UTEP Welcomes Pacific-12 Force Washington In WNIT Elite Eight Game Monday
March 30, 2014
THE OPENING ACT
- UTEP (27-7) will play host to Pacific 12 member Washington (20-13) in the Elite 8 of the WNIT at the Don Haskins Center 7 p.m. Monday.
- The victor will advance to play South Dakota State in the semifinals in a site & date (either April 2 or April 3) to be determined post contest. .
- Tickets are $4 for UTEP students & $6 for general admission. UTEP’s ticket center opens at 8 a.m. Monday & will remain open through halftime.
- Call (915) 747-5234 for complete ticket info.
- 6-2 vs. teams in power conferences since the start of 2012-13 season, including 3-0 vs. Pac-12 foes.
- UTEP is 4-2 all time in postseason play (3-0 WNIT & 1-2 in the NCAA Tournament).
- UTEP is first C-USA squad since 2002 & the third in league history to advance to the WNIT Quarterfinals. Houston (now AAC member) lost in the 2002 championship game (lost, 54-52 to Oregon) while Memphis (now AAC member) appeared in the 1999 quarterfinal & semifinals.
- Fans can stay-up-date by following the Miners on twitter (@UTEPWBB) or listening live on 1150 AM with Mark Brunner and Traci Miller.
- Audio & video stream of the contest will also be available through subscription-based Miner TV.
UTEP IN THE WNIT
- First appearance in program history (at-large).
- UTEP, which finished 22-8 a year ago, declined a bid in 2013 due to a depleted roster from injuries.
- Defeated A-State, 74-64, in first round (3/21).
- Beat Saint Mary’s, 76-64, in round of 32 (3/24).
- Topped Colorado, 68-60, in Sweet 16 (3/28).
- Opposition is shooting 42.3% from floor (71-168) to UTEP’s 39.2% (69-176) but the Miners have generated extra possessions through crashing the offensive glass (49 offensive boards) & forcing 54 turnovers.
- UTEP has a +10.0 scoring margin the event (72.7-62.7), with free throws being a big factor. The Miners are 66-85 (77.6%) compared to 31-of-49 (63.3%) by the opposition with aggressive drives & dominating boards (41.7 rpg-31.7) & the turnover margin (+3.7) making a difference.
ALL ABOUT THE FANS
- Leading the WNIT in attendance (avg. 5,812).
- Has been at home through first three rounds as result of the crowd & support by UTEP administration.
- Drawn better than 4,500 fans in a school-record-tying three straight games.
- Shattered the prior school standard (7,255, vs SMU, 2/28/08) with 8,234 fans in the WNIT Sweet 16 win vs. Colorado (3/28/14).
- 19-2 all time, including 17-1 under Keitha Adams, in home games with 4,000+ fans.
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 & 2014 NCAA Elite 8 participants Baylor (247-40) & Texas A&M (216-65) lead the way.
- UTEP has a firm grip on third (178-75).
- Lamar (159-96, 4th), Texas (154-108-5th), TCU (151-104-6th), SMU (149-101-7th), Prairie View A&M (148-112-8th), Stephen F. Austin (138-112) and Texas Tech (136-122-10th) wrap the top-10.
QUITE A RUN
- UTEP is 78-21 since the start of the 2011-12 season, including 27-7 this year.
- Have registered 54 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)
3 game (3/21/14 through current)
- Contrast that with one three-game losing skid.
INSIDE THE SERIES
- First meeting.
- 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.
- Thornton was also tabbed to the C-USA All Tournament team, marking her second such selection during her four-year career.
LAST TIME OUT
- Senior Kristine Vitola poured in 22 points while junior Chrishauna Parker posted her third straight double-double (10 points, 12 rebounds), and UTEP bested Colorado, 68-60, in the WNIT Sweet 16 in front of a school-record and raucous 8,234 fans at the Don Haskins Center March 28.
- It was a two-point tilt (54-52) in favor of UTEP with 4:11 to play, giving the chance for the boisterous crowd to play a factor.
- The Orange and Blue faithful delivered, with the Buffaloes committing three turnovers down the stretch. The giveaways helped fuel an 8-0 run in the final two minutes, as the Miners closed out the contest in style.
- UTEP pounded CU on the boards, 43-26, aided by 19 offensive rebounds. The home side also drilled 26-of-30 from the charity stripe to compensate for a rare off shooting night (19-of-55, 34.5 percent) from the floor.
