UTEP Women's Basketball Notes / Game 31 / WKU / NCAA First Round
March 21, 2008
UTEP Opens NCAA Tourney Against WKU
The No. 23/24 UTEP women's basketball team will take on
Fifth Time On National TV This Year
The contest against WKU marks the program-record fifth time this year that UTEP will appear in a nationally-televised event. The Miners are 3-1 in that situation this year, including 2-0 on ESPN.
First Trip To The Big Dance
By virtue of earning the at-large bid to the 2008 NCAA tournament, the UTEP women's basketball team will be making its first appearance at the event in program history.
First Postseason Tournament, Too
Not only will this be UTEP's first time competing at the NCAA tournament, but it marks the initial appearance in a postseason tournament- other than a conference tournament- in school history. The Miners have never competed in the WNIT.
The Miners, a program-best 27-3 entering the 2008 Big Dance, will be playing their 31st game of the season on Saturday when they battle
First Meeting Between Programs
The contest between
Talk About A Contrast
UTEP's first-round opponent,
Lacy's Been There, Though
When UTEP takes to the courts on Saturday in its tilt against
UTEP On Neutral Courts
UTEP is 3-1 on the year when playing on a neutral court (1-1 at the
Hughes Enjoyed C-USA Tourney Stage
While Jareica Hughes will be making her first appearance at the NCAA tournament, if her performance at the Conference USA tournament is any indication, the sophomore should be just fine. Hughes average 24 points, to go along with 6.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 3.3 steals.
Others Did As Well
Izabela Piekarska and Natasha Lacy also turned in solid showings at the C-USA tournament. Piekarska and Lacy each averaged 16.3 points and 6.3 rebounds. Lacy chipped in 4.1 steals and 4 assists per game.
All-Tourney Honors For Hughes, Lacy
Jareica Hughes and Natasha Lacy each earned a spot on the Conference USA all-tournament team. It marked the first time in program history that UTEP had a player merit a spot on the all-league tournament squad.
C-USA Champion Miners
By virtue of the win at UCF on Feb. 24, No. 19/23 UTEP locked up the 2008 Conference
UTEP Grabs Half Of Major C-USA Awards
The No. 18 UTEP women's basketball team snared three of the six major Conference
Wait, There's More
The No. 18 UTEP women's basketball team placed three players on the All Conference USA teams announced Tuesday by the league office, with Jareica Hughes grabbing first-team honors and Natasha Lacy and Izabela Piekarska snaring spots on the second team. Additionally, Lacy was tabbed to the five member all-defensive squad. It marks the first time in program history that the Miners have garnered three all-conference selections in the same season. UTEP merited a pair of all-league members during the 1992-93 and 1996-97 campaigns.
UTEP Completes C-USA Play Undefeated
By virtue of the win against
Consecutive 20 Win Seasons
By virtue of trouncing
History For Home Games Too
UTEP knocked off
Ranked In Both Polls
UTEP enters the NCAA tournament ranked among the top 25 in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls. UTEP checks in at 22nd in the AP while placing 25th in the latter. The Miners, who were never ranked prior to this season, have appeared in at least one of the polls for a program-best six straight weeks.
With the win at UCF, head coach Keitha Adams became the second member of the 100-career triumph club at UTEP. Sandra Rushing holds the school standard at 123, but she needed 11 years to do so. That figure stands at 104 heading into the NCAA Tournament.
Some Records Flying Under The Radar
When last year's squad rolled to a 22-8 mark to set a school record for single-season wins, that number looked pretty safe for a while. Thanks to the amazing effort by the 2007-08 edition of the Miners, it has been broken. The Miners' victory total stands at 27 heading into the NCAA Tournament.
More Impressive If You Discount Non-DI Games
If you take away the pair of wins against non-division I schools by the 2006-07 squad, the accomplishments of this year's Miners are even more impressive. Last season's team was 20-8 against D-I competition. Every game this campaign has been versus D-I squads, with UTEP posting a 27-3 mark.
