UTEP Women's Basketball Notes / Exhibition Two / Chinese Olympic Team

Head coach Keitha Adams

Head coach Keitha Adams

Nov. 11, 2007

It's An Exhibition Game, But...

While UTEP is playing an exhibition game on Monday, the competition certainly will be fierce. The Miners are taking on the Chinese Olympic team, which is rated 10th in the world according to the latest FIBA poll. Tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m. at the Don Haskins Center

Talk About A Tall Task

The Chinese Olympic team will provide quite a test for UTEP, taking into consideration their ranking of 10th in the world. Additionally, of the 12 players on the squad, eight are taller than six feet. In fact, the shortest player on the team checks in at 5-9.

Facing The Very Best

The Chinese Olympic team enters the game against UTEP in the midst of a six-game trip across the country. No. 11 Texas A&M picked up a narrow 76-70 win on Nov. 3. China suffered a narrow setback to No. 8 North Carolina, 70-68, on Nov. 6. Third-ranked Rutgers pulled away in the second half to secure a 77-61 triumph.

Donate A Book, Get In Free

All fans who donate a children's book will receive free admission to the game against the Chinese Olympic team. Ticket prices for all others will be $5 for adults and $3 for youth.

Miners Fall In Hard-Fought Game At Nebraska, 81-74

Jareica Hughes led all players with 27 points, nine assists and four steals, but it wasn't enough as the UTEP women's basketball team fell at Nebraska, 81-74, in the season opener for both teams on Friday night. The Miners overcame a 14-point deficit late in the first-half to take a 41-38 at the break, only to have the Huskers rally for the victory.

Pressure Defense Pays Off

UTEP's high-pressure defense gave Nebraska fits, as the Miners forced the Huskers into committing 21 turnovers. UTEP converted those takeaways into 27 points, which helped the Orange and Blue battle back from an early deficit.

No Quit In This Group

UTEP showed plenty of heart in the setback at Nebraska, as it rallied from a 14-point deficit in the first half thanks to a 9-0 spurt and an 8-0 run to take a three-point lead into the break. Additionally, the Miners turned a five-point deficit early in the second half into a seven-point edge, before the Huskers rallied for the triumph.


Offense Does Its Job

UTEP's offense looked to be in fine form in the campaign lidlifter at Nebraska. The Miners shared the ball effectively, evidenced by 15 assists, and connected on 47.1 percent of their chances from the floor. They did have some issues with turnovers (16), but the Huskers only scored 14 points off those giveaways.

Rebounding The Difference In The Game

While UTEP did plenty of things well at Nebraska, one area they came up short in was rebounding. The Huskers out-rebounded the Miners 45-29, which included 16 caroms at the offensive end. The effort allowed Nebraska to out-pace by seven in second-chance points, which was the differential in the final score (81-74).

Hughes Puts Her Name In The Record Books

Jareica Hughes' 27-point, nine-assist effort at Nebraska marked just the second time in program history that a player registered at least 25 points and nine assists in the same game. Sharon Jackson is the only other individual to achieve the feat, doing so on Dec. 21, 1983, against Wayland Baptist.

Scores Career High As Well

The 27-point outburst in the season opener at Nebraska established a career high for Jareica Hughes, topping her previous standard of 24 points against Houston on Jan. 7, 2007. It was the 23rd double-figure scoring game of her career.

Lacy Solid In Debut

Senior guard Natasha Lacy turned in a fine showing in her debut with the Miners. The transfer from TCU scored 18 points to go along with four rebounds and one steal in 24 minutes of action. She connected on 8-of-14 from the floor, including 1-of-3 from three-point land.

Three Miners Debut Overall

In addition to Natasha Lacy, Sviatlana Trukshanina and Brittnay Jones also made their debut with UTEP at Nebraska on Saturday. Trukshanina chipped in three points and a steal in 22 minutes of reserve action while Jones played three first-half minutes.

Krezel Does A Little Bit Of Everything

Senior guard Kasia Krezel filled up the stat sheet in plenty of categories in the setback at Nebraska on Friday. Krezel scored 12 points (on 5-of-10 shooting), in addition to six rebounds, three assists and three steals in 32 minutes played.

Porras Provides Instant Energy

Senior forward Claudia Porras came off the bench at Nebraska to provide quite a spark for the Orange and Blue, especially in the rebounding department. The native of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, racked up four rebounds, two blocks and two points in only 16 minutes of action. With numbers like those, don't be surprised if Porras is inserted into the starting lineup against the Chinese Olympic team on Monday.

Williams Does Too

Sophomore forward Timika Williams also played well at Nebraska. She registered a team-best four offensive rebounds (six overall boards), while scoring five points and blocking a pair of shots.

Piekarska Blocks It All

Izabela Piekarska, who has led Conference USA in blocks the past two years, got off to a good start in that department on Friday. The senior swatted three shots against the Huskers.

In Elite Company

Entering the season, seniors Izabela Piekarska and Kasia Krezel are on the cusp of becoming just the fourth and fifth members of the 1,000-career point club at UTEP. After the tilt against the Chinese Olympic team, the Poland natives rank 10th and 12th, respectively, with career totals of 859 and 841. Each has an opportunity to break the school record as well. Be Stoney (1,249) holds the standard, while Kiana Taylor (1,134) and Holly Russ (1,068) are the other members in the exclusive club.

