UTEP Women's Basketball Notes: Eastern New Mexico

Nov. 19, 2010


UTEP Set To Face Eastern New Mexico

UTEP is poised to take on Eastern New Mexico at 6:05 p.m. on Saturday. The Miners (1-1) were tripped up vs. New Mexico State, 80-75, in OT on Nov. 17 while the Zias (0-1) fell at No. 18 Fort Lewis, 86-56, on Nov. 13 in their lone game this year.


How To Follow It

Audio and video of the game will be available through the all-access section of www.utepathletics.com. Live stats are also an option through the Gametracker link on the schedule page.




Looking For Win #100 Since Joining C-USA

UTEP joined Conference USA prior to the start of the 2005-06 season, and it has racked up 99 wins (2nd most of any league team) in that time frame.


We Meet Again

UTEP and Eastern New Mexico will be locking up for the 14th time in program history, with the Miners looking to improve upon the 11-2 series lead. Of the 14 meetings, all but one (2008-09) came before 1990. UTEP and the Zias locked up each of the first four years of the Miners’ program.


Up Next

UTEP will welcome SWAC member Alcorn State to the Don Haskins Center for a 7:05 p.m. tip-off on Monday.



The 411 On Eastern New Mexico As An Institution

Eastern New Mexico is the most recently-funded state university in New Mexico (1934), and it is located in Portales, N.M. The school was originally slated to be completed by 1929, but the stock market crash and the Great Depression hindered the process. Notable alumni include author of the book Dances With Wolves, Michael Blake, Chief Justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court, Edward Chavez and a nationally-renowned science fiction writer who was considered the dean of the subject, Jack Williamson.


The 411 On ENMU Basketball

Eastern New Mexico is a division II program which competes in the Lone Star Conference. The Zias went 8-19 a year ago, including 3-9 in league action. They did finish out the 2009-10 season strong, winning two of their final four games. Including in the victories was a triumph against LSC participant, Texas A&M Kingsville.


Get To Know The ENMU Sideline Boss

Eastern New Mexico is under the direction of fifth-year head coach Linden Weese, who sports a record of 36-75 at the helm of the program. Weese joined the Zias after playing an instrumental role in the success of the Texas Tech women’s basketball program from 1982-2005. The Lady Raiders rolled to a mark of 555-173 in that time frame and were the NCAA Champions in 1993. Overall TTU competed in the “Big Dance” on 18 times, won eight conference regular-season crowns and five league tournament titles.


The Quick Rundown On The ENMU ‘10-11 Season

Eastern New Mexico is 0-1 on the season after falling at No. 18 Fort. Lewis, 86-56, in its season opener on Nov. 13. The Zias shot a stout 45.2 percent (19-52) from the field, including 40.0 percent (6-15) from beyond-the-arc but they were doomed by 38 turnovers. Ft. Lewis took advantage of the extra possessions by making 9 more field goals (28-of-59-47.5%) while committing 22 fewer (16) giveaways.



UTEP Drops OT Heartbreaker To NM State

In a game in which featured nine ties and 15 lead changes, UTEP was edged out by New Mexico State, 80-75, in overtime in the SONIC® America’s Drive-In® battle of I-10 at home on Nov. 17. The Miners led 67-58 with 2:23 to play in regulation but the Aggies forced OT on the strength of a 12-3 run to close out the period. The two teams traded blows in the extra session before NM State pulled ahead (76-75), and it managed to hold on down the stretch.


Miners Who Stood Out

Gloria Brown paced the Miners with 20 points and seven rebounds, while Kelli Willingham (12 points, three assists), Briana Green (11 points, two assists) and Kayla Thornton (10 points, seven boards) also got in on the act.


Back-To-Back 20+ Point Games For Brown

Gloria Brown (22 points, 20 points) is the first Miner since Kia Dowell (2002-03) and third overall to open up a season with consecutive 20+ point games. No player in program history has ever posted three straight such contests to christen a campaign, let alone a career.



