard Jenzel Nash (11.3) also in double figures, as is senior post Kristine Vitola (10.1).

-  Five others at better than 5.0 ppg.

Gloria Brown (12.1 ppg, 2011-12) was last reserve to average double figures in scoring.

-  Nailed 50.0% (11-of-22) from three-point range in the win at Tulane (2/1/14).

-  Dipped to 24.7% (22-of-89) in four ensuing tilts.



-  Held foes to 52.8 ppg over first seven games, aided by a FG defense % of 32.6 (125-of-384).

-  Allowing 71.0 ppg & foes hitting 40.5% (108-of-350) in 18 contests since that point.

-  Enjoyed school-record-tying stretch of three consecutive games (11/16/13 to 11/27/13) of holding opposition to fewer than 45 points.

-  Forced 22.2 turnovers per game during non-conference play.

-  Opponents committed 20 or more turnovers in five straight games during non-league action. (11/16/13 through 12/3/13), for the first time since the 1996-97 season (six).

-  Overall eight of the 13 non-conference opponents made 20+ turnovers.

-  Opponents making just 15.6 giveaways during C-USA play, with five of 12 foes committing 20+.

-  At least 7 steals in 20 games, with 10+ 12 times.

-  12th squad in school history with 100+ blocks.



-  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     17                 20 (2011-12)

Free Throws                474                        SAME

Free Throw Attempts                                     666              712 (1988-89)

Home Wins                 14                 16 (2006-07)

Rebounds/Game         45.0       44.5 (1996-97)

Scoring Margin            13.0           13.4 (2011-12)

Scoring Offense          78.9       71.5 (1980-81)

-  Senior Kayla Thornton could become the first Miner to average a double-double. Other records in jeopardy are listed below.



Category                2013-14                     Record

Double-Doubles  16                                   Same

10+ points streak  24                                  SAME

Field Goals            174   217 (L. Watson, ‘88-89)

Points                     488        600 (H. Russ, ‘90-91)

Rebound Avg        10.7   10.0 (B. Stoney, ‘79-80)

Rebounds              267     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)      37                            SAME

Field Goals (Thornton)   548                          SAME

Free Throws (Thornton)  331    359 (J. Hughes, ‘06-10)

FT Attempts (Thornton)  460    492 (J. Hughes, ‘06-10)

Games Won (Seniors)     87                            SAME

Games Played (Vitola)    122                          SAME

Points (Thornton)                 1,504        1,555 (J. Hughes, ‘06-10)

Rebounds (Thornton)     955                          SAME

3 Pointers (Willingham)          199         208 (A. Billhymer, ‘93-97) 


-  Seventeen of 20 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) & this year’s team.

-  This year’s team has a +13.0 scoring margin, which would be the second-best in school history.

-  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.



-        The difference between winning &  losing can be stark. Here’s UTEP’s breakdown.

In 20 Wins (Average Stats)

Team    Pts     FG%    3fg%     FT%   RB      TO    

UTEP    81.5    42.3      32.7      71.9     45.9    14.3

Opp.     61.9    36.2      30.0      62.7     38.8    19.9                                              

In 5 Losses (Average Stats)

Team    Pts     FG%    3fg%     FT%   RB      TO    

UTEP    68.6    37.5      28.3      67.6     41.2    18.6

Opp.     82.0    47.1      33.7      64.9     42.8    15.4


-  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.

-  19-3 on year & 152-53 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 342 contests.

-  53-14 when Kristine Vitola starts.

-  48-16 when Chrishauna Parker starts.



-  UTEP will play host to the C-USA Championships (March 11-15, 2014) for the second time since joining the league (2011).

-  UTEP’s opponents at the conclusion of non-conference play were 59-73 (.447), for a strength of schedule of 256.

-  It has jumped to 111th (263-232, .531).

-  Remaining foes are a combined 64-52 (.552), which ranks as the 93rd-toughest schedule left.

-  UTEP’s foes (past & future) are a combined 315-273 (.531), which rates 98th nationally.

-  UTEP went 2-2 on the year against teams from power conferences.


-  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).



-  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.



-  58-93 on road during Keitha Adams’ era.

-  14-52 in hostile territory her first five seasons.

-  44-41, including 5-2 this year, since 2006-07.

-  20-10 since the  2011-12 season.

-   School-record 3rd straight year with 4+ road wins.

-  Assured of 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.

-  One win in the final two road tilts 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 87-33 since 2010-11.

-  Has led UTEP to three straight 20+ win seasons, a first in the program’s 40-year history.


Kayla Thornton (Senior)

-  Owns school records for double-doubles (37), rebounds (955) & field goals (548).

-  Second all time at UTEP in points (1,503).

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 (331-2nd), free-throws attempted (460-3rd), field-goal attempts 1,241-3rd), steals (186-3rd),games played (119-t3rd), rebounding average (8.0-t4th),  starts (100-5th), minutes played (3,137-6th),  blocked shots (62-9th), scoring average (12.6-9th) & field-goal percentage (44.2-10th).

-  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)

-  Owns program standard for career games (122).

-  Ranks fourth all time at UTEP for blocks (157). 

-  Eighth in free-throw percentage (74.9).

-  Third Miner with 700+ points (776), 500+ rebounds (534) & 100+ blocks (157).

