UTEP Women Finalize Hoops Schedule
Oct. 18, 2007
UTEP head women's basketball coach Keitha Adams officially announced the 2007-08 schedule Thursday afternoon, with a pair of nationally-televised home games highlighting the slate. UTEP will battle East Carolina on a Feb. 10 ESPN match-up at 12 p.m. and will challenge SMU on a Feb. 28 CSTV tilt at 6 p.m.
It is a challenging schedule, with the Miners set to play 12 contests against teams which qualified for postseason play last season.
There are a total of 30 games, which include two exhibition tilts. Of those, 17 will be held in the Don Haskins Center, a venue in which the Miners rolled to a 16-2 record at in 2006-07.
A large part of the Orange and Blue's success at home was due to a passionate fan base. The opportunity for El Pasoans do to do so this year from close to the action is dwindling quickly, as only 72 reserved season ticket floor seats remain available. The price for a reserved season ticket floor seat is a mere $50, which works out to less than three dollars per game. Those may be purchased by calling (915) 747- 6150. After the floor seats are gone, there will only be general admission season tickets available.
"We generated a lot of energy and excitement last year in El Paso," Adams said. "Our fan base increased, and it was great to set the record for attendance with 7,212 fans against Memphis. We want to continue to set the bar higher, and I want the people of El Paso to know that for this coming season we want and need them to be there for this to happen."
After facing the Houston Jaguars in an exhibition tilt on Nov. 3, the Miners officially tip off the season at Big-12 member Nebraska on Nov. 9. The Cornhuskers went 22-10 a year ago and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
UTEP is back home on Nov. 12 for its second exhibition contest, but the competition will be fierce. The Chinese Olympic Team will be in town to battle the Miners. The squad will be in the midst of a six-game trip across the country in preparation for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. In addition to facing UTEP, the team will take on Arizona State, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rutgers and Texas A&M.
The Miners' official home opener is set for Nov. 15 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Islanders advanced to the Southland Conference Tournament semifinals last year.
A trio of teams will be in town the weekend of Nov. 23 for the initial UTEP Thanksgiving Tournament. The field will be comprised of Cal-State Fullerton, Nevada, Stephen F. Austin and UTEP. Nevada and SFA both qualified for the 2007 WNIT, while the Titans surged to an appearance in Big West Tournament Semifinals.
"It will be exciting to have our first Thanksgiving Tournament here at UTEP," Adams said. "We are eager to continue the excitement this year that we generated in El Paso last season. We definitely are pumped to get our season started."
The first of two contests against I-10 rival New Mexico State is tabbed for Nov. 28 in Las Cruces. The Miners- who swept the season series against the Aggies last year- will welcome NMSU to the Don Haskins Center on Dec. 8.
In between those games will be a trip to Manhattan, Kan., where UTEP will participate in a tournament hosted by Kansas State. Joining the Miners in the field with be Arkansas Pine-Bluff, Lipscomb and the homestanding Wildcats. KSU made an incredible run in the 2007 WNIT, advancing to the semifinals before being knocked out by eventual champion Wyoming in a thrilling triple-overtime contest.
UTEP will take on Savannah State University on Dec. 16 before squaring off against Prairie View A&M, which was a 2007 NCAA Tournament participant, on Dec. 18.
The Miners will travel to the Buckeye State to battle perennial Mid-American Conference power Toledo on Dec. 21. UTEP wraps up non-conference play against New Mexico on Dec. 30 in El Paso. The Lobos are coming off an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
The Orange and Blue open Conference USA action at Houston on Jan. 4, before starting a stretch of three consecutive contests against 2007 WNIT participants. The Miners take on Rice on Jan. 6, before traveling to Tulane on Jan. 12 to wrap up the three-game road swing. The tilt against the Owls is a rematch of the 2007 C-USA quarterfinal contest.
UTEP's initial home contest in conference play is slated for Jan. 18 against a talented UAB team that had a good showing in last year's WNIT. Memphis invades El Paso on Jan. 20, which will be followed by the defending league champion Green Wave venturing to the Sun City on Jan. 26.
The Miners are back on the road for a challenging three-game stretch in which they will face SMU (Jan. 31), Tulsa (Feb. 2) and Marshall (Feb. 7)
The national spotlight will be focused on El Paso on Feb. 10, when the Pirates and Miners square off in the contest that will be carried by the Worldwide Leader in sports.
Love will be in the air when UTEP and Houston tangle on Valentine's Day. The Miners then conclude their three-game homestand against Rice on Feb. 16.
The final regular-season road trip in 2007-08 will be the weekend of Feb. 22, with UTEP taking on Southern Miss (Feb. 22) and UCF (Feb. 24).
The Miners will try to shine on the national scene in the Feb. 28 game carried by CSTV against SMU before vying to send out their seniors in style against Tulsa on March 1.
The C-USA tournament is slated for March 6-9, and will be hosted by UCF in Orlando, Fla.