More Record Talk
The loss to SMU in the Conference USA Championship game halted UTEP's 23-game winning streak. The effort, which more than doubled the previous school standard, also served as a league standard. Three squads in the history of the conference had previously rattled off 14 straight.
Putting That Feat Into Perspective
Prior to last year, the school record for single-season wins was 18 (which was achieved by the 1992-93 squad). Not only has this year's group already equaled the program record for overall triumphs, but it rattled off 23 straight in the process. That effort alone surpassed the exploits of the 1992-93 team.
Just Getting Warmed Up
Not only was UTEP the first school to go undefeated in league play, but it surpassed the previous win total for league games only in C-USA history. The prior standard was 14 triumphs.
Wait, There's More
The triumph against
UTEP Runs The Table On The Road
By defeating UCF on Feb. 24, UTEP became the first team in Conference
Unprecedented Success On the Road
UTEP finished the regular season at 10-2 on the road, to by far and way set the school standard for best road record. Additionally, the Miners are assured a winning mark in hostile territory for the initial time in program history.
To Truly Appreciate That, Consider
As of March 16, there were 91 teams in the country to have tallied 10 or fewer wins throughout the entire season. The Miners' win total breakdown is as follows: 14 at home, 10 on the road and three on a neutral court.
Quite A Turnaround From Last Year
While the 2006-07 squad experienced plenty of success, it did have its struggles in road games in league action. The Miners were 3-5 in C-USA road contests a year ago.
Doubled The Record In Fact..
Entering this season, the overall school standard for league victories was four. That was held by the 2003-04 squad (also coached
by Keitha Adams).
Shattered Previous Effort For League Play
Thanks to the win against
Hard To Believe..
More Along Those Lines
By virtue of defeating
Off To Best Start Overall At UTEP
The 27-3 start is by far and away best record through 30 games. The previous standard was a record of 22-8, achieved by 2006-07 version of the Miners.
In Elite Company
As of March. 16, UTEP was one of just nine teams in the country to have two or fewer losses. To put the feat into perspective, consider that there are more than 335 teams competing at the D I level this year in women's basketball across the nation.
Miners Know How To Close Out Games
Part of UTEP's success this year in Conference
Turning Up The D
UTEP has been clamping down defensively of late, as it has held 16 of its past 21 opponents below 40% shooting from the floor. On the year, the Miners have kept 19 opponents below 40%. It is no surprise that UTEP is 18-1 in those contests.
Been A Season-Long Trend
UTEP has been pretty impressive throughout the entire season defensively, holding the opposition to 37.5 percent from the floor. That figure would rank as the second best in program history if the campaign ended today.
More On That Defense
For the season, UTEP has limited the opposition to only 61.0 points per game. That figure would rank as the fifth-lowest average in program history. The Miners were especially impressive during league play, holding the opposition to only 58.6 ppg.
Pressure Defense Giving Opposition Fits
UTEP harassed Southern Miss into 23 turnovers, marking the 13th time this year they have forced the opposition into 20 or more giveaways. Overall, UTEP is 12-1 on the season when making its foe topple the 20-turnover barrier. On the season, the Miners have forced 585 giveaways, an average of 20 per contest. Aiding that figure has been 321 steals. Those thefts rank tied as the third-highest total program history.
Turnover Tidbits Galore
UTEP has averaged 22 points per game off of turnovers, while allowing the opposition to only register 14 ppg from the Miners' giveaways. In fact, there have only been four contests on the season in which UTEP has failed to register more points off giveaways than its foe.
Hughes Sets Assists Record
Sophomore Jareica Hughes has dished out a program-best 161 assists this year. The effort topples the previous standard of 142, held by former Miner Shalana Taylor. Don't overlook Natasha Lacy, though, as the senior has also eclipsed
Lacy Does So With Steals
Natasha Lacy, a member of the Conference USA all-defensive team, is closing in on 100 steals for the year. She enters the NCAA tournament with a single-season school record 97 thefts. The effort eclipses the previous standard of 95, which was set by Terri Pedregon during the 1994-95 campaign.
