UTEP Women's Basketball Notes / Game 1 / At Florida Gulf Coast (Preseason WNIT)
Nov. 12, 2009
THE OPENING ACT
Miners To Open Season In Preseason WNIT At FGCU
The UTEP women's basketball team will christen its 2009-10 campaign by squaring off against Florida Gulf Coast in an opening-round game of the 2009 Preseason WNIT on the road at 5 p.m. MT Friday. The winner will take on the victor of New Mexico and Northern Colorado in Albuquerque, N.M. on Sunday.
Follow It Free Online
There will be free video streaming of the Miners' game at Florida Gulf Coast. A link to the coverage will be available through www.utepathletics.com
Talking Preseason WNIT
For the first time in program history, the UTEP women's basketball team will open up a season as part of a prestigious tournament. The Miners will be guaranteed three games in the Preseason 2009 WNIT. Eleven of the 16 squads in the field advanced to postseason play last year, including Friday's opponent Florida Gulf Coast.
All About The Format
The format for the Preseason WNIT guarantees each squad three tilts. Second-round contests will be played Nov. 15-16; semifinals will be Nov. 18-19; and the championship is set for Sunday, Nov. 22. Teams that lose in the first two rounds will play consolation games on the second weekend, Nov. 20-22. All contests are hosted by participating schools.
UTEP's participation in the 2009 Preseason WNIT marks the first of three in-season tournaments it will play in this year. That marks the most tournaments during the regular season of the Keitha Adams' era and the third-most ever.
Adams' Next Win To Break School Standard
Head coach Keitha Adams, in her ninth at the helm of the program, enters the game at Florida Gulf Coast with a record of 123-113 at UTEP. The effort places her alongside former Miner coach Sandra Rushing for the school standard. It should be noted, though, that Rushing compiled those 123 wins over 11 years.
Stands With 250 Career Collegiate Triumphs
Entering the 2009-10 season, head coach Keitha Adams boasts 250 career collegiate victories (123 at UTEP in eight years and 137 at JC level prior).
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
The 411 On Florida Gulf Coast
Florida Gulf Coast is coming off a sensational 2008-09 season, having compiled a 26-5 record en route to advancing to the second round of the WNIT. It had won 17 straight games before bowing out to eventual champion USF, 88-81, in a road tilt overtime thriller. The Eagles rolled to the regular-season Atlantic Sun championship with a 17-3 mark in league play-the best ever in the 24-year history of the league-, but were not eligible for the tournament due to reclassifying rules for the NCAA.
More On The Eagles
Florida Gulf Coast returns all five starters from last year's squad, including all-conference selections Adrianne McNally and Chelsea Lyles. The Eagles were predicted to win the Atlantic Sun championship, edging out perennial league power East Tennessee State University.
Will Be A Hostile Environment
Florida Gulf Coast will certainly provide a stiff test, and not just because of the talent returning for the Eagles. The squad stormed to a 15-1 record at home last year, with 10 of those triumphs being of the double-digit variety.
GOING BACK IN TIME
Miners Ride Big Second Half To Win Vs. St. Mary's
The UTEP women's basketball team came alive in the second half on the way to securing a 57-43 victory against St. Mary's in its lone exhibition contest this year on Nov. 7. Senior Jareica Hughes paced the squad with 11 points while also contributing seven assists and six steals. Freshman Kristine Vitola showed some promise, registering eight points, six boards and a team-high five blocks. Dietra Caldwell, the 2009 Conference USA Freshman of the Year, chipped in eight points and junior transfer Ashley Milian picked up six boards while adding five points to the Miners' final tally.
TIME TO START IT UP
Talking Season Openers
The Miners are 17-18 all time in season openers, including 4-4 under head coach Keitha Adams. UTEP struggled in the earlier years of the program in the campaign's first contest (2-9) but bounced back to post a mark of 15-7 dating to 1987.
Doing So Away From Home
Friday's game at FGCU will mark the 15th time in the 36-year history of the program that the Miners will christen the campaign in hostile territory. UTEP has dropped three straight, 11 of the past 12 and is 3-11 all time when doing so. Now for the good news....The past two times the Miners have started a season on the road, they have gone on to a winning campaign (28-4 in 2008-07 & 16-13 in 2003-04). In fact, half of UTEP's 10 winning seasons all time have come in years which it started on the road.
Long Way To Go
The Miners will be traveling across two time zones on the way to taking on FGCU at 5 p.m. MT on Friday. It marks the farthest distance (1,525 miles) that UTEP has covered simply to open a season. The next closest came when the Miners squared off against Louisiana Lafayette after covering 864 miles in 1993.
UTEP isn't wasting time in getting the 2009-10 season going, as the game at Florida Gulf Coast marks the fourth-earliest start date in the 36-year history of the program.
