UTEP Women's Basketball Notes / Game 4 / Toledo
Nov. 23, 2009
THE OPENING ACT
Miners To Take On Toledo In Home Opener
The UTEP women’s basketball team will welcome perennial MAC power Toledo to the Don Haskins Center for a 7:05 tip-off on Tuesday. The game is the home opener for the Miners, which forged a mark of 1-2 in the 2009 Preseason WNIT. The Rockets enter with a 3-1 record on the year, and as winners of three straight.
In order to reach out to the community, there is a special promotion for the UTEP women’s basketball team’s game against Toledo. Anyone who presents an active membership card for either the YMCA/YWCA will receive free admission to the game.
Not A 20+ Win Team From A Year Ago But...
UTEP is off to a 1-2 start on the season, with all three of its games coming against teams which posted at least 20 victories during the 2008-09 season. While the streak will come to a close when the Miners battle Toledo on Tuesday, don’t think that the Orange and Blue are in for an easy game. The Rockets rolled to an 18-13 mark last season, and are off to a great start this year.
WNIT WRAP UP
Breaking It All Down
UTEP finished at 1-2 in the 2009 Preseason WNIT, falling at Florida Gulf Coast 66-54 on Nov. 12. UTEP bounced back to defeat Eastern Illinois, 84-80, in an entertaining neutral-site game on Nov. 20 before falling at UALR, 64-40 on Nov. 21. The Miners’ three opponents had a combined record of 76-21 during the 2008-09 season. FGCU returned all five starters, while UALR brought back four starters and EIU featured on returning starter.
Not Much Luck For Anybody Away From Home
While UTEP suffered a pair of challenging defeats on the road in the 2009 Preseason WNIT, the results were in line with the rest of the field. Home teams posted a mark of 21-1, winning by an average score of 73-56. The lone road team to pick up a victory was Oklahoma State, which advanced to the championship contest before being routed by No. 3 Ohio State.
Long Time Coming
UTEP’s appearance in the 2009 Preseason WNIT marked the first time in school history that the UTEP women’s basketball team opened a season at a prestigious invitation-only tournament.
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.
Better Adapt Quickly
This past weekend signified the first of three straight that the Miners will play a game on both Friday and Saturday as part of a tournament. Following the game against Toledo, UTEP will play host to the third-annual Thanksgiving Classic. The Orange and Blue will be in Manhattan, Kan., for the Commerce Bank Classic as hosted by Kansas State the initial weekend of December.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
The 411 On Toledo
Perennial Mid-American Conference power Toledo is off to a great start by going 3-1 early on this year, with the lone loss coming in its opener to Big 10 member Northwestern. The Rockets, who were predicted to claim the MAC West Division, returned a veteran squad which finished at 18-13 overall and 11-5 within league play. All five starters from that team are back, in the form of seniors Tanika Mays (14.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and Allie Clifton (11.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg), juniors Melissa Goodall (2.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg) and Jessica Williams (8.3 ppg, 1.8 rpg), as well as sophomore Naama Shafir (16.3 ppg, 4.8 apg). UT also brings back four non-starters from a year ago while a trio of freshman are expected to contribute.
Shafir Has Big-Time Scoring Capability
Sophomore Naama Shafir has already shown early on in 2009-10 that she be a prolific scorer. She torched Oakland for a career-high 36 points in Toledo’s impressive 87-75 road victory against the Grizzlies. Shafir tallied 28 of UT’s 49 second-half points, including a Lebron Jamesesque 22 points-in-a-row during one stretch. Overall she connected on 9-of-14 from the field, including 4-of-5 threes. Shafir also got to the charity stripe early and often, finishing at 14-of-15 in that department.
Rockets Are Soaring On Offense
Toledo enters the game at UTEP as a well-oiled offensive machine. The Rockets are pouring in 72.8 points per game, with a very impressive 44.6 shooting percentage factoring in. UT has drilled 38.4 percent of its three-point tries while also doing a good job at the free-throw line (73.7).
Getting After It On The Glass
Toledo is a quality rebounding team, as it has won the battle of the boards in all four of its contests. The Rockets sport a +3.0 rebounding margin entering the tilt against UTEP (38.5-35.5).
