Miners Open 2012-13 Season At Home Vs. LMU

Keitha Adams

Nov. 9, 2012

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- UTEP embarks on its 39th season when it plays host to Loyola Marymount at 1:05 p.m. MST at the Don Haskins Center Saturday.

- Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, with fans also being able to exchange them afterward to gain admission to the UTEP football team’s game versus UCF at 5 p.m. Saturday.

- Audio & video of the game will be available through through subscription-based Miner TV on UTEPAthletics.com

- The Miners are 6-5 in campaign lidlifters under head coach Keitha Adams, including 5-2 when starting the year at home.

- UTEP is 25-13 in home openers, helped by an effort of 8-3 under Adams.

- UTEP is 19-19 all time in season openers, including 16-6 in El Paso

- UTEP stands at 33-21 in the month of November during the Adams era. Helping that figure has been a mark of 10-2 the past two years.

- The Miners are 87-56 in non-league play under Adams.

- They have posted a school-record seven straight years of .500 or better during non-conference action (prior standard four, 1994-95 through 1997-98).

- UTEP leads the series against Loyola Marymount, 3-1. The Miners won at LMU, 68-48, last year.

- Prior to that meeting, the squads had not squared off since the 1990-91 campaigns.


- Kayla Thornton (12), Anete Steinberga (11), Kristine Vitola (11) and Kelli Willingham (10) all reached double figures in scoring to help UTEP down St. Mary’s (Texas), 69-60, in an exhibition game on Nov. 3.

- The Miners led for most of the game, and were up by 17 (61-44) with five minutes to play.

- UTEP forced the visitors into 26 turnovers while keeping them to 38.1 (24-of-63) percent from the floor.

- UTEP finished at 31.3 percent (21-of-67) from the floor, with an off shooting night on treys (3-18, 16.7 percent) affecting that figure.

- Saidah Zuberi Allen, a freshman transfer from Fresno State, contributed seven points off the bench while sophomore Chrishauna Parker pitched in six points in a starting capacity.

- Thornton led the charge in rebounding with 10 to notch a double-double while Vitola fell just shy with nine.

- Steinberga snagged six and Parker secured five. Both Willingham and freshman Cameasha Turner accounted for four rebounds.

- UTEP took good care of the basketball with 15 assists.

- Marring the victory was sophomore Jenzel Nash suffering a torn ACL that will force her to miss the 2012-13 season.


- Loyola Marymount’ has an all-time record of 366-519 since the program was founded in 1981-82. It was 8-22 a year ago.

- The Lions returned three starters & 10 letterwinners overall from last year’s squad.

- LMU is led by first-year head coach Charity Elliot. She is 182-123 overall in 10 years, most recently spending five years at UC San Diego.

- LMU tuned up for the season by running past The Masters, 88-58, in its lone exhibition game of the preseason on Nov. 3.

- Alex Cowling, a two-time first-team All-West Coast Conference honoree and the program’s career record holder for points (1,728), led all scorers in the game with 22. Hazel Ramirez and Melinda Gomez chipped in 15 and 12, respectively, to buoy Cowling.

- For a fourth straight year, Cowling was tabbed to the preseason All-WCC squad. LMU was predicted to finish seventh in the nine-member league.

- LMU was founded in 1911 & it sits atop the bluffs overlooking Marina Del Rey.

- Notable alumni include actress Linda Cardellini who is best known for her roles on Scooby-Doo & ER, NBA head coach Rick Adelman and the late Bob Denver, who portrayed Gilligan on the show Gilligan’s Island.


- Senior F Anete Steinberga (5.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 0.8 apg) junior F Kayla Thornton (9.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 0.9 apg, 1.1 spg) & junior G Kelli Willingham (7.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg & 2.7 apg) return as starters from last year.

- Including the three starters, there are six returning letterwinners. Sophomore guards Syerra Davis (1.1 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 0.1 apg) & Chrishauna Parker (5.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.1 apg) & senior F Kristine Vitola (5.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.5 bpg) return from last year. Also back is sophomore walk-on G Marissa Rodriguez.

- Sophomore guard Jenzel Nash (5.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg & 0.9 apg) suffered a torn ACL during an exhibition game win against St. Mary’s and will redshirt the 2012-13 season.

- Five of the top seven scorers & four of the top-five rebounders from a year ago are back in the fold.

