Miners Take Aim At 4-0 Start Vs. Northern Arizona Friday
Nov. 21, 2013
THE OPENING ACT
- UTEP will look to stay unbeaten when it squares up with Northern Arizona at 7:05 p.m. MST Friday.
- Fans who donate three canned goods will receive free admission to the contest, as part of the ongoing “Let’s SAAC Hunger Food Drive.”
- Audio & video of the game will be available through subscription-based Miner TV on UTEPAthletics.com
- UTEP is off to a 3-0 start for a third straight year.
- Never had two in a row before current streak.
- All three wins have been by double digits.
- Outscored opponents by 87 points on year.
- Only the 1974-75 squad & 1996-97 had a greater margin of win (+90) through three tilts.
- Aiming for third straight & seventh overall start of at least 4-0 on the year.
- Previously achieved feat in 1974-75 (4-0), 1996-97 (7-0), 1998-99 (4-0), 2006-07 (4-0), 2011-12 (10-0) & 2012-13 (5-0).
- UTEP is in the midst of a season-opening six-game homestand, the second longest in program history. Only the 2008-09 campaign (seven contests) featured a longer stretch in the Sun City to start the year.
- UTEP is 14-1 in November since starting the 2011-12 season, including 3-0 this year.
- It is 41-22 all time in month under head coach Keitha Adams.
INSIDE THE SERIES
- UTEP and Northern Arizona will be meeting for the 19th time when they do battle on Friday
- The Lumberjacks lead the series, 12-6, but 16 of those meetings occurred from the program’s inception in 1974-75 through the 1996-97 season.
- The Miners have secured both match-ups during the Keitha Adams era, topping NAU, 68-49, in El Paso on Nov. 20, 2005.
- NAU was poised to avenge that loss the ensuing year, but former Miner great Jareica Hughes drilled a three-pointer at the buzzer to pull out an improbable 63-62 win in Flagstaff on Dec. 29, 2006.
GOING BACK IN TIME
- UTEP forced 34 turnovers and held Big 12 member Kansas State to 26.3 percent shooting from the floor in a 84-39 shellacking at the Don Haskins Center on Nov. 16.
- The 45-point differential is the second-biggest margin of victory against a Division 1 opponent in school history, which was aided by the program’s biggest halftime lead (46-13) vs. a D1 foe.
- Five different Miners (3-0) reached double figures in scoring, with senior Kayla Thornton leading the way with her school-record 23rd career double-double (15 points, 11 rebounds). The prior standard was 22, held by Amy Pack (1999-01).
- Sophomores Irene Gari and Cameasha Turner and senior Kristine Vitola each buoyed Thornton with 12 points while junior Stacie Telles added 10 points. Redshirt-freshman Jenzel Nash pitched in eight off the bench while senior Kelli Willingham and freshman Sparkle Taylor netted five a piece.
- UTEP drilled 35-of-47 from the free-throw line and also won the rebounding battle, 54-43.
- It is the third most free throws made & ties as the fourth-highest for free throw attempts.
- Thornton was named the C-USA player of the week as result of efforts vs. Kansas State & NM State.
- But the day belonged to the defense, with UTEP forcing 34 turnovers. That ties as the sixth-highest sum by an opponent in school history.
- The Orange and Blue finished with 20 steals, equaling their eighth-highest single-game sum.
- Sophomore Chrishauna Parker, who posted a game-high 12 boards, recorded the sixth-best sum (seven) by a Miner in school history.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
- Northern Arizona is 0-1 on the year. It has been idle since falling in its home & season opener to Hawaii, 74-66, on Nov. 10.
- The Lumberjacks were picked 10th in the 2013-14 Big Sky Preseason Poll.
- Senior Amanda Frost poured in 24 points against Hawaii while sophomore Raven Anderson also reached double figures (15 points).
- Another sophomore, Erikka Banks, led the efforts on the glass with 14 rebounds.
- NAU is a youth-laden squad, with eight freshmen on its 13-member roster.
