Miners To Battle Aggies Tuesday Evening
Nov. 28, 2011
THE OPENING ACT
Miners To Battle Aggies Tuesday Evening
UTEP will take aim at sweeping the SONIC® ® America’s Drive-In® battle of I-10 when it plays host to NM State at 7:05 p.m. inside the Don Haskins Center on Tuesday. The Miners (5-0) are coming off a 80-49 dismantling of previously unbeaten Denver while the Aggies (1-5) were derailed by Southern Utah, 58-57, on Nov. 27.
Sonic Providing Voucher; UTEP Providing iPad2
UTEP has teamed up with Sonic for a ticket promotion and will hold the first of its three “Grand Prize Giveaway Nights,” for the game against the Aggies. All fans that go to their local Sonic in El Paso and make any purchase will receive one voucher that can be used to get in free to the contest, where they will be able to put a ticket into the random drawing in which they could win an iPad2 or several other premium items (i.e. gift cards, autographed jerseys and much more).
Best Start Of Adams Era
UTEP has bolted out of the gates at 5-0, to secure the best start of the Keitha Adams era. Overall it ranks as the second-longest winning streak to christen a campaign, trailing only the 1996-97 team which notched seven straight victories.
We Meet Again
The Miners and Aggies have squared off multiple times annually since the start of UTEP’s program (1974-75 campaign), with Tuesday’s match-up being the 78th all time. The Orange and Blue won round one of this year’s heated rivalry series, 76-72, in overtime at the Pan-American Center on Nov. 16, 2011. NM State still holds the overall advantage in the series, 46-31, but the Miners are 21-17 in El Paso. UTEP will be looking for its first season sweep in the series since 2007-08 and the ninth overall. Four of them have come during the Keitha Adams era. UTEP is 12-9 all time against the Aggies during her tenure, making her the lone coach in program history to post a winning mark against the Aggies.
More On The Series
UTEP won the first two meetings against NM State but that is the only time it has ever been ahead in the series ledger as the Aggies rattled off nine straight wins. NM State’s advantage eventually grew to 32-11 (midway through the 1994-95 season) but the Miners are 20-14 since.
Following The Miners In 2011-12
Video and audio for every home game for the Miners on the year will be available through Miner TV on UTEPAthletics.com (subscription-based). All of the road contests on the season for UTEP will be broadcast on Talk Radio 1150 AM.
Staying Up Through Social Media
To keep up with the very latest on the program, LIKE the team’s page on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/UTEPWomensBasketball) and follow the official team Twitter Feed (www.twitter.com/UTEPWBB). Additionally, connect with head coach Keitha Adams by following her on Twitter, @UTEPWBasketball.
Get Your Tickets Now
Season tickets for the 2011-12 campaign remain on sale, with $50 guaranteeing individuals a reserved floor seat. To purchase season tickets (while seats remain) please call (915) 747-6150. Individual tickets ($7 adults, $3 kids) are also on sale for all contests by calling (915) 747-5234.
UTEP will wrap up its five-game homestand by playing host to Lamar at 7:05 p.m. MST on Thursday. The Cardinals are BLANK.
GOING BACK IN TIME
UTEP Stomps Denver In Battle Of Unbeatens
UTEP overpowered Denver, 80-49, in a clash of unbeaten squads at home on Nov. 26. Sophomore Kelli Willingham poured in a season-high 18 points to lead a quartet of players in double figures. UTEP was up, 40-26, at the half and led by as many as 38 (80-42) at one point.
The Miners sunk 11 three pointers in the win against Denver (11/26/11), which rates tied for the seventh-highest single-game total in program history.
Getting It Done At The Line
UTEP used good movement & motion to earn ample trips to the free-throw line against Denver (11/26/11). The Miners hit a campaign-best 19-of-27 at the free-throw line.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
The 411 On New Mexico State As An Institution
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, and it has an enrollment of 17,198. 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.
The 411 On New Mexico State Basketball
New Mexico State is 583-505 all time, including 1-5 in its 39th year of competition in 2011-12. The Aggies have been affiliated with five conferences, including the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) since 2006. NM State has claimed one league championship (2003 Sun Belt) while it has a quartet of postseason appearances. It played in the NCAA Tournament in 1987 & 1988 while securing a bid to the WNIT in 1994 & 2010. The Aggies returned two starters and 10 letterwinners overall from last year’s team (14-18).
Get To Know The New Mexico State Head Coach
New Mexico State has a new look on its sidelines this year, with Mark Trakh in his first year on the sidelines for the Aggies. Overall he has a mark of 290-192 in his 17th year as a collegiate head coach, with previous stops being at USC (90-64, 2004-09) & Pepperdine (199-123, 1993-2004). Before entering the collegiate ranks, Trakh had a Hall of Fame career as the head girls’ coach at Brea Olinda High School in Brea, Calif., from 1981-93, forging a record of 354-45.
