MINERS
Kids Get In Free As UTEP Tangles With Arizona State Sunday

Kelli Willingham


Kelli Willingham

Nov. 17, 2012

LIKE UTEP Women’s Basketball On Facebook | Follow @UTEPWBB On Twitter| Follow Coach Adams On Twitter

Game Notes In PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

THE OPENING ACT

- UTEP will play for the second time in three days when it welcomes Pacific-12 power Arizona State to the Don Haskins Center for a match-up at 2:05 p.m. MST Sunday. The Miners (2-0) are coming off a 67-58 win against Houston Baptist on. 16 while the Sun Devils (0-1) have been idle since falling to Texas Tech, 61-49, in their season opener on Nov. 11.

- All kids will get in free as part of "Kids’ Day" while adult tickets are just $5.

- UTEP is 8-57 overall against teams in power conferences (at time of meeting). The Miners’ last such victory was 63-53 against Nebraska on Dec. 20, 2008.

- The Miners (2-0) are off to their second straight 2-0 season & 13th overall in program history. They have achieved it five time under Keitha Adams.

- UTEP is in search of consecutive 3-0 starts to a campaign for the first time in program history. The Miners opened up a school-record best 10-0 in 2011-12

- Overall four UTEP teams have pushed with a mark of at least 3-0 (2011-12, 10-0, 1996-97, 7-0, 1974-75 & 1998-99, 4-0).

- The Sun Devils lead the series, 7-2, & claimed a 45-43 win in the most-recent match-up in Tempe, Ariz., on Dec. 28, 2011. Prior to that game, the programs hadn’t squared off since the 1990-91 campaign.

- The next home victory will be UTEP’s 200th all time at the Don Haskins Center while the Miners are one shy of 450 total program wins.

- UTEP stands at 35-21 in the month of November under Adams. It is 12-2 over the past three years, including 2-0 this season.

- The Miners are 89-56 in non-league play under Adams, including 2-0 this year.

- UTEP is aiming to extend its school-record streak of .500 or better in non-conference action to eight seasons. (prior standard four, 1994-95 through 1997-98).

- Video and audio for every home game for the Miners on the year will be available through UTEPAthletics.com (subscription-based).

- All of the neutral/road contests on the season (with exception of the upcoming Junkanoo Jam) will be broadcast on Talk Radio 1150 AM.

- To keep up with the very latest on the program, LIKE the team’s page on Facebook (UTEPWomensBasketball) and follow it on Twitter (@UTEPWBB). Additionally, connect with Coach Adams by following her on Twitter (@UTEPKeithaAdams)

GOING BACK IN TIME

- Veteran leaders Kristine Vitola (18 points), Kayla Thornton (15 points) and Anete Steinberga (12 points) all reached double figures in scoring to help the UTEP women’s basketball team down Houston Baptist, 67-58, at home Nov. 16.

- The Huskies hung around for a bit before the Miners blew the visitors out of the water with a game-changing 19-6 run spanning about seven minutes in the second half. The surge afforded UTEP a 56-41 lead with 8:10 to play, and HBU never got closer than seven down the stretch.

- UTEP connected on 44.4 percent of its shots (28-of-63), including 48.3 percent (14-of-29) during the first half.

- Chrishauna Parker added seven points and five boards while Kelli Willingham pitched in six points and five rebounds.

- The Miners won their third straight game (dating to 2007-08) when making 35.0 percent or less at the free-throw line. UTEP was 7-20 in the contest.

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

- Arizona State returned two starters & seven letterwinners overall from last year’s squad (20-12, 10-8, Pac 12) that competed in the WNIT.

- The Sun Devils have made 13 straight postseason appearances, including six of the past eight NCAA Tournaments.

- Even with a fourth-place finish in the Pacific-12 last year, ASU has secured a top-three showing in league play in 10 of the past 12 years.

- ASU did lose its top-three scorers from last year, two due to graduation & one due to redshirting the season.

- It is 0-1 this year, having dropped its season-opener at home to Texas Tech, 61-49, on Nov. 11.

- Promise Amukamara led the way with 10 points , though she was 4-of-14 from the floor, while also grabbing a team-best seven boards.

- Joy Burke showed her impact on the defensive end with five blocks and five boards.

- The Sun Devils crushed the Red Raiders on the boards, 40-27, but was out-scored for points in the paint, 42-26.