GETTING TO KNOW WASHINGTON
(20-13, 11-5 home, 7-6 away & 2-2 neutral )
- Washington is making third straight and sixth overall WNIT appearance & is 11-5 all time in it.
- In search of first-ever WNIT Final Four Bid.
- Cruised past Hawai’i in its WNIT opener, 67-50 (3/21) at home before bouncing fellow Pacific 12 foe Oregon, 93-85, on the road (3/24).
- Punched its ticket to WNIT Elite 8 with a 62-55 home triumph against San Diego (3/26).
- Led by the nation’s second-highest scoring backcourt duo in the form of Kelsey Plum (21.2) and Jazmine Davis (19.1)
- Talia Walton (10.8) is also in double figures for scoring while Aminah Williams (7.3) & Mercedes Wetmore (6.6) also involved in act.
- Perfect (13-0) on year in games with better field-goal percentage than the opposition.
- Notched three wins on the year against ranked teams, its most since 2001.
- Included among victories was a conquest of third-ranked & perennial power Stanford.
- One area of concern has been rebounding (-3.8 margin), which is ninth in the Pacific 12.
- Notable alumni include Chris DeWolfe (CEO & Co-Founder of MySpace), William C. Dement (Founding president of the American Sleep Disorders Association), Hank Ketcham (creator of US Comic strip Dennis the Menace) & Irv Robbins (Co-founder of Baskin & Robbins).
RUNDOWN ON THE 2013-14 MINERS
(27-7, 12-4 C-USA, 20-2 home, 6-4 road, 1-1 neutral)
- Third straight 20+ win season, a program first.
- The 27 wins rank as third-most in school history. The school standard is held by 2011-12 squad (29-4) followed by 2007-08 team (28-4).
- 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 drop-ping back-to-back tilts.
- Responded to win nine of final 11 games.
- Earned the No. 3 seed for C-USA Championships.
- Bested (14) Louisiana Tech, 81-72, on March 13.
- Fell to (2) Southern Miss, 80-74, on March 14.
- It marked the third straight year that the Miners advanced to at least the C-USA semifinals.
- Earned an at-large bid to the WNIT & has picked up three wins to advance to the Elite 8.
- Kristine Vitola is only player to start every game.
- Thornton missed the final three games of the regular season (UTEP was 2-1 without her) but she has started all five contests since.
- Nash & Vitola missed last year due to torn ACLs.
- Willingham missed seven games during non-conference play with an injured hand.
- Nine players earn at least 10.0 mpg, with seven logging +20.0 mpg.
- Six newcomers have played for UTEP this year.
THE BASIC FACTS ON UTEP
- This is the 40th season of UTEP women’s hoops.
- Stand 496-603 all time, including 26-7 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.
- Made three postseason appearances, including this year’s WNIT at-large bid.
- Appeared in 2008 & 2012 NCAA Tourney.
- 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).
- 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 233-164 in that time frame.
- Adams is 359-200 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.
- Named 2008 & 2012 C-USA Coach of the Year.
- 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.
- Responsible for all three postseason bids (NCAA in 2008 & 2012; WNIT 2014) & all three league championships (2008 C-USA regular season; 2012 C-USA tourney) in school history.
- 204-107, including 27-7 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.
- 14 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.
- Records are made to be broken & UTEP is applying that mantra to the 2013-14 season. Bold denotes broken in 2013-14 while other items listed could fall in the WNIT
Category 2013-14 Record
Assists 506 523 (2007-08)
Double-Digit Wins 21 20 (2011-12)
Field-Goals 900 861 (2007-08)
Field-Goal Attempts 2179 1988 (2007-08)
Free Throws 630 468 (2000-01)
Free Throw Attempts 876 712 (1988-89)
Games Played 34 33 (2011-12)
Home Games 22 18 (2006-07)
Home Wins 20 16 (2006-07)
Overall Wins 27 29 (2011-12)
Offensive Rebounds 529 509 (1988-89)
Points 2635 2286 (2007-08)
Points Per Game 77.5 71.5 (1980-81)
Rebounds 1473 1458 (2011-12)
Steals 334 343 (‘06-07 & ‘07-08)
Three-Pointers 205 201 (1988-89)
Three-Point Attempts 643 581 (1988-89)
- Senior Kayla Thornton has had a huge year, and records set are in bold. Other items could fall in the WNIT
INDIVIDUAL SINGLE SEASON
Category 2013-14 Record
Double-Doubles 17 SAME
10+ points streak 30 SAME
Field Goals 212 217 (L. Watson, ‘88-89)
Points 613 600 (H. Russ, ‘90-91)
Rebound Avg 10.0 10.0 (B. Stoney, ‘79-80)
Rebounds 311 294 (C. Parker, ‘12-13)
- There has also been an assault on the career record books. Below are the records broken this year.