Recapping The New Mexico State Season
New Mexico State opened up the year by toppling reigning Conference USA champion Houston, 63-62, on the road (11/11/11) but it has dropped five games since. All five losses have come at home, including a 76-72 OT setback against the Miners (11/16/11) and a 58-57 loss to Southern Utah (11/27/11). Overall the Aggies are 1-5, but they have won their lone road match-up to date.
All About The NM State Offense
New Mexico State is accounting for 57.8 points per game, with its season-high coming in the 76-72 OT defeat to UTEP (11/16/11). The Aggies eclipsed 60 points in three of their first four games but they failed to break that barrier the past two tilts. NM State is shooting 36.2 percent (114-315), including a stout 35.8 percent (29-81) from three-point land. Taking care of the basketball has been an issue with 20.2 turnovers per game. Four players are producing at least 7 points per game. Tabytha Wampler (14.8 ppg), Hannah Womack (10.5 ppg), Jasmine Rutledge (7.7 ppg) & Kaitlyn Soto (7.0 ppg.) Wampler also paces the team in assists (11) and offensive rebounds (14). Womack has been the top threat from distance with nine triples, while six of reserve Erica Sanchez’s nine total field goals have been three pointers.
All About The New Mexico State Defense
New Mexico State is giving up 67.0 points per game, but it has kept four of its six foes to 63 points or less. Two of those squads did not make it out of the 50’s. Opponents have hit 42.3 percent (157-371) from the field but they are at only 22.9 (22-96) on three-point tries. The Aggies have a -1.8 rebounding margin (37.5-39.3), and foes have registered just 15.8 turnovers per tilt. Jasmine Rutledge & Kaitlyn Soto are tied for the team led with six steals while Camila Rosen has accounted for four of the Aggies’ 12 blocked shots on the season.
CRASH COURSE ON THE MINERS
The Basic Facts On UTEP Basketball
2011-12 marks the 38th season for the UTEP women’s basketball team. The Miners have an all-time record of 423-582, including 5-0 this year. They have registered 13 campaigns of .500 or better. Six of them, including five straight, have come during head coach Keitha Adams’ tenure. UTEP has been a member of four leagues, including being affiliated with Conference USA since the start of the 2005-06 season. The Miners have one postseason appearance and one conference championship to their credit, both of which came during the historic 2007-08 season (28-4 overall, 16-0 C-USA). UTEP returned three starters and eight letterwinners overall from last year’s squad (16-14, 7-9 C-USA).
Getting To Know Coach Adams
UTEP is under the direction of the winningest coach in program history, Keitha Adams. She is 160-143 in her 11th year, including 157-143 since the start of the 2002-03 season. The Miners’ prior top record for a 10-year stretch was 115-155 from 1990-91 through 1999-2000. Adams has delivered the three most successful seasons in program history (22-8, 2006-07, 28-4 2007-08 & 18-12 in 2009-10) to help the Miners forge a record of 104-54 since 2006-07. Adams was the 2008 C-USA Coach of the Year/finalist for national honor after leading the Miners to their first league championship & postseason bid (advanced to second round NCAA Tournament). Academics have been a strong point for her , too, with every player who has exhausted her eligibility at UTEP during her tenure earning a degree. Overall Adams is 287-160 in her 16th year as a collegiate head coach, having compiled a mark of 127-37 in a five-year run at Independence Community College.
All About The Front Court Returnees
The Miners returned four post players (senior Gloria Brown, juniors Anete Steinberga & Kristine Vitola and sophomore Kayla Thornton). Brown, the 2011 C-USA Newcomer & Sixth Player of the Year/second-team all C-USA member, has been dominant. She paces the squad in blocked shots (19), field-goal percentage (62.8), free-throws made (13) & attempted (16), points per game (13.8), rebounds per game (9.4) and steals (8). She is doing all of this in 19.2 minutes per game in coming off the bench. Vitola, who averaged 4.7 ppg on 36.8 percent shooting & 3.3 rpg during her first two years, has broken through as junior starter. She is providing 8.0 ppg (5th team) on 58.3 shooting (3rd team) while grabbing 6.4 rpg (3rd team). Vitola has blocked five shots to place second on the squad, and she has logged 18.2 while starting all five games. Thornton has made an impact with her energy, ranking second in both points (9.2 ppg) & rebounds (6.8 rpg). She has grabbed more offensive boards (18) than defensive (16), and is making 54.5 percent (18-33) from the field to check in 5th on the squad. The El Paso native has started every game and is earning 22.6 mpg. Steinberga, a two-year starter, is starting to adjust to coming off the bench. She had two points and one rebound while being called for six fouls in the first two games. The Latvian native has registered 15 points, nine boards and only three fouls in the three games since. She has nailed 57.1 percent of her shots (8-14) to check in fourth on the team. Overall Steinberga has received 11.6 mpg as a reserve in all five games.