- The returnees have combined to play in 281 games, including 146 starts, during their respective careers.

- UTEP, which had the largest senior class in program history a year ago at seven, has only two seniors in 2012-13 (Steinberga & Vitola)

- Six newcomers are in the mix, with four true freshmen & two transfers.

- The Miners were picked second in the 2012-13 Conference USA Preseason Poll, as voted upon by the league’s 12 head coaches. Thornton was tabbed to the all-conference preseason team.

- Tulane was picked as the favorite to win the league while Rice’s Jessica Kuster was named the preseason player of the year.


- UTEP lost seven seniors to graduation, which was the largest class in program history.

- Headlining that group was 2012 C-USA Tournament MVP & second-team all C-USA honoree Gloria Brown, who paced the Miners in blocked shots (97), free throws made (102), attempted (125), percentage (.816), field-goal percentage (.527), points per game (12.1) and rebounds per contest (8.8).She did her work of the bench, and repeated as the C-USA 6th Player of the Year.

- Kim Smith (2.9 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 2.8 apg) & Erika Warren (5.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.2 apg) both started for the Miners last year while Baiba Eglite (1.6 ppg, 0.3 rpg, 0.4 apg), Briana Green (2.9 ppg, 1.1 rpg & 1.1 apg), Whitney Houston (1.4 ppg, 0.1 rpg, 0.5 apg) & Melisa Mendes (4.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 0.7 apg) joined Brown in doing their work after entering from the pine.


- Including the record-setting mark of 29-4 a year ago, UTEP is 447-586 since launching the program for the 1974-75 season.

- UTEP has won three conference titles, including claiming both the 2012 C-USA regular season & tournament championship.

- The Miners’ first league crown was in 2007-08 when they became the first C-USA women’s team to go 16-0 in league play. Aiding that was a school & league-standard 23-game winning streak

- UTEP has appeared in two NCAA Tournaments, forging a mark of 1-2 at the "Big Dance." The Miners earned an at-large bid in 2008, advancing to the second round. UTEP secured the automatic bid last year but was derailed by national power Penn State, 85-77.

- The school will celebrate its 100th year of operation in 2014.

- 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.


- UTEP is led by 12th-year head coach and the all-time win leader in program history, Keitha Adams, who is 184-147 in that time frame.

- At 311-184 in 16 years, Adams is one of five active coaches in C-USA women’s basketball to have more than 300 career victories.

- All three 20-plus victory campaigns and four of the five seasons of at least 18 wins in program history have been during her tenure.

- Seven of the 10 seasons all time at UTEP with at least 16 wins are courtesy of her.

- She has produced seven seasons with a record of .500 or better, including six outright winning campaigns while changing the fortunes of the program for good.

- Both conference championships in program history have been during her tenure.

- Her efforts have put the program on the regional & national landscape, with the Miners playing in 13 nationally-televised games.

- UTEP has received votes in the top-25 poll in four of her seasons, including being ranked in the top-25 for the final six weeks of the 2007-08 season.

- UTEP has had a school-record 10 straight seasons with 10 or more triumphs, and is 181-122 in that time frame. The prior best record for a 10-year stretch was 115-155.

- Twelve of the 18 major individual career records at the school are held by players who were mentored by her.

- She has coached 15 players who have gone on to play professionally, including 2008 WNBA Draft Picks Izabela Piekarska & Natasha Lacy.

- She has impacted the international game at the highest level, with Noni Wharemate representing New Zealand at the 2008 Olympic Summer Games.

- Every player who has exhausted her eligibility at UTEP during her tenure has graduated


- The Miners are 82-18 in El Paso since the start of 2006-07.

- Keitha Adams’ charges have strung together a school-record five straight seasons with 12 or more home triumphs.

- UTEP only had four campaigns where it even reached double figures in home wins during the first 27 years of the program.

- Overall the Miners are 117-51 under Adams, helped by a program-best nine straight years with at least nine home victories.

- The Miners had six such seasons in the 27 years prior to her tenure, and were a combined 163-142.


- The Miners were heads & shoulders above the rest of the Conference USA for average attendance in 2011-12. They had an overall average of 2,639, with ECU (1,528) more than 1,100 back.