- ASU hit on just 38.5 percent (20-of-52) while letting TTU connect on 25-52 (48.1). It also committed 22 turnovers, leading to 22 TTU points.

- The Sun Devils are under the direction of Charli Turner Thorne. She is 289-180 in her 16th year at ASU while standing at 329-220 overall in now her 19th year as a collegiate head coach. 

- Arizona State University is the largest public university in the country by enrollment (72,250).

- It was founded in 1885 as the Tempe Normal School before taking on its current name in 1958.

- Notable alumni include former CEO of Coldstone Creamery, Doug Ducey, the late renowned filmmaker John Hughes, who directed among other things Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Home Alone & Breakfast Club, sports broadcaster Al Michaels and the late Pat Tillman, who starred at ASU & in the NFL before paying the ultimate sacrifice while serving his country following the 9/11 attacks.

RUNDOWN ON THE 2012-13 MINERS

- UTEP returned three starters (senior F Anete Steinberga junior F Kayla Thornton & junior G Kelli Willingham) from last year’s record-setting squad.

- Sophomore guards Syerra Davis & Chrishauna Parker & senior F Kristine Vitola all earned letters in 2011-12 & are back in the fold. Also back is sophomore walk-on G Marissa Rodriguez.

- Sophomore guard Jenzel Nash suffered a torn ACL during an exhibition game win against St. Mary’s on Nov. 3 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.

- 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 (Irene Gari, G, Jamie Madden, G, Diamond Posey, G, & Cameasha Turner), a freshman transfer Saidah Zuberi Allen (G/F) & a junior-college transfer (Destinee LaFountain F).

- Freshman F Tommitrise Collins will sit out the year as a redshirt.

- 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.

TOUGH TO REPLACE

- 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). A reserve, she 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 coming off the bench.

THE BASIC FACTS ON UTEP

- UTEP is 449-586 since launching the program for the 1974-75 season, including 2-0 this year.

- 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 (11/12) 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.

THE ADAMS FILE

- UTEP is led by 12th-year head coach and the all-time win leader in program history, Keitha Adams, who is 186-147 in that time frame.

- At 313-184 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.

- Both regular-season conference championships and the lone league tournament title in program history have been during her tenure.

- Her efforts have put the program on the regional & national landscape, with the Miners playing in 16 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.

- From 2002-03 through the end of last year, UTEP forged a mark of 181-122. The best record for a 10-year stretch before Adams’ arrival 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.

HOME SWEET HOME

- The Miners are 84-18 in El Paso since the start of the 2006-07 season, including 2-0 this year.

- UTEP is vying for its school-record sixth straight season with 12+ home wins.  

- It had only four campaigns where it even reached double figures during the first 27 years of the program.

- Overall the Miners are 119-51 at home under Keitha Adams, helped by a program-best nine straight years with at least nine home victories.

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

TRAVEL TIME

- UTEP is 37-33 away from home since the 2006-07 campaign. It will play its first road game this year at New Mexico State (11/28/12).

- 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 Adams.

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

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

THIS & THAT

- Senior Kristine Vitola has scored 18+ points in back-to-back games for the first time of her career.

- She has already set career highs for field-goals made (7, HBU, 11/16/12), attempted (13 (HB), free-throws made (10, LMU, 11/10/12), attempted (11, LMU), minutes (36, HBU), points (21, LMU) & rebounds (12).

- After making one three pointer in her first 54 career games, Kayla Thornton has drilled 10 in her past nine. She hit a pair against LMU (11/10/12).

- Chrishauna Parker dished out a team-best & career-high four assists while also grabbing seven rebounds in the season-opening win vs. LMU (11/10/12).

- UTEP has gone 42-18 with Kelli Willingham starting, 37-10 when Thornton gets a nod, 32-9 for Vitola & 9-1 for Parker.

- Aneta Steinberga posted her first double-digit scoring game & team-best 30th over her career with 12 points vs. HBU (11/16/12).

- Parker (7/5) & Vitola (12/8) are the lone Miners with 5+ rebounds in both games.

- Thornton (15/15) & Vitola (21/18) have both tallied 15+ points in consecutive contests.

STAT LOVERS’ LANE

- UTEP has made least one three-point shot in a program-record 202 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 112-13, including 1-0 this year, when scoring 70+ points under Adams.

- UTEP holds a record of 99-16 in the past 115 contests, including 2-0 this year, that it made 40.5% or better from the floor.

