MINERS
UTEP To Wrap Regular Season At UAB




Feb. 29, 2012

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THE OPENING ACT

UTEP To Wrap Regular Season At UAB

UTEP will cap a fanstastic 2011-12 regular season when it plays at UAB at 6 p.m. MST Thursday. The Miners (25-3, 14-1) are the 2012 Conference USA regular-season champions and will be vying to pad their win total while gaining some momentum for the league tournament (March 7-10). Things are a bit more complicated for the Blazers (18-9, 9-6 C-USA), who are tied for third in the C-USA standings. The game will be broadcast on 1150 AM in El Paso & fans can also get updates by following the Miners on Twitter (@UTEPWBB).

 

Vying For Record-Setting Road Win

The Miners are 10-1 away from home. A victory at UAB would be the first for the Miners in Birmingham while also lifting this squad past the 2007-08 team (10-3) for most road triumphs.

 

Seven Points From Perfection

#1 Baylor (30-0) is the only undefeated team in the division I women’s basketball. In terms of total combined points lost by, UTEP (25-3) is the next closest thing to Baylor for being perfect.  The Miners have dropped their three games by a combined seven points. Only #8 Delaware (27-1), is in single digits in this area. Its lone setback on the season was by nine points.

 

We Are The Champions

UTEP is the 2012 Conference USA regular-season champion, which marks the second league title (2007-08 other) in program history. The Miners will be the No. 1 seed in the upcoming C-USA Tournament (March 7-10), and will be one of a quartet of squads with a first-round bye. 

 

That’s A Lot Of Wins...

UTEP’s 25 wins places it tied for the eighth most in the country (through all games on Monday, Feb. 27). Additionally it ranks as the second-most triumphs in school history (28) while rating tied for 12th in C-USA annals. The league standard is also 28, which has been achieved twice. UTEP was the first team to do so (28-4, 2007-08).

 

Postseason Bid Already Assured

Thanks to claiming the 2012 C-USA crown, UTEP is assured of playing postseason basketball this year. If the Miners do not qualify for the NCAA Tournament, they will earn an automatic bid to the WNIT due to claiming the C-USA crown. It will be the second appearance all time in a postseason tournament. The Miners earned an at-large bid to the Big Dance in 2008 and advanced to the second round.

 

We Meet Again

UAB leads the series 4-3, but it is tied (3-3) since the Miners joined C-USA. The two teams first met in 1991-92 (home win for UAB). It will be the first trip to UAB since the 2008-09 campaign, and the Miners will be vying for their initial triumph in Bartow Arena.

 

One Of Top Statistical Teams In C-USA

The Miners are first (eight) or second (two) in 10 of the major team statistical categories amongst Conference USA squads.

 

Stats Don’t Lie; UTEP Elite Defensively Nationally Too

Defense has been the calling card for success for the Orange and Blue in 2011-12. UTEP is fourth nationally in field-goal percentage defense (33.3), fifth at guarding the three (23.7, eighth in blocked shots per game (6.0), 13th in rebound margin (+9.3), 14th in scoring margin (15.7) & 16th in scoring defense (52.2).

 

Talking 20-Win Seasons

This year’s Miners (25-3) are the third team in program history to reach the 20-win plateau, all of which have come in the past six seasons. The school standard is 28-4 (2007-06), followed by this year’s team. The 2006-07 edition (22-8) was the first to do so, breaking a school standard (18-10, that had stood since 1992-93.

 

Putting The Success In Perspective

For the fourth time in the past six seasons, the Miners have posted at least 18 wins. Three of the campaigns featured 20+ wins, including this year’s  team at 25-3. Prior to Keitha Adams’ tenure, the Miners only had one season with more than 16 victories (18-10, 1992-93). 

 

Another Chance Against A Quality Foe

The match-up against UAB will be the seventh on the year against a team with at least 18 wins. The Miners have compiled a 5-1 record in such games.

 

More Along Those Lines

UTEP is 9-1 on the year, which was aided by a mark of 5-1 in non-conference play, against teams with a winning percentage of at least 55%, with a scoring margin of +15.7 in those contests. The lone loss was at Arizona State (12/28/11) by two points.

 

RPI Report

UTEP is No. 64 in the latest RPI report (Feb. 20). Additionally, it is 4-1 on the year vs. top-100 RPI opponents. The Miners have wins (away/home) against Tulane (52) & Idaho State (73), Memphis (85) and a loss at Arizona State (54).

 

Following The Miners In 2011-12

Video and audio for every home game for the Miners on the year will be available through Miner TV on UTEPAthletics.com (subscription-based). All of the road contests on the season for UTEP will be broadcast on Talk Radio 1150 AM.

 

Staying Up Through Social Media

LIKE the team’s page on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/UTEPWomensBasketball) and follow the official team Twitter Feed (www.twitter.com/UTEPWBB) for the latest on the program. Additionally, connect with head coach Keitha Adams by following her on Twitter, @UTEPKeithaAdams.

 

Up Next

UTEP will turn its attention to 2012 Conference USA Championships where it will serve as the No. 1 seed in the league’s pinnacle event. The Miners will be one of four teams to receive a first-round bye,

 

GOING BACK IN TIME

Rice Sneaks Past UTEP To Spoil Senior Day

Gloria Brown (14 points, 11 rebounds) and Kayla Thornton (11 points, 10 boards) each posted double-doubles but visiting Rice spoiled “Senior Day” with a 52-48 victory on Feb. 26. The Miners led by six at the break before the Owls rallied behind the play of Jessica Kuster, who finished with a game-high 22 points. She had 18 over the final 20 minutes

 

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

The 411 On UAB As An 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. 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. 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

 

Get To Know The UAB Head Coach

UAB is under the direction of eighth-year head coach Audra Smith, who has a mark of 119-123 in that timeframe. 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.

 

Looking At The UAB Season

UAB stumbled out of the gates at 1-2 before  winning eight straight & 12 of the next 13. The surge was halted with consecutive setbacks before the Blazers claimed four in a row & five of six. UAB has dropped its past three games, though, including a 55-53 setback at Southern Miss on Feb. 26 last time out. Overall it is 18-9 on the year, including 9-6 in C-USA play. The Blazers have compiled a mark of 9-2 at home on the season, with a record of 5-2 in league play at Bartow Arena.

 

This And That On UAB’s Offense

It is a three-pronged attack for UAB, with Amber Jones (13.5 ppg), Karisma Chapman (13.4) & LaShaundra Pratt (11.0) carrying the load. No other player is pitching in more than 5.0 ppg. UAB loves the three ball, with more than one third of its FGAs coming from distance. Pratt (50) has hit the most, followed by Jones (38) & Kelsie Weynand (26). Of the four players with at least 75 free-throw attempts, only Pratt (82.3) is better than 68 percent. Three Blazers (Chapman, 66), Meagan Brown  (61) & Michaelea Kleist (54) have more than 50 offensive boards.

 

This And That On UAB’s Defense

Defense has been the key to success for UAB this year, with its 48.9 points per game allowed on track to shatter the C-USA single-season standard. That figure rates third nationally, but its field-goal percentage defense (.362) is fourth in the league in 52nd in the country. Four Blazers have at least 55 steals, with Karisma Chapman (67) leading the way. UAB blocks 4.9 shots per game, which is aided by Meagan Brown’s team-leading 38 swats.  UAB has not given up more than 71 points all year long, & it has held 18 teams to fewer than 50 points.

