MINERS
UTEP Women To Renew Battle Of I-10 Wednesday

Keitha Adams

Keitha Adams

Nov. 27, 2012

THE OPENING ACT

-   UTEP will lock up with NM State in the first of two meetings on the year at 6:30 p.m. in the Pan-American Center in Las Cruces Wednesday.  The game will be broadcast on 1150 AM locally in El Paso & fans can also get updates by following the Miners on Twitter (@UTEPWBB).

-   The Miners (5-0) are coming off a pair of victories to claim the 2012 Junkanoo Jam on the Grand Bahama Island (11/22-23).

-   The Aggies (3-2) eclipsed the .500 mark for the first time this season thanks to notching consecutive home victories, most recently dispatching UC-Irvine, 50-44, on Nov. 24.

-   For the second straight year and the third time overall in program history, UTEP is off to a 5-0 start. It had never gotten off to consecutive 3-0 starts.

-   The Miners surged out a program-best 10-0 last year while opening up at 7-0 in 1996-97.

-   UTEP is  38-21 in the month of November under Keitha Adams. It is 15-2 over the past three years, including 5-0 this season.

-   The Miners are 92-56 in non-league play under Adams, including 5-0 this year.

-   UTEP is aiming to extend its school-record streak of .500 or better in non-conference action to eight seasons. (prior standard four, 1994-95 through 1997-98).

-   Video and audio for every home game for the Miners on the year will be available through UTEPAthletics.com (subscription-based).


 

 

-   All of the neutral/road contests on the season will be broadcast on Talk Radio 1150 AM.

-   To keep up with the very latest on the program, LIKE the team's page on Facebook (UTEPWomensBasketball) and follow it on Twitter (@UTEPWBB). Additionally, connect with Coach Adams by following her on Twitter (@UTEPKeithaAdams).

 

INSIDE THE SERIES

-   NM State leads the series, 46-32, including 29-10 in Las Cruces.

-   The Miners are 13-9 all time against the Aggies during Keitha Adams' era, making her the lone coach in program history to sport a winning record in the "Battle of I 10."

-   The Miners and Aggies have squared off multiple times annually since the start of UTEP's program (1974-75 campaign).

-   Five of UTEP's nine sweeps in the series have come under Adams' direction.

 

GOING BACK IN TIME

-   UTEP wrapped a 17-point run around the intermission and pulled away to a 64-53 victory against Arizona to win the 2012 Junkanoo Jam.

-   Anete Steinberga led four players in double figures with 18 points. Kayla Thornton (10 points, 10 rebounds) and Chrishauna Parker (10 points, 11 rebounds) each had double-doubles and Kelli Willingham added 11 points to help the Miners to their second victory against a Pacific-12 team in a week.

 

TAKING OUT POWER SCHOOLS

-   Of the Miners' five wins this year, two have been against members of power schools. UTEP has downed both Arizona State (60-54, 11/18/12) & Arizona (64-53, 11/23/12).

-   UTEP now has five victories all time against a school in a power league (at time of meeting), with three of them coming during the Keitha Adams era. The Miners also toppled 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).

 

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

-   NM State is 3-2 overall this year, including a perfect 3-0 at home. It has won those contests by a combined 10 points.

-   Four players contribute better than 8.0 points per game. No one else produces more than 4.5 ppg.

-   Aside from a 23-point loss at New Mexico (11/20/12), the Aggies' four other games have been decided by a total of 12 points.

-   The Aggies have kept consecutive opponents and three total to fewer than 53 points.

-   That defensive effort has allowed them to compensate for a 33.1 field-goal percentage (93-281) and a scoring offense of 52.0 ppg.

-   New Mexico State University is a major land-grand university in Las Cruces, N.M., which was founded in 1888 under the name of Las Cruces College.

-     It took on its current name in 1960.

-     Notable alumni include actor Scott Bailey, who is best known for his playing the role of Sandy Foster on the CBS soap opera Guiding Light, and former Olympic basketball player Chito Reyes. Additionally, Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered the planet Pluto (since reclassified to a dwarf planet), taught astronomy at the school from 1955 until his retirement in 1973.