Loving Life At The Don

UTEP is in the midst of opening the year with seven straight home contests, which equals the longest homestand to christen a campaign in program history. (2008-09). The Miners stand a stout 56-12 in El Paso since the start of the 2006-07 season, including a mark of 1-1 this year.  UTEP entered 2010-11 having strung together a school-record four straight seasons with 12 or more home games. The Miners reached double figures for home triumphs a combined four times in the 27 years prior to Keitha Adams’ tenure, with the high water mark (12-1) coming in 1988-89.


Home Games A Plenty In 2010-11

UTEP, 1-1 in El Paso thus far this year, is slated to play 17 regular-season home games during the 2010-11 season. That figure ranks tied as the second-most home games in program history. The Miners were 16-2 at home in 2006-07 while forging a mark of 12-5 in 2008-09. 


Don’t Take Things For Granted

Under head coach Keitha Adams, UTEP has posted a program-best seven straight years with at least nine home victories and boasts an overall record of 90-44 at the Don Haskins Center. The effort eclipses the total such campaigns (six) in the 27 years prior to Adams’ reign. The Miners’ mark at home under Adams is especially impressive when you consider the squad was 1-12 during her first year at the school.



The Basic Facts

UTEP (1-1) returned seven letterwinners from last year’s squad (16-16), including five individuals who started at last 15 games during the 2009-10 campaign. Notable returnees include juniors Dietra Caldwell (2009 C-USA Freshman of the Year) and Briana Green (two-year starter), sophomore Anete Steinberga (2010 All C-USA freshman team) and senior sharpshooter Sviatlana Trukshanina (.436 career three-point FG%). Seven newcomers (four transfers and three true freshmen) will buoy the returnees. Head coach Keitha Adams, the winningest coach in program history, is in her 10th year at the helm of the program. She has directed the Miners to a mark of 140-130, including 137-105 since the 2002-03 season. Adams has led UTEP to four winning seasons. The effort matches the total of such seasons from the 1978-79 until the 2002-03 season (26 years).


Tough To Replace These Two

While the Miners returned several key players, two individuals they will be forced to replace due to graduation are Jareica Hughes & Timika Williams. During their career the Miners compiled a gaudy mark of 84-40. Williams is the lone player in program history to have amassed more than 1,000 career points, 700 rebounds and 100 steals, and she holds the school record for games played (120). Hughes, a two-time C-USA Player of the Year, owns nine career records at UTEP. They are in the form of assists (599), field-goals made (527), free-throws made (359) and attempted (492), minutes played (3,777), points (1,555), starts (114), steals (277) and wins (84).


Caldwell’s Corner

Two-year starter and 2009 C-USA Freshman of the Year Dietra Caldwell will be counted on for her leadership and all-around play in 2010-11. One of just two players in program history to register a triple-double (2/7/10 vs. Tulsa), she is off to a solid start in her junior season. Caldwell is contributing 12.0 ppg (2nd team), 4.0 apg (2nd team) and 4.5 rpg (5th team). An area of concern for her thus far has been turnovers, with a squad-high 11 giveaways.




All About Sveta

Senior Sviatlana Trukshanina will be looked to be a leader while continuing to be a threat from downtwon in 2010-11. The second-most accurate three-point shooter in program history (.436), Trukshanina earned her first playing time this year in the 80-75 OT setback against NM State on Nov. 17. She chipped in a pair of points in seven minutes of action.


Good To Be Green

Two-year starter and junior Briana Green will have an increased role across the board this year. She has handled it thus far,  with 9.0 ppg (3rd team), and 3.0 apg (3rd team) in a squad-best 76 minutes played (38.0 mpg). Perhaps most impressive is the fact that despite handling the ball plenty, she has yet to commit a turnover.