GOING BACK IN TIME
Slow Start Hurts UTEP In Loss At UALR
The UTEP women’s basketball team was saddled with a sluggish start in the opening half and could never recover, falling 64-40 against UALR in the final contest of the 2009 Preseason WNIT for both squads at the Jack Stephens Center on Nov. 21. The Miners gave the homestanding Trojans- who returned four starters from a 26-7 2008-09 squad- more help than they needed in the opening 20 minutes. UTEP turned it over 14 times- which resulted in 17 points- while connecting on just 26.3 percent of its shots (5-of-19). UALR was harassed into 10 giveaways in the opening stanza, but the Trojans compensated for that by knocking down 48.1 from the floor (13-of-27). The Trojans’ Chastity Reed did most of the damage, scoring 14 of her eventual game-high 24 points in the timeframe. When it was all said and done, the Miners faced a 20-point deficit at the half (34-14).
First Time For Everything
Sophomore Dietra Caldwell has been a prolific three-point shooter during her one+ years with the Miners. UALR marked her tight, though, and she failed to attempt a three-point shot in a game for the first time of her career. Caldwell only took two shots total in the contest but got involved in the offense by dishing out six assists. That figure is the second-highest single-game total of her career.
Sveta Starts Again
UTEP junior Sviatlana Trukshanina earned her third start in as many games in 2009-10 as the Miners fell to UALR, 64-40, Nov. 21. The three starts surpass her total appearances in the top five over her first two seasons in the Orange and Blue. Trukshanina had played in 50 games prior to this campaign, with only two of those featuring her as a starter.
HOME SWEET HOME
Talking Home Openers
UTEP has fared pretty well in the season’s first home contest, sporting a record of 22-13. The Miners are 5-3 in home openers under Keitha Adams.
Loving Life At The Don
Following the challenging start to the season, the Miners will certainly be glad to be back home at the Don Haskins Center for the start of a four-game homestand. 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.
THIS AND THAT
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 is at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays. It can be listened to locally on AM 600 or on the web at www.krod.com.
Bench Brings “A”Game
UTEP’s reserves proved to be another key factor in the victory against Eastern Illinois on Nov. 20. The Miners’ bench outscored the Panthers’ back-ups, 34-22, with Fannie Goodwin (12 points) and Briana Green (11 points) leading the charge. Kayla Guidry (five points, four assists), Ashley Milian (four points, four boards) and Torrie Childs (two points, two boards) rounded out the contributions by the UTEP reserves.
For What It Is Worth
The Miners were -13 in the points off turnovers in contest at FGCU, a game which they lost by 12 on Nov. 13. UTEP was +14 in points off turnovers in the four-point win vs. Eastern Illinois on Nov. 20. The Miners were -15 in points off turnovers in the 24-point loss at UALR on Nov. 21.
Progress On Three-Point Defense
After Florida Gulf Coast went 11-of-31 from three-point land (fourth-most made threes by UTEP foe and second-most threes attempted by UTEP opponent), it was expected that the Miners would be much better in defending the triple from that point on. The early results prove that point, with the opposition connecting on 8-of-25 (.320) in the two games since. UTEP will certainly be tested, though, against Toledo as the Rockets enter with 8.3 three-point makes per game and strong percentage of .384.
TIME TO START IT UP
Talking Season Openers
With the defeat at the hands of FGCU on Nov. 13, the Miners slipped to 17-19 all time in season openers, including 4-5 under head coach Keitha Adams.
Not As Fun Being Away From Home
The game at FGCU marked the 15th time in the 36-year history of the program that the Miners christened the campaign in hostile territory. While UTEP has now dropped four straight, 12 of the past 13 and is 3-12 all time when doing so there is some 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.
Just Getting Warmed Up
The Miners played their first three tilts of 2009-10 away from El Paso, marking the first time they opened up a campaign with at least three straight away from home in 2002-03. The Miners also did so in 1975-76, 1979-80, 1982-83, 1985-86, 1986-87 and 1990-91.
Long Way To Go
The Miners traveled across two time zones on the way to taking on FGCU on Nov. 13. It marked 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 didn’t waste time in getting the 2009-10 season going, as the game at Florida Gulf Coast marked 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.