All About The Back Court Returnees
The Miners also have four guards back (seniors Baiba Eglite, Kim Smith and Erika Warren) and sophomore Kelli Willingham. Briana Green, who missed the final 20 games last year with an injury, is back in the fold Whitney Houston is still recovering in aim of making her debut with the Miners, as she went down with an injury prior to the start of the 2010-11 season. Smith has registered a team-high 13 assists while posting 5.0 points per game (7th team). She has hit a quartet of three pointers and is third on the team with six steals. Smith has started four games and is seeing 18.4 mpg. Willingham, a 2011 All C-USA Freshman member, has buoyed Smith with 12 assists. She is fourth on the team in scoring at 8.4 ppg, having broken through with a season-high 18 points against Denver (11/26/11). Willingham nailed four three pointers against the Pioneers, and now boasts a team-high eight triples on the season. She has started four games and is garnering 22.0 mpg. Green is working her way back into form. She has played in all five games, including one start, while pitching in 4.6 ppg. She did not register a rebound in the first three games on the year but has registered seven total over the past two tilts. She is receiving 16.8 mpg. Warren is starting to find her rhythm. She has hit three-of-seven while scoring eight points and grabbing nine rebounds the past three games. She was 1-of-7 with two points and one rebound prior. Overall she has logged 9.8 mpg. Eglite, who did not play the first two games, has earned 13 combined minutes since. She has hit a pair of three pointers while registering two steals. Overall she is receiving 6.5 mpg, but she did not play against Denver (11/26/11).
All About The Newbies
Six newcomers, all guards (freshmen Syerra Davis, Jenzel Nash, Chrishauna Parker & Marissa Rodriguez, sophomore Ryah Lacy and junior Melisa Mendes) are in the mix for the Orange and Blue in 2011-12. Mendes, an all-conference performer at NW Florida State College, has been a key cog. She is second on the team in steals (7) and three-pointers made (six) while chipping in 7.4 points per game (6th team). The native of France has started every game, and is playing 19.2 mpg. Parker has been the top backcourt reserve, with 8.5 ppg (3rd team) on 60.9 percent shooting (2nd team)- to go along with 3.8 rpg (4th team). A top-50 guard nationally out of Atascocita HS, she has made one start while earning 22.0 mpg in four games played. Nash, the program’s first Parade All-American after leading the nation in scoring with 37.7 ppg for Worthing HS, has pitched in 4.6 ppg, which was aided by a career-high 18 points on 8-of-16 shooting against Houston Baptist. (11/19/11). She has posted five steals (t4th) while attempting 31 field goals (5th team).
Overall she has merited 10.0 mpg in coming off the bench for all four games. Davis, a top-50 guard who won three straight state titles with Tolleson HS, has registered 7.8 mpg in four games of action as a reserve, contributing four total rebounds against Houston Baptist (11/19/11). Lacy, who led Grayson County College to a fifth-place finish nationally, has registered 12.8 mpg in three games off the pine. She was at her best against the Huskies (11/19/11), chipping in five points, four rebounds and an assist in 21 minutes. El Paso native Rodriguez, who played at Reagan High School (in San Antonio), walked onto the team. She grabbed one rebound in three minutes of action in her collegiate debut vs. HBU (11/19/11).
Let The Good Times Roll
UTEP will look to continue an unprecedented string of success at the school in 2011-12. The Miners have posted a program-best five straight seasons with a winning percentage of .500 or better, four of which have been outright winning campaigns. The effort has resulted in a record of 105-54 in that timeframe, including 5-0 in 2011-12.
Making Some Strides In Rebounding
UTEP, which had a -6.5 rebounding margin after two games, has won the rebounding battle in three straight contests to surge to +6.8 (44.8-38.0) in that area overall. The Miners were +3.8 in the department last year, which allowed it to finish in the positive in the category for the first time since the 2005-06 campaign.
Success In Non-League Play
UTEP, 5-0 thus far, is taking aim at notching its seventh straight season with a winning record in non-conference play in 2011-12. Furthermore, the Miners are looking for their 10th straight season of .500 or better outside of league play. UTEP registered nine such seasons from the program’s inception (1974-75) through the end of the 2000-01 season.