Steinberga Set For Sophomore Season

2010 All-Conference USA Freshman squad member Anete Steinberga- who had to sit the first half of the season last year- is off to a steady start in 2010-11. She has started both contests, and has now been a starter in 17 of her 19 career games. Thus far she has contributed 5.5 ppg (7th team) and 7.5 rpg (2nd team). Most of her scoring has come at the free-throw line, with seven makes (2nd team) in 8 attempts (2nd team).


Ashley’s Millions

Ashley Milian is one of four seniors on the team, and will be looked to for leadership along with her high-energy play. She pitched in 7.8 ppg and 4.8 rpg over the first 16 games last year before a head injury forced her to miss three straight contests and limited her effectiveness down the stretch. She is healthy as a senior, and played three minutes in the Orange and Glue’s 72-57 win vs. UC Irvine on Nov. 13.


Vitola Ready To Rock

Last year Kristine Vitola became the first freshman post to start a season opener at UTEP since 2006, and she has been a starter in each of the games in 2010-11. She has provided 6.0 ppg (6th team), 5.5 rgp (4th team) while already blocking a team-high six shots (3.0 bpg). Helping those numbers were a career-high nine rebounds against UC Irvine on Nov. 13.


Eglite Eager To Get It Going

After missing the 2008-09 season due to NCAA rules and the first 19 games last year as result of an injury, guard Baiba Eglite was certainly glad to get on the court for the final 11 contests of the 2009-10 regular season. She contributed 3.6 points per game while securing 11 rebounds in that timeframe, and now will look to aid the squad as a junior in 2010-11.


Wittebolle’s Venue

Senior forward Tracy Wittebolle appeared in 16 games last year, including earning her first career start against Houston (1/10/10). She grabbed a personal-best five rebounds against the Cougars. The native of Belgium chipped in 16 points and 24 rebounds overall on the year, and she will look to build upon those numbers in 2010-11.


The Key

Last year Deanna Key carried on the tradition of local talent donning the Miner uniform. As a freshman the native of El Paso and former Eastwood High School standout played a combined eight minutes in four games. Her best showing came in the win against Alcorn State (12/20/09), where she recorded two rebounds and a steal.


What Can Brown Do For You

Junior-college transfer Gloria Brown has burst onto the scene for UTEP. She leads the squad in field-goal percentage (.667), offensive rebounds (8), rebounding average (8.5) and scoring average (21.0). She has done all of this in coming off the bench, and in only 22.5 minutes per game on average. The effort is not surprising considering that she was the No. 2 recruit at her position (PF) and third overall nationally for coming out of the JC ranks last year.


Hometown Hero

Four-year Irvin High School standout (1,953 career points & 884 boards) Kayla Thornton did not have to travel far to continue her collegiate career, and she has been a key reserve for the Miners in 2010-11. Thornton has delivered 7.0 ppg (2nd reserves/5th overall) and 6.0 rpg (2nd reserve/3rd overall). Her high-energy play has resulted in seven offensive boards (2nd team) while she leads the squad in free-throws made (8) and attempted (11). She and sophomore Deanna Key are carrying on the trend of local talent competing for the Orange and Blue under head coach Keitha Adams. The Miners have featured at least one player on the team from the El Paso area in every year of the Adams era.


Warren’s Way

Erika Warren, a product of Midland College, ventured to the Sun City heralded as the No. 3 SF in the JC ranks by Dan Olson’s Collegiate Girls’ Basketball. She has been a steady reserve for UTEP in 2010-11, with 4.0 ppg (8th team) and 4.0 rpg (6th team). Warren, who was 61-7 in two years at Midland College, has been especially steady on the defensive glass. Her seven defensive boards rank as the third-most on the squad.


Willingham’s Will

Freshman point guard Kelli Willingham joined UTEP from powerhouse program DeSoto High School, and she certainly has looked comfortable at this level. The No. 87 guard out of the high school ranks, she leads the team with 10 assists (5.0 apg), while also providing 8.0 ppg (4th team) and 3.0 rpg (7th team) in 37.0 mpg (2nd team). She has been steady with the ball, evidenced by a +1.43 assist-to-turnover ratio (2nd team).