Hit The Ground Running
The Miners are slated to play six times in the month of November, which ties as the third-most games in program annals during the 11th month. The last time UTEP played at least six times in November was in 2006-07. That year UTEP went on to record its first 20-win season in school history.
Three Straight Successful Road Ventures
UTEP enters the 2009-10 season on the strength of a program-best three straight seasons of .500 or better on the road. The Miners are 20-13 in hostile territory since the start of 2006-07 (5-5 last year, 10-3 in 2007-08 and 5-5 in 2006-07).
Appreciating The Progress On The Road
UTEP has rattled off a school record six straight seasons with at least three road triumphs. Before Keitha Adams' arrival in the Sun City, the standard stood at four such years. UTEP was a combined 68-241 in the 27 years before Adams' tenure, and was held to two or fewer triumphs in 14 of those tilts.
And They've Had Some Comfy Win Margins
UTEP enters the year with 15 double-digit victories on the road under head coach Keitha Adams. The Miners compiled 32 such victories the prior 27 years to her arrival in the Sun City, almost half of them (13 of the 27) were at the hands of non-division I opposition.
Tough To Win On Road When Shots Don't Fall
The Miners have lost 40 straight road games when falling shy of 33.0 percent from the field. The last time UTEP picked up a win under those circumstances was on a 74-51 defeat of New Mexico State on Nov. 26, 1996. The Miners made 29 free throws in that game-the most ever in a road tilt in program history- to overcome the overall poor shooting.
CRASH COURSE ON 09-10 MINERS
UTEP returns four starters and eight letterwinners overall responsible for more than 80 percent of the points and 75 percent of the rebounds/assists from last year. The Miners went 18-12 last year on the way to finishing second in a very competitive Conference USA.
Now That Is Depth
Keitha Adams added seven newcomers for 2009-10 which will afford her depth across the board, but particularly in the front court. The Miners will feature a program-best eight players taller than 6-0, which is a stark contrast from a year ago when injuries left UTEP with just three healthy posts.
In Jareica We Trust
Senior Jareica Hughes enters her final year in the Sun City as the unquestioned leader of the veteran-laden team and as the reigning two-time Conference USA player of the year. She is the active leading scorer in the conference and is on track to shatter the school points standard while also finishing as part of the winningest class ever at UTEP. She owns the program record for career assists and steals. In only three years, Hughes has tallied 1,184 points, 449 assists and 223 steals. The effort already makes her one of just three players in the 14-year history of C-USA to register at least 1,100 points, 445 helpers and 220 thefts.
Williams Has Her Back
Timika Williams will aid Jareica Hughes in the leadership department-both on and off the court. The 6-1 post is on track to become the program's all-time leading rebounder while also joining the 1,000-point club. She is the only Miner to pace the team in rebounding for three straight seasons.
2009 Conference USA Freshman of the Year Dietra Caldwell will provide a one-two scoring punch in the backcourt with Jareica Hughes. Caldwell rated third on the team in scoring as a rookie (9.8 ppg) while also tallying the second-most assists (64). While she features an all-around game, Caldwell's biggest threat came from beyond-the-arc, as she nailed the third-most three pointers (64) in a single season ever at UTEP.
Talk About A Shooter
Sviatlana Trukshanina was even more deadly than Dietra Caldwell on three pointers. As a sophomore, Trukshanina led C-USA and would have rated second nationally in three-point percentage (48.4), but came up just shy of the qualifying standards. A player whose range starts when she enters the gym, the native of Belarus filled up 59 triples on the way to averaging 8.2 ppg.
Good To Be Green
A player who would have been in the running for freshman of the year honors, Briana Green is healthy once again. Last year in 21 games of action, Green contributed 9.7 ppg and 2.5 apg. She played best in the biggest moments, and that was no more evident than when she single-handily outscored Tulane 16-12 over the first several minutes of the second half to stake UTEP a lead it would never relinquish in a nationally-televised contest.
Don't Forget Marta
The third senior on this year's team is Marta Micula, who also had her year cut short due to injuries. Micula ranked third on the team in rebounding (5.0 rpg) while also chipping in 4.0 ppg. She started eight straight games at one point, but health issues derailed her season down the stretch.
The Fannie Pack
Fannie Goodwin took a while to get things going last year as a freshman, but by year's end she was a force to be reckoned with. She led the team in blocked shots (32) while checking in second in rpg (5.7) and seventh in ppg (5.5). She had a stretch of four straight double-digit rebounding games (first ever by freshman and second-longest ever). Goodwin had a monstrous double-double in establishing career-highs for points (24) and rebounds (14) in a setback to Marshall.
Boot Be Gone
Sophomore Torrie Childs spent most of her first year in El Paso with her leg in a boot as result of an injury which just did not want to heal. The New Jersey native appeared in only nine games and never truly got things going. This year, healthy once again, she has aspirations of showing off her ability which during her high school career added up to almost averaging a triple double as a senior (14.7 ppg, 12 rpg & seven blocks per game).