Category (Player) Number Record
DBL/DBL (Thornton) 38 22 (Pack, ‘01-02)
Field Goals (Thornton) 586 527 (Hughes, ‘06-10)
FG Attempts (Thornton) 1334 1329 (Stoney, ‘77-81)
Free Throws (Thornton) 367 359 (Hughes, ‘06-10)
FT Attempts (Thornton) 504 492 (Hughes, ‘06-10)
Games Played (Vitola) 130 120 (Williams, ‘06-10)
Games Started (Willingham) 114 Hughes (114, ‘06-10)
Games Won (Seniors) 94 84 (2006-10)
Points (Thornton) 1629 1,555 (Hughes, ‘06-10)
Rebounds (Thornton) 999 (Watts, 810, ‘79-82)
3 Pointers (Willingham) 211 208 (Billhymer, ‘93-97)
- Second in C-USA & is 25th nationally at 77.5 ppg.
- Scoring average will shatter current school single-season standard (71.5-1980-81).
- 2635 points to crush the 2007-08 squad’s (2266) school record for single-season total points.
- Scored 70+ points in 26 of 34 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 22 contests.
- Hit 30+ free throws three times this year.
- Happened five times total first 39 years of program.
- Kayla Thornton paces team with 19.8 ppg, which would be second-best ever at school.
- Holly Russ (22.2 ppg, 1990-91) holds record.
- Five others at better than 5.0 ppg.
- Gloria Brown (12.1 ppg, 2011-12) was last reserve to average double figures in scoring.
- 10+ offensive rebounds in all but one game.
- Scored 1189 (35.0) points in the first half.
- Scored 1436 (42.2) points in second half.
- Tenth in C-USA in scoring defense (67.1).
- Held foes to 56.2 ppg & kept them to shooting 34.4% over first nine games (9-0).
- Gave up 77.7 ppg & foes hit 44.7% from floor in the next nine contests (5-4).
- Capping that tough stretch was back-to-back games with 85+ points allowed (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).
- Got track by giving up 63.9 points per game & 36.3 percent shooting next 10 games (9-1).
- Allowed 70+ points in the next three contests, the first such streak since 2001-02.
- Has been sharper defensively in the WNIT, keeping foes to 62.7 points per game although foes have connected on 42.3% (71-168) of shots.
- Forced 20+ turnovers in 14 games on the year, including 34 vs. Kansas State (tied sixth at UTEP) and 32 against ECU (t10th at UTEP) on Feb. 22.
- 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).
- Recorded 334 steals to place third on single-season list while 139 blocks are seventh at UTEP.
- Set the school record with 21 double-digit wins.
- Prior mark was 20 (2011-12).
- Marks the eighth season under Keitha Adams with at least 10 double-digit victories.
- Achieved four times in 27 years before Adams.
- This year’s team has a +10.3 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 27 Wins (Average Stats)
Team Pts FG% 3fg% FT% RB TO
UTEP 80.0 42.4 32.3 72.8 44.8 14.4
Opp. 62.7 37.2 31.1 63.8 38.2 19.8
In 7 Losses (Average Stats)
Team Pts FG% 3fg% FT% RB TO
UTEP 67.9 37.0 30.6 67.4 40.7 16.6
Opp. 84.6 46.4 37.6 67.2 44.0 12.9
- 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.
- Stand 22-1 on year & 177-36 overall during Adams’ era when leading at the break.
- 24-3 on year & 156-53 under Adams when winning the rebounding battle.
- 14-1 on year & 66-4 under Adams with 80+ points.
- 16-1 this year & 178-57 when keeping opposition to less than 40 percent from the floor.
- 18-1 on season & 167-49 when making better than 40% from the floor.
- 6-3 all time, including 3-1 this year, in program history (all during Adams era) in games that both the Miners & opponent have 20+ wins.
- 60-16 when Kristine Vitola starts.
- 55-18 when Chrishauna Parker starts.
HOME SWEET HOME
- 151-56 at home during Keitha Adams’ era.
- 143-38 in El Paso since 2003-04.
- 116-24 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.
- 49-7 since the start of 2011-12.
- 20-2 on year at home to set school record & C-USA record.
- 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).
- 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.
Class of 2014 (Thornton, Vitola & Willingham)
- This year’s senior class has aided UTEP to a school-record mark of 94-35 since 2010-11.