- Notable alumni include the late Clyde Tombaugh, an American astronomer best known for discovering Pluto, Latvian-American actress Rutanya Alda, who starred in the cult classic Mommie Dearest, & Travis Engvall — Son of comedian Bill Engvall.
RUNDOWN ON THE 2013-14 MINERS
- The Miners are in search of a third straight 20+ victory campaign, which would be a program first (22-10, ‘12-13 & 29-4, ‘11-12).
- UTEP returned four starters and seven letterwinners. Sophomore Irene Gari, junior Chrishauna Parker and seniors Kayla Thornton & Kelli Willingham started last year while sophomore Cameasha Turner earned a letter. Redshirt-sophomore Jenzel Nash & redshirt senior Kristine Vitola are also back after missing last year due to torn ALCs.
- UTEP added seven newcomers in the fold. They are sophomore Agata Dobrowolska (member of the junior national team in Poland), sophomore Anete Kirsteine (2012 All-Jayhawk West second team & WBCA All-America honorable-mention), freshman Anzhelika Moiseychenko (20.6 ppg, 12.6 rpg as a senior), junior Marta Oledzka (61 blocked shots as a sophomore), freshman Sparkle Taylor (2012 & 2013 Associated Press Class B All-State team), junior & El Paso native Stacie Telles (2013 Western Junior College Athletic Conference Second Team, 2013 All-Region 5 team & 2012 WJCAC honorable-mention) & junior Johni Welles (2013 All-Arizona Community College Athletic Conference Second Team, 2013 All-Region Second Team).
- UTEP will play host to the C-USA Championships (March 11-15, 2015) for the second time since joining the league.
TAKING ON POWER CONFERENCE SCHOOLS
- UTEP has claimed four consecutive contests against teams from power conferences.
- It is 7-35 all time in the situation.
- The Miners are 1-0 in the situation this year (84-39 vs. Kansas State 11/16/13). They will also face Georgia Tech & Texas A&M this year.
- The Miners were 3-0 in the scenario last year.
- UTEP downed Pacific 12 members Arizona State (60-54, 11/18/12) & Arizona (64-53, 11/23/12) while also toppling Kansas State on the road (52-50, 12/16/12).
- Five of the seven triumphs have been during the Keitha Adams era. UTEP previously derailed Nebraska (Big 12, 63-53, 12/20/08).
- Prior to Adams’ tenure, UTEP had triumphs against Kansas State (Big 8, 67-61, 12/6/96) and Arizona (66-46, Pac 10, 11/20/80).
THE BASIC FACTS ON UTEP
- This is the 40th season of UTEP women’s hoops.
- Overall record of 472-596, including 3-0 in ‘13-14.
- UTEP has posted four 20+ win seasons in the past seven years.
- 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 is in the midst of its centennial celebration, which will continue through ‘14-15.
- 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 13th-year head coach and the all-time win leader in program history, Keitha Adams, who is 209-158 in that time frame.
- Adams is 336-194 in her 18th year as a collegiate head coach, making her one of five active coaches in C-USA women’s basketball to have 300+ career victories.
- All four 20+ win seasons & five of the with 18+ wins at UTEP have been under Adams.
- She has produced seven straight & eight total seasons with 16+ wins.
- Feat achieved three times in 27 years prior.
- Both NCAA tournament bids & all three league championships at the school under Adams.
- 178-102, including 3-0 in ‘13-14, past 10 years.
- 115-156 was best record for 10-year stretch before her arrival.
- Earned votes in top-25 poll in 5 years, including 2012-13.
- Never achieved feat before Adams’ era.
- Nationally ranked for final six weeks of 07-08.
- 12 of 18 individual career record holders at UTEP played for Adams.
- Coached 18 players who have gone on to play professionally. List includes ‘08 WNBA draft picks Izabela Piekarska & Natasha Lacy.
- Impacted the international game at the highest level, with Noni Wharemate representing New Zealand at ‘08 Olympic Games.
- Every player who has exhausted her eligibility at UTEP during her tenure has graduated.
