MINERS
Third-Seeded UTEP To Open Play At C-USA Women's Basketball Championships Thursday

Kayla Thornton

Kayla Thornton

March 12, 2014

Game Notes In PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

THE OPENING ACT

-  UTEP (26-5, 13-3 C-USA) will open play at the 2014 Conference USA Women's Basketball Championships at 5 p.m. MDT at historic Memorial Gym Thursday.

-  The third-seeded Miners received a double-bye and will challenge #14 Louisiana Tech in the quarterfinals.

-  Fans stay-up-date by following the Miners on twitter (@UTEPWBB) or listening live on 1150 AM with Mark Brunner and Traci Miller.

-  Memorial Gym (capacity 5,200) & current home of UTEP volleyball, has a storied history. It housed the 1966 UTEP men's basketball NCAA Championship team.

-  The Miner women called it their primary home through the 1990-91 season.

-  14-20 record all time in conference tournament play, including 11-11 under Keitha Adams.

-  10-6 in the event since 2007.

-  Earned runner-up honors in 2008 & claimed the only tourney crown in program history in 2012.

-  Went 2-1 in the 2013 C-USA Championships to advance to the semifinals.

-  Other semifinal showings came as members of the WAC (1993, 1995 & 2004). UTEP used one victory in each of those years to advance.

 

THIRD-BEST IN TEXAS SINCE 06-07

-  The Miners have the third-most wins among all DI programs in Texas since 2006-07.

-  Recent national champions Baylor (243-40) & Texas A&M (212-64) lead the way.

-  UTEP has a firm grip on third (174-74).

-  Lamar (159-94-4th), Texas (153-107-5th), TCU (151-103-6th), SMU (148-100-7th), Prairie View A&M (145-111-8th), Texas Tech (136-122-9th) and Stephen F. Austin (134-110) wrap the top-10.

 

QUITE A RUN

-  UTEP is 74-19 since the start of the 2011-12 season, including 23-6 this year.

-  Have registered 53 double-digit wins in stretch.

-  Only five double-digit losses in time frame.

-  Aiding record were 10 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)

    3 game (2/22/14 through 3/1/14)

-  Contrast that with one three-game losing skid.

 

AWARDS AVENUE

 - Senior Kayla Thornton secured First-Team All-Conference USA honors while also earning placement on the five-member All-Defensive squad, the league office revealed on March 9.

-Thornton, a second-team honoree in 2012 and 2013, becomes the second Miner in program history to garner at least three all-conference accolades (Jareica Hughes, four, 2007-10).

-  Thornton also joins Hughes as the lone players in school history to be a two-time member of the All-Defensive squad. Thornton was also tabbed to the team last year & Hughes was in `07 & `08.

-  UTEP has now been recognized on an all-conference squad for eight straight years.

-  Redshirt-sophomore guard Jenzel Nash was named the 2014 Conference USA Women's Basketball Sixth Player of the Year, the league office revealed March 10.

-  It marks the third time in the past four years that the Miners have secured the award, with former standout Gloria Brown being so recognized in 2011 and 2012.

 

RUNDOWN ON THE 2013-14 MINERS

(23-6, 12-4 C-USA, 16-1 home, 6-4 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.

-   Responded with a 9-1 surge before dropping the regular-season finale at FAU on March 5.

Kristine Vitola is only player to start ever game.

Chrishauna Parker and Cameasha Turner  have started 28 of the 29 games.

Kayla Thornton (27), Kelli Willingham (19), Stacie Telles (13), Jenzel Nash (three) & Anete Kirsteine (one) also have been among the starting five this year.

-  Thornton missed the final three games of the regular season but she has  been cleared to play in the Miners' quarterfinals' contest.

-  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.

-  Six newcomers have played for UTEP this year.

 

LAST TIME OUT

-   Kristine Vitola (11 points), Kelli Willingham (11 points) and Stacie Telles (10 points) turned in double-digit scoring efforts but UTEP couldn't withstand the barrage of a Conference USA record 20 three-pointers in a 98-62 loss at Florida Atlantic on March 5.

-  The two teams traded blows over the first eight minutes of the game, and it was two-point lead (21-19) for the home side with 12:19 to play in the first half.