- The previous school standard was 84-40 (‘06-10).
Has led UTEP to three straight 20+ win seasons, a first in the program’s 40-year history
Kayla Thornton (Senior)
- School-record holder in double-doubles (38), field goals (586) & attempts (1,334), free throws (371) & attempts (508),points (1,629) & rebounds (999).
- Top-10 ranking for games (125-2nd), FG attempts steals (207-3rd), rebounds/g (8.0-4th), starts (106-4th), minutes (3,347-4th), 3PT makes (86-t-9th) & attempts (295-6th), blocked shots (65-t7th), scoring average (13.0-9th) & field-goal percentage (43.9-10th).
- Voted C-USA Player of the Week five times, including four selections in 2013-14.
- Three-time All C-USA selection (2012-14).
- Back-to-back All-Defensive Team pick.
- 2012 & 2014 C-USA All-Tournament Team.
Kristine Vitola (Senior)
- Owns program standard for career games (131).
- Ranks third all time at UTEP for blocks (180) & is eighth for rebounds (585).
- Third Miner with 800+ points (886), 500+ rebounds (586) & 100+ blocks (180).
- Member of 2,000+ minute club (2,556-13th) & top-20 for scoring (886-18th).
Kelli Willingham (Senior)
- Pure shooter on both free throws & triples.
- Owns school record for three-pointers made (211) while placing second for at UTEP for free-throw percentage (80.0) and three-point attempts (606) while sharing standard for starts (114).
- Seventh in 3-PT field-goal percentage (34.0).
- Second in assists (369), minutes (3,643), third in games played (123), seventh in FG attempts (986) & ninth in scoring (1,057).
- Joined Jareica Hughes as only Miners with 1,000+ points (1,057) & 300+ assists (369).
Chrishauna Parker (Junior)
- Aided UTEP to a mark of 77-21, boosted by an unprecedented three straight 20+ win seasons.
- Only player in program history to rank in the top 10 for career rebounds (693-5th) & assists (257-6th).
- Sixth in field-goal percentage (47.3), sixth in double-doubles (15) & 10th in rebounding average (7.3).
- Also a member of the 600-point club (698-30th).
- Logged 2,358 minutes to rate 14th at the school.
CLIFFSNOTES ON 2013-14 SEASON
(at UTEP 76, St. Mary’s 64, WNIT Rd. Two, 3/24/14)
- Junior Chrishauna Parker posted her second straight double-double (12 points, 12 rebounds) while senior Kayla Thornton added 17 points, and UTEP dispatched Saint Mary’s, 76-64, in front of 4,703 fans at the Don Haskins Center on March 24.
- UTEP led the Gaels 35-25 late in the first half but the visitors fought back in a big way. They wrapped a 21-9 surge around halftime and were up 46-44 with 12:44 to play in the contest.
- The Miners countered with a 13-1 run over the next six minutes to take control of the contest
- The Gaels refused to go away quietly, whittling the deficit down to four (59-55) with 3:37 left but Kristine Vitola essentially dashed any comeback hopes with a clutch triple with 3:02 left. SMC didn’t get closer than five from that point on.
(UTEP 74, Arkansas State 64, WNIT Rd. One, 3/21)
- Senior Kayla Thornton poured in a postseason record 28 points to help UTEP advance to the second round of the WNIT with a 74-64 win against Sun Belt Conference champion Arkansas State in front of 4,500 fans at the Haskins Center March 21.
- The game was tied (33-33) at the break and the margin was one (38-37) with 18:16 to play in the contest before UTEP found another level. Spurred on by the enthusiastic crowd, the Miners peeled off 11 straight points in a span of less than five minutes.
- The Red Wolves were stunned by the surge, and never got closer than six the rest of the way out. The cushion was 10+ points over the final 10 minutes of the game, and it swelled to as many as 16.
- UTEP nailed 46.7 percent (28-of-60) of its attempts & won rebounding battle, 40-35.
Southern Miss 84, UTEP 70 (3/14/14)
- Senior Kayla Thornton registered 21 points to become UTEP’s all-time leading scorer but the moment was spoiled in an 84-70 setback to second-seed Southern Miss in the 2014 Conference USA Women’s Basketball semifinals at the Don Haskins Center on March 14.
- UTEP led 57-53 with 8:49 to play in regulation before the momentum started to switch. Consecutive offensive fouls against the Miners gave USM some added possessions, and it took advantage. Jamierra Faulkner, who paced USM with 26 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, was the catalyst.