 

RUNDOWN ON THE 2012-13 MINERS

-   UTEP returned three starters (senior F Anete Steinberga junior F Kayla Thornton &  junior G  Kelli Willingham) from last year's record-setting squad.

-   Sophomore guards Syerra Davis & Chrishauna Parker also earned letters last year. Also back is sophomore walk-on G Marissa Rodriguez.

-   UTEP has been hit hard by injuries, losing two starters for the remainder of the seasons. Both sophomore guard Jenzel Nash  (vs. St. Mary's 11& senior center Kristine Vitola (vs. ASU, 11/18/12) sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in their left knee.

-   Vitola was off to a tremendous start, leading the Miners in field-goal percentage (.600), rebounding (8.3) and scoring (16.0).

-   Vitola's injury leaves UTEP, which had the largest senior class in program history a year ago at seven, with just one healthy senior in Steinberga.

-   Six newcomers are in the mix, with four true freshmen (Irene Gari, G, Jamie Madden, G, Diamond Posey, G, & Cameasha Turner), a freshman transfer Saidah Zuberi Allen (G/F) & a junior-college transfer (Destinee LaFountain F).

-   Another newcomer, freshman F Tommitrise Collins will sit out the year as a redshirt.

-   The Miners were picked second in the 2012-13 Conference USA Preseason Poll, as voted upon by the league's 12 head coaches. Thornton was tabbed to the all-conference preseason team.

-   Tulane was picked as the favorite to win the league while Rice's Jessica Kuster was named the preseason player of the year.

 

TOUGH TO REPLACE

-   UTEP lost seven seniors to graduation, which was the largest class in program history.

-   Headlining that group was 2012 C-USA Tournament MVP & second-team all C-USA honoree Gloria Brown, who paced the Miners in blocked shots (97), free throws made (102), attempted (125), percentage (.816), field-goal percentage (.527), points per game (12.1) and rebounds per contest (8.8). A reserve, she repeated as the C-USA 6th Player of the Year.

-   Kim Smith (2.9 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 2.8 apg) & Erika Warren (5.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.2 apg) both started for the Miners last year while Baiba Eglite (1.6 ppg, 0.3 rpg, 0.4 apg), Briana Green (2.9 ppg, 1.1 rpg & 1.1 apg), Whitney Houston (1.4 ppg, 0.1 rpg, 0.5 apg) & Melisa Mendes (4.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 0.7 apg) joined Brown in coming off the bench.

THE BASIC FACTS ON UTEP

-   UTEP is 452-586 since launching the program for the 1974-75 season, including 5-0 this year.

-   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 (11/12) Penn State, 85-77.

-   The school will celebrate its 100th year of operation in 2014.

-   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 12th-year head coach and the all-time win leader in program history, Keitha Adams, who is 189-147 in that time frame.

-   At 316-184 in 16 years, Adams is one of five active coaches in C-USA women's basketball to have more than 300 career victories.

-   All three 20-plus victory campaigns and four of the five seasons of at least 18 wins in program history have been during her tenure.

-   Seven of the 10 seasons all time at UTEP with at least 16 wins are courtesy of her.

-   Both regular-season conference championships and the lone league tournament title in program history have been during her tenure.

-   Her efforts have put the program on the regional & national landscape, with the Miners playing in 16 nationally-televised games.

-   UTEP has received votes in the top-25 poll in four of her seasons, including being ranked in the top-25 for the final six weeks of the 2007-08 season.

-   From 2002-03 through the end of last year, UTEP forged a mark of 181-122. The best record for a 10-year stretch before Adams' arrival was 115-155.    

-   Twelve of the 18 major individual career records at the school are held by players who were mentored by her.

-   She has coached 15 players who have gone on to play professionally, including 2008 WNBA draft picks Izabela Piekarska & Natasha Lacy.

-   She has impacted the international game at the highest level, with Noni Wharemate representing New Zealand at the 2008 Olympic Summer Games.

-   Every player who has exhausted her eligibility at UTEP during her tenure has graduated.

 

HOME SWEET HOME

-   The Miners are 85-18 in El Paso since the start of the 2006-07 season, including 3-0 this year.

-   UTEP is vying for its school-record sixth straight season with 12+ home wins.

-   It had only four campaigns where it even reached double figures during the first 27 years of the program.