-  Member of 2,000+ minute club (2,297-14th).


 Kelli Willingham (Senior)

-  Pure shooter on both free throws & triples.

-  Second at UTEP for free-throw percentage (79.4,  three-pointers made (199) and attempted (559).

-  Seventh in 3-PT field-goal percentage (35.6).

-  Third in minutes (3,408) and starts (105) & 10th in field-goal tries (914) & scoring (987).

-  13 points shy of being 10th Miner with +1,000)

Jareica Hughes’ (2006-10) school standard for assists (599) is safe but Willingham has firm hold on second (349).

-  Joined Hughes as only Miners with 900+ points (987) & 300+ assists (349).

Chrishauna Parker (Junior)

-  Aided UTEP to a mark of 71-19, boosted by an unprecedented three straight 20+ win seasons.

-  Only player in program history to rank in the top 10 for career assists & rebounds.

-  Sixth at UTEP in career rebounds (608).

-  Ranks 10th for career rebounding average (7.2).

-  Also a member of the 600-point club (632).

-  Fourth for career field-goal percentage (47.0).

-  Eighth in assists (236).


UTEP 65, at Old Dominion 55 (2/15/14)

Kayla Thornton (23 points, 10 rebounds) and Chrishauna Parker (10 points, 10 rebounds) each recorded double-doubles, and UTEP used smothering defense to down Old Dominion, 65-55, for its seventh straight win in front of a passionate crowd of 3,972 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center on Feb. 15

-  The Miners held the Lady Monarchs to 28.3 percent from the floor (17-of-60), including just 12.5 percent (3-of-24) in the second stanza, helping make a 33-25 halftime deficit a distant memory by the end of the night.

-  The three field goals in a half rank as the fewest by an opponent in a league game and the second-fewest ever in UTEP history.

-  Thornton poured in 15 points after the break while Jenzel Nash came off the bench to add 12 of her eventual 17 points in the contest.

-  UTEP out-scored ODU, 40-22, over the final 20 minutes.

-  UTEP won the battle of the boards (45-43) while also enjoying a 28-16 advantage in points in the paint. The Miners recorded 17 assists on 22 field goals and only committed 13 turnovers.

-  ODU only had 12 giveaways but it was done in by the porous second-half shooting.

at UTEP 83, FIU 62 (2/8/14)

-  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.


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.

-  Freshman Sparkle Taylor (career-high 15 points) and junior Stacie Telles (10 points) also reached double figures in scoring, as the Orange and Blue improved to 13-1 on the year at home.

-  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).

-  Senior Kayla Thornton posted her 11th double-double (15 points, 11 boards) on the season while Kristine Vitola continued her strong play of late with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting.


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.

Chrishauna Parker posted her third double-double of the year while Kayla Thornton (18 points, nine rebounds), Jenzel Nash (17 points), Kristine Vitola (17 points) and Kelli Willingham (10 points) also hit double figures .


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.

Kelli Willingham led all Miners with 16 points while Jenzel Nash (12 points) and Kristine Vitola (10 points) also reached double figures in scoring.

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.

Kristine Vitola (12 points, eight rebounds), Chrishauna Parker (12 points, six rebounds) and Irene Gari (10 points, season-high seven rebounds) all joined Thornton in double figures.

Cameasha Turner (nine points, four boards) and Stacie Telles (seven points, four rebounds) also got involved in the attack.


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.

Jenzel Nash (18 points), Kayla Thornton (15 points) and Cameasha Turner (career-high tying 14 points) keyed the attack for the Miners.

-  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.

Cameasha Turner recorded a career-high 14 points to buoy Thornton, with Jenzel Nash (14 points) and Kristine Vitola (season-high 13 points) also hitting double digits.

-  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)

-   Kayla Thornton (17 points, 10 rebounds), Cameasha Turner (then career-high 13 points) and Jenzel Nash (10 points) helped UTEP post a 73-60 win against Texas State on Nov. 30.

-  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.

-  Senior Kayla Thornton (21 points) and sophomore Irene Gari (14 points) led the way.

-  UTEP hit 46.6 percent (27-of-58) of its shots.

-  Junior Chrishauna Parker added nine points while sophomore Jenzel Nash buoyed Gari’s spark off the bench with eight.

-  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.

-  Senior Kayla Thornton and sophomore Irene Gari each netted 12 points while senior Kristine Vitola pitched in 10.

-  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).

-  Sophomores Irene Gari and Cameasha Turner and senior Kristine Vitola each buoyed Thornton with 12 points while junior Stacie Telles added 10 points. 

-  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).

Stacie Telles came off the bench to provide 16 points, while Jenzel Nash (14 points) & Kelli Willingham (12 points) also reached double figures in scoring.

-  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.

The Last Meeting
East Carolina66
January 13, 2013
Don Haskins Center
UTEP Uses Huge Second Half To Derail East Carolina, 81-66
A season-best five different Miners reached double figures in scoring, and UTEP used a huge second half to take down East Carolina, 81-66, at Don Haskins Center Sunday. The Miners (14-1, 2-0 Conference USA) outscored the Pirates (11-4, 1-1 C-USA) 54-31 in the second stanza to erase an eight-point halftime deficit (35-27) and extend their winning streak to nine.

-              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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