- Faulkner tallied nine points while dishing out four helpers and grabbing three boards during a game-altering 13-2 run for the Lady Eagles that put UTEP in an eight-point hole (67-59) with 2:49 to play in the contest.
- Thornton brought the sequence to a close with a pair of free throws.
- UTEP, which was still down eight with 2:03 to play in the game (71-63) tried to extend the game by fouling but to its credit Southern Miss nailed 9-of-10 tries down the stretch to hold on for the win.
UTEP 81, Louisiana Tech 72 (3/13/14)
- First-team All-Conference USA honoree Kayla Thornton posted a double-double (25 points, 12 rebounds) while C-USA Sixth Player of the Year Jenzel Nash provided 23 points off the bench, and third-seeded UTEP held off 14th-seed Louisiana Tech, 81-72, in the quarterfinals of the 2014 C-USA Women’s Basketball Championships at Memorial Gym on March 13.
- The Lady Techsters led 48-43 with 11:32 remaining in regulation before UTEP found another level.
- The Miners put together a 17-2 run in a span of less than four minutes, with Nash contributing 11 points during the sequence.
- The margin swelled to as many as 14 (72-58, 3:41 to play) but Louisiana Tech refused to go away quietly. It whittled the deficit all the way down to six (78-72, 00:23) but it was too little too late.
- The Miners’ 81 points are the fifth-highest total for a postseason game in program history.
- Thornton registered 25 points to lift her career total to 1,552. The program standard is 1,555, which is held by former Miner Jareica Hughes (2006-10).
- The 25 points tie as the third most by a UTEP player in a postseason contest.
- Senior Kristine Vitola also reached double figures (12 points) while swatting a career-best six blocked shots. Those rejections establish a UTEP postseason single-game standard.
- Kelli Willingham nailed a three-point shot in the first half to lift her career total to 208, which puts her tied for first all time at UTEP with former Miner Amy Pack (208, 1993-97).
at FAU 98, UTEP 62 (3/5/14)
- 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.
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.
- 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 (Feb. 26)
- 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.
- 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 (Feb. 22)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 30 3PT attempts (tied fourth all time at UTEP).
UTEP 86, at Tulane 72 (2/1/14)
- Kayla Thornton put up big numbers for her 12th double-double (29 points, 18 rebounds) on the year, and UTEP played a great second half to post a convincing 86-72 win at Tulane on Feb. 1.
- The Miners outscored the Green Wave ,58-37, over the final 20 minutes on the way to extending their win streak to four.
- UTEP nailed 58.8 percent (20-of-34) from the floor in the second half to finish with a solid 44.6 percent (29-of-65) overall for the game.
- It had success both inside and out, with seven of its 11 three pointers (tied eighth most in school history) coming in the second stanza
- Kelli Willingham (14 points), Kristine Vitola (13 points) and Stacie Telles (11 points) all joined Thornton in double figures while Jenzel Nash pitched in eight points and freshman Sparkle Taylor added six points and six boards.
at UTEP 77, Marshall 50 (1/29/14)
- Sophomore Irene Gari came off the bench to score a season-high 18 points, and UTEP thundered past Marshall, 77-50, at the Don Haskins Center Jan. 29.
- The Miners never trailed.
- UTEP hit 45.2 percent (28-of-62) from the floor, aided by 21 assists on 28 field goals.
- Stacie Telles ran the offense well with a career-high seven assists, but more importantly, did not have any turnovers, in 20 minutes of action.
- Marshall was held to 28.6 percent (16-of-56) & had 22 turnovers that led to 24 UTEP points.
- The Miners enjoyed advantages in points in the paint (26-12), second-chance points (19-5) and bench scoring (31-18) & won boards (40-38).
UTEP 67, at UTSA 56 (1/25/14)
– Kayla Thornton notched her 10th double-double (21 points, 16 rebounds) of the year, and UTEP made all the hustle plays in a 67-56 road conquest of UTSA on Jan. 25.
- In a game in which knocking down shots was a challenge for both sides (UTEP 23-of-69, 33.3 percent & UTSA 20-of-59, 33.3 percent), the difference came on the glass.
- UTEP won the boards (57-36), aided by 23 offensive boards. That led to a 19-5 cushion in second-chance points.
- The Miners never trailed & led by as many as 17.
- Kristine Vitola nearly posted a double-double (15 points, nine rebounds) while also blocking three shots.
