UTEP Women's Basketball Notes: Idaho State
Nov. 24, 2010
THE OPENING ACT
UTEP To Open Thanksgiving Classic Vs. Idaho State
UTEP will challenge Idaho State to christen its holiday tournament at 4:35 p.m. on Friday. Fans who purchase a ticket to the game will receive free entry to the second contest of the day (Arkansas vs. High Point), which is slated to start at 7:05 p.m. The Miners (3-1) have won two straight, including an 85-72 defeat of Alcorn State on Nov. 22. The Bengals (3-3) are coming off an 82-67 loss at No. 16 Texas on Nov. 24.
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.
All About The Tickets & Promos
All fans are encouraged to wear orange for the game, which is headline by the “El Paso Recreation and City of El Paso Employees Night.” All of those employees receive free entry to the game by showing their ID. Tickets for the game are on sale at the UTEP ticket center, and they may also be purchased on site prior to the start of the contest. The price for an adult admission, which includes the surcharge fee, is $7 while children (ages 12 or younger) tickets are $3.
Talking Turkey Tourney Format And Honors
The fourth-annual UTEP Thanksgiving Classic will commence with the Miners battling Idaho State at 4:35 p.m. MT on Friday. Arkansas and High Point will square off in the night cap, which is slated to tip off at 7:05 p.m. The consolation and championship game are set for Saturday at 4:35 and 7:05 p.m. respectively. In terms of honors, a five-member all-tournament team will be selected, in addition to a tournament MVP and the best defensive player of the tournament. Voting shall be done by coaches from participating teams.
All About Tourney’s History
This weekend’s tournament marks the fourth edition of the UTEP Thanksgiving Classic, but there have only been a pair of championship contests. The initial UTEP Thanksgiving Classic (2007) was cancelled after the first day concluded, with a snowstorm causing a power outage in the area to wipe out any further action. In 2008 Monmouth took home the crown by besting Utah State (48-44, 11/29/08). Host UTEP toppled ULM, 58-56, in the championship contest last year (11/28/09).
First Time For Everything
UTEP and Idaho State will be meeting for the first time when they square off against each other on Friday.
UTEP will continue play the fourth edition of its Thanksgiving Classic. The Miners will face either Arkansas or High Point, and the game time will be either 4:35 p.m. or 7:05 p.m., depending upon results from day one.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
The 411 On Idaho State As An Institution
Idaho State University is a public university operated by the state located in Pocatello, Idaho. It was founded originally following the signing of a bill by governor Frank W. Hunt in 1901, under the name of the Academy of Idaho. It assumed its current name in 1963. Notable alumni include the winningest coach in CFL history, Wally Buono, head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, Marvin Lewis, CEO of Office Depot, Bruce Nelson, and actor William Petersen, best known for his role of Dr. Gil Grissom on the CBS hit series CSI.
The 411 On Idaho State Basketball
Idaho State is a full-fledged member of the Big Sky Conference, and the Bengals are 432-535 all time since the program was founded for the 1974-75 season. ISU has made a pair of appearances in the NCAA Tournament, with the most-recent trip coming in 2007. It has competed in the WNIT on three occasions. The Bengals returned two starters and seven letterwinners overall from last year’s squad (15-15 overall, 10-6 Big Sky).
Get To Know The Idaho State Sideline Boss
Idaho State is under the direction of third-year head coach Seton Sobolewski, who is 29-38 in that time frame. He replaced the winningest coach in program history, Jon Newlee, who resigned to take the same position at the University of Idaho following the conclusion of the 2007-08 campaign. Sobolewski joined ISU following six seasons as an assistant coach for UC Riverside.
Quick Rundown On The Idaho State ‘10-11 Season
Idaho State is 3-3 on the year, including 1-3 on the road. The game against UTEP will mark the fourth of five straight in the state of Texas. ISU is 1-2 thus far in the stretch, with setbacks at Texas Tech (64-52, 11/21) & No. 16 Texas (82-68, 11/24) and a victory at Texas State (69-52, 11/23). This stretch will have spanned only eight days.
Getting Offensive With Idaho State
Idaho State is producing 61.3 points per game, and it has connected on 39.2 (132-337) percent of its shots from the floor. The Bengals have filled up 37.4 percent (40-107) of their three-point attempts, while they have solid at the free-throw line at 76.2 percent (64-84). Taking care of the ball has been a concern, with 22.5 turnovers per game. It is a balanced approach on offense, with all five starters pitching in at least 6.0 ppg. Chelsea Pickering leads the way at 17.5 ppg, followed by Lindsey Reed (11.8), Ashleigh Vella (8.8), Kaela Oakes (8.3) & Andrea Blodgett (6.3). Pickering has been the top threat from distance (13-30), with Blodgett (8-20) and Reed (8-23) also getting in on the act. Oakes (3.5) and Pickering (2.0) have been the top distributors for ISU.