What's In A Name
While most Miner fans are familiar with how to pronounce the names of their favorite players, here is a quick rundown on some of the more challenging ones for those who need a refresher.
Dietra Caldwell= DEE-truh Caldwell
Baiba Eglite= Buy-buh E-glee-tay
Briana Green= Bree-ah-nuh Green
Jareica Hughes= Jer-ICK-uh Hughes (Jareica rhymes with Erica)
Deanna Key= Dee-ANN-uh Key
Marta Micula= Marta Meet-SUE-uh
Ashley Milian= Ashley Mill-E-on
Niya Santiago= NI-Uh (Niya like the word "I")
Anete Steinberga= On-net-tay Stine-burga (Stine rhymes with nine
Kristine Vitola= Chris-Teen-A Vee-tow-L-uh
Sviatlana Trukshanina= Svet-Lah-nuh TROOK-shuh-KNEE-nuh
Tracy Wittebolle= Tracy Whit-Uh-bowl-uh
Keitha Adams= Keith-ah
Ewa Laskowska= A-vah Less-cow-skah
We Love The Three Ball
UTEP set school standards last year for three-pointers made (201) and three-point field goal percentage (.382), and on paper at least, it should be another strong year from beyond the arc. Sviatlana Trukshanina, who connected on a program-best 48.4 of her tries (59-of-122) to rate second nationally and Dietra Caldwell (64-of-150) are both back. The effort made the squad the first to boast multiple players surpassing 50 triples in the same season. Before last year, only one team had mustered two players with at least 40 triples (2002-03).
107 Straight Games With A Triple
UTEP enters the game at Florida Gulf Coast having made at least one three-point shot in a program-record 107 straight games. The last time UTEP failed to fill up a triple in a contest was on Dec. 30, 2005. Overall, UTEP has nailed a three in all but four contests during the Keitha Adams era.
ALL ABOUT THE FINAL SCORE
Something Magical About That 70-Point Barrier
UTEP enters the 2009-10 season having claimed 49 of its past 52 games when eclipsing 70 points. The last loss when topping 70 points came in the final game of 2008-09 (72-70 OT setback to Marshall). In terms of non-overtime contests, the most-recent setback in the situation came at Nebraska(81-74 on Nov. 9, 2007).
Doesn't Take A Basketball Wiz To Figure This Out
UTEP has won 51 of their past 54 games when connecting on better than 40.0 percent from the floor. The Miners had won 33 straight games when doing so prior to the setback at SMU on Feb. 28, 2009. UTEP was at 42.6 from the floor in that contest, but the Miners were just 36.4 in the second stanza while they also committed 19 turnovers. The other two setbacks in the time frame were at the hands of BCS schools. UTEP fell at Nebraska, 81-74, on Nov. 9, 2007 (47.1 percent) The other loss was vs. Arizona (72-68 on Nov. 26, 2006, 42.6 percent).
Three-Point Success Add Up To Wins
The Miners have racked up 25 consecutive triumphs and 34-of-36 when connecting on 40 percent or better from beyond the arc. Kansas State derailed UTEP 66-58 in Manhattan, Kan., on Dec. 1, 2007, (47.4 percent) Arizona held off UTEP, 72-68, on Nov. 26, 2006, (50.0 percent).
RECORDS ARE MADE TO BE BROKEN
Hughes Has Her Name All Over UTEP Books
Heading into her senior season, Jareica Hughes has tallied 1,184 points, 449 assists and 223 steals. The effort already makes her one of just three players in the 14-year history of C-USA to register at least 1,100 points, 445 helpers and 220 thefts. She holds the UTEP career standards for assists and steals, and is on track to be the program's all-time leading scorer. Former teammate Izabela Piekarksa owns the school standard for points (1,251), followed by all-time great Be Stoney (1,249).
Wait, There's More
Jareica Hughes has her name dotted throughout the UTEP career record book in other areas as well. She ranks first in assists per game (5.3), second in steals per game (2.8) and starts (84), third in three-pointers attempted (310) and free-throws made (281), fifth in minutes played (2,845), seventh in free-throw percentage (74.9) and eighth in three-point percentage (32.2).
Williams Is Wonderful As Well
Senior forward Timika Williams has her name mentioned plenty throughout the UTEP career record book, and will go down as one of the very best Miners in program history. Entering 2009-10, Williams is third in starts (83), fourth in rebounds (635), sixth in field-goal percentage (46.5), and blocked shots (47), ninth in rebounding average (6.8) and 13th in scoring (878).
Most Important Stat
Heading into their senior seasons, Jareica Hughes & Timika Williams are already responsible for the second-winningest four-year class in program history. Only the 2007-08 senior class (76 triumphs) boast more triumphs than Hughes and Williams' class.