-  Things changed in a hurry, with the Owls hitting four threes to fuel a game-changing 14-2 run over the next three minutes.

-  The Miners (23-6, 12-4 C-USA) halted the sequence with a triple from Telles but the damage had been done. The deficit was 17 (49-32) at the break, and the short-handed Orange and Blue squad (leading scorer and rebounder Kayla Thornton missed her third straight game) could get no closer than 15 points the rest of the way.

 

THE BASIC FACTS ON UTEP

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

-  Stand 492-602 all time, including 23-6 in `13-14.

-  Five 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.

 

THE ADAMS FILE

-  UTEP is led by 13th-year head coach and the all-time win leader in program history, Keitha Adams, who is 229-163 in that time frame.

-  Adams is 356-200 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.

-  200-106, including 23-6 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.

 

GETTING OFFENSIVE

-   Second in C-USA & is 25th nationally at 78.7 ppg.

-   Scoring average will shatter current school single-season standard (71.5-1980-81).

-   Is 21 points (2266) away from breaking the 2007-08 squad's record for single-season points (2286).

-   Scoring output aided by setting school standards for both free throws made (532) & attempted (745). Prior respective records were 468 (2000-01) & 712 (1988-89).

-   Drilled 176 three pointers (4th) on 545 attempts (5th) to rank in top-five for single-season charts

-  Scored 70+ points in 22 of 29 games.

-  90+ points  in three games, which ties the 1979-80 squad for the most in a single season.

-  Program-best 16 games with 80+ points, shattering the prior standard (nine).

-  Made 15 or fewer turnovers in 20 contests.

-  Hit 30+ free throws three times this year.

-   Happened five times total first 39 years of program.

Kayla Thornton paces team with 19.7 ppg, which would be second-best ever at school.

Holly Russ (22.2 ppg, 1990-91) holds record.

-  Reserve guard Jenzel Nash (11.7) and  senior Kristine Vitola (10.2) are also in double figures

-  Five others at better than 5.0 ppg.

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

-  Posted 10+ offensive rebounds in every contest.

-  Scored 1027 (35.4) points in the first half.

-  Scored 1229 (42.4) points in second half.

 

GETTING DEFENSIVE

-  Ninth in C-USA in scoring defense (67.0).

-  Limited foes to 63.9 points per game & 36.3 percent shooting during during a 10-game sequence (9-1) after yielding 85+ points in consecutive games (92 vs. Charlotte-1/18/14) & 85 vs. Southern Miss-1/22/14) for the first time under Keitha Adams  since her initial season at UTEP (2001-02).

-  Slipped up defensively in final regular-season game, giving up 98 points & a C-USA record 20 three-pointers in the 98-62 setback at FAU on March 7. 

-  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 had only

-  That figure is certainly aided by the two giveaways by FAU.

-  Opponents made just 15.8 giveaways during C-USA play, with only five of 15 committing 20+.

-  Forced ECU to make 32 turnovers (2/22).

-  Final three foes of the regular season had a total of 35, aided by FAU's hard to fathom sum of two.

-  Have blocked 126 shots to rank eighth on the UTEP single-season list.

-  Recorded 291 steals, which is the seventh-highest single-season sum in program history.

-  8th on UTEP single-season steal list (289).

-  10th on UTEP single-season block list (123).

 

RECORD WATCH

-  Records are made to be broken. Bold denotes broken in 2013-14, with the () indicating year of previous mark while other items could fall in the C-USA Championship.

 

TEAM SINGLE-SEASON

Category                       2013-14              Record

Double-Digit Wins     19                 20 (2011-12)

Free Throws                532    SAME (2000-01)

Free Throw Attempts                                    745              SAME (1988-89)

Home Wins                 16              16 (2006-07)

Rebounds/Game         44.1           44.5 (1996-97)

Scoring Offense          78.1       71.5 (1980-81)

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

 

INDIVIDUAL SINGLE SEASON

Category                2013-14                     Record

Double-Doubles  16                                 SAME

10+ points streak 25                                 SAME

Field Goals            179   217 (L. Watson, `88-89)

Points                     511        600 (H. Russ, `90-91)

Rebound Avg        10.6   10.0 (B. Stoney, `79-80)

Rebounds              276     294 (C. Parker, `12-13)

 

-  Here is the list of individual career standards that have already or could be broken.