Team Record Watch
It has certainly been an exciting year for the Miners, and as result, UTEP has set or is closing in on breaking some school standards
Wins: 27, School Record Previous record: 22 (2006-07)
FGM: 809, third School record: 846 (1980-81)
FG%: 43.5, second School record: 45.0 (1980-81)
FG Defense: 37.5, second School record: 36.5 (2005-06)
3P: 173, School Record Previous record: 170 (2001-02)
3PA: 524, third School record: 556 (2001-02)
3P%: 33.0, fifth School record: 37.7 (1987-88)
3P Defense: 29.2, fourth School record: 23.5 (1987-88)
FT%: 68.2, tied eighth School record: 74.6 (2002-03)
Assists: 494, second School record: 510 (2006-07)
TO Forced: 585, fifth School record: 673 (1989-90)
Blocks: 153, third School record: 171 (1981-82)
Steals: 321, third School record: 510 (2006-07)
Total Points- 2,140 School Record Previous record: 2,063 (2006-07)
Scoring Offense: 71.3, second Previous record: 71.5 (1980-81)
Scoring Defense: 61.0, fifth School record: 57.2 (1992-93)
Individual Record Watch
In this entertaining season, UTEP has plenty of individuals whose campaign-long efforts will go down in program history.
Timika Williams, 53.7, fourth School record: 58.2, Kevia Ford (1994-95)
Izabela Piekarska, 39.0, seventh School record: 47.1, Ana Valtierra (2006-07)
Natasha Lacy, 148, second
Natasha Lacy, 97, second School record: Previous standard was 95, Terri Pedregon (1994-95)
Jareica Hughes, 84, second
Izabela Piekarska, 72, third School record: 117, Kim Watts (1981-82)
Hughes Joins 700-Point Club; Cracks Top 20 All Time At UTEP
Thanks to a 21-point performance against SMU on Feb. 28, Jareica Hughes became the 20th member of the 700-point club. She is rapidly approaching 800-career points, and will be the 15th member of the club when she does so. The sophomore's total stands at 787 heading into the NCAA tournament.
Williams Enters 400 Rebound Club
Only a sophomore, Timika Williams became just the 17th member of the 400-rebound club at UTEP after registering six boards in the win against Rice.
Just Joined 500 Point Club
Timika Williams scored 11 points in the win against UCF, becoming the 34th member of the 500-point club at UTEP. Her career total stands at 542 going into the NCAA tournament
That Makes Her The 17th To Do So When Combined
By virtue of already being a member of the 500-point club and the 400-rebound club, Timika Williams is now one of 17 individuals in school history to have achieved the feat.
Williams Living On The O-Glass
Sophomore forward Timika Williams, who leads the Miners with 6.9 rebounds per game, has been especially impressive on offensive rebounding. Plenty of Williams' boards on the season (85 of 207) have been of the offensive variety.
Others Doing So Too
Timika Williams is not the only player to experience success in the offensive rebounding department. Entering the NCAA tournament, Izabela Piekarska has 61, while Natasha Lacy has 51. Claudia Porras has registered 36, while Tasha Marisett checks in with 35.
Hughes And Lacy Lead The Steals Charge
First-Half Success In League Play Finally
UTEP raced out to a 20-point lead at the half in the win against
Must Be Some Great Speeches At Halftime
Who knows what Keitha Adams said at halftime during Conference
Williams Hit Everything In C-USA Play
Timika Williams was certainly locked in during C-USA play. The sophomore drained 56% of her chances.