 

CRASH COURSE ON UTEP HOOPS

The Basic Facts On UTEP Basketball

2011-12 marks the 38th season for the UTEP women’s basketball team. The Miners have an all-time record of 443-585, including 25-3 this year. It has won two league titles (2007-08 & 2011-12), both of which have come since joining Conference USA prior to 2005-06. In 2007-08 the Miners (28-4, 16-0) became the first C-USA women’s team to go 16-0 in league play. Aiding that was a school & league-standard 23-game winning streak. UTEP earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, and advanced to the second round. This year’s team is ensured of making the program’s second postseason appearance. UTEP returned three starters (and eight letterwinners (four guards, four posts) overall from last year’s squad (16-14, 7-9 C-USA). Five newcomers, all guards (freshmen Syerra Davis, Jenzel Nash, Chrishauna Parker & Marissa Rodriguez and junior Melisa Mendes) are in the mix for the Orange and Blue in 2011-12.

 

Getting To Know Coach Adams

UTEP is led by the winningest coach in program history, Keitha Adams. She is 180-146 in her 11th year at the school, including 25-3 this year. Overall Adams is 307-183 in her 16th season as a collegiate head coach, (127-37 at Independence Community College), making her one of five active C-USA coaches with 300+ triumphs. All three 20-victory campaigns & four of the five seasons of at least 18 wins in program history have been during her tenure. Additionally, seven of the 10 campaigns all time at UTEP with 16+ wins are courtesy of Adams. She has led the Miners to a pair of league titles (2007-08, 2011-12) & is the favorite to secure her second Coach of the Year honor. Adams won it in 2008, and she was a finalist for the national honor that season. Every player who has exhausted her eligibility at UTEP during her tenure has graduated.

 

Talk About A 10-Year Stretch

Including the mark of 25-3 in 2011-12, the Miners are now 177-123 over the past 10 years (2002-03 season-present). The effort obliterates the prior standard at the school for a decade-long stretch (115-155 from 1990-91 through 1999-2000).

 

Winning Mark At Major Junctures

UTEP posted a school-record eight seasons with a winning mark through 15 games (prior standard four) & a program-best seven consecutive campaigns for the 20-contest juncture.  Additionally, the Miners were above .500 for the fifth time in the past six years through 10 tilts.

 

Hometown Heroes

The Miners have featured at least one player from the El Paso area in every year of the Keitha Adams era, with this year’s team sporting a pair. Sophomore forward Kayla Thornton starred at Irvin High School in El Paso while freshman guard Marissa Rodriguez grew up in the area before moving to San Antonio and playing high school basketball at San Antonio Reagan.

 

Success In Non-League Play

UTEP is 87-56 in non-conference play during the Keitha Adams era, which was aided by going 11-2 this year. The Miners have posted a school-record seven straight years of .500 or better in non-league play (prior standard four, 1994-95 through 1997-98).

 

In Brief 2010-11 Year-In-Review

UTEP overcame the loss of four key players to injuries at various points in the year & finished with an overall record of 16-14 during the 2010-11 season. The Miners fought hard throughout the year, with a single-season school record 12 of the 14 setbacks coming by single digits. UTEP was 13-6 in El Paso, including 8-3 during non-conference play.

 

TRENDING WITH THE TEAM

Getting Offensive

Held below 38% shooting in two of past three  ... better then 43% in four of five before skid ... tallied 64+ points in every C-USA contest with exception of two tilts against Rice (45 & 48) ... is at 65.2% (45-of-69) from free-throw line past three games ... nailed 75% (78-of-104) in six tilts before skid ... 10-of-48 on treys (20.8%) past three games ... hit 47.1% (16-of-34) prior two ... 10+ offensive rebounds in six of past seven contests and 24 times total ... after consecutive contests with 20+ turnovers, has 15 or fewer in seven of 10 since.

 

Getting Defensive

UTEP hasn’t allowed more than 65 points in regulation ... single-season school-record ten opponents have been held to 50 or fewer, breaking former standard (eight, 1976-77 & 1992-93) ... 26 of 28 opponents have shot worse than 40 percent ... 13 haven’t eclipsed 34% ... after forcing 19+ turnovers in consecutive contests, Rice made just 11 (2/26/12) ... blocked 6+ shots in 17 contests, including five games with nine ... have kept foes to a pair of three pointers or less 11 times, including six since in C-USA play.

               

Not Just Winning But Winning Big

The Miners have registered a school standard 19 double-digit wins, besting the prior mark (18,  2007-08). A program-best 10 of those triumphs have been by at least 20 points.

 

Even In Defeat, UTEP Is Competitive

Dating to the start of last season 15 of the 17 setbacks have been by single digits. The Miners were saddled with a single-season school record 12 such defeats in 2010-11 while the trio of losses this year have been by a combined seven points (1, 2, 4).

 

Playing Time A Plenty

UTEP has 11 players earning double figures in minutes played (min. appearance in 75% of games played), which rates amongst the nation’s leaders. Only Kelli Willingham (25.9),  is above 25.0 mpg, but Kayla Thornton (24.5), Kim Smith (19.9), Gloria Brown (19.5)  & Kristine Vitola (18.7) all earn at least 18.0 mpg.

 

30-Minutes Not The Norm

Only 16 times this year has a Miner had 30 minutes or more of playing time, with & Kayla Thornton (seven) & Kelli Willingham (six) accounting for 13 of them. Gloria Brown, Jenzel Nash & Kim Smith all did so once.

 

The Bench Bunch

The Miners’ back-ups are accounting for 35.1 points per game, which has been aided by 30+ points in 20 of the 28 contests. UTEP has nine outings with 40+ points, including a Keitha Adams era best 55-point showing against Texas State (12/31/11).

 

Diving Deeper With The Reserves

UTEP’s bench has outscored the opposition’s reserves in 27 of the 28 games, with a double-digit edge 24 times. Furthermore, the Miners’ reserves have either out-scored the opponent’s starters (10) or matched them (three) 13 times.

 

Ready To Rebound

UTEP was out-rebounded in the first two games but has won the battle of the boards in 23 of 26 contests since. With a +9.4 margin, the Miners are on track to break the school standard (+7.0) which was set in 1992-93.

 

Controlling The Paint

UTEP is generating 31.7 points per game in the paint, which has been helped with 19 games of 28+ points. The Miners have eclipsed 40 points down low on six occasions. The opposition has managed just 20.4 ppg in the paint, with only two teams (Northern Colorado (30, 12/13/11) & at Southern Miss (38, 1/26/12) topping 29. 

 

FRONT COURT VETS TRENDING

What Can Brown Do For You

Gloria Brown was the 2011 second-team all C-USA member & Newcomer/Sixth Player ... 42-of-79 (52.7) past 11 games ... was at 28.0 (7-25) three tilts prior ...  averaging 9.4 rebounds past nine games, which was aided by  the second-most (19) in school history at USM (1/26/12) ... after stretch of 21-of-23 makes at FT line, has gone 9-of-15 in department past five games ... 2+ offensive boards 1st 18 games of year & 23 times overall ... has multiple blocked shots in 20 contests, with three or more 17 times & at least five on four occasions … also has registered 46 steals to pace UTEP ... reached double figures in scoring team-high 16 times, including seven occasions in league play ... compiled squad-10 nine double-doubles.