- The Miners are 52-10 in their past 62 games , including 1-0 this year, when nailing at least 40% on threes (min. five made).

- UTEP is 50-12 in the past 62 games & 117-43 overall under Adams when winning the rebounding battle. It is 2-0 in the situation this year.

- 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 66-15 over their past 81 games, including 1-0 this year, 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. It is 1-0 this year in that area.

- 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 27-12 since 06-07, including 2-0 this year, 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.

MILESTONE MOMENTS

- UTEP’s 28-point margin of victory vs. LMU (79-51, 11/10/12) was the largest in a season opener vs. D1 foe in program history. The prior standard was 19 (68-49 vs. Northern Arizona, 11/20/05).

- The 15-0 run out of the gates vs. LMU (11/10/12) was the best to start a year in the Keitha Adams’ era, topping the prior standard (7-0, 2006-07).

- Kayla Thornton (555), Kelli Willingham (553), Anete Steinberga (538) & Kristine Vitola (515) have all surpassed 500 career points. Overall there are 39 Miners in program history in the 500+ point club.

- Vitola has played in 96 career games, and will soon become the 18th Miner to reach triple digits.

- UTEP has won 63 games since Steinberga & Vitola arrived on campus in 2009, which rates as the 10th-most by a class in Miner history.

- The next win will pull the duo into a tie for seventh (Monika Carrasco, Jonna Launiainen & Charnette Phelps, 2003-07). Fifth place is still a while off at 76 (Izabela Piekarska & Kasia Krezel, 2004-08).

- With a start against Arizona State, Willingham will move into 10th place all time at UTEP (61). Steinberga isn’t far back with 57 career starts.

- Thornton is sixth all time at UTEP for career field-goal percentage (46.1). A minimum of 200 FGM is required to qualify.

- Willingham has hit five threes this year to lift her career total to 98 & move into seventh all time at the school. Her 270 3PA rank seventh, as does her percentage of 36.3

- Willingham is currently first (min. 100 made) for career free-throw percentage at UTEP (81.1). She has yet to try a charity-stripe toss this year.

- Thornton is one of 22 individuals all time at UTEP to have pulled down at least 400 rebounds (419). Her career average (6.5) is just shy of the top 10.

- Willingham is climbing the school’s career assist charts. Her tally of 224 places her ninth all time. She is six shy of tying for eight (Krezel, 230) & seven back of earning a share of seventh (Jill Lewis, 231).

- Vitola has swatted 98 career shots, including two in 2012-13, putting her on the cusp of becoming the fifth Miner to hit triple digits.

- She is almost certain to finish fourth all time at UTEP. Marta Dydek is No. 4 at moment with 100 Gloria Brown is third at 162.

BEST SUPPORT IN C-USA

- The Miners were head & 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.

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.

CLIFFSNOTES ON 2012-13 CAMPAIGN

- Senior Kristine Vitola notched her first career-double double (21 points, 12 rebounds) to help UTEP pound Loyola Marymount, 79-51, in the 2012-13 season opener for both squads at the Don Haskins Center Nov. 10.

- In addition to it being the initial double-double since joining the Orange and Blue, Vitola also set career standards for points (21) and boards (12). She hit on 10-of-11 free throws, also personal bests. She made 5-of-7 shots from the floor, including 1-of-2 from beyond-the-arc.

- Juniors Kayla Thornton and Kelli Willingham buoyed Vitola with 15 points each while six other Miners also scored in the contest.

- UTEP took control early thanks to Thornton. She scored the first 10 points of an eventual game-opening 15-0 run. The Miners , who led by 21 at the break (45-21), pushed their advantage out to as many as 35 (64-29, 11:12 second half), before putting it on cruise control down the stretch.

- The Miners improved to 7-5 in campaign lidlifters under head coach Keitha Adams, including 6-2 when starting the year at home.

- UTEP moved to 26-13 in home openers, helped by an effort of 9-3 under Adams.

- UTEP is now 20-19 all time in season openers, including 17-6 in El Paso.

- Thornton (12), Anete Steinberga (11), Vitola (11) and 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.

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

The Last Meeting
UTEP45
Arizona State47
December 28, 2011
Tempe, Ariz.
Arizona State Holds Off UTEP, 47-45
Kelli Willingham's potential go-ahead three pointer from the right wing was blocked with seven seconds to play, allowing Arizona State to creep past UTEP, 47-45, inside Wells Fargo Arena Wednesday evening