-   Overall the Miners are 120-51 at home under Keitha Adams, helped by a program-best nine straight years with at least nine home victories.

-   UTEP had six such seasons in the 27 years prior to her tenure, and were a combined 163-142.

 

TRAVEL TIME

-   UTEP is 37-33 away from home since the 2006-07 campaign. Its first road test comes at NM State (11/28/12).

-   Keitha Adams has led UTEP to a pair of winning road records & two other years at .500.

-   Prior to her arrival, the Miners never had a winning road mark & were at .500 just twice in 27 years.

-   Overall the Miners are 49-84 on the road under

    Adams.

-   UTEP boasts 21 double-digit victories on the road during Adams' era.

-   The Miners had 27 such victories before her tenure,  but 13 were against non-DI schools.

 

THIS & THAT

-   UTEP has kept four of the first five foes on the year to below 35 percent from the floor while not yielding more than 58 points in a game.

-   Foes have been forced into 23 turnovers per game. Texas Southern made 33, tying for the seventh most by an opponent in program history.

-   The Miners have drilled better than 40 percent in four of the five contests.

-   After making one three pointer in her first 54 career games, Kayla Thornton has drilled 13 in her past 12. Five of those have come this year.

-   Chrishauna Parker has posted two straight and three games overall with at least four assists. Her top sum as a freshman was three.

-   She has also gotten after it on the glass with 5+ boards in every contest, the lone Miner to do so.

-   After scoring 11 points combined in the first two wins, Parker has hit in double figures in the three games since.

-   Kelli Willingham has made one three pointer in every contest, including four multi-trey efforts. She was 5-11 at the Junkanoo Jam and is 11-26 (.423) overall on the year.

-   She has dished out at least three assists in every game this year.

-   After playing just 21 minutes in the season opener, Willingham has logged 30+ minutes in every contest since.

-   Willingham has scored at least 9+ in four of the five games.

-   UTEP has gone 45-18 with Kelli Willingham starting, 40-10 when Thornton gets a nod, 33-9 for Vitola & 12-1 for Parker.

-   Irene Gari has moved into the starting line-up since the Miners lost Kristine Vitola to an injury.

-   After scoring two points in the opener, Aneta Steinberga has reached double figures in four straight games. She has hit on 23-54 in those contests.

-   Steinberga sports 33 such career games the most of any active Miner.

-   Thornton has reached double digits in scoring in back-to-back games and four of five overall.

-   The Miners have yet to hit better than 68 percent on the year from the free-throw line but they have compensated for that through defense and efficient offense.

 

STAT LOVERS' LANE

-   UTEP has made least one three-point shot in a program-record 205 straight games. The last time UTEP failed to fill up a triple in a contest was on Dec. 30, 2005. They have hit one in all but four games during Keith Adams' era.

-   The Miners are 112-13, including 1-0 this year, when scoring 70+ points under Adams.

-   UTEP holds a record of 101-16 in the past 117 contests, including 4-0 this year, that it made 40.5% or better from the floor.

-   The Miners are 52-10 in their past 62 games , including 1-0 this year, when nailing at least 40% on threes (min. five made).

-   UTEP is 51-12 in the past 63 games & 118-43 overall under Adams when winning the rebounding battle. It is 3-0 in the situation this year.

-   The Miners are a robust 57-2 under Adams when registering at least 20 assists in a contest. They are 1-0 in the situation this season.

-   Sharing hasn't always been so common, though. UTEP compiled 19 such games from 1984-85 through 2000-01, going 13-6.

-   The Miners are 68-15 over their past 83 games, including 3-0 this year, that they've forced the opposition into committing at least 20 turnovers.

-   UTEP is 68-12 under Adams, including 50-3 since the start of the 2006-07 campaign, when forcing the opposition into committing more turnovers than field goals made. It is 3-0 this year in that area.

-   UTEP is 53-11 over the past 64 contests when knocking down better than 70 percent at the free-throw line (min. 10 FTM)

-   Oddly enough, UTEP has gone 28-12 since 06-07, including 3-0 this year, when falling shy of 61-percent at the line. (min 10 FTA).

-   The Miners are 18-8 in their past 26 regular-season contests in which they have made more three pointers than free throws.