 

Kayla’s Corner

Sophomore Kayla Thornton has been an impact player with high-energy motor ... 10.7 ppg on 52.1% shooting (25-48) past six games, to go along with 9.0 rpg ... has 7+ boards in each of games, which is longest streak of career ... had 23 total points & shot 30.0% (8-of-24) prior three ...2+ offensive boards 22 times total ...  started year 1-of-6 on treys but is 3-of-6 since … second on team double figure scoring games (12) & double-doubles (3) ... only player on team to start every game on year.

 

Vitola’s Venue

Junior Kristine Vitola has made big strides from her first two seasons with UTEP ... shooting percentage up from 36.8 to 43.7, scoring average gone from 4.7 to 5.9 & rebounding average moved from 3.3 to 5.5 ... was scoreless while missing all four FGA against Rice (2/26/12) ... averaged 8 points while nailing 14-of-26 in four games prior ...  started season 2-of-23 on treys but is 2-of-8 since ... 13 boards past five games ... had 24 prior four ... started 15 of first 17 games she played in but has come off of bench in past 10.

 

Anete’s Area

Junior Anete Steinberga, a two-year starter, has been used as both reserve (15) and starter (13) this year ... 8.1 ppg on 46.3% shooting (25-of-54) past eight games ... had four points total (all FT) while going 0-of-8 from floor two games prior to stretch ... had 5+ rebounds just twice in first 17 games ... done so six times since, including notching first double-double of year (10 pts, 10 rb) at Houston (2/19/12) ...  started last 10 contests.

 

BACK COURT VETS TRENDING

Willingham’s Will To Succeed

Kelli Willingham was a 2011 All C-USA Freshman honoree ... after three straight games with 9+ points, has been held to eight points on 3-of-14 shooting in the four ensuing tilts ... is 0-of-5 on treys in timeframe ... was 6-of-12 prior ... made two or fewer turnovers 20 times ... three assists combined past two tilts ... had season-best stretch of 4+ in prior three ... missed two free throws (4-of-6) at SMU (1/5/12), but has only misfired on a pair (14-of-16) since ... stared 26 straight & 27 total overall.

 

No Ordinary Smith

Senior Kim Smith has been a quality on-ball defender while getting involved in the offense ... has only two games with more turnovers than assists on year ... overall at +1.9 ratio (78-41) ... four helpers vs Rice (2/26/12), doubling sum over prior two ... 28 rebounds past 11 contests, surpassing sum (20) to start season ... after stretch of making 7-of-11 midway through league play, has gone 0-5 in past three tilts ... started 10 straight and 26 times overall.

 

Not Easy Being Green

Senior Briana Green, who has fought through a pair of season-ending injuries (freshman & junior), has played injury free this year ... season-high 13 points while making 4-of-5 vs. UCF (1/29/12) ... 4-of-15 for 13 points since ... 9-of-19 in four games when making 2+ three pointers ... 6-of-28 when failing to do so ... 2-of-5 at free throw line to start season but is 6-of-8 since ... five rebounds past three contests, to surpass sum (four) from prior six.

 

Warren’s Way

Second-year Miner & senior Erika Warren has been both reserve (17) & starter (nine) this year ... tallied 47 points  on 54.8% shooting (17-of-31) over past five games ... had 40 points while making just 34.1% (15-of-44) previous 13 games ... started year 4-of-16 on treys but is 6-of-12 since ... has started six straight games and eight of past 10.

 

Eglite’s Extent

Senior Baiba Eglite is healthy & has appeared in 22 games as a senior ... had nine points, all on triples (3-of-5), vs. Houston (1/22/12) ...  has gone 1-of-6 from floor for three points in  31 minutes combined over the nine contests since ... 11 of 14 FGM have been of three-point variety ... season-high 11 points, including nine on triples, vs. Texas State (12/31/11). 

 

Whitney Worth The Wait

Senior Whitney Houston transferred to UTEP from Colorado prior to the start of the 2010-11 season ... missed all of last year and first 11 contests of this year before playing two minutes in Miner debut at Arizona State (12/28/11) ... scored five points in three separate tilts ... 1-5 from three over first six appearances but has hit on 2-of-4 since ... after three consecutive scoreless contests, has tallied five points combined past two tilts.

 

NEWBIES TRENDING

Mendes Means Business

Senior Melisa Mendes was an all-conference performer at NW Florida State College ... after back-to-back games with 7 points, has scored nine total in ensuing four while making 4-of-14 from floor ... has at least one steal in 18 games ... 1-of-2 from three-point range against Memphis (1/8/12) but is 5-of-27 since ... 10-of-20 from three when making multiple triples in a quartet of games ... 8-of-57 in other tilts ... 5-of-11 from free-throw line to start the year but 6-of-6 since ... started first nine games of year but has come off bench since.

 

The Name Is Nash

Freshman Jenzel Nash joined UTEP as the program’s first Parade All-American after leading the nation in scoring with 37.7 ppg for Worthing HS ... has scored 90 of her 133 points, grabbed 39 of 50 boards & registered 17 of her 23 assists in league action … overall is contributing 6.0 ppg in C-USA action, which places her second among UTEP guards & fifth overall on the team in that period ... started year 5-of-10 from FT line but is 28-of-40 since ... 2-of-3 on treys against UCF (1/29/12) ... 2-of-19 in other 25 contests.

 

Parker Power

Freshman Chrishauna Parker was top-50 guard nationally out of Atascocita HS ... played in past six games after missing prior four ... has 16 points while making 5-of-10 past three contests ... 10 points on 3-of-10 shooting in first three tilts back ... after making five straight free throws over a four-game span, was 2-of-5 in area vs. Rice (2/26/12) ... came off bench her first 10 appearances before starting seven in a row ... has been used as reserve since return to line-up.

 

Davis Does It

Syerra Davis was a top-50 guard who won three straight state titles with Tolleson HS ... 0-6 first five games as a Miner but 6-of-15 since ... almost half (8-of-18) of her rebounds are of the offensive variety... career-high seven points & seven boards in 13 minutes of action in the win vs. Houston (1/22/11).

 

Welcome Home, Marissa

Freshman Marissa Rodriguez grew up in El Paso before starring at San Antonio Reagan High School after her family moved ... has appeared in five games ... secured eight minutes and a rebound in that timeframe.

 

THREE-POINT LAND

Threes A Plenty Since 2008

From the time the three-point shot was introduced in college basketball (1986-87) through 2007-08, UTEP had eight games with at least 10 triples. The Miners have compiled 11 since, but only one of those have come in 2011-12.

 

195 Straight Games With A Triple

UTEP has made least one three-point shot in a program-record 195 straight games. The last time UTEP failed to fill up a triple in a contest was on Dec. 30, 2005. They have hit one in all but four games during Keith Adams’ era.

 

STAT LOVERS’ LANE

Jekyll & Hyde

There have been two different Miner clubs this year, with the Dr. Jekyll version showing up 25 times and the Mr. Hyde unit appearing on three occasions.