Smith’s Show

Former Pasadena City College standout guard Kim Smith, a starter on the 2009 state championship squad, is in the first of her two years with the Miners. She is one of nine players on the squad to have played in both games this year, earning eight minutes of action on the court.


Erin’s The First

UTEP has never shied away from landing top international talent, and 5-11 freshman guard Erin McGarrachan certainly fits that billing. She is a Central Scotland Institute of Sport (CSIS) athlete, where she was the leading scorer and rebounder in the junior national league. She has been identified as a potential Olympian. She poured in 27.8 ppg while registering 11.0 rpg to secure MVP honors at the 2008 U16 European Championships. McGarrachan will be the first native of Scotland to play for the Orange and Blue when she hits the court in 2010-11.



Keep Up With Keitha On KROD

Every week throughout the year, head coach Keitha Adams will join AM-600 KROD sports talk show host Steve Kaplowitz to discuss all things women’s basketball. The segment has been in the 6 p.m. hour on Wednesdays thus far this year. It can be listened to locally on AM 600 or on the web at www.krod.com.


Double-Your Pleasure

Gloria Brown posted a double-double (22 points, 10 boards) against UC Irvine on Nov. 13. She became the first Miners to do so in a season opener since Marta Dydek (16 points, 11 rebounds, vs. UT-Dallas, 11/20/04) and the seventh overall.


Getting After It On The Glass

The Miners out-rebounded UC Ivine by 26 (54-28) on Nov. 13. It is the largest positive rebounding margin against  Division I opposition since the 1999-00 campaign (+27 vs. Prairie View A&M, 11/21/99) and ties as the third-biggest ever in program history. Heading into the game against Eastern New Mexico, the Miners sport a +13 (48-35) rebounding margin.


Taking Care Of The Charity Stripe

The Miners were aggressive in their play, earning 17 trips to the free-throw line against UC Irvine on Nov. 13. They connected on 16 of them, with the 94.1 percent checking in tied as the fifth-best readout in school history. Through two games the Miners have connected on 82.1 percent of their tosses at the charity stripe (32-39).


2009-10 Year In Review

UTEP posted its school-record fourth straight season with a mark of .500 or better by going 16-16 last year. The Miners were a stout 12-4 at home and picked up a trio of victories in neutral-setting. UTEP pitched in 63.4 points per game on .426 percent shooting, including .343 from beyond-the-arc. The opposition was held to 62.5 ppg and .377 from the floor, but hurt the Miners by out-rebounding them, 38.3-35.5, on average. 



We Love The Three Ball

UTEP, which set school standards for three-pointers made (201) and three-point field-goal percentage (.382) in 2008-09, impressed in that department last year. The Miners hit 199-581 (34.3) from beyond-the-arc to rate second in Conference USA and 66th nationally. UTEP has been challenged a bit in the department thus far in 2010-11, connecting on 31.4 percent (11-35). 


Threes A Plenty Since 2008

From the time the three-point shot was introduced in college basketball (1986-87) until the end of the 2007-08 season, UTEP tallied eight games with double figures in three-pointers made. That figure has been equaled the in the past two years, with a school-record five (2008-09) followed by three (2009-10). The Miners have yet to achieve the feat in 2010-11.


140 Straight Games With A Triple

UTEP enters the game against Eastern New Mexico having made at least one three-point shot in a program-record 139 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.



Something Magical About That 70-Point Barrier

UTEP is 60-5 over its past 65 games, including 1-1 this year, in which it has eclipsed 70 points. The setback this year, though, did come in overtime (80-75 vs. NM State, 11/17/10).


Doesn’t Take A Basketball Wiz To Figure This Out

UTEP sports a mark of 66-8 in the past 74 tilts which it is has eclipsed 40.5 percent from the floor, although five of those losses came during the 2009-10 season. Below-average free-throw shooting (55.6 percent) and issues on the boards (-8.8 rebounding margin) doomed the Miners in those tilts.