CRASH COURSE ON 09-10 MINERS
UTEP returned 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 in 2008-09 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 affords her depth across the board, but particularly in the front court. The Miners 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 entered 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, is only 30 points shy of becoming UTEP’s all-time leading scorer and is on track to finish as part of the winningest class ever at UTEP. She owns the program record for career assists and steals. She began the year as one of three players in the 14-year history of C-USA to register at least 1,100 points, 445 helpers and 220 thefts. Heading into the game against Toledo, she has tallied 1,222 points, 460 assists and 227 steals.
Williams Has Her Back
Timika Williams is aiding 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. Williams has been up to her old tricks through three games this year, posting a team-high 21 boards.
2009 C-USA Freshman of the Year Dietra Caldwell is poised to provide a one-two scoring punch in the backcourt with Jareica Hughes. Caldwell rated third on the team in scoring (9.8 ppg) while also tallying the second-most assists (64). Caldwell’s nailed the third-most three pointers (64) in a single season ever at UTEP. She has made five of her nine three-point tries in three games this season.
Talk About A Shooter
Sviatlana Trukshanina, who led C-USA and was second nationally with a school-record 48.4 from beyond-the-arc last year, has been sharp early on in 2009-10. She has drilled five of her six triples in the three games.
Good To Be Green
Last year Briana Green contributed 9.7 ppg and 2.5 apg in 21 games before having her promising freshman year cut short due to a knee injury. She has shown no ill effects in 2009-10, posting 6.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg and 2.0 apg in just under 22 minutes per game off the bench.
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 native of Poland has been saddled with health concerns once again in 2009-10. She has appeared in one game, registering an offensive rebound in three minutes of action in the setback at FGCU on Nov. 13.
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). Foul troubled hindered Goodwin a year ago was foul trouble, and it has been an area of concern this year. She fouled out against EIU on Nov. 20, had four fouls at FGCU on Nov. 13 and a pair of fouls in 11 minutes at UALR Nov. 21. Despite the issues, she has contributed 8.7 ppg, a team-high four blocks and 3.0 rpg.
Boot Be Gone
Sophomore Torrie Childs spent most of her first year in El Paso with her foot 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. She is healthy again, and has played in each of the Miners’ first three games. In a combined
24 minutes of action she has played steady defense (two blocks second-highest sum on squad) while contributing 1.3 ppg/1.3 rpg.
Five UTEP newcomers have earned playing time this year, including freshman Kristine Vitola who has started all three contests. Vitola is the leading scorer (4.0 ppg) and second-leading rebounder (4.3 rpg) among newcomers. Kayla Guidry (3.7 ppg/1.0 rpg) and forward Ashley Milian (2.7 ppg/4.7 rpg) have been factors off the bench as well. Additionally, Niya Santiago (one assist in nine minutes at FGCU) & Tracy Wittebolle (two points, one board, one block in eight minutes) have grabbed PT.
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-two-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
Miners Equal Single-Game Triple Standard
UTEP drilled a school-record-tying 14 three pointers and led wire-to-wire in an 84-80 defeat of Eastern Illinois on Nov. 20. The Miners made nine of the triples during the opening 20 minutes on the way to staking a 49-40 edge at the break. UTEP shot a sizzling 60.6 percent in the first half (20-33).
Break Single-Half Standard
The Miners drilled nine three pointers in the first half against Eastern Illinois, which are the most ever made in a single half in program history.
We Love The Three Ball
UTEP, which set school standards for three-pointers made (201) and three-point field-goal percentage (.382) last season, has picked up right where it left off. The Miners have connected on 23-of-49 from beyond the arc (.469) in 2009-10.