 

In 25 Wins (Average Stats)

Team     Pts     FG%     3fg%     FT%     RB      TO     

UTEP     69.7     41.2       29.9       70.3      44.9     15.9

Opp.       52.7     33.0       23.3       70.6      34.7     17.9                                               

In 3 Losses (Average Stats)

Team     Pts     FG%     3fg%     FT%     RB      TO     

UTEP     47.0     33.3       23.3       54.0      40.0     15.0

Opp.       49.3     36.5       25.0       60.0      37.0     15.0

The Magical 70-Point Barrier

The Miners are 110-12 during the Keitha Adams era, including 11-0 this year, in games which they eclipsed 70 points.

 

Seems Logical

UTEP holds a record of 94-15 in the past 109 contests in which it has hit on at least 40.5 percent from the field. The Miners are 16-0 in the situation this year.

It’s All About The Triple

UTEP sports a mark of 50-9 in its past 59 games when making 40 percent or better from three-point range (min. 5 3PM), including 4-0 this year.

 

Better Get Ready To Rebound

UTEP has a record of 111-42 under Keitha Adams, including 45-11 in the past 56 games, when out-rebounding the opposition. It is 19-2 in the situation this year, with setbacks to UCSB (12/21/11) & Rice (2/26/12). The Miners made just 33.7% (35-of-104) from the floor & 55.6% (20-of-36) at the free-throw line in those setbacks.

 

Helping Hand Leads To Triumphs

UTEP is a robust 56-2 under Keitha Adams, including 7-0 this year, when registering at least 20 assists in a contest. Sharing hasn’t always been so common, though. UTEP compiled 19 such games from 1984-85 through 2000-01, going 13-6.

 

As Does Forcing Turnovers

The Miners are 65-15 over their past 80 games that they’ve forced the opposition into committing at least 20 turnovers. UTEP is 9-0 in the situation this year. Fifteen foes have committed 18 or more.

 

Turning Up The Pressure

UTEP is 66-12 during the Keitha Adams era, including 48-3 since the start of the 2006-07 campaign, when forcing the opposition into committing more turnovers than field goals made in a game. The Miners are 12-0 in the situation this year.

 

Making Free Throws Can Help

UTEP is 50-10 over the past 60 contests when knocking down better than 70 percent at the free-throw line (minimum 10 FTM), including 10-0 in 2011-12.

 

Finding A Way To Win When Not Though

Dating to the start of the 2006-07 campaign, the Orange and Blue boast a head-scratching mark of 24-12 in games in which they were below 61-percent from the free-throw line (minimum 10 attempts. UTEP is just 4-3 in that situation this year though. 

 

Go Figure

The Miners are 18-8 in their past 26 regular-season contests, including 3-0 this year, in which they have made more three pointers than free throws.

 

Start Them Up

The Miners are 29-9 when Kristine Vitola has started in her career. UTEP is 31-9 with Kayla Thornton earning a starting nod since arriving on campus.

 

MILESTONE MOMENTS

Records Are Made To Be Broken

With the type of season UTEP is enjoying (25-3), it is only natural that there a lot of school standards that were almost set, broken or could be even be shattered.

 

Category                      Record             2011-12

Overall Wins                28 (07-08)                   25

Home Wins                  16 (06-07)                   15

Road Wins                   10 (07-08)                   10

Blocked Shots             171 (81-82)              168

FG% Defense             36.5 (05-06)            33.4

3PT% Defense           23.5 (87-88)            23.5

Rebound Margin        +7.0 (92-93)            +9.4

Rebound Average      44.5 (96-97)            44.4

Scoring Defense       57.2 (93-92)            52.3

Scoring Margin          +9.6 (07-08)          +15.0

 

bold denotes would break record if season ended today.

 

That Was Quite A Streak

UTEP peeled off 15 wins in a row (final non-conference game & first 14 C-USA contests). The surge ranked as the second longest in program history & third best in C-USA annals.

The league & school standard was set by the 2007-08 Miners, at 23 in a row. 

 

Going Streaking The Big Hit In 2011-12

The Miners enjoyed two separate win streaks of at least 10 games this year (10, 15), becoming the first team in program history to do so. Previously, the standard was separate five-contest surges, which was achieved by the 1992-93 squad (five & seven).

 

Adams Adding To Record With Every Win

Eleventh-year UTEP head coach Keitha Adams, the winningest coach in program history, has compiled a mark of 180-146 in her time in the Sun City. She has led her charges to a record of 177-121 from the start of the 2002-03 campaign. From the program’s inception in 1974-75 through the end of the 1990-91 season, six different coaches aided UTEP to a record of 145-286. Sandra Rushing was 123-175 in 11 seasons on the sideline (1990-91-2000-01).

 

Green’s Got It Going On

Briana Green’s career has been hindered with injuries (missed 29 games), making her numbers across the board even more impressive. She is sixth for individual wins (72) & 11th for assists (201). She is one of 22 Miners with at least 80+ steals (80) one of 27 with 600+ points (646). She has logged 2,161 minutes of playing time, making her one of 16 in the program to have 2000+.

 

Brown Getting It Done In All Areas

Gloria Brown will leave a big dent in the UTEP record books despite joining the program as a junior. She is currently first all time at the school for career blocked shots per game (2.6), field-goal percentage  (54.0) & FT percentage (79.6). Brown has piled up 685 points to become the 10th Miner to have at least 600 after transferring in as a junior & 28th overall. Along those same lines, she is the fourth to do so with 400+ boards (463). Additionally she is third for total blocks (148), tied for third in rebounds per game (8.0) & in double-doubles (18) while compiling 79 steals.

 

Thornton Putting Up Some Big Numbers

Though her sophomore season isn’t yet in the books, Kayla Thornton is well on her way to being one of the better players in program history. She is on track to crack 1,000-career points by the time she graduates. Additionally, she has 363 total rebounds, which has her on pace to finish around 800. The school standard is 810.

 

Willingham Already In The Books

Sophomore Kelli Willingham is already starting to make a name for herself in the UTEP career record books. She rates eighth all time for career three-pointers made (85) & just cracked the top 10 in assists (202).  She is on track to be a 1,000-point scorer by career’s end, currently standing at 485. She has started 53 of 58 games played.

 

Vitola’s Steadily Compiling Numbers

Junior Kristine Vitola  has swatted 90 shots in her career, which ranks fifth all time at the school. She has also tallied 452 career points while grabbing 353 boards in 89 games played, 38 of which have been starts.

 

Looking Back On 10-0 Start

UTEP opened up at 10-0 (now 25-3) to stand alone for the best start to a season in program history, besting the prior standard out of the gates (7-0) during the 1996-97 season. The Miners became the first Conference USA school since 2004-05 & fifth overall to open up with 10 straight wins. Overall it tied as the third-best start in league history.

 

Piled Up The Non-League Wins

UTEP went 11-2 in non-conference play. The 11 wins tied for the most in school history heading into the start of league action, matching the effort by the 2006-07 squad (11-1).

 

Good Teams Find A Way To Win

UTEP tallied 45 points and shot 27.0 percent from the floor, but still won at Rice (2/5/12) due to its defense & rebounding. The field-goal percentage is the second lowest in a win in school history, while the 45 points scored equal the second fewest in a triumph.

 

Best Two-Game League Defense... Ever

UTEP has yielded 79 points combined to UCF (1/29/12) & at Rice (2/15/12), which was the fewest in consecutive league games in program history. The prior standard was 81 (2003-04).