It's Been A Season-Long Trend For `Mik'
Timika Williams was a great shooter throughout the regular season, connecting on 54.7 percent of her shots (111-of-203) to by far and away pace UTEP. Moreover, that effort led Conference
Hughes Doing So Too On Triples
Jareica Hughes, who struggled in non-conference play at just 23 percent from three-point land, found her touch in league action from beyond the arc. The sophomore drained 38 percent of her triples, connecting on 23-of-60.
That Just Isn't Fair
Opponents have enough problems stopping 6-5 center Izabela Piekarska when she is going to work on the block. But it just isn't fair to UTEP's foes when the senior shows off a shooting touch that plenty of two guards would love to possess. Entering the NCAA tournament, Piekarska has connected on a team-leading and fifth in C-USA 39.0 percent from beyond the arc. Moreover, she ranks tied for third all time at UTEP with 81 triples.
Get That Weak Stuff Out Of Here
UTEP has done a great job of defending the paint this year, as the Miners have blocked 151 shots. At the other end of the court, the opposition has managed to block only 55 shots. Leading the block party has been Izabela Piekarska, who has swatted a team-high 71 shots. The imposing 6-5 center has paced Conference
UTEP Was At New Level In League Play
UTEP elevated its game during C-USA action. The Miners averaged 72 points per game, compared to 69 ppg in non-conference play. Defensively, UTEP limited opponents to 58 ppg, quite an improvement from the 62 ppg during non-league play. UTEP shot 44 percent from the floor (42 percent in non-conference action) while it limited the opposition to 36 percent (opposed to 39 percent in 11 non-conference contests).
UTEP Has Two Active 1,000-Point Scorers
After a 10-year drought, seniors Izabela Piekarska and Kasia Krezel became the fourth and fifth members of the 1,000-point club at UTEP this year. Piekarska has racked up 1,227 career points while Krezel checks in at 1,153.
Gaudy Career Numbers For Piekarska
By joining the 1,000 point club after the win at Rice, Izabela Piekarska is now the only player in program history to have compiled more than 1,000 points, 500 boards, 200 blocked shots and 100 assists.
In Fact, History Could Be Made
Izabela Piekarska enters the NCAA tournament with 1,227 career points. That effort is just 22 points shy of tying Be Stoney for the program's record for career points.
Not To Mention Hughes, Krezel
Seven players in program history have shown enough all-around ability to compile more than 500 points, 200 assists and 100 steals, and two of them are current Miners Kasia Krezel and (1,153 points, 228 assists and 157 steals) Jareica Hughes (787 points, 298 assists and 162 steals) have both joined the club this year.
Hughes Reaches 200 Career Assists
With a pair of helpers in the Miners' win against UAB, sophomore point guard Jareica Hughes became the seventh player to record 200 or more assists in school history. Moreover, she needed only 42 games to do so, making her the fastest to reach 200 assists in the 34-year history of the program.
Just Two Helpers Shy Of 300 Now
Jareica Hughes enters the NCAA tournament with 298 career assists, making her just two helpers short of becoming the third player in program annals with at least 300 assists.
On Record-Setting Pace
For her career, Hughes has averaged 5.3 assists per game. That figure ranks as the highest career average in school history.
Balanced Scoring Attack
Part of UTEP's success this year can be attributed to its balanced offensive attack. Entering the NCAA Tournament, the Miners boast four players in double figures when it comes to scoring. Sophomore Jareica Hughes leads the way at 14.7, with Natasha Lacy second at 13.0 ppg. Izabela Piekarska is third at 12.3 ppg while Kasia Krezel (10.8) rounds out the Miners in double figures. Additionally, sophomore forward Timika Williams is just shy of 10.0 ppg after elevating her average to 8.9 ppg.
It's Been A While
You have to go back to the 1996-97 campaign to find the last time the Miners had four players average double digits in scoring for a season. In fact, it has only happened on three occasions in the 34-year history of the program.
Trend Was True In C-USA Play Too
The balanced scoring attack continued to prove true in Conference
More Along Those Lines
Each starter has led the team in scoring at least three times, and all five of them have turned in a game in which they scored at least 20 points.