109 Straight Games With A Triple
UTEP enters the game against Toledo having made at least one three-point shot in a program-record 109 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
Jekyll & Hyde
There have been two different Miner clubs-especially in terms of taking care of the basketball- this year, with the Dr. Jekyll version showing up once and the Mr. Hyde unit appearing twice. The stark statistical contrast in wins compared to losses is as follows:
In 1 Wins (Average Stats)
Pts FG% 3fg% RB To Pts FG% 3fg% RB To
84.0 50.9 53.8 22.0 15.0 80.0 51.1 26.7 36.0 18.0
In 2 Losses (Average Stats)
Pts FG% 3fg% RB To Pts FG% 3fg% RB To
40 37.9 39.1 35.0 25.0 65.0 40.0 36.6 33.0 15.5
Something Magical About That 70-Point Barrier
UTEP poured in 84 points against EIU on Nov. 20, and now has claimed 50 of its past 53 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 drilled 50.9 percent of its shots against EIU on Nov. 20, and as result improve to 52-3 in the past 55 games when making at least 40.5 percent from the floor. The Miners had won 33 straight contests 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
UTEP filled up 53.8 of its three-points shots against EIU on the way to notching its 26th straight victory when connecting on 40 percent or better from beyond the arc (min. 5 made). The Miners have claimed 35 of the past 37 tilts when doing so. 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).
Defense? Who Needs It
After having lost 42 straight games when allowing more than 80 points in a game, the Miners have now won their past two contests in that situation. UTEP downed Southern Miss, 105-87, on Feb. 21, 2008, and most recently bounced Eastern Illinois, 84-80, on Nov. 20. The Miners are now 9-140 all time when giving up 80 or more points.
RECORDS ARE MADE TO BE BROKEN
Hughes Has Her Name All Over UTEP Books
Despite being just three games into her senior season, Jareica Hughes’ name is already all over the UTEP record books. She holds Miner career standards for assists (460) and steals (227) and is quickly closing in on the program scoring mark. She has compiled 1,222 points, and is third on the UTEP list. Former teammate Izabela Piekarksa owns the school standard for points (1,251), followed by all-time great Be Stoney (1,249). Hughes has compiled 1,196 career points.
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), starts (87) and free-throws made (291), fourth in three-pointers made (fifth in minutes played (2,948), seventh in free-throw percentage (75.0) 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. She is third in starts (86), fourth in rebounds (656), sixth in field-goal percentage (46.5), and blocked shots (47), ninth in rebounding average (6.9) and 12th in scoring (904).
Most Important Stat
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 (69 wins).
Adams Break School Standard For Wins
Head coach Keitha Adams became the winningest coach in program history thanks to the Miners’ 84-80 victory against Eastern Illinois on Nov. 20. Entering the game against Toledo on Tuesday, she boasts a record of 124-115 at UTEP. Adams, who is in ninth year at the helm of the program, surpassed former Miner coach Sandra Rushing. Rushing produced 123 wins in her 11 years with UTEP.
Surpasses 250 Career Collegiate Triumphs
Heading into Tuesday’s tilt against Toledo, head coach Keitha Adams boasts 251 career collegiate victories (123 at UTEP in nine years and 137 at JC level prior).
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). Timika Williams has set her sights on becoming the fourth Adams’ mentored player and seventh such overall to reach 1,000 at the school Entering the game against Toledo, Williams boasts 904 career points.
Hughes 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 entered her senior season already as one of three members of the UTEP 800-point, 600-rebound club. (Izabela Piekarska- 1,251 points, 651 boards & Kiana Taylor- 1,134, 676 rebounds). Heading into the contest vs. Toledo, Williams has racked up 904 points and 656 caroms. She also has made 108 steals, and should crack the top 10 by year’s end, if not sooner.
Among Top-Three At UTEP For Rebounding
Timika Williams entered her final year in the Sun City already in the top five at the school for career rebounds, and has quickly vaulted up to third all time. She has registered 656 boards, and trails only Kim Watts (record holder at 810) boards and Kiana Taylor (676). She moved past former teammate Izabela Piekarska (651) with her eight rebounds in the setback at UALR on Nov. 21.
Hughes In Class Of Her Own
Jareica Hughes has registered 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 at UTEP.
LIFE AT THE LINE
Dating to the start of the 2006-07 campaign, the Orange and Blue boast an incredible mark of 18-6 in games in which they were below 61-percent from the free-throw line (minimum 10 attempts). UTEP is now 1-1 in that situation this year after going 14-of-23 for 60.9 percent in the win vs. EIU on Nov. 20.
Go Figure Part Two
Six of the Miners’ past 15 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.
Last season, the Miners set a school standard for fewest TOs in a year. (390). UTEP was third nationally for fewest giveaways per tilt (13.0). It is numbers like those which is why it was baffling to see the Orange and Blue having been hit with 21.7 turnovers per game through three tilts in 2009-10.