 

Hard To Believe

The 79 points allowed in consecutive contests isn’t even the fewest for a two-game stretch this season. It is actually 76 (49 vs. Denver, 11/26/11 & 27 vs. NM State). The lowest combined points for two tilts is 69, which was achieved twice in the initial season of the program (1974-75), thanks to a pair of games where the Miners limited Beaumont to 20 points.

 

Lockdown D Vs. UCF

UCF (1/29/12) managed just 38 points, which tied as the second-fewest points permitted by the Miners in a league game in program history.  It was just one off of tying the school standard, which was set in a 52-37 Miners’ triumph at New Mexico (3/1/95).

 

Brown Delivers The Goods At USM

Gloria Brown poured in a career high 27 points, aided by making a school-record 17 free throws, while grabbing the second-most rebounds (19) in program history in a dominant display at Southern Miss (1/26/12). She also equaled the school standard for free-throws attempted (19).

 

UTEP Stomps Houston, 87-43

UTEP bolted out to a 41-21 lead at the half and never looked back on the way throttling Houston, 87-43, to secure its largest margin of victory in a conference game in program history on Jan. 22.

 

Nash’s Star Showing At Tulane

Freshman Jenzel Nash poured in 25 points to go along with seven rebounds and seven steals at Tulane (1/15/12). She is the second player in school history to have at least 25-7-7 (of that combination) in a single game. Former standout & current WNBA player Natasha Lacy achieved the feat with 25-8-8 in an 86-69 rout of Southern Miss in the semifinals of the 2008 C-USA tournament on March 8, 2008.

 

Rally Time

UTEP roared back from 19 down to defeat Memphis, 66-60, on Jan. 8. The come-from-behind triumph is the biggest in terms of league games for UTEP, eclipsing the prior standard (15) in a 67-64 defeat against UAB on Jan. 18, 2008. Overall it equals the effort by the Miners in 72-71 OT win against Illinois State on Dec. 19, 2004.

 

Now That’s Balance

The Miners racked up 81 points against Lamar (12/1/11) despite their leading scorer for the game (Melisa Mendes) finishing with only 10 points. UTEP averaged 47 points in 29 games dating to the 1983-84 season in which its leading scorer finished with 10 or fewer points. It only eclipsed 60 in one of those contests, with a 71-point effort against McNeese State on Nov. 24, 1989.

 

Dominant Three-Game Stretch

The Miners blew past Denver, 80-49, on Nov. 26, New Mexico State, 63-27, on Nov. 29 & Lamar, 81-52, on Dec. 1, which marked the first time they won three straight games by at least 29 points against a Division I foe for the first time in school history.

 

Historic Night Of Defense

UTEP smothered New Mexico State (11/29/11), setting program records against a division I opponent for fewest points allowed in a half (eight)and game (27) and field-goal percentage defense (18.4 percent). Additionally, it ranked as the third-fewest points permitted by a Conference USA school.

 

Bombs Away

The Miners sunk 11 three pointers in the win against Denver (11/26/11), which rated tied for the seventh-highest single-game total in program history.

 

Crashing The Glass

UTEP secured 29 offensive rebounds, the third most in program history, which led to 33 second-chance points in the win against Houston Baptist (11/19/11). Overall the Miners tallied 60 rebounds, which was their highest sum since the 2005-06 season and tied for ninth overall in school history.

 

Gloria Was Glorious

Gloria Brown flirted with a triple-double (21 points, nine boards, eight blocks) while playing a career-high 30 minutes in the win at NM State (11/16/11). The eight rejections rate third all time at the school, trailing only former Miner Izabela Piekarska’s single-game effort (10, twice).

 

HOME SWEET HOME

Home Wins A Plenty In 2011-12

UTEP compiled a mark of 15-2 in El Paso this year, which ranks as the second-most home  triumphs in program history. The 2006-07 squad holds the standard for most triumphs (16-2). The only undefeated home mark in program history was in the 2007-08 campaign (14-0).

 

Loving Life In El Paso

The Miners are 82-18 in El Paso since the start of the 2006-07 season, aided by the 15-2 mark this season. Keitha Adams’ have now  strung together a school-record five straight seasons with 12 or more home triumphs. UTEP only had four campaigns where it even reached double figures in home wins during the first 27 years of the program, with the high water mark coming in 1988-89.

 

Don’t Take Things For Granted

UTEP has posted a program-best nine straight years with at least nine home victories and boasts an overall record of 117-51 in El Paso during the Keitha Adams era. The Miners had six such seasons in the 27 years prior to her tenure, and were a combined 163-142.

 

Best Fan Support In C-USA

The Miners are heads & shoulders above the rest of the Conference USA for average attendance. They have an overall average attendance (2,639), with ECU (1,536) more than 1,100 back. In terms of league only, the Miners had 4,243 on average. Memphis (1,774) was nearly 2,500 in back of that figure.

 

Piling Up The Fans

UTEP drew better than 2,000 fans in nine of the final 10 contests of the year, and a single-season 11 contests overall. The prior standard was six (2007-08).

Big Crowds All The Rage In Adams Era

Ten of the 13 games in program history (excluding double headers) with at least 4,000 fans  in attendance have come during the Keitha Adams era. The Miners 9-1 in those tilts during her era. The complete list is below, with bold denoting the Adams era.

 

No.  Crowd  Foe                 Score               Date

1.     7,255     SMU               W, 76-63         2/28/08

2.     7,212     Memphis      W, 80-58         2/10/07

3.     7,103     BYU                L, 57-61      2/22/93

4.     7,003     ECU               W, 81-53     2/10/08

5.     6,532     SMU               W, 68-50          2/23/12

6.     6,421     Rice               L, 48-52      2/26/12

7.     5,513     Houston        W, 80-55          2/14/08

8.     5,093     Tulsa             W, 65-50       3/1/08

9.     4,682     UNLV             W, 73-58     2/10/98

10.  4,536     Tulane           W, 80-65     2/12/12

11.  4,167     Marshall       W, 64-58       2/9/12

12.  4,069     TCU               W, 79-76     2/22/01

13.  4,029     UCF               W, 67-38     1/29/12

 

Another Note Of That Nature

The Miners finished out the season with five straight games of at least 4,000 fans to shatter the prior consecutive standard (two, 2007-08).

 

TRAVEL TIME

Road Victories Galore

UTEP has rolled to a mark of 10-1 on the road, which equals the 2007-08 squad (10-3) for most victories away from home in program history. It can eclipse that standard with a triumph at UAB on March 1.

 

Making Progress On The Road Overall

UTEP is 48-84 on the road under Keitha Adams, but they have made strides over the past six seasons. UTEP is 36-33 away from home dating to the 2006-07 season, including the 10-1 record this year.

 

Appreciating The Efforts Under Adams

UTEP is ensured of its second winning record on the road under Keitha Adams & fourth year at .500 or better away from home. Prior to her arrival, the Miners’ never had a winning road mark & were at .500 just twice in 27 years.

 

Have Had Some Big Wins Away From Home

UTEP boasts 21 double-digit victories on the road under head coach Keitha Adams. The Miners had 27 such victories before her tenure, 13 were against non-DI schools.

 

Did You Know?