 

MILESTONE MOMENTS

-   Kayla Thornton (591), Kelli Willingham (582),  Anete Steinberga (582) & Kristine Vitola (524) have all surpassed 500 career points. Overall there are 39 Miners in program history in the 500+ point club.

-   Vitola has played in 97 career games. She was on track to become the 18th Miner to hit the century mark before suffering the torn ACL against Arizona State (11/18/12).

-   UTEP has won 66 games since Steinberga & Vitola arrived on campus in 2009, which rates as the seventh-most by a class in Miner history.

-   Fifth place is still a while off at 76 (Izabela Piekarska & Kasia Krezel, 2004-08).

-   Willingham has logged 63 career starts, which is 10th all time at the school. Up next on the list is Christina Mata (68).

-   Steinberga isn't far back with 60 starts.

-   Thornton is sixth all time at UTEP for career field-goal percentage (46.0). A minimum of 200 FGM is required to qualify.

-   Willingham has hit 11 threes this year to lift her career total to 104 & climb into seventh all time.  Terri Powell holds sixth place (109) while Sviatlana Trukshanina (116) sits in fifth & Kasia Krezel is fourth (138).

-   Her 285 treys attempted are fifth. Fourth place is held by Jareica Hughes (430).

-   Willingham is currently first (min. 100 made) for career free-throw percentage at UTEP (80.9). She has hit on 7-of-9 tries this year.

-   Thornton is one of 22 individuals all time at UTEP to have pulled down at least 400 rebounds (440). Her career average (6.5) is just shy of the top 10.

-   Willingham is climbing the school's career assist charts. Her tally of 237 places her seventh all time. Sixth place is held by Norma Sierra (248) while Dietra Caldwell (249) is fifth & Shalana Taylor is fourth (313).

-   Vitola swatted four shots before going down with an injury this year. Her career sum of 100 ties as fourth all time at UTEP.

    UTEP's 28-point margin of victory vs. LMU (79-51, 11/10/12) was the largest in a season opener vs. D1 foe in program history. The prior standard was 19 (68-49 vs. Northern Arizona, 11/20/05).

-   The 15-0 run out of the gates vs. LMU (11/10/12) was the best to start a year in the Keitha Adams' era, topping the prior standard (7-0, 2006-07).

 

BEST SUPPORT IN C-USA

-   The Miners were head & shoulders above the rest of the Conference USA for average attendance in 2011-12. They had an overall average of 2,639, with ECU (1,528) more than 1,100 back.

-   In terms of league only, UTEP had 4,243 on average. Memphis (1,774) was nearly 2,500 in back of that figure.

-   UTEP drew better than 2,000 fans in nine of the final 10 contests of 2011-12, and a single-season 11 contests overall.

-   Ten of the 13 games in program history (excluding double headers) with at least 4,000 fans  in attendance have come during the Keitha Adams era. The Miners are 9-1 in those games.

 

2011-12 REWIND

-    Went 29-4 to set both the school (men's) & Conference USA single-season record for wins. The four losses on the year were by a combined 15 points.

-   Won both the 2012 Conference USA regular-season & tournament title championship. The tournament title was the first in program history while it was the second regular-season crown.

-   Competed at the 2012 NCAA Championships, falling to nationally-ranked Penn State (11/12) 85-77, in the first round. It was the program's second appearance all time at the NCAA Tournament.

-   Finished 15-1 in C-USA play, with the .938 winning percentage rating third all time in the league.

-   Enjoyed separate winning streaks of at least 10 games, including a program-best 10-0 to start year.

-   Other single-season records set include blocked shots (197), games played (33), rebounding margin (+9.5), scoring defense (54.2), scoring margin (13.4), double-digit wins (21), road wins (11), wins by at least 20 points (10) and overall wins (29).

-   Led C-USA in attendance average (2,639), blocked shots (6.0), field-goal percentage (40.8), field-goal percentage defense (33.6), free-throw percentage (69.7),  RPI (49), rebounding margin (6.0), scoring margin (+13.4), three-point percentage defense (24.5)

-   Received votes for the top-25 the final nine weeks of the season.

-   Gloria Brown was voted first-team All C-USA, a member of the all-defensive team, named the Sixth Player of the Year and voted as the 2012 C-USA Tournament Champion MVP.