HOME SWEET HOME
- Home record of 134-54 in Keitha Adams era.
- 99-22 since 2006-07, including 3-0 this year.
- 66-34 was most wins over 8 years before Adams.
- 32-5 over past 37 home games.
- In search of 8th straight year of 12+ home wins.
- Four 10+ win seasons in 27 years before Adams.
- Only one of those teams (12-1, ‘88-89) hit mark.
- Have not lost back-to-back games in El Paso since falling by combined 4 points in final 2 home games of 2009-10.
- Have not dropped 2 league home tilts in span of 7 days since 2005-06, its first year as C-USA member.
ALL ABOUT THE FANS
- UTEP has paced C-USA in attendance & been among top 50 nationally in back-to-back years.
- All four non-conference home games of 3,000+ fans at school have been under Keitha Adams.
- 25 of the 31 home games in school history with 3,000+ fans occurred during Adams’ tenure.
- 23-8 all time in such contests, including 20-5 under Adams.
UTEP Home Games With 3,000+ Fans
No. Crowd Foe Score Date
1. 7,255 SMU* W, 76-63 2/28/08
2. 7,212 Memphis* W, 80-58 2/10/07
3. 7,103 BYU* L, 57-61 2/22/93
4. 7,003 ECU* W, 81-53 2/10/08
5. 6,532 SMU* W, 68-50 2/23/12
6. 6,421 Rice* L, 48-52 2/26/12
7. 5,513 Houston* W, 80-55 2/14/08
8. 5,093 Tulsa* W, 65-50 3/1/08
9. 4,682 UNLV* W, 73-58 2/10/98
10. 4,536 Tulane* W, 80-65 2/12/12
11. 4,501 Southern Miss* W, 60-55 2/10/13
12. 4,167 Marshall* W, 64-58 2/9/12
13. 4,069 TCU* W, 79-76 2/22/01
14. 4,029 UCF* W, 67-38 1/29/12
15. 4,007 Tulsa* W, 50-35 1/31/13
16. 3,962 Rice* L, 59-62 2/28/13
17. 3,781 UAB* L, 57-61 1/20/13
18. 3,612 Tulane* W, 71-52 3/8/13
19. 3,497 Houston* W, 73-55 2/21/13
20. 3,726 Hawaii* L, 36-65 2/3/00
21. 3,646 Houston* W, 74-67 1/11/09
22. 3,497 Rice* W, 65-52 1/5/07
23. 3,450 UNM W, 64-62 12/20/10
24. 3,273 NM State L, 60-61 12/7/02
25. 3,215 Fresno St.* L, 62-78 2/14/02
26. 3,173 San Diego St.* W, 70-59 1/22/93
27. 3,107 Fresno State* W, 45-38 2/12/04
28. 3,104 Wyoming* L, 64-66 3/6/93
29. 3,102 SHSU W, 85-66 12/28/12
30. 3,091 New Mexico W, 60-45 12/20/12
31. 3,052 Memphis* W, 66-60 1/8/12
denotes Adams era
* denotes league contest
- UTEP will not play on the road until Dec. 3.
- The Miners have just two non-conference road games (12/3- at NM State & 1/2- at Texas A&M).
- UTEP will spend the week leading up to Christmas in tropical San Juan, Puerto Rico, when it takes part in the Puerto Rico Classic. UTEP will face Georgia Tech (12/20, 3 p.m. MST) & Belmont (12/21, 12:30 p.m. MST).
- Overall road mark of 53-90 under Keitha Adams.
- 39-37 since 2006-07, including 4-6 last year.
- 25-57 was the best seven-year record before Adams.
- 16-7 over past 23 road contests.
- Two winning road seasons under Adams.
- Never happened in first 27 years of program.
- Twice finished at .500 during Adams’ tenure.
- Only occurred a pair of times before her.
Class of 2014 (Thornton, Vitola & Willingham)
- Aided UTEP to record of 70-28 since 2010.
- Program standard for most wins by a class over four years is 84 (Jareica Hughes & Timika Williams, 2006-10).