This And That On Idaho State’s Offense
Idaho State is 3-1 on the year and 15-7 since the start of the 2009-10 season when scoring more than 60 points. The Bengals are 3-21 all time under third-year head coach Seton Sobolewski falling shy of that figure.
Getting Defensive With Idaho State
Idaho State is keeping foes to 64.0 points per game, which has been aided by a field-goal percentage defense of 36.6 (139-380). The opposition has struggled from three-point range at 25.4 percent (29-114). Defending without fouling has been a troublesome spot, with foes having already earned 111 trips to the charity stripe. ISU has given up 112 offensive rebounds, and it is being out-boarded on the season by 5.2 on average (42.5-37.3). It has forced 20.2 turnovers per game, with 6.5 steals per contest factoring in. Overall the Bengals have registered 39 steals on the season, with Lindsey Reed (8), Kaela Oakes (8), Ashleigh Vella (7) and Chelsea Pickering (6) and accounting for all but 10 of them. ISU has registered 18 blocks on the campaign, and 11 of them belong to reserve post Cydney Horton. Horton is also the second-leading rebounder on the team (5.5), trailing only Vella at 6.3 rpg.
This And That On Idaho State’s Defense
Idaho State is 3-0 on the year and 18-0 all time under third-year head coach Seton Sobolewski when keeping foes to fewer than 60 points.
GOING BACK IN TIME
UTEP Races Past Alcorn State, 85-72
Fueled by Kayla Thornton’s first career double-double (17 points, 11 rebounds), an excellent all-around game by Dietra Caldwell (25 points, 6 rebounds & 6 assists) and a quality second half, UTEP dispatched a feisty Alcorn State squad, 85-72, at home on Nov. 22. The Miners trailed by one (40-39) with 19:01 to play in the second half but changed that quickly with a game-deciding 16-6 surge over the next six minutes. The Lady Braves were unable to get any closer than seven from that point, and UTEP enjoyed a double-digit advantage over the final eight minutes of the game.
That’s The Way To Share It, Shoot It & Score It
UTEP was locked in offensively in the victory against Alcorn State. The Miners dished out a season-high-tying 20 assists on the way to setting campaign-bests for field-goal percentage (55.6) and points (85). Dietra Caldwell (25) Kayla Thornton (17), Gloria Brown (13) and Anete Steinberga (10) all turned in double-digit scoring performances.
HOME SWEET HOME
Loving Life At The Don
UTEP (3-1) 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 58-12 in El Paso since the start of the 2006-07 season, including a mark of 3-1 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, 3-1 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 92-44 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.
CRASH COURSE ON 10-11 MINERS
The Basic Facts On UTEP Basketball
The 2010-11 season marks the 37th all time for UTEP, which is 405-569 since the program was founded in 1974. The Miners have one postseason appearance and one conference championship to their credit, both of which came during the historic 2007-08 season. UTEP is under the direction of Keitha Adams, who is 142-130 in her 10th year at the school. She has guided UTEP to four winning seasons, which matches the total such campaigns at the school in the previous 25 years before her arrival. UTEP (3-1) returned seven letterwinners from last year’s squad (16-16), including five individuals who started at last 15 games during the 2009-10 campaign. The Miners also added seven newcomers (four transfers & three true freshmen).
Getting Offensive With The Miners
UTEP has tallied 70+ points in each of the first four games for the first time in school history. The Miners are producing 77.8 points per game and are making 44.4 percent (110-248) of their shots from the field. UTEP has drilled 33.3 percent (68-91) of its three-point attempts while filling up 74.7 (68-91) from the foul line. Unselfish play has been huge, with 17.3 assists per game on average. An area of concern, though, has been the 19.0 turnovers per tilt.
Getting Defensive With The Miners
UTEP has held the opposition to 64.2 points per game, which has been aided by forcing it into shooting a combined 35.2 percent (80-227) from the floor. Miner foes are making just 30.4 percent (24-79) of their three-point tries. UTEP has been a solid rebounding squad, with a +12.8 margin (45.5-32.8).
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 sensational start as a junior. She leads the team in assists (4.8), three-pointers made (11), attempted (18) and percentage (.550), while checking in second in field-goal percentage (.552) and scoring (14.3) and fifth in rebounding (4.8). Caldwell has done a good job of getting to the line, with a team-high-tying 14 free throws made. An area of concern has been a team-high 17 turnovers.