There’s Your Problem
UTEP committed 25 turnovers both of its losses this year (at FGCU & at UALR). The contest at FGCU marked the Miners’ highest single-game totals in almost two years. UTEP registered 32 giveaways vs. UAPB on Nov. 30, 2007, but still prevailed with a 73-56 victory.
Not The Norm Under Adams
The Miners have already been hit with a pair of games with 25+ turnovers in 2009-10. It is early on in the year and the Miners are still trying to find the chemistry with seven newcomers in the mix, but it certainly is a stark contrast from year’s past. Consider the following list.
Year Games with 25+ Turnovers Total Games Played
2009-10 2 3
2008-09 0 (high was 19) 30
2007-08 3 32
2006-07 1 30
2005-06 1 29
2004-05 3 29
2003-04 0 (high was 23) 29
2002-03 2 29
That works out to 10 games with 25+ turnovers from the start of the 2002-03 season to the conclusion of 2008-09, a span of 208 games. For math lovers, that works out UTEP experiencing a 25+ turnover contest once every 21 games on average.
Turning Up The Pressure
UTEP is 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.
More Along The Lines
The Miners have forced the opposition into committing double figures in turnovers in 92 straight games and in all but three of the contests during the Keitha Adams era.
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 mustered four such years.
Appreciating The Stretch
Below is the breakdown of UTEP’s record from the start of the 2006-07 season to the end of the 2008-09 campaign, compared to the best three-year 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).
Three Straight Successful Road Ventures
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 will have to step things up if it intends to notch a fourth successive such season. UTEP is 0-2 on the road this year, but is still 21-16 in hostile territory since the start of 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 campaigns.
And They’ve Had Some Comfy Win Margins
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, 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.
Adams Secures UTEP Win Record As Miners Best EIU
Keitha Adams became the winningest coach in program history as UTEP defeated Eastern Illinois, 84-80, in its second game of the 2009 Preseason WNIT at UALR’s Jack Stephens Center on Nov 20. UTEP drilled a school-record-tying 14 three pointers, including nine during the opening 20 minutes, on the way to staking a 49-40 edge at the break. The Miners shot a sizzling 60.6 percent in the first half (20-33). The Orange and Blue, who never trailed in the contest, pushed their advantage out to as many as 18 in the second stanza (73-55) and held on down the stretch. The Panthers tried to rally in the latter stages of the tilt, and got it down to five (80-75) following a jumper from Dominique Sims with 1:55 to play. EIU sliced the deficit to three (83-80) in the waning seconds but senior Jareica Hughes, who led all players with 19 points and five assists, filled up a free throw to ice the game.
Taking Advantage Of Turnovers
Eastern Illinois connected on 51.1 percent of its shots, but the Miners did force the Panthers into making 18 turnovers. The giveaways were converted into 24 UTEP points. The Miners had 15 turnovers, but they only resulted in 10 EIU points.
UTEP Drops Season Opener At FGCU
The UTEP women’s basketball team dug itself an early hole and could never quite recover as it fell, 66-54, to Florida Gulf Coast in the first round of the 2009 WNIT and the season opener for both squads at Alico Arena on Nov. 13. The Miners were plagued by poor shooting (4-of-24) and uncharacteristic turnovers (12) in the opening half, which allowed the Eagles to stake a 36-17 halftime lead. Senior Jareica Hughes paced UTEP with 12 points.
Didn’t Go Down Without A Fight
Trailing by 19 at the break against a team which was 15-1 at home a year ago, UTEP could have folded up shop in the second half. The Miners showed plenty of character, though, by roaring back to pull with six (39-33) with 11:56 to play. Three straight turnovers allowed the Eagles to regroup and FGCU rattled off 10 straight points and the Miners never got closer than 12 down the stretch.
Silver Lining In Taking Care Of The Boards
UTEP controlled the glass against FGCU to the tune of 43-31. It was the largest positive differential in a loss since the 2005-06 campaign. That year the Miners out-rebounded ECU, 56-36, but fell in OT, 77-72, in Greenville.
Miners Ride Big Second Half To Exhibition 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.