Three-Point Success Add Up To Wins

UTEP stands at 39-5 in its past 44 games when making better than 40 percent from three-point land (min. five made).


Helping Hand Leads To Triumphs

UTEP stands at 44-2 under Keitha Adams when registering at least 20 assists in a contests, including 1-0 this year. Sharing hasn’t always been so common, though. UTEP compiled 19 such games from 1984-85 until the last year before Adams’ arrival (2000-01). The Miners were 13-6 in those contests.


As Does Forcing Turnovers

Since the start of the 2004-05 season, the Miners are 51-13 when forcing the opposition into committing 20 or more turnovers in a game. UTEP was, though, 2-4 in that situation during the 2009-10 campaign.


Not To Mention Making Free Throws

UTEP is 35-6, including 1-1 this year, in the past 43 contests when knocking down better than 70 percent at the free-throw line (minimum 10 FTM).


Finding A Way To Win When Not Though

Dating to the start of the 2006-07 campaign, the Orange and Blue boast a head-scratching mark of 20-10 in games in which they were below 61-percent from the free-throw line (minimum 10 attempts). UTEP was, however, 5-5 in the situation in 2009-10. 


Go Figure

The Miners have won 15 of their past 22 regular-season contests in which they made more three pointers than free throws, but they went 4-4 in that situation in 2009-10



Caldwell Surpasses 600 Career Points

Junior guard Dietra Caldwell tallied 17 points in the season-opening victory against UC Irvine on Nov. 13, and as result became the 26th player in program history to have reached 600 career points. Caldwell, who has 621 career points, is on track to be the eigth member of the 1,000-point club at UTEP. If and when she reaches the milestone figure, it would mark the fifth player to have done so under the direction of head coach Keitha Adams.


Green And Trukshanina Closing In On 500

Junior Briana Green (485) and senior Sviatlana Trukshanina (424) are on the way to become the 33rd and 34th players in program history to reach 500 career points.


Brown’s Big Debut

Gloria Brown poured in 22 points against UC Irvine on Nov. 13. The effort ranked tied as the third-most points for a Miner in her debut, trailing only Anete Steinberga (24 points vs. Houston, 1/10/10 & Holly Russ (24 points vs. NM State, 11/28/90). She also became the first UTEP player since Kiana Taylor (15 points, 12 rebounds vs. Bellhaven, 11/27/93) and the third overall to register a double-double in their initial game.



General Overview Of Turnovers

UTEP set a school standard for fewest turnovers in a season (390) during the 2008-09 season and rated third in the nation with just 13.0 giveaways per contest. It was a different story in that department in 2009-10, with 535  turnovers (16.7 average), and the area has been one of concern in 2010-11. The Miners have committed  44 turnovers through two tilts.


Turning Up The Pressure

UTEP is 49-12 under head coach Keitha Adams when forcing the opposition into committing more turnovers than field goals made in a game. The Miners are 30-3 in that situation since the start of the 2006-07 but two of those setbacks came in 2009-10.


More Along The Lines

The Miners have forced the opposition into committing double figures in turnovers in 122 straight games and in all but three of the contests during the Keitha Adams era.



Life On The Road

UTEP entered the 2009-10 season on the strength of a program-best three straight seasons of .500 or better on the road but it was 1-10 in the situation last year. Overall, UTEP is 22-24 in hostile territory since the start of 2006-07.


Keeping It All In Perspective

UTEP entered 2009-10 having rattled off a school-record six straight seasons with at least three road triumphs, but that streak ceased as well. 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 campaigns.


Have Had Some Big Wins In Years Past

UTEP boasts 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,  and 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.