The Miners are 3-1 on the year (wins at New Mexico, Tulane & Rice, loss at Arizona State) when falling shy of 33.5 percent from the floor in road games. UTEP had dropped 41 straight such contests dating to the 1996-97 campaign.

 

LEAGUE MATTERS

Quick Overview Of League Standings

Only one game remains prior to the 2012 Conference USA Championships (March 7-10), but not everything has been decided in terms of seeding. The Miners (14-1) will be the top seed & host Memphis (12-3) is locked in at the No. 2 position.  UAB (9-6), Rice (9-6) & Tulane (8-7) are vying for the other two first-round byes. Both Tulsa & UCF are 7-8 while Marshall, Southern Miss & SMU are all 6-9. ECU (4-11) is situated at No. 11 while Houston (2-13) will be the 12 seed.

 

Ample Success In C-USA For The Miners

UTEP has been among the best teams in C-USA since joining the league in 2005-06, when it was realigned. The Miners have the second-most overall wins (139) in that timeframe, trailing only Tulane (143).

 

Preseason Poll; In Review

Preseason polls always make for good discussion, but that is about all they are good for. UTEP, picked fourth in the 2011-12 C-USA edition, has emerged as the regular-season champions. The complete version of prediction & actual outcome is pasted below.

 

School                  Predicted                    Actual

UTEP                    tied fourth                    1st

Memphis              1st                                 2nd

Rice                       2nd                               t3rd

UAB                       6th                                t3rd

Tulane                  tied fourth                    5th

Tulsa                     11th                              t6th

UCF                       3rd                                t6th

Marshall               12th                              t8th

SMU                      8th                                t8th

Southern Miss     9th                                t8th

East Carolina      10th                              11th

Houston                7th                                12th  

 

Getting It Done Of Late In League Openers

UTEP is 6-2 since 2005 in league openers, including 4-1 at home during that time frame. Overall, the Miners are 6-5 in conference christeners during the Keitha Adams era. They were 3-12 before her.

 

Especially On The Road

The Miners are 3-2 in league openers on the road since 2008 & are 4-7 overall in the situation under head coach Keitha Adams. UTEP was 4-16 prior to Adams’ tenure in such contests.

 

THIS IS UTEP WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

·         UTEP is the 2012 C-USA regular-season champion, and is assured of making its second postseason appearance this season.

·         UTEP has received votes in the coaches’ top-25 poll for six straight weeks

·         UTEP has piled up  more than 100 victories since the start of the 2006-07 season.

·         UTEP has posted a school-record six straight seasons with a record of .500 or better in the sequence

·         The Miners have won two C-USA titles in the past five years (2007-08  & 2011-12).

·         UTEP went 28-4 in 2007-08, including historic 16-0 in Conference USA play

·         Effort tied the 1966 men’s national champions for most wins by a basketball team in school history

·         Advanced to second round of ‘08 NCAA Tournament after drilling Western Kentucky, 92-60. That was the first postseason tournament in program history.

·         Nationally ranked in polls final six weeks of ‘07-08

·         One of 8 schools in country with multiple players chosen in ‘08 WNBA Draft

·         All players who have exhausted eligibility under head coach Adams have graduated

 

CLIFF’S NOTES ON THE 2011-12 SEASON

C-USA Champs! Miners Down SMU, 68-50

UTEP bolted out to an early double-figure lead and never looked back in a wire-to-wire and 2012 Conference USA championship clinching 68-50 victory against SMU in front of the fifth-biggest crowd in program history (6,532) on Feb. 23. UTEP led the Mustangs by double figures for the final 32 minutes of the game, with the school-record fourth straight crowd of 4,000-plus feet coming to its feet to salute the home side during the last 60 seconds.

 

Stars Of The Game

Anete Steinberga recorded double figures (12 points) for the third straight contest and fourth time in the past five, while also grabbing five rebounds. Senior Erika Warren continued her strong play of late with a game-high 13 points while Melisa Mendes, Chrishauna Parker and Kayla Thornton all finished with seven points.

 

UTEP Claims Share Of C-USA Crown

Four different Miners reached double figures in scoring to help UTEP down Houston, 71-51, and secure at least a share of the 2012 Conference USA crown in the process in front of a very partisan Miner crowd at Hofheinz Pavilion on Feb. 19.  UTEP led 20-19 with 7:46 to play in the first half before outscoring the Cougars  51-32 the rest of the way to extend their winning streak to 14. Included in that was a dominant 40-16 surge spanning roughly 15 minutes to effectively put the game out of reach.

 

Post Power

All four Miners’ post players reached double figures in scoring at Houston (2/19/12). Anete Steinberga recorded her first double-double of the year (10 points, 10 boards), with Gloria Brown (14 points, six boards), Kayla Thornton (10 points, nine rebounds) and Kristine Vitola (10 points, four boards) also getting involved.

 

Brown Secures C-USA Honor

After helping UTEP lock up a share of the 2012 Conference USA crown, senior forward Gloria Brown was named the C-USA player of the week on Feb. 20. She averaged 14 points, nine rebounds and three steals and three blocks in guiding the Miners to a pair of road wins by a combined 30 points. 

 

Lucky 13! UTEP Topples Tulsa, 64-54

Gloria Brown registered her ninth double-double of the season (14 points, 12 rebounds) to lead a trio of players in double figures, and UTEP executed on both ends down the stretch in an eventual 64-54 win at Tulsa on Feb. 16. The Miners, who led wire-to-wire, closed the contest on a 9-2 run to stay perfect in Conference USA play while sealing their 13th consecutive victory overall.

 

Brown Not Lone Standouts In The Contest

Kelli Willingham tallied 12 points, all on first-half treys, while Anete Steinberga added 10. Sophomore Kayla Thornton tallied nine points, with five of them during the 9-2 close to the contest. Thornton also buoyed Brown in the rebounding department with 11 boards, helping the Miners control the glass to the tune of 41-34.

 

UTEP Steamrolls Tulane, 80-65

Senior Erika Warren poured in a career-high 20 points to help UTEP drill Tulane, 80-65, in front of a campaign-best 4,536 fans at home on Feb. 12.

 

Offense & Rebounding A New Combination

Defense and rebounding has been the mantra for the Miners this year, but they were also clicking on offense against Tulane (2/12/12). UTEP hit  a season-high 55.8 percent from the floor and held a commanding 45-28 advantage in rebounding.

 

Runs ‘R Us

The Miners, who never trailed in a contest, against Tulane (2/12/12) used a breathtaking 18-4 surge spanning five minutes and 40 seconds to break the game wide open at 62-43 with 12:04 remaining in regulation. The Green Wave could get no closer than nine from that point.

 

UTEP Thunders Past Marshall, 64-56

Sophomore Kayla Thornton posted her second double-double of the season (19 points, 10 rebounds) to help UTEP topple a feisty Marshall squad, 64-56, in front of a then season-best 4,167 fans on Feb. 9.

 

Second-Half Surge

The Miners rode a 27-12 run midway through the second stanza to rip control of the contest. The Thundering Herd, who had managed a 40-35 advantage with 14:49 to play prior to the run, never recovered.

 

Offense Comes Alive

UTEP drilled 45.8 percent (22-of-48), its second-best effort since the onset of league play, which was aided by making 13-of-25 (52.0 percent) over the final 20 minutes in the win vs. Marshall (2/9/12).