All About Sveta
Senior Sviatlana Trukshanina , the second-most accurate three-point shooter in program history (.433), is starting to settle into he role this year. She has pitched in 12 points the past two tilts. The native of Latvia is one of nine players on the squad to be playing at least 10 minutes on average (16.0). She is chipping in 4.0 ppg and 1.0 rpg. One of six Miners in program history to have drilled at least 100 three pointers, she has gone 2-of-8 in that department thus far in 2010-11.
Good To Be Green
Two-year starter and junior Briana Green has been a steady player through the first four games on the year. She leads the team in assist-to-turnover ratio (+2.7), while rating third in assists (2.0) and minutes (28.0) and fifth in scoring (7.5). Her touch on three-point shots has been off a bit (3-10, .300), which has impacted her overall field-goal percentage (.353). Green is one of four players to have earned a starting nod in every game this year.
Steinberga Steady As Can Be
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 all four contests, and has now been a starter in 19 of her 21 career games with the Orange and Blue. The native of Latvia is third on the team in rebounding (5.8) and fourth in scoring (8.3) while being one of five players to earn at least 20.0 minutes per game of playing time (21.3). She has done a good job of getting to the free-throw line, rating second on the squad in makes (9) and fourth in attempts (14). She has also improved in taking care of the basketball, with her 1.25 turnovers per game a vast improvement upon last year (3.64).
Ashley Milian is one of four seniors on the team, and she 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, chipping in four points and four boards in a total of 20 minutes in three games played in 2010-11.
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 first four games in 2010-11. The 6-4 post is using her size well, rating second on the squad in blocked shots (nine total) while checking in fourth in rebounding (5.3 rpg). She is chipping in 5.5 ppg (7th team) while registering 16.5 mpg of playing time. Vitola has been challenged to stay out of foul trouble, with 12 infractions (2nd team) and the lone foul-out for the Miners this year.
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. Eglite earned her first action of the season vs. ENMU (Nov. 20), securing one rebound in the minute of action.
Senior forward Tracy Wittebolle appeared in 16 games last year (16 points, 24 rebounds overall), including earning her first career start against Houston (1/10/10) where she grabbed a personal-best five rebounds. She showed off a good shooting touch in her first action of the season in 2010-11, knocking down a pair of jumpers vs. ENMU (Nov. 20).
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 (No. 2 PF/No.3 overall recruit out of the JC ranks) Gloria Brown has burst onto the scene for UTEP. She leads the squad in blocks (10), field-goal percentage (.667), free-throws made (14), rebounding (8.0) and scoring (16.5) while checking in second for offensive boards (12). She has done all of this in 20.0 minutes per game off the bench. One issue for her has been fouls, with her 13 infractions leading the team but that figure should drop as she continues to improve her fitness.
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 cog for the Miners in 2010-11. She leads the team in free throws made (14) and attempted (20) and offensive rebounds (16) while rating second in rebounding (7.9) and fifth in scoring (10.0). She has been a reserve in all four games, but is at 19.3 mpg (6th team).
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 played in all four games of the year, and is one of nine Miners to have earned double digits on average for minutes (13.3). She rates tied for second on the team in steals (four total) to go along with 2.0 ppg and 3.0 rpg. Warren, who was 61-7 in two years at Midland College, has been especially steady on the defensive glass. Nine of her 12 total rebounds have been at that end of the court.
Freshman point guard Kelli Willingham joined UTEP from powerhouse program DeSoto High School (No. 87 guard nationally), and she certainly has looked comfortable at this level. She leads the team in minutes played (31.5) and steals (six total) while rating second on the squad in assists (4.3). Willingham has pitched in 7.0 ppg (6th team) while also securing 2.0 rpg. While she has made the second-most turnovers (14), she does sport a +1.21 assist-to-turnover ratio.
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 every game on the campaign, earning 8.5 mpg on average. Smith has started to put things together, tallying seven points while registering a steal in 14 minutes on the court in the win vs. Alcorn State (11/22).
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 became the first native of Scotland to play for the Orange and Blue when she earned one minute on the court in the victory vs. ENMU (Nov. 20).
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 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.
Check Out The Miners On YouTube
From post-game interviews to different features, a great way to get to know more about UTEP women’s basketball (and all the other Miner sports too) is to watch some videos on the athletic department’s youtube channel. Subscribe now at www.youtube.com/UTEPAthletics.com
The Miners have already registered three double-doubles on the season, with Gloria Brown (UC Irvine, 11/13 & ENMU, 11/20) and Kayla Thornton (Alcorn State, 11/22) responsible for them. Brown became the first Miner to achieve the feat 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 have already posted two games (+26, UCI, 11/13 & +18, ENMU, 11/20) where they have out-rebounded the opposition by at least 18. The effort equals the combined sum of such contests by UTEP from the 2005-06 season through the 2009-10 campaign, a stretch of 153 games. Heading into the tilt vs. Idaho State, the Miners boast a +12.5 rebounding margin (45.5-32.8)
Talk About Domination On The Boards
The Miners out-rebounded UC Irvine 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.