1,000-Point Club Has Distinct Adams Flavor To It
Last year Jareica Hughes became the sixth member of UTEP's 1,000-point club, and half of those individuals have been under the direction of head coach Keitha Adams. Hughes, who was the fastest to the mark ever at the school, joined Izabela Piekarska (1,251), Be Stoney (1,249), Kasia Krezel (1,172), Kiana Taylor (1,134) and Holly Russ (1,068).
She Did So At Unprecedented Clip
Of the prior five members in UTEP's 1,000-career point club, none managed to surpass 900-career points by the end of their junior year let alone 1,000. The total for each of the players at the conclusion of their junior season is as follows. Izabela Piekarska (857 career points), Kasia Krezel (829 points), Kiana Taylor (754 points), Be Stoney (741 points) and Holly Russ (600 points).
Williams Already An All-Time UTEP Great
Timika Williams enters her senior season with career tallies of 878 points, 635 rebounds and 108 steals. She is the third member of the UTEP 800-point, 600 rebound club (Izabela Piekarska- 1,251 points, 651 boards & Kiana Taylor- 1,134, 676 rebounds). Williams & Taylor are the lone Miners with more than 800 career points, 600 boards and 100 steals. Taylor tallied 120 thefts, which rates 11th all time at the institution.
Among Top-Five At UTEP For Rebounding
Timika Williams heads into her final year in the Sun City with 635 career boards, placing her fourth all time at UTEP in that department. She is on track to become the all-time leading rebounder at the institution. Kim Watts is the record holder at 810 boards, followed by Kiana Taylor (676) and Izabela Piekarska (651).
Hughes In Class Of Her Own
Jareica Hughes heads into her senior year with 11 career games with at least 20 points and seven assists. From 1982 until 2006, the feat was achieved by six different players a combined nine occasions.
LIFE AT THE LINE
Dating to the start of the 2006-07 campaign, the Orange and Blue boast an incredible mark of 18-5 in games in which they were below 60-percent from the free-throw line (minimum 10 attempts).
Go Figure Part Two
Six of the Miners' past 14 losses (dating to early in the 2007-08 campaign) have come in games in which they drained at least 70 percent of their tries at the free-throw line.
Go Figure Part Three
The Miners have won 11 of their past 14 regular-season contests in which they made more three pointers than free throws.
Talking Turnovers.. Or Lack Thereof
To say the UTEP women's basketball team took care of the ball during the 2008-09 season would be an understatement. The Miners set a school standard for fewest turnovers in the year (390). UTEP rated third in the nation for fewest giveaways per tilt (13.0) while checking in fourth in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.16).
Turning Up The Pressure
UTEP enters the 2009-10 season with a mark of 45-10 under head coach Keitha Adams when forcing the opposition into committing more turnovers than field goals made in a game. The Miners are 26-1 in that situation since the start of the 2006-07 campaign.
THIS IS UTEP BASKETBALL
Golden Age Of Women's Hoops
It is the golden age of women's basketball at UTEP. The Miners have posted a school-record three straight winning seasons. Head coach Keitha Adams has directed the team to four winning campaigns overall. From the 1978-79 season to the 2002-03 season (26-year stretch), UTEP four such years.
Appreciating The Stretch
Below is the breakdown of UTEP's record over the past three years, compared to the best stretch at the school before head coach Keitha Adams' arrival. As you can see, it truly is the golden age of UTEP women's basketball.
Under Coach Adams Before Coach Adams
Home: 42-7 Home: 27-10
Road: 20-13 Road: 13-27
Road/Neutral: 26-17 Road/Neutral: 20-26
Overall: 68-24 Overall: 41-38
The Best C-USA Has To Offer
Since joining Conference USA in 2005, UTEP boasts the most wins, fewest losses and top winning percentage of the 12 teams in the highly-competitive league.
Unprecedented Success Under Adams
Behind Keitha Adams the UTEP women's basketball team has soared to heights that even the most ardent of Miner fans could possibly imagine. Before Adams patrolled the sidelines, the Miners had never won more than 20 games in a campaign, let alone compete in a postseason tournament (no WNIT or NCAA appearances pre Adams).
HOME SWEET HOME
Loving Life At The Don
UTEP stands a stout 42-7 at home since the start of the 2006-07 season. Aiding in that effort has been a program-record three straight seasons with 10 or more home triumphs.
Don't Take Things For Granted
Under head coach Keitha Adams, UTEP has posted a program-record six straight years with at least nine home victories and boast an overall record of 78-39 at the Don Haskins Center. That figure is especially impressive when taking into account the 1-12 mark during Adams' initial year of her tenure. UTEP registered six such campaigns in the program's 27-year history prior to her arrival.