-   Kayla Thornton was a second-team All C-USA member and was voted to the all-tournament team.

-   Keitha Adams was voted as the C-USA Coach of the Year.

-   Kelli Willingham was voted to the C-USA Academic  All Conference Team.

-   More than 2,000 fans in nine of the final 10 games and a single-season best 11 times overall.

-   Final five games all had more than 4,000 fans, also a program best.         

-   Averaged 4,243 fans during the eight C-USA home games.

 

CLIFFSNOTES ON 2012-13 CAMPAIGN

UTEP 61, vs. Texas Southern 52

-   UTEP rode a big second half to post a 61-52 win vs. Texas Southern at its first game of the 2012 Junkanoo Jam on Nov. 22.

-   The Miners outscored the Tigers 38-22 in the second half to make a 30-23 halftime deficit a distant memory.

-   UTEP was led by 22 points from Kayla Thornton while Anete Steinberga & Chrishauna Parker tallied 12 points & Kelli Willingham scored nine points-all on threes.

 

at UTEP 60, Arizona State 54

-   Sophomore Chrishauna Parker scored 15 points, senior Anete Steinberga added 14, and UTEP defended with tenacity in an emotional 60-54 victory against traditional Pacific-12 power Arizona State at the Don Haskins Center Nov. 18.

-   The back-and-forth game featured 10 ties and 15 lead changes.  UTEP outscored ASU, 33-26, in the second half, including a key 5-0 run to break a 45-45 deadlock with 4:35 left.

-   The Miners connected on 25-of-39 at the free-throw line, including going 10-of-12 in the final four minutes of the tilt. 

-   Parker led the charge in that department by making 9-of-12, both career highs. Kelli Willingham was perfect (4-4) at the line while Steinberga drilled four as well.

-   Willingham dished out four assists, but more importantly had just one turnover despite facing a full-court press from ASU for the majority of the contest.

-   UTEP held ASU to 33.9 percent (19-of-56) while also forcing 18 turnovers that led to 22 points.

 

at UTEP 67, HBU 58 (11/16/12)

-   Veteran leaders Kristine Vitola (18 points), Kayla Thornton (15 points) and Anete Steinberga (12 points) all reached double figures in scoring.

-   The Huskies hung around for a bit before the Miners blew the visitors out of the water with a game-changing 19-6 run spanning about seven minutes in the second half. The surge afforded UTEP a 56-41 lead with 8:10 to play, and HBU never got closer than seven down the stretch. 

-   Chrishauna Parker added seven points and five boards while Kelli Willingham pitched in six points and five rebounds.

 

at UTEP 79, LMU 51 (11/10/12)

-   Kristine Vitola notched her first career-double double (21 points, 12 rebounds) to help UTEP pound Loyola Marymount.

-   In addition to it being the initial double-double since joining the Orange and Blue, Vitola also set career standards for points (21) and boards (12). She hit on 10-of-11 free throws, also personal bests. She made 5-of-7 shots from the floor, including 1-of-2 from beyond-the-arc.

-   Juniors Kayla Thornton and Kelli Willingham buoyed Vitola with 15 points each while six other Miners also scored in the contest.

-   UTEP took control early thanks to Thornton. She scored the first 10 points of an eventual game-opening 15-0 run. The Miners, who led 45-21 at the break, pushed their advantage out to as many as 35 (64-29, 11:12 second half), before putting it on cruise control down the stretch.

-   The Miners improved to 7-5 in campaign lidlifters under head coach Keitha Adams, including 6-2 when starting the year at home.

-   UTEP moved to 26-13 in home openers, helped by an effort of 9-3 under Adams.

-   UTEP is now 20-19 all time in season openers, including 17-6 in El Paso.

 

at UTEP 69, St. Mary's 60 (11/3/12)

-    Kayla Thornton (12), Anete Steinberga (11), Kristine Vitola (11) and Kelli Willingham (10) all reached double figures in scoring during the exhibition win

-   The Miners led for most of the game, and were up by 17 (61-44) with five minutes to play.

-   Marring the victory was sophomore Jenzel Nash suffering a season-ending torn ACL.

UTEP Athletics