- Has led UTEP to back-to-back 20+ win seasons.
- Aiming for unprecedented third straight 20+ victory season at the school.
Kayla Thornton (Senior)
- Owns UTEP record for double-doubles (23).
- On track to break Kim Watts’ (1978-82) career rebounding mark (810). Timika Williams (2006-10) is second & Thornton is third at 720.
- Member of 1,000-point club (1,047).
- 10th all time in steals (129). Christina Mata (1997-01) holds onto ninth with 133.
- Back-to-back second-team All C-USA selection.
- 2012 C-USA All-Tournament Team.
Kristine Vitola (Senior)
- One of 19 Miners in program history with 100+ games played (100).
- Ranks fifth all time at UTEP for blocks (108).
- 500+ points (550) & 400+ boards (422).
Kelli Willingham (Senior)
- On current path to break career school record for games played (120, Timika Williams, 2006-10), games started (114, Jareica Hughes, 2006-10), minutes played (3,777, Hughes) & three pointers (208, Amy Billhymer, 1993-97).
- Willingham at 98 games played, 93 starts (4th).
- Logged 2994 career minutes (6th).
- Drilled 166 threes (3rd) & attempted 460 (3rd).
- Registered 314 assists (4th).
- Ana Valtierra (2002-07) holds third at 324).
- 3rd Miner with 700+ points & 300+ assists (300). Jareica Hughes (2006-10) & Valtierra (2002-07) also achieved the feat.
CLIFFSNOTES ON 2013-14 CAMPAIGN
- Chrishauna Parker registered a double-double (12 points and 12 rebounds) and UTEP’s bench provided 49 points in a 75-58 season-opening romp against UTPB on Nov. 8.
- Four different Miners reached double figures in scoring to help UTEP pound NM State, 94-69, in the first round of the “Battle of I-10” this year at the Don Haskins Center on Nov. 12.
- It marked the second-largest margin of victory in the series for the Miners, who led the Aggies wire-to-wire.
- The difference was only six at the break (39-33) but UTEP made that a distant memory with a 9-0 surge out of the gates to start the second half. UTEP led by 20+ points over final 11:23.
- The Miners’ 55 points after the break, equaling the fifth-highest second-half scoring sum in program history.
- Senior Kayla Thornton led the way with her 22nd career double-double (22 points, 12 rebounds), which puts her in a tie with former Miner Amy Pack (1999-01) for the career standard. Fellow El Pasoan Stacie Telles came off the bench to provide 16 points, while Jenzel Nash (14 points) & Kelli Willingham (12 points) also reached double figures in scoring
- The Miners connected on 55.0 percent (33-of-60) from the floor, aided by going 20-of-29 (69.0 percent) in the explosive second half.
- It was the 10th 90+ point game of the Keitha Adams era.
at UTEP 75, UTPB 58 (11/8/13)
- Chrishauna Parker registered a double-double (12 points and 12 rebounds) and UTEP’s bench provided 49 points to lift it past UTPB.
- Junior-college transfer and El Paso native Stacie Telles matched Parker with 12 points, including nine on triples.
- The Miners led the Falcons picked second in the Heartland Conference, 43-23, at the half.
- Eleven different Miners scored in the game. Senior Kayla Thornton had nine points & nine rebounds & freshman Sparkle Taylor pitched in eight off the bench, aided by six makes on 12 tries at the charity stripe.
- Senior Kristine Vitola chipped in six points and grabbed seven boards in an efficient 18 minutes of action in her return to the court after missing most of last year with a torn ACL. Sophomore Jenzel Nash, who redshirted last year as well due to a torn ACL, pitched in four points and four boards while battling foul trouble.
at UTEP 81, St. Mary’s (TX) 51 (11/2/13)- EXH
- Kayla Thornton poured in 22 points to lead a quartet of Miners in double figures, and UTEP throttled St. Mary’s, 81-51, in the exhibition game.
- The Miners led 40-17 at half & were up by 30+ points for the final 13 minutes of the contest.
The Last Meeting
December 29, 2006