- Sparkle Taylor came off the bench to set career highs for points (nine) & rebounds (seven).
at UTEP 86, Southern Miss 85 (1/22/14)
- Chrishauna Parker posted a huge double-double (21 points, 16 rebounds) to fuel the biggest comeback in program history, with UTEP erasing a 23-point second-half deficit to topple Southern Miss, 86-85, in overtime at the Don Haskins Center on Jan. 22
- The Golden Eagles led 45-22 with 16:31 to play but the Miners fought all the way back.
- UTEP outscored USM, 59-38, in the second half.
- Parker grabbed one of her nine offensive rebounds to set up Kelli Willingham’s game-tying three with a little more than a minute left.
- It marked the first tie since early in the game.
- USM went back ahead with a lay-up but Parker ensured OT with two clutch free throws with 34 seconds remaining in regulation.
- Southern Miss struck first in OT but a 9-2 run put UTEP by five with 1:37.
- USM peeled off five straight points to pull even.
- Kayla Thornton, who poured in 26 points, then split a pair of free throws & stole the ball on a bad pass to seal the historic comeback.
- UTEP won the rebounding battle (46-44), while also enjoying advantages in points off turnovers (25-15) and second-chance points (22-14).
Charlotte 92, UTEP 86 (1/18/14)
- Five different Miners reached double figures in scoring & UTEP forced 22 turnovers only to have visiting Charlotte ride the hot hand of Hillary Sigmon (32 points) to pull off a 92-86 victory at the Don Haskins Center Jan. 18.
- The 178 combined points tied as eighth-most in program history.
- UTEP is now 61-4 under Keitha Adams when scoring 80+ points.
- Marks the first home loss of the campaign.
- Led 34-26 with 4:26 to play in the first half but Charlotte closed the period on a 14-4 run.
- 49ers used 10-0 midway through second half to grab a 13-point lead & never relinquished it.
- Boards (43-40), and second-chance points (22-14) favored UTEP but Charlotte shot 61 percent.
- 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.
at UTEP 97, Tulsa 66 (1/11/14)
- Senior Kayla Thornton posted a monstrous double-double (22 points & school-record-tying 20 rebounds) while sophomore Jenzel Nash poured in a season-best 24 points, and UTEP toppled Tulsa, 97-66, in its C-USA home opener on Jan. 11.
- Nailed 12 three pointers, which ties as the sixth-highest sum in school history.
- Season-high & ninth-most points in school history, aided by 20 assists on 36 field goals.
- Thornton was first Miner with 20/20 game. Former Miner great Kanequa Chancellor fell just shy of the feat with 18 points and 20 boards against SE Missouri State on Nov. 29, 1997.
- Thornton was voted C-USA Player of Week after averaging 22.5 points & 13.5 rebounds.
UTEP 85, at UAB 76 (1/8/14)
- Kayla Thornton tallied 23 points while grabbing seven board to become the school’s all-time leading rebounder and Kelli Willingham added 18 points (on six threes) to propel UTEP to an 85-76 road conquest of UAB at Bartow Arena in the Conference USA opener for both squads on Jan. 8.
- UTEP drilled 41.3% from the floor (26-of-63) from the floor, including 9-of-18 (50.0%)
- Making free throws (24-of-27) and winning the rebounding battle (43-31) were also big factors.
- Thornton’s seven rebounds gave her 815 for her career to surpass former Miner great Kim Watts’ prior standard (810, 1978-81)
- Fifth straight win in a league opener.
- Now 8-5 in the situation under Keitha Adams.
- 7-2 in league lidlifters since joining C-USA.
- 12-21 in conference openers, with the 4-16 record in such games being a big factor.
at Texas A&M 74, UTEP 58 (1/2/14)
- Jenzel Nash scored a season-high 20 points and UTEP forced 25 turnovers but it wasn’t enough to offset a challenging shooting night in a 74-58 loss at SEC power Texas A&M on Jan. 2.
- UTEP trailed by 25 with 8:23 to play before a 16-4 run in four minutes cut the deficit to 13.
- Texas A&M had only four free throws & six points total in the final 6:24 but held on due to its defense.
- UTEP was held to a season-low 32.8 percent (21-of-64) & was 0-of-12 on three pointers.
- It marked the first time since 2005-06 that the Miners didn’t connect from distance in a game.
- Another factor was rebounding, which was in favor of Texas A&M (45-32). UTEP had more offensive rebounds (12) than the Aggies (11), with the margin being more of an indication of the shooting percentage than anything else.
at UTEP 87, Texas Southern 61 (12/29/13)
- Kayla Thornton poured in 23 points and UTEP used a huge second half to topple upset-minded Texas Southern, 87-61, at the Don Haskins Center on Dec. 29.