Life At The Line
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. Overall UTEP has drilled 74.7 percent of its tosses at the charity stripe (68-91).
Freshman forward Kayla Thornton and sophomore guard 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.
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).
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 33.3 percent (23-69).
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 since the start of 2008, though. The Miners compiled a school-record five contests (2008-09) and had three in 2009-10. They have yet to achieve the feat in 2010-11, with their top effort on the season being seven from distance vs. ENMU on Nov. 20.
142 Straight Games With A Triple
UTEP enters the game against Idaho State having made at least one three-point shot in a program-record 142 straight games. The last time UTEP failed to fill up a triple in a contest was on Dec. 30, 2005. Overall, UTEP has nailed a three in all but four contests during the Keitha Adams era.
ALL ABOUT THE FINAL SCORE
Something Magical About That 70-Point Barrier
UTEP is 62-5 over its past 67 games, including 3-1 in 2010-11, in which it has eclipsed 70 points. Overall the Miners stand at 91-11 during the Keitha Adams era when achieving the feat.
Doesn’t Take A Basketball Wiz To Figure This Out
UTEP sports a mark of 68-8 in the past 76 tilts, including 2-0 this year, which it is has eclipsed 40.5 percent from the floor.
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). It has yet to achieve the feat in 2010-11, however.
Helping Hand Leads To Triumphs
UTEP stands at 45-2 under Keitha Adams when registering at least 20 assists in a contests, including 2-0 in 2010-11. 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 52-13 when forcing the opposition into committing 20 or more turnovers in a game. UTEP is 1-1 thus far in that department in 2010-11.
Turning Up The Pressure
UTEP is 50-12 under head coach Keitha Adams when forcing the opposition into committing more turnovers than field goals made in a game. The Miners are 31-3 in that situation since the start of the 2006-07 but two of those setbacks came in 2009-10.
Not To Mention Making Free Throws
UTEP is 36-6, including 2-1 this year, in the past 42 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.
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 Climbing Career Scoring Charts
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 654 career points, is 23rd all time at UTEP for scoring. Additionally, she is on track to become the eighth member of the 1,000-point club at UTEP by the time she concludes her time in the Sun City. If 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
All About The Triple
There have been six players all time in program history to make at least 100 three-pointers, and two of them are current Miners. Junior guard Dietra Caldwell (131) is fourth all time at the school for made triples while senior guard Sviatlana Trukshanina (101) checks in sixth. Former standout Amy Billhymer (1993-97) holds the school standard at 208, followed by Jareica Hughes (2006-10) at 142 and Kasia Krezel (2004-08) with 138.
Sophomore forward Kristine Vitola has registered nine shots on the year, elevating her career total to 34. She is already 14th all time for career blocks at UTEP and one of 18 overall at the school to have posted at least 30 swats. Vitola needs five more rejections to crack the Miners’ top 10.
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 76 turnovers through four tilts (19.0 tpg).
Miners Making It Tough On Opposition
The Miners have forced the opposition into committing double figures in turnovers in 124 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.
THIS IS UTEP BASKETBALL
Golden Age Of Women’s Hoops
It is the golden age of women’s basketball at UTEP. The Miners have gone 87-41 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.
More Than 100 Wins Since Joining C-USA
UTEP, which joined Conference USA prior to the start of the 2005-06 season, has piled 101 wins (2nd most of any league team) in that time frame.
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 87-41 in the stretch, including 58-12 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 Eases Past Eastern New Mexico
UTEP raced out to an early 7-0 lead and never looked back en route to posting a wire-to-wire 79-48 win against Eastern New Mexico at home on Nov. 20. The Miners were up by 15 at the half (37-22) and put things on cruise control in the second stanza. The Zias got no closer than 21 over the final 11 minutes of the contest.
Key Players From The ENMU Contest
Junior forward Gloria Brown led the way with a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds), while Anete Steinberga (12 points) and Kelli Willingham (11 points) reached double figures for scoring as well. Freshman Kayla Thornton contributed nine points and eight rebounds in 17 minutes of action off the bench, with Kristine Vitola (eight points, six caroms) and Dietra Caldwell (eight points, five assists and four rebounds) also impressing.
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.
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 From UCI Game
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.