 

INDIVIDUAL CAREER

Category (Player)       Number              Record

DBL/DBL (Thornton)      37                            SAME

Field Goals (Thornton)   553                          SAME

Free Throws (Thornton)  344    359 (J. Hughes, `06-10)

FT Attempts (Thornton)  474    492 (J. Hughes, `06-10)

Games Won (Seniors)     90                            SAME

Games Played (Vitola)    126                          SAME

Points (Thornton)                 1,527        1,555 (J. Hughes, `06-10)

Rebounds (Thornton)     964                          SAME

3 Pointers (Willingham)          207         208 (A. Billhymer, `93-97)

 

WINNING BIG

-  Nineteen of 23 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).

-  This year's team has a +11.2 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.

 

CHECK THE STATS

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

In 23 Wins (Average Stats)

Team    Pts     FG%    3fg%     FT%   RB      TO    

UTEP    80.9    42.6      33.0      72.3     44.6    14.5

Opp.     62.3    36.6      30.7      63.3     39.0    20.1                                              

In 6 Losses (Average Stats)

Team    Pts     FG%    3fg%     FT%   RB      TO    

UTEP    68.5    37.0      29.7      67.2     42.0    17.5

Opp.     84.7    46.2      36.8      64.6     44.0    13.2

 

-  5-0 on year & 64-3 with +20 assists during the Keitha Adams era.

-  8-0 on season & 79-12 under Adams when opposition has more turnovers than field goals.

-  Undefeated in 2013-14 (19-0) &  175-36 overall during Adams' era when leading at the break.

-  20-3 on year & 152-53 under Adams when winning the rebounding battle.

-   14-1 on year & 66-4 under Adams with 80+ points.

-   15-1 this year & 177-57 when keeping opposition to less than 40 percent from the floor. 

-  Has not conceded 70+ points in three straight games since early in league play in 2003, a span of 347 contests.

-  56-15 when Kristine Vitola starts.

-  51-17 when Chrishauna Parker starts.

 

HOME SWEET HOME

-  147-55 at home during Keitha Adams' era.

-  139-37 in El Paso since 2003-04.

-  112-23 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.

-  45-6 since the start of 2011-12.

-  16-1 on year at home to tie school record.

-  Can break program mark (16-2, 2006-07) during the C-USA Championships.

-  Can also equal or even break the C-USA single-season school standard of 17.

-  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).

 

TRAVEL TIME

-  59-94 on road during Keitha Adams' era.

-  15-52 in hostile territory her first five seasons.

-  45-42, including 6-4 this year, since 2006-07.

-  21-11 since the  2011-12 season.

-  Third winning road record under Adams.

-  Feat did not happen before her tenure.

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

-   7th year with win % of .500 or better under Adams.

-   Happened once in first 27 years of the program.

 

CAREER ACHIEVEMENTS

Class of 2014 (Thornton, Vitola & Willingham)

-  This year's senior class has aided UTEP to a school-record mark of 90-34 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 (964) & field goals (563).

-  Second all time at UTEP in points (1,527).

Jareica Hughes' (2006-10) holds record (1,555).

-  Also has top-10 rankings for free-throws made (344-2nd), games played (120-t2nd), free-throws attempted (474-2nd), field-goal attempts 1,255-3rd), steals (189-3rd), rebounding average (8.0-t4th),  starts (101-5th), minutes played (3,173-6th),  blocked shots (63-t8th), scoring average (12.7-9th) & field-goal percentage (44.1-10th).

-  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 (126).

-  Ranks third all time at UTEP for blocks (169). 

-  Third Miner with 800+ points (820), 500+ rebounds (554) & 100+ blocks (169).

-  Needs eight rebounds to move into 10th at UTEP.

-  Member of 2,000+ minute club (2,392-13th).

 

 Kelli Willingham (Senior)

-  Pure shooter on both free throws & triples.

-  Second at UTEP for free-throw percentage (79.4,  three-pointers made (207) and attempted (578).

-  Career record is 208 (Amy Billhymer, `93-97).

-  Seventh in 3-PT field-goal percentage (35.8).