- The Miners led by five (34-29) at the break before unleashing a lethal full-court press that befuddled the Lady Tigers. The visitors committed 18 of their 26 turnovers in the second half, which led to 26 of UTEP’s 53 points in the stanza.
UTEP 88, Belmont 74 (12/21/13)
- Kayla Thornton turned in a virtuoso performance by setting career highs in points (36), rebounds (16) and blocked shots (four) to guide UTEP past Belmont, 88-74, inside Guillermo Angulo Coliseum in its final game of the Puerto Rico Classic on Dec. 21.
- Thornton’s 36 points are the most by a Miner since 1991 and the third-highest total in school history. Holly Russ (40 vs. UTSA, 2/19/91 and 37 vs. Baylor, 12/17/91) holds the top-two slots.
- She had 23 pts & nine rbs at the break, to help UTEP lead 49-26 heading into halftime.
- Belmont made things interesting by cutting that margin down to seven (74-67) with 2:50 to play but the Orange and Blue kept their composure.
- The Miners went 9-of-10 at the free-throw line in the final 1:22 to seal the win.
Georgia Tech 102, UTEP 77 (12/20/13)
- UTEP put up a good fight but ACC power Georgia Tech had simply too much firepower, as the Miners sustained their first loss of the year, 102-77, inside Guillermo Angulo Coliseum at the Puerto Rico Classic Dec. 20.
- Problems arose, though, in trying to slow down the Jackets’ one-two punch of Kaela Davis (26 points) and Tyaunna Marshall (23 points).
- The duo teamed up for 33 in the first half, which helped Tech stake a 54-38 lead at the break.
- UTEP regrouped and played even (33-33) with Tech over the first 16 minutes of the second stanza. The Jackets, who used a full-court press the entire game, used a 15-6 push to account for the 25-point margin.
- Points in the paint (59-28), points off turnover (25-8) and rebounding (52-42) all favored Georgia Tech.
at UTEP 87, SE Louisiana 65 (12/15/13)
- Kayla Thornton posted her fifth double-double this season (16 points, 10 rebounds) to lead a quartet of players in double figures, and UTEP remained undefeated with a 87-65 conquest of Southeastern Louisiana on Dec. 15.
- Led by two (14-12) six minutes in before kicking it into high gear with a 24-3 run to blow the game wide open.
- Connected on 48.7 (37-of-76) shots from the floor, and shared the ball well with 19 assists.
- 32-7 cushion in points from the bench.
- Also enjoyed advantages in points in the paint (56-32), points off turnovers (30-21), fast-break points (19-4) and points off turnovers (30-21).
at UTEP 76, SMU 71 (12/7/13)
- Kayla Thornton (21 points, 10 rebounds) and Chrishauna Parker (12 points, 15 rebounds) recorded double-doubles while Jenzel Nash provided a spark off the bench with 19 points to help lead UTEP past long-time rival SMU, 76-71, at home on Dec. 7.
- The Mustangs, who were 8-1 entering the game, jumped out to a double-digit lead (14-4) six minutes into the contest.
- UTEP used a 31-14 run to carry a 35-28 cushion into halftime & extended it out to 47-2 with 15:29 to play.
- SMU wasn’t done, though, especially not with Keena Mays at its disposal. Mays, who finished with a game-high 34 points, refused to let her squad go down without a fight. It whittled the deficit down to two (56-54) with 7:28 to play, but UTEP would not relinquish the advantage.
- Free throws (25-of-37) and winning the rebounding battle (47-45) proved vital, as did committing only 15 turnovers against a well-executed press by the visitors.
UTEP 80, at NM State 61 (12/3/13)
- Kayla Thornton (20 points), Chrishauna Parker (career-high 19 points), Jenzel Nash (14 points) and Irene Gari (10 points) all reached double figures in scoring to help power UTEP to an 80-61 road conquest of I-10 rival New Mexico State on Dec. 3.
- Sixth sweep of series during Keitha Adams era.
- Miners led by four (39-35) at the break before finding another gear to leave NM State in dust.
- Forced 24 turnovers, including 17 in second half, while holding Aggies to 38% shooting.
- No such issues for UTEP, which had just 12 turnovers & nailed 42.6% of its shots.
- UTEP also hit its free throws (20-of-26) & won the battle of the boards (39-34).
at UTEP 73, Texas State 60 (11/30/13)
- Led 41-23 at half & the advantage swelled to as many as 22 (54-32, 11:58 to play).