Five-Headed Scoring Monster
Going into the NCAA Tournament, the Miners' top five scorers (Hughes, Lacy, Krezel, Piekarska and Williams) have accounted for 1,775 of the 2,140 points scored on the year by UTEP. That is a mind-boggling 83 percent of the points on the campaign.
Even More So In League Play
That five-star attack was even more prevalent in Conference
Lacy Shows Off All-Around Game
Senior transfer Natasha Lacy was nothing shy of brilliant in C-USA play. Lacy, who prides herself on an all-around game, did just that. She averaged 13.3 points per game, to go along with a team-high 6.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game.
Hughes Did Also
Jareica Hughes was also balanced in league play, accounting for a team-high 13.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg and 5.4 apg.
Hughes Second-Fastest To 100-Career Steals
Jareica Hughes, who by the end of her career will be the member of plenty of exclusive clubs at UTEP, joined the 100+ career steals group after registering a pair of thefts against New Mexico on Dec. 30 Hughes, who needed 39 games to do so, became the second-fastest player in program history to reach the 100-steal plateau. Overall, there are 14 players who have recorded more than 100 career steals, with Terri Pedregon holding the school record at 210.
On Record-Setting Pace Too
Not only is Jareica Hughes racking up the steals, but she is doing so at a record-setting pace. The sophomore career average stands at 2.9 spg, which is tops in school history.
100+ Three-Pointers Made
By virtue of her three triples against NMSU earlier this year, senior Kasia Krezel became just the third player in program history to make more than 100 career three pointers. Amy Billhymer holds the school standard with 208 triples, while Krezel (136) and Terri Powell (109) rank second and third, respectively.
200+ Assists and 100+ Steals and 100+ Three-Pointers Made
Kasia Krezel recently became the first member of this club, as her career numbers now stand at 286 assists, 157 steals and 137 triples.
Golden Age Of Miner Basketball
A program that has historically struggled, UTEP has come a long way in the past year-and-a half. The
UTEP Program Has Come A Long Way
The UTEP women's basketball program has made plenty of strides since in the 2001-02 season, Keitha Adams' first year as head coach. Consider the following:
* The Miners have won 49 games the past year and a half. They were victorious only 29 times over three seasons from 2001-04.
* UTEP has been ranked as high as a program and Conference
* UTEP has become competitive with talent-laden teams while learning to dominate weaker competition. The Miners are 10-7 against top-100 RPI squads and 19-4 versus teams 100-199 since the start of the 2006-07 season. UTEP has gone 17-0 against teams in the 200-299 range in that time frame too. From the 2001-02 campaign until the 2005-06 season, the Miners were 10-32 versus top-100 squads, 20-38 against 100-199 and 20-18 when facing teams 200-299.
Difference Between Winning And Losing
While it is not the only factor, one area to look to determine the outcome of the game for UTEP this year is rebounding. The Miners are 13-0 on the year when winning the battle of the boards, 12-3 when failing to do so and 2-0 when rebounds are equal. That trend proves to be true during the Keitha Adams era, as UTEP carries a record of 53-27 when out-rebounding its foes compared to 34-69 when failing to do so.
Hughes The Scorer
Sophomore Jareica Hughes has continued to be a strong scorer this year, while still running the offense. She has averaged a team-high 14.7 points per game. She has cracked double figures in 21 of her 29 games played and has done so in 40 times throughout her career.
Lacy Loves To Share
Senior guard Natasha Lacy has done a tremendous job in many facets of the game this year. She has racked up 148 assists while committing only 102 giveaways. Lacy has also managed to do plenty of scoring as well, evidenced by her 13.0 ppg to rank second on the squad.
Hughes Actually Leader By Average
Jareica Hughes, who has missed one game this year due to injury, leads the Miners with 5.6 assists per game. Moreover, she paces the squad in assist to turnover ratio, doing so with a +1.8.