She Said It

This will be a good challenge for us. They've got incredible size which will be good for us to go up against. We aren't a really strong rebounding team right now. We need to learn from what happened at Nebraska and for us to compete and get better.

-head coach Keitha Adams on playing against the Chinese Olympic team

Recycled Notes

UTEP Knocks Off Houston Jaguars In Exhibition Contest Natasha Lacy drained two free throws with 1.1 seconds left to lift the UTEP women's basketball team to a 72-70 victory against the Houston Jaguars in an exhibition contest Saturday evening at the Don Haskins Center. Lacy had gotten to the line after slicing thru traffic and drawing the foul as the clock wound down. After Lacy calmly converted the free throws, Kasia Krezel blocked a desperation three-pointer by the Jaguars' Brandi Jones to preserve the victory for UTEP.

Can We Have An Encore?

The 2006-07 women's basketball season was incredibly special for UTEP. The Miners established school records for wins (22), fewest losses (8) and single-game attendance on the way to taking a large step into turning the program into both a conference and regional power. This year's edition of the Orange and Blue have loftier goals, most notably playing into the postseason for the first time in program history.

Don't Expect This Group To Rattle

The 2007-08 edition of the UTEP women's basketball team is not one that will fold under pressure, as the Miners return four starters from last's squad in addition to a two seniors and a sophomore who will look to do work off the bench. Additionally, the Miners' recruiting class consisted of players who were winners at the high school level, junior college level and NCAA.

Much More Experienced

The Miners' starting lineup in its first game of the year against Nebraska certainly had a lot more experience than it did last year. Of the five players who started last year, three were making their first appearances at the Division I level. This year's initial opening five of Jareica Hughes, Kasia Krezel, Natasha Lacy, Tasha Marisett and Izabela Piekarska combined for 322 games played, including 218 starts heading into the game at Nebraska.

Challenging 2007-08 Slate On Tap For UTEP

Friday's game against Nebraska marked the first of 12 games against teams which competed in some form of postseason play during the 2006-07 campaign.

National Spotlight Awaits The Miners

A demanding schedule is not the only thing that awaits the Miners in 2007-08, as they will make a pair of pair of appearances in nationally-televised games. 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. Both contests will be held in the venerable Don Haskins Center.

Welcome Home, Natasha

El Paso native Natasha Lacy, who sat out last year after transferring from TCU, is eligible this year and is expected to make a big impact. The senior left TCU as one of the more decorated players in school history. She ranked among school leaders in scoring (11th, 945), rebounding (sixth, 579), assists (first, 456) and steals (second, 223). Moreover, she was the lone player in program history with more than 700 points, 500 rebounds and 400 assists.

Hughes Tabbed First Team All-C-USA

2006-07 Conference USA freshman and newcomer of the year Jareica Hughes was selected to the All C-USA preseason team media day on Oct. 11. Hughes is coming off a fantastic freshman campaign for UTEP, in which she led the Orange and Blue in assists, free throws made and attempted, points and steals en route to being Moreover, Hughes was selected to the all-conference rookie and defensive squads, to go along with third-team honoree status.

More On The Sensational Sophomore

Jareica Hughes averaged 4.9 assists a year ago, which ranks as the second-best mark in program history. She also registered 2.8 thefts per game to check in sixth all time in program history. She scored finished with 78 steals, the most by a freshman in program annals, while racking up 137 assists and pouring in 362 points to check in second among freshmen in school history.

Don't Forget Timika

Timika Williams, who won a state championship in high school with Jareica Hughes, also had a fantastic first year in the Sun City. She paced the Miners in rebounds with 209, which is the second-highest total by a freshman and the 10th-best sum overall in program history. Williams also had 276 points (9.2 ppg) to rank fourth all time among freshmen.

Marisett's Motor Is Always Running

The most colorful player on the team this year is Tasha Marisett, whose high-energy output transfers to plenty of success on the court. The transfer from Panola Junior College had a solid campaign in her first year with the Miners, averaging 8.8 ppg to go along with 5.3 rebounds. She also had a team-high five double-doubles.

Plenty Of New Faces Too

6-2 post and junior college transfer Ilda Chambe, 5-6 guard Alyssa Faubion, 5-9 combo guard Brittnay Jones, 6-2 post Stephanie Rosado, 5-11 guard Sviatlana Trukshanina and 5-9 guard Joana Zalesiak join Natasha Lacy to afford head coach Keitha Adams plenty of newcomers who bring lots to the table. Chambe registered 14 double-doubles while competing at Seward Community College, in addition to 28 double-digit scoring efforts. Faubion had a prolific prep career, scoring more than 1,000 points and notching three all-conference accolades. Jones averaged 20 points, four rebounds and four assists per game and was a two-time all-state honoree while Rosado is a no-nonsense player capable of a double-double at any point. Trukshanina is a pure shooter who can connect from anywhere on the court while Zalesiak is an all-around threat and a strong defender.

Miners Picked Second In Preseason Poll

The UTEP women's basketball team has been predicted to finish in second place in Conference USA in the upcoming 2007-08 season according to a vote by the league's 12 head coaches, it was announced on Oct. 10 afternoon by the conference office. It marks the highest placement in a preseason poll for the Miners in program history.
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