- In terms of league only, UTEP had 4,243 on average. Memphis (1,774) was nearly 2,500 in back of that figure.

- UTEP drew better than 2,000 fans in nine of the final 10 contests of 2011-12, and a single-season 11 contests overall.

- Ten of the 13 games in program history (excluding double headers) with at least 4,000 fans in attendance have come during the Keitha Adams era.

- The Miners are 9-1 in those games.


- UTEP is 37-33 away from home since the 2006-07 campaign.

- Keitha Adams has led UTEP to a pair of winning road records & two other years at .500.

- Prior to her arrival, the Miners’ never had a winning road mark & were at .500 just twice in 27 years.

- Overall the Miners are 49-84 on the road under


- UTEP boasts 21 double-digit victories on the road during Adams’ era

- The Miners had 27 such victories before her tenure, 13 were against non-DI schools.


- UTEP has made least one three-point shot in a program-record 200 straight games. The last time UTEP failed to fill up a triple in a contest was on Dec. 30, 2005. They have hit one in all but four games during Keith Adams’ era.

- The Miners are 111-13 when scoring 70+ points under Adams.

- UTEP holds a record of 97-16 in the past 113 contests that it made 40.5% or better from the floor.

- The Miners are 51-10 in their past 61 games when nailing at least 40% on threes (min. five made).

- UTEP is 49-12 in the past 62 games & 115-42 overall when winning the rebounding battle.

- The Miners are a robust 56-2 under Adams when registering at least 20 assists in a contest

- Sharing hasn’t always been so common, though. UTEP compiled 19 such games from 1984-85 through 2000-01, going 13-6.

- The Miners are 65-15 over their past 80 games that they’ve forced the opposition into committing at least 20 turnovers.

- UTEP is 66-12 under Adams, including 48-3 since the start of the 2006-07 campaign, when forcing the opposition into committing more turnovers than field goals made

- UTEP is 53-11 over the past 64 contests when knocking down better than 70 percent at the free-throw line (min. 10 FTM)

- Oddly enough, UTEP has gone 25-12 since 06-07 when falling shy of 61-percent at the line. (min 10 FTA).

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

2011-12 REWIND

- Went 29-4 to set both the school (men’s) & Conference USA single-season record for wins. The four losses on the year were by a combined 15 points.

- Won both the 2012 Conference USA regular-season & tournament title championship. The tournament title was the first in program history while it was the second regular-season crown.

- Competed at the 2012 NCAA Championships, falling to nationally-ranked Penn State (11/12) 85-77, in the first round. It was the program’s second appearance all time at the NCAA Tournament.

- Finished 15-1 in C-USA play, with the .938 winning percentage rating third all time in the league.

- Enjoyed separate winning streaks of at least 10 games, including a program-best 10-0 to start year.

- Other single-season records set include blocked shots (197), games played (33), rebounding margin (+9.5), scoring defense (54.2), scoring margin (13.4), double-digit wins (21), road wins (11), wins by at least 20 points (10) and overall wins (29).

- Led C-USA in attendance average (2,639), blocked shots (6.0), field-goal percentage (40.8), field-goal percentage defense (33.6), free-throw percentage (69.7), RPI (49), rebounding margin (6.0), scoring margin (+13.4), three-point percentage defense (24.5)

- Received votes for the top-25 the final nine weeks of the season.

- Gloria Brown was voted first-team All C-USA, a member of the all-defensive team, named the Sixth Player of the Year and voted as the 2012 C-USA Tournament Champion MVP.

- Kayla Thornton was a second-team All C-USA member and was voted to the all-tournament team.

- Keitha Adams was voted as the C-USA Coach of the Year.

- Kelli Willingham was voted to the C-USA Academic All Conference Team.

- More than 2,000 fans in nine of the final 10 games and a single-season best 11 times overall.

- Final five games all had more than 4,000 fans, also a program best.

- Averaged 4,243 fans during the eight C-USA home games.

The Last Meeting
Loyola Marymount48
December 17, 2011
Los Angeles, Calif.
Miners Stay Perfect With 68-48 Win At Loyola Marymount
Kelli Willingham poured in a season-high 18 points to help lead the UTEP women's basketball team to a 68-48 triumph at Loyola Marymount Saturday afternoon. The Miners (10-0) remain undefeated on the year, and are off to their first 3-0 road start in program history.



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