Golden Age Of Women’s Hoops

It is the golden age of women’s basketball at UTEP. The Miners have gone 85-41 since the start of 2006-07, which is the best record in Conference USA in that time frame. Head coach Keitha Adams has directed the team to four winning campaigns overall, including a school-record three straight such seasons from 2006-07 to 2008-09. From the 1978-79 seasons to the 2002-03 season (26-year stretch), UTEP mustered four such years.


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).


More Along Those Lines

·         UTEP has the best winning percentage in C-USA since 2006-07.

·         The Miners are 85-41 in the stretch, including 56-12 at home.

·         UTEP has earned 47 honors and set 70 individual/team school records since the start of the 2006-07 season.

·         Only 20+ win seasons (22-8, 2006-07 & 28-4 2007-08) and postseason appearance (2008 NCAA Tourney) at school have been in stretch

·         UTEP went 28-4 in 2007-08, including historic 16-0 in C-USA play

·         Effort tied the 1966 men’s national champions for most wins by a basketball team in school history

·         Advanced to second round of ‘08 NCAA Tournament after drilling Western Kentucky, 92-60

·         Nationally ranked in polls final six weeks of ‘07-08 and received votes at start of ‘08-09

·         One of eight schools in country with multiple players chosen in ‘08 WNBA Draft

·         All players who have exhausted eligibility under head coach Keitha Adams have graduated


CLIFF’s NOTES On The Year That Has Been

UTEP Powers Past UC Irvine

A dominating effort on the boards (54-28), timely runs and stifling defense added up to a 72-57 home win for UTEP against UC Irvine  on Nov. 13. The Miners used a 19-3 run late in the first half to help build a 13-point halftime lead (47-34), and the Anteaters could get no closer than 12 from that point on.


Brown Deliveries The Goods

Junior-college transfer Gloria Brown came off the bench to lead the way for the Miners with a double-double (22 points, 10 rebounds) in only 17 minutes of action vs. UCI. The She connected on 10-of-15 shots from the floor, in addition to knocking down both of her tosses at the charity stripe.


More Miner Standouts

Dietra Caldwell joined Gloria Brown in double digits (17 pts.), while also securing eight boards. Sophomore Kristine Vitola pitched in eight points and a career-high nine rebounds while fellow classmate Anete Steinberga finished with six points and seven caroms. Freshman Kelli Willingham was effective in running the offense, dishing out a game-high seven assists.


Garners C-USA Honors

Thanks to her big showing against UC Irvine, junior forward Gloria Brown was tabbed as the Conference USA Co-Player of the Week on Nov. 15.


Talking Season Openers

UTEP is now 18-19 all time in season openers, including a mark of 15-6 when doing so in El Paso. The Miners moved to 5-5 in campaign lidlifters under head coach Keitha Adams, and they stand at 5-2 under her direction when starting the year in the Sun City.


Talking Home Openers

UTEP continued to fare pretty well in home openers, with its mark now at 24-13. The Miners are now 7-3 in such games under head coach Keitha Adams.


UTEP Downs St. Mary’s

Powered by a solid showing defensively and a balanced approach on offense, UTEP romped St. Mary’s, 67-37, in an exhibition contest at home on Nov. 7. The Miners led by 10 (26-16) at the break before running over the Rattlers (41-21) in the second stanza. Five different players scored at least seven points for the Orange and Blue, with Gloria Brown, Briana Green and Kayla Thornton leading the way with 10 points each. Freshman guard Kelli Willingham (nine points), junior forward Erika Warren (eight points) and sophomore post Anete Steinberga (seven points) also got in on the action.


Defense Does It

UTEP held St. Mary’s to just 28.3 percent (13-of-46) from the floor while also harassing it into committing 24 turnovers. The Miners converted those giveaways into 27 points. UTEP also controlled the glass by out boarding the Rattlers (34-27).


Offense Not Too Shabby

UTEP connected on 47.9 percent (23-of-48) from the floor, including a readout of 57.5 (15-26) in the second half. The Miners drilled 4-of-8 from beyond-the arc and connected on 17-of-18 at the free-throw line.

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