Krezel Shows Off Quick Hands
Kasia Krezel has certainly made her presence felt at the defensive end of the court since arriving in the
UTEP is 8-1 on the campaign when committing more turnovers than its opponent and 17-2 on the season when registering fewer giveaways than its foes. The Miners are 1-0 in contests when turnovers are equal.
They're Called Free Throws For A Reason
While UTEP has done plenty of things well this year, one area it has struggled with is its free-throw shooting. That figure took a bit hit by going just two-of-14 in the win against Tulane on Jan. 26. UTEP enters the NCAA Tournament having connected on 68.2 percent of its chances at the charity stripe. The Miners have knocked down 349-of-512 shots at the FT line this year.
Good Showing Against Rice
The Miners did look good in that area against Rice in the C-USA quarterfinals, going 16-of-20. Of course it helped that Jareica Hughes was 11-of-11 in the win.
Offense Clicking On All Cylinders
UTEP's offensive output this year has been quite impressive despite its challenges at the charity stripe. The Miners are shooting a sparkling 43.5 percent from the floor, which has helped them register 71.3 points per game.
What It All Means
The points per game average of 71.3 would rank as the second-highest figure in program history. In fact, the 1980-81 squad is the only one in school annals to have poured in more than 70 ppg. It didn't hurt that Be Stoney, the all-time leading scorer at UTEP, was a member of that team.
Krezel Stepping Up
Kasia Krezel has done a solid job this year, as the senior is averaging 10.8 points per game and 3.3 rebounds per contest. The effort on the boards is especially impressive, considering Krezel's career average entering the year was just 2.4 rpg.
Double Your Pleasure
Thanks to Izabela Piekarska's double-double against SMU in the C-USA championship game, the Miners have now registered 14 double-doubles on the season. Piekarska has achieved the feat a team-leading six times. Timika Williams has done so three times, Jareica Hughes has accomplished it twice while Tasha Marisett and Natasha Lacy have registered one double-double a piece.
Miners Move To Cusp Of NCAA Tourney
UTEP raced out to an early 8-2 lead and never looked back on the way to waxing Southern Miss, 86-69, in the Conference USA semifinals, securing the program's initial berth in a conference championship game as result.
Natasha Lacy keyed the attack in the Miners' triumph against Southern Miss. She poured in 25 points, to go along with eight boards and eight steals.
Performance Unlike Any Other
With the 25-point, eight board, eight steal night, Natasha Lacy becomes the first player in the school history to have at least 25-8-8 (of that combination) in a single game in the 34-year history of UTEP women's basketball.
Looked Like An All League `D' Team Player
Natasha Lacy was a thorn in the side of Southern Miss, registering eight steals- which equals the second-highest single-game total in program history- against USM.
More On Lacy
The 25-point performance by Lacy is a season high for the senior, and ranks as the third-highest single-game total in UTEP postseason history. The effort only trails Jareica Hughes' 33 points- which came against Rice- and a 28-point effort by Holly Russ in 1992 against
The Miners rolled to a season-high 86 points in the triumph against Southern Miss. The point total also sets a program postseason standard, eclipsing an 84-point showing in a win against
More Along Those Lines
UTEP drained 55 percent of its chances in the win against Southern Miss, marking the highest percentage in a postseason game in program history. The previous standard was 51.9- way back in 1998.
No. 18 UTEP Storms Into Semifinals
The No. 18/24 UTEP women's basketball team used a 30-10 run in the second half on the way to knocking off Rice, 80-71, in Conference USA quarterfinal action Friday evening.
Redemption Is In UTEP's Possession
The triumph against Rice provided a bit of revenge for UTEP, as the Owls ended the Miners season last year in the quarterfinals of the league tournament.
Does So On Strength Of Prolific Attack
The Miners rolled to 80 points, the second-highest total in a postseason game in program history, in the win against Rice. Additionally, the figure of 50.8 from the floor checks in as the second-highest percentage in the same situation for the