 

Brown & Defense Fuel 45-41 Win At Rice

Tenacious defense and a big second half from senior Gloria Brown proved to be the right combination to keep UTEP undefeated in Conference USA play following a hard-fought 45-41 victory at Rice (2/5/12). Brown scored 14 of her game-high 16 points in the second stanza, including six straight to break a 37-37 tie with 4:49 to play. The Owls, who managed just two field goals in the final five minutes, never got closer than four after  the 6-0 surge. UTEP held Rice to just 25.9 percent from the floor, and won the battle of the boards, 46-41. Aiding that was a 25-15 rebounding advantage over the final 20 minutes, during which UTEP out-scored Rice, 25-20.

 

Have Enjoyed National Spotlight

The Miners are 9-5 in national TV games during the Keitha Adams era, including 2-0 this year  (66-60 win vs. Memphis & at Rice, 45-40).

 

UTEP Overwhelms UCF, 67-38

Senior Briana Green scored a season-high 13 points, and UTEP defended with vigor in a 67-38 rout of UCF in front of a then campaign-best 4,029 fans at home on Jan. 29. The Miners led by double figures for the final 30 minutes of the contest, including being up by 20+ over the last 14 minutes. Freshman Jenzel Nash came off the pine to join Green in double figures (12).

 

Draining It From Distance

UTEP nailed 53.3 percent (8-of-15) from three-point range, its second-best readout on the season vs. UCF (1/29/12). Jenzel Nash, who was 2-of-15 from distance entering the tilt, was 2-of-3 while Briana Green sank all three tries.

 

Brown Powers UTEP To 70-63 Win At Southern Miss

Gloria Brown posted a monstrous double-double and head coach Keitha Adams secured her 300th collegiate win after UTEP downed Southern Miss, 70-63, on the road on Jan. 26. UTEP started the second half on a 12-2 run, which not only erased a 30-28 halftime deficit but also propelled it into the lead for good.

 

UTEP Stomps Houston, 87-43

UTEP bolted out to a 41-21 lead at the half and never looked back on the way throttling Houston, 87-43, to secure its largest margin of victory in a conference game in program history on Jan. 22.

 

Balanced Attack

All 13 Miners who saw action scored at least four points, with sophomore Kayla Thornton leading the way with 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting. The Miners’ bench poured in 48 points, out-scoring the entire UH squad in the process.

 

 

 

UTEP Secures First Win In Greenville, 66-56

UTEP pounded East Carolina down low while punishing it on the glass on the way to picking up its first victory in four tries at Minges Coliseum, 66-56, on Jan. 18. The game was tied at 35 at the half but the Miners ripped control of the contest with an 11-2 run over the first nine minutes of the second stanza.

 

Stars Of The Contest

Gloria Brown posted her seventh double-double of the year  (17 points, 11 boards) to lead the way while Anete Steinberga added a season-best 15 points and Kayla Thornton pitched in 10. Senior Kim Smith also stood out with a then career-best five rebounds and a career-high-tying six assists in 26 minutes of action.

 

Nash Carries Miners Past Tulane, 65-64 In OT

Jenzel Nash poured in a career-high 25 points, and UTEP got three stops in the final 45 seconds on the way to handing Tulane its first home loss of the season, 65-64, on Jan. 15. Nash scored six points in the extra session, including banking in a jump shot with 1:11 to play in OT that would serve as the eventual game-winner.

 

It’s Not Over ‘Til The Fat Lady Sings

The Miners closed regulation on a 12-3 run to force OT in the eventual win at Tulane (1/15/12). Kayla Thornton hit her first three pointer of the season to pull UTEP within one (55-54, 1:27 to play), and Gloria Brown eventually tied it by sinking two clutch free throws with 20 seconds to play.

 

Brown Tabbed C-USA Player Of The Week

Gloria Brown was named the Conference USA Player of the Week, the league office announced on Jan. 9.  Brown averaged 12.5 points, 11 rebounds, 5.0 blocks and 2.5 steals in 23.5 minutes.

 

UTEP Topples Tulsa, 67-56

Kayla Thornton scored 17 points and UTEP used a solid approach defensively on the way to downing Tulsa, 67-56, on Jan. 12. The Miners led the final 37:45 of the game, and were up by at least seven points over the final 10 minutes.

 

Deeeee-Fense

Tulsa hit just 29.4 percent from the floor, and had only six second-half field goals. It finished with more free-throws made (23) and turnovers committed (20) than total field goals (15).

 

Steinberga Steps Up

With Gloria Brown limited due to foul trouble, junior Anete Steinberga provided a lift against Tulsa (1/12/12). She tallied 10 points while grabbing five rebounds.

 

Stunning Comeback Lifts UTEP Past Memphis, 66-60

UTEP equaled the biggest comeback in school history, erasing a 19-point halftime deficit to down Memphis, 66-60, on Jan. 8. The Miners used a 36-12 surge, including a 17-0 run to start the stanza, to not only erase the 41-22 deficit but take a lead they would never relinquish. The Tigers pulled within two (62-60) with 24 seconds left but UTEP sealed the comeback by knocking down its final four free throws.

 

Nash Was Big

Jenzel Nash was instrumental in the rally. Nash scored the first five points and nine total during a 17-0 run to open the period and get UTEP back in the game. After Memphis had pulled back ahead, the Miners struck back with eight in a row, and six of them came from Nash. She hit 7-of-11 from the floor and was 7-of-9 at the charity stripe.

 

Thornton Was Too

Kayla Thornton scored 17 points to match Jenzel Nash, including a pair of free throws in the waning seconds to seal the game for the Miners.

 

Big Rebounding Night Sends UTEP Past SMU

Gloria Brown posted her third consecutive double-double (17 points, 11 rebounds), Kelli Willingham added 16 points and UTEP crushed SMU on the boards in a 64-53 road win Jan. 8. The Miners out-rebounded the Mustangs 52-28,including a dominant readout of 32-9 in the second half. The effort afforded UTEP an advantage of 15-4 on second-chance points, with 13 of those points coming over the final 20 minutes.

 

Welcome Back, Kristine

Kristine Vitola was back on the court after missing one game due to an illness, and she looked to be in good form at SMU (1/5/12). The junior toyed with a double-double before finishing with nine points & eight boards in 29 minutes of action.

 

That’s How You Close Out A Contest

UTEP led by two (55-53) with 3:10 to play but out-scored SMU 9-0 down the stretch. The Miners iced it late by going 5-of-6 at the free-throw line in the final minute of action.

 

UTEP Thrashes Texas State, 81-58

Kayla Thornton poured in a career-high 20 points, Gloria Brown notched her second straight double-double (10 points, 13 rebounds) and Baiba Eglite provided a spark off the bench with a season-high 11 points to help UTEP rout Texas State, 81-58, on Dec. 31. The Miners trailed 12-8 with 10:36 to play in the first half before going on a 17-5 run on the way to taking control of the contest. Eglite fueled the sequence with a trio of three pointers.

 

Arizona State Holds Off UTEP, 47-45

Kelli Willingham’s potential go-ahead three pointer from the right wing was blocked with seven seconds to play, allowing Arizona State to creep past UTEP, 47-45, at home on Dec. 28. It was a back-and-forth defensive battle, with seven ties & nine lead changes. The Miners trailed by four (47-43) with 1:20 left but held ASU scoreless from that point to give themselves a chance.