-  Second in assists (355) and games started (109), third in minutes (3,504), fifth in games played (118), eighth in FG attempts (943) & ninth in scoring (1,029).

-  Joined Jareica Hughes as only Miners with 1,000+ points (1,018) & 300+ assists (353).

 

Chrishauna Parker (Junior)

-  Aided UTEP to a mark of 74-20, 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 in rebounds (644) & 10th in average (7.2).

-  Also a member of the 600-point club (641).

-  Fourth for career field-goal percentage (46.8).

-  Tied for sixth in assists (249).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    CLIFFSNOTES ON 2013-14 CAMPAIGN

UTEP 72, at Rice 57 (3/1/14)

-  A united UTEP women's basketball team pushed its winning streak to three with a 72-57 road conquest of Rice in front of a nationally-televised audience (Fox Sports Networks) at Tudor Fieldhouse on March 1.

-  The Miners outscored the Owls, 42-28, over the final 20 minutes, including a 26-4 run spanning eight minutes midway through the second half, to spoil the home side's "Senior Day."

-  UTEP connected on 54.8 percent from the floor in the stanza while also forcing Rice into making nine of its 15 turnovers.

Kristine Vitola (18 points), Sparkle Taylor (14 points) and Jenzel Nash (13) all reached double figures in scoring to lead the way for the Miners, who pounded Rice down low.

-  UTEP outscored Rice, 38-24, in points in the paint, which helped them finish at 45.5 percent (30-of-66) from the floor in the contest.

-  Committed a season-low tying nine turnovers

-  Held to 35.4 percent (23-of-65) from the floor, including just 3-of-15 from beyond-the-arc.

-  Snapped Jessica Kuster's 12-game double-double streak.

 

at UTEP 78, UTSA 65

-  Four different Miners reached double figures in scoring to help UTEP race past UTSA, 78-65, on "Senior Night," at home on Feb. 26.

-  UTSA led 17-12  with 9:52 to play in the first half.

-  With senior Kayla Thornton on the bench with an injury, her teammates went to work to pick up the slack. The result was a 12-0 run over the next three minutes to swing the pendulum of moment to the Miners. The surge started what was a 21-8 surge to close the half with UTEP leading 33-25.

-  UTEP never relinquished the lead.

-  Redshirt-sophomore Jenzel Nash came off the bench to pour in a team-high 16 points

Sparkle Taylor pitched in 11. It marks the fifth double-digit tilt in six contests.

-  Senior Kristine Vitola added 13 points, as did junior and El Paso native Stacie Telles.

Chrishauna Parker picked up the slack in the rebounding department with Thornton out by securing 13 boards. She also added seven points and five assists.

-  The Miners shot their best field-goal percentage (29-of-59, 49.2 percent) on year in C-USA play.

 

at UTEP 81, East Carolina 74

-  UTEP forced 32 turnovers while a quartet of players hit double figures in scoring in a 81-74 conquest of East Carolina in front of a season-high and the seventh-largest crowd (5,568) at the Don Haskins Center on Feb. 22.

Kayla Thornton (23 points), Jenzel Nash (22 points), Kelli Willingham (16 points) and Sparkle Taylor (10 points) led the offense.

-  Willingham's efforts allowed her to become the 10th member of the 1,000-point club at UTEP.

-  It was a physical back-and-forth contest that featured a combined 49 fouls, in addition to 11 ties and seven lead changes.

-  The Pirates led 60-55 with 6:17 to play before Willingham and Thornton fueled a 7-0 run.

-  ECU pulled even at 62, and once again at 64, but the Orange and Blue would not be denied. Kristine Vitola finished a lay-up from Chrishauna Parker to spark a 6-0 run, and ECU never got closer than four down the stretch.

-  UTEP connected on 40.4 percent from the floor, including 54.5 percent in the second half.

-  The Miners drilled 30-of-36 attempts from the free-throw line, with the 30 makes tying as the seventh-highest total in program history.

-  Thornton keyed the charge in the area with a 13-of-14 effort while Willingham was 7-of-9 and Taylor was 6-of-6.

 

at North Texas 73,  (2/15/14)

-  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.

 

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.

-              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.


 

 

UTEP Athletics