- Texas State never got closer than 12 rest of way.
- There were 56 combined infractions in the game (30 on UTEP, 26 on Texas State).
- The Miners knocked down 21-of-32 free throws and TSU finished at 14-of-30 from the charity stripe.
- UTEP won the rebounding battle, 44-40, aided by 12 from Chrishauna Parker & 10 from Thornton.
at UTEP 63, Northern Colorado 40 (11/27/13)
- Fueled by a huge second half (42-16), UTEP dispatched upset-minded Northern Colorado, 63-40, at the Don Haskins Center on Nov. 27.
- The Bears led by three (24-21) at the break.
- UTEP hit 46.6 percent (27-of-58) of its shots.
- UNC shots 27.5 (14-of-51) percent & committed 30 turnovers that led to 36 UTEP points.
- UTEP out-scored UNC in points in the paint (42-16) & on fast-break tries (15-2) to more than compensate for losing the rebounding battle 46-31.
at UTEP 92, Northern Arizona 43 (11/22/13)
- UTEP jumped out to a 25-point (45-20) halftime lead and didn’t let up on the way to recording its largest margin of victory (49) ever against a Division 1 team in a 92-43 thrashing of Northern Arizona at home on Nov. 26.
- UTEP harassed the Lumberjacks into making 29 turnovers while also holding them to 32.0 percent shooting from the floor.
- The 29 giveaways led to 31 points for the Orange and Blue.
- UTEP registered 20 assists & hit 50% from field.
- Transfer Anete Kirsteine came off the bench to tally a career high 15 points- all on triples- to lead a quartet of Miners in double figures for scoring.
- Overall 11 different players scored in the game, showing off the Orange and Blue’s depth in the process.
- UTEP drained the seventh-most three pointers (11) in a contest in program annals.
at UTEP 84, Kansas State 39 (11/16/13)
- UTEP forced 34 turnovers and held Big 12 member Kansas State to 26.3 percent shooting from the floor in a 84-39 shellacking at the Don Haskins Center on Nov. 16.
- The 45-point differential is the third-biggest (second at the time) margin of victory against a Division 1 opponent in school history, which was aided by the program’s biggest halftime lead (46-13) vs. a DI foe.
- Five different Miners reached double figures in scoring, with senior Kayla Thornton leading the way with her school-record 23rd career double-double (15 points, 11 rebounds).
- UTEP drilled 35-of-47 from the free-throw line and also won the rebounding battle, 54-43.
- It is the third most free throws made & ties as the fourth-highest for free throw attempts.
- But the day belonged to the defense, with UTEP forcing 34 turnovers. That ties as the sixth-highest sum by an opponent in school history.
- The Orange and Blue finished with 20 steals, equaling their eighth-highest single-game sum.
- Junior Chrishauna Parker, who posted a game-high 12 boards, recorded the sixth-best sum for steals (seven) by a Miner in school history.
- Thornton was named the C-USA player of the week as result of efforts vs. Kansas State & NM State.
at UTEP 94, NM State 69 (11/16/13)
- Four different Miners reached double figures in scoring to help UTEP pound NM State, 94-69, in the first round of the “Battle of I-10” this year at the Haskins Center on Nov. 12
- UTEP led wire-to-wire.
- It was the Miners’ 2nd-biggest margin of victory in the series against the Aggies.
- UTEP equaled fifth-highest second-half scoring sum in program history by pouring in 55.
- Kayla Thornton led the way with a double-double (22 points, 12 rebounds).
- UTEP hit 55.0% (33-of-60), aided by going 20-of-29 (69.0%) in the second half.
at UTEP 75, UTPB 58 (11/8/13)
- Chrishauna Parker registered a double-double (12 points and 12 rebounds) and UTEP’s bench provided 49 points to lift it past UTPB.
- Junior-college transfer and El Paso native Stacie Telles matched Parker with 12 points, including nine on triples.
- The Miners led the Falcons picked second in the Heartland Conference, 43-23, at the half.
- Eleven different Miners scored in the game. Senior Kayla Thornton had nine points & nine rebounds & freshman Sparkle Taylor pitched in eight off the bench, aided by six makes on 12 tries at the charity stripe.
- Senior Kristine Vitola chipped in six points and grabbed seven boards in an efficient 18 minutes of action in her return to the court after missing most of last year with a torn ACL. Sophomore Jenzel Nash, who redshirted last year as well due to a torn ACL, pitched in four points and four boards while battling foul trouble.
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