UTEP Aims For 5-0 Start Vs. Northern Colorado Wednesday
Nov. 26, 2013
THE OPENING ACT
- White-hot UTEP will play host to Northern Colorado at 7:05 p.m. at the Don Haskins Center Wednesday.
- Buy an adult ticket ($5) & get a kid ticket for free.
- The Miners (4-0) will face the Bears (2-2) & then wrap up the month at home against Texas State at 7:05 p.m. MST Saturday.
- Audio & video of all home games will be available through subscription-based Miner TV on UTEPAthletics.com
- The Miners received a vote in both top-25 polls.
- Tied for 36th in the AP & 37th in Coaches.
- Off to 4-0 start for a third straight year, boosted by a +34.0 scoring margin (86.2-52.2)
- Marks 7th overall start of at least 4-0 at school.
- 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).
- Back-to-back wins by 45+ points for first time in school history.
- School-record 49-point differential vs. DI 1 foe in 92-43 win vs. Northern Arizona (11/22/13)
- Beat Kansas State by 45 points (84-39) on Nov. 16, its third-best margin of win vs. D1 opposition.
- Set school record for biggest halftime lead vs. D1 opponent against KSU (46-13).
- Five players at +8.0 ppg while five others pitching in at least 5.8 ppg.
- Two-time C-USA honoree & senior Kayla Thornton leading way at 14.5 ppg.
- Out-scored opponents, 173-89, in the first half of games this year.
- UTEP is now 55-14 since the start of the 2011-12 season.
- 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 15-1 in November since starting the 2011-12 season, including 4-0 this year.
- It is 42-22 all time in month under head coach Keitha Adams.
INSIDE THE SERIES
- UTEP and Northern Colorado’s history dates back to the second year of the Miners’ program.
- The two teams met annually in four successive years (1975-76 through 1978-79), and then did not play again until back-to-back seasons (2004-05 & 2005-06).
- The seventh and most-recent meeting between the programs came during UTEP’s record-setting 2011-12 campaign. Overall the Miners lead the series, 4-3, including a mark of 3-1 under head coach Keitha Adams.
GOING BACK IN TIME
- UTEP jumped out to a 25-point (45-20) halftime lead and didn’t let up on the way to recording its largest margin of victory (49) ever against a Division 1 team in a 92-43 thrashing of Northern Arizona at home on Nov. 26.
- UTEP harassed the Lumberjacks into making 29 turnovers while also holding them to 32.0 percent shooting from the floor. The 29 giveaways led to 31 points for the Orange and Blue.
- UTEP registered 20 assists & hit 50% from field.
- Transfer Anete Kirsteine came off the bench to tally a career high 15 points- all on triples- to lead a quartet of Miners in double figures for scoring.
- Overall 11 different players scored in the game, showing off the Orange and Blue’s depth in the process.
- UTEP drained the seventh-most three pointers (11) in a contest in program annals.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
- UNC is 517-546 all time since launching the program for the 1974-75 campaign.
- It was 21-13 last year, including 15-5 in the Big Sky Conference.
- The Bears advanced to the second round of the WNIT.
- Three starters & 10 letterwinners returned from that team.
- UNC was picked third in the 2013-14 Big Sky Preseason Poll.
- Northern Colorado is 2-2 on the year & has been idle since a 58-49 conquest of Adams State on Nov. 20.
- Stephanie Lee, the reigning Big Sky Player of the Week, leads the team in scoring at 16.5 ppg.
- Notable alumni include Steve Antonopulos, the head athletic trainer of the Denver Broncos, Sully Sullenberger, captain of U.S. Airways Flight 1549 that successfully landed in the Hudson River in 2009 and Ed Werder, reporter for ESPN.
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 473-596, including 4-0 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 210-158 in that time frame.
- Adams is 337-194 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.
- 179-102, including 4-0 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 135-54 in Keitha Adams era.
- 100-22 since 2006-07, including 4-0 this year.
- 66-34 was most wins over 8 years before Adams.
- 33-5 over past 38 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 71-28 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 725.
- 7th all time on UTEP scoring list (1,074)
- 10th all time in steals (131). Christina Mata (1997-01) holds onto ninth with 133.
- Eighth at school for starts (80).
- Also eighth in field-goals (394) & attempted (911), free-throws made (229) & steals (135).
- 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 (101).
- Ranks fifth all time at UTEP for blocks (109).
- 500+ points (560) & 400+ boards (427).
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
at UTEP 84, Kansas State 39 (11/16/13)
- 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 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.
at UTEP 94, NM State 69 (11/16/13)
- 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 Haskins Center on Nov. 12
- UTEP led wire-to-wire.
- It was the Miners’ 2nd-biggest margin of victory in the series against the Aggies.
- UTEP equaled fifth-highest second-half scoring sum in program history by pouring in 55.
- Kayla Thornton led the way with a double-double (22 points, 12 rebounds).
- UTEP hit 55.0% (33-of-60), aided by going 20-of-29 (69.0%) in the second half.
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 13, 2011
Don Haskins Center