 

Vitola Has Another Big Night On Boards

Kristine Vitola notched her third double-digit rebounding effort to that point with a career-high 11 boards at Arizona State (12/28/11).

 

UTEP Falls For First Time, 49-48, To UCSB

UTEP was saddled with its first loss of the season in challenging fashion, falling to UC Santa Barbara, 49-48, on a last-second shot by Sweets Underwood at home on Dec. 21. The Miners led 47-40 with 2:56 to play only to have the Gauchos close out in the contest on a 9-2 push, which was capped by Underwood’s short jumper off an out-of-bounds play with 0.4 seconds remaining.

 

Sometimes Shots Don’t Fall

UTEP finished at 35.2 percent from the floor (19-of-54), with a readout of 18.8 percent (3-of-16) from three-point land impacting that figure. The Miners heated up in the second stanza to drill 45.5 percent from the floor, including 2-of-4 from distance, but ultimately it wasn’t enough.

Miners Roll To 68-48 Win At Loyola Marymount

Kelli Willingham poured in a season-high 18 points to help lead UTEP to a 68-48 triumph at Loyola Marymount on Dec. 17. The Miners bolted out to a 15-2 lead. The Lions fought back to trim the deficit to four on a couple of occasions but the Miners used a 14-6 surge to carry a 37-25 advantage into the locker room. LMU never got closer than eight from that point on.

 

Brown Powers Miners Past UNC, 74-51

Gloria Brown recorded her third double-double of the season (16 points, 11 rebounds)to help the Miners post a 74-51 conquest of Northern Colorado at home on Dec. 13. UTEP led 19-17 with 9:17 to play in the first half before putting together a 20-2 run to break the game wide open. They led 41-27 at the half & pushed their advantage out to as many as 31 (74-43).

 

Balanced Approach Does It

Seven different players scored at least six points vs. Northern Colorado (12/13/11). Gloria Brown led with 16 while Anete Steinberga had then season-high 11 points .Chrishauna Parker (nine points), Kayla Thornton and Kelli Willingham (eight points) and Kristine Vitola and Baiba Eglite (six points) all got in the act as well.

 

Willingham Dishes It Out

Sophomore Kelli Willingham tallied a season-high nine assists while committing only one turnover to help the Miners turn in an efficient offensive night against Northern Colorado (12/13/11). 

 

UTEP Smothers New Mexico, 53-43

Stifling defense, a quality effort at the free-throw line and baskets at key times carried UTEP past New Mexico, 53-43, on the road on Dec. 10. Gloria Brown (12 points, 7 rebounds), Briana Green (10 points), Kelli Willingham (10 points) and Kristine Vitola (six points, 10 rebounds) led the way for the Miners.

 

Lockdown Defense

UTEP kept the Lobos to 25.5 percent from the floor and harassed them into committing 22 turnovers.

 

Winning At The Pit Is Always Special

Thanks to the effort at New Mexico (12/10/11), the Miners picked up their first win at The Pit since the 1994-95 season & fourth all time (4-20).

 

Miners Crush Lamar, 81-52

UTEP played its most complete game of the year to remain undefeated with a resounding 81-52 victory against Lamar on Dec. 1. Eight different players scored at least seven points for the Miners. UTEP bolted out to a 39-21 halftime lead & extended it to as many as 36 (79-43).

 

How Sweep It Is; UTEP Crushes NM State, 63-27

Behind stifling defense, UTEP cruised past New Mexico State, 63-27, to complete the sweep of the Sonic Battle of I-10 series at the Don Haskins Center on Nov. 29. The Miners led 23-8 at the break and were up by at least 30 points over the final 10 minutes of the contest. It marked the largest margin of victory in the series for the Miners and the second-biggest overall.

 

Big-Time Defense

UTEP limited NM State to just 9-of-49 shooting from the floor, including 1-of-11 from beyond-the-arc on Nov. 29. The Miners also harassed the visitors into committing 25 points, only two shy of the Aggies’ point total.

 

Break Out The Brooms

The effort against NM State (11/29/11) locked up the Miners’ first sweep of the series since 2007-08 and ninth overall. Five of the sweeps have come during Keitha Adams’ tenure. UTEP is now 13-9 against the Aggies under Adams, making her the lone coach in school history to have a winning record against their Sonic I-10 rivals.

 

UTEP Stomps Denver, 80-49,

UTEP overpowered Denver, 80-49, in a clash of unbeaten squads on Nov. 26. Sophomore Kelli Willingham had a then season-high 18 points to lead a quartet of players in double figures. UTEP was up, 40-26, at the half and led by as many as 38 (80-42) at one point. The Miners drilled 11 threes (t7th-most school history), with Willingham making four of them.

 

Getting It Done At The Line

UTEP used good movement & motion to earn ample trips to the free-throw line against Denver (11/26/11). The Miners hit a then campaign-best 19-of-27 at the free-throw line.

 

UTEP Takes Down UTPA, 62-51

Powered by Gloria Brown’s second double-double on the year, UTEP dispatched UTPA, 62-51, on Nov. 22. The Miners jumped out to a 29-17 lead at the half, extended it to as many as 19 (58-39 with 4:56 to play) before a mini run late made the final score a little more aesthetically pleasing for UTPA. The Miners dominated down low, scoring 40 of their 62 points in the paint.

 

Plenty Of Playing Time

Head coach Keitha Adams used 14 of the 15 played dressed in the win against UTPA (11/22/11). Twelve of those 14 logged at least 10 minutes on the court.

 

UTEP Routs Houston Baptist, 82-53

Kayla Thornton posted a double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds) while freshman Jenzel Nash poured in a then career-high 18 points to propel UTEP past Houston Baptist, 82-53, at home on Nov. 19. The Huskies led 2-0 but the Miners used an 11-0 run to stake an advantage they would never relinquish. It was up, 43-17, at the break.

 

Big Rebounding Nights For Vitola & Warren

Kristine Vitola and Erika Warren both got after it on the glass with nine rebounds each. The nine board is a career high for Warren,while it matched Vitola’s personal-best at the time (since eclipsed).

 

Nash Finds Her Rhythm

Jenzel Nash was 0-7 from the floor in her first two collegiate games before breaking through against Houston Baptist (11/19/11). She nailed 8-of-16 from the floor, including a dazzling fake on a one-on-one situation midway through the second half  on a lay-up to bring the crowd to life. She finished with a team-high 18 points.

 

Brown Leads UTEP To 76-72 OT Win At NM State

Gloria Brown poured in 21 points while grabbing nine rebounds and blocking eight shots to help lead UTEP to a 76-72 overtime victory at New Mexico State in the SONIC® ® America’s Drive-In® battle of I-10 on Nov. 16. The Aggies scored the first two points of OT before the Miners ripped off nine straight to surge ahead, 70-63, with 3:03 to play. NM State eventually whittled the margin down to two (74-72) but Melisa Mendes came up with a clutch steal and sank a pair of free throws with six seconds left to seal the win.

 

Other Standouts At NM State

Chrishauna Parker delivered 11 points and five rebounds in 27 minutes in her first career start while Melissa Mendes. Kristine Vitola came through with eight points-including six in OT- to go along with eight rebounds.


 

 

UTEP Athletics