The Miners are outscoring the opposition, 40-30, on average in the second half of contests this year. UTEP has hit on 49.1 percent of its shots while holding the foes to 32.8 percent. Rebounding average is also in favor of the Miners (19.6-18.0). The effort helped UTEP post come-from-behind victories against both Idaho State (11/12/11) & at NM State (11/16/11).
Playing Time A Plenty
Twelve Miners are earning at least 10.0 minutes per game on the year, with sophomore Kayla Thornton topping the list at only 22.6 mpg. Furthermore there have only been two times this season that a Miner was on the court for 30 or more minutes. Thornton had 32 minutes vs. Idaho State (11/12/11) while senior Gloria Brown played a career-high 30 minutes at NM State (11/16/11).
Sophomore forward Kayla Thornton and freshman guard Marissa Rodriguez 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.
Miners Picked Fourth In Preseason Poll
The UTEP women’s basketball team was selected tied for fourth in the 2011-12 Conference USA Preseason Poll, as voted upon the league’s 12 head coaches. Additionally, senior forward Gloria Brown was tabbed to the all-conference preseason team, which was also revealed by the league office on Oct. 6. Memphis was selected as the preseason favorite, with Tiger guard Brittany Carter being named the preseason player of the year.
In Brief 2010-11 Year-In-Review
UTEP overcame the loss of four key players to injuries at various points in the year on the way to finished with an overall record of 16-14 during the 2010-11 season. The Miners were 13-6 in El Paso, including 8-3 during non-conference play. UTEP registered 69.6 points per game on .427 percent shooting, including .348 from beyond-the-arc. The opposition was held to 65.2 ppg and .385 from the floor.
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 posted eight games with double-figures in three pointers made. The Miners have registered 11 such contests since, with a school-record five in 2008-09, three in 2009-10, a pair last year and one thus far in 2011-12.
172 Straight Games With A Triple
UTEP has made least one three-point shot in a program-record 172 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.
STAT LOVERS’ LANE
The Magical 70-Point Barrier
The Miners are 104-12 during the Keitha Adams era, including 5-0 this year, in games which it eclipsed 70 points.
UTEP holds a record of 82-15 in the past 97 contests in which it has hit on at least 40.5 percent from the field. The Miners are 4-0 in the situation this year.
Three-Point Success Add Up To Wins
UTEP sports a mark of 46-9 in its past 55 games when making 40 percent or better from three-point range (min. 5 3PM). The Miners are 1-0 in area this season.
Better Get Ready To Rebound
UTEP has a record of 94-40 under Keitha Adams, including 27-9 in the past 36 games, when out-rebounding the opposition. It is 3-0 in the situation this year.
Helping Hand Leads To Triumphs
UTEP is a robust 50-2 under Keitha Adams, including 1-0 this year, when registering at least 20 assists in a contest. 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
The Miners are 59-15 over their past 74 games that they’ve forced the opposition into committing at least 20 turnovers. UTEP is 2-0 in the situation this year
Turning Up The Pressure
UTEP is 57-12 during the Keitha Adams era, including 39-3 since the start of the 2006-07 campaign, when forcing the opposition into committing more turnovers than field goals made in a game. The Miners are 3-0 in the situation this year.
Making Free Throws Can Help
UTEP is 42-10 over the past 52 contests when knocking down better than 70 percent at the free-throw line (minimum 10 FTM), including 1-0 in 2011-12.
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 24-11, including 1-0 this year, in games in which they were below 61-percent from the free-throw line (minimum 10 attempts.
The Miners have won 15 of their past 23 regular-season contests in which they made more three pointers than free throws.
Adams Adding To Record With Every Win
Eleventh-year UTEP head coach Keitha Adams, already the winningest coach in program history, has compiled a mark of 160-143 in the timeframe. She has led her charges to a record of 157-118 from the start of the 2002-03 campaign. From the program’s inception in 1974-75 through the end of the 1990-91 season, six different coaches aided UTEP to a record of 145-286. Sandra Rushing was 123-175 in 11 seasons on the sideline (1990-91-2000-01).
Senior Gloria Brown has blocked 84 shots in her time in the Sun City, including 19 this year, to rank fourth for career rejections at the school. She is second all time in blocked shots per game, with an average of 2.4. Junior forward Kristine Vitola rates 8th on the list with 54 swats, including five this year.
Crashing The Glass
UTEP secured 29 offensive rebounds, the third most in program history, which led to 33 second-chance points in the win against Houston Baptist (11/29/11). Overall the Miners tallied 60 rebounds, which was their highest sum since the 2005-06 season and tied for ninth overall in school history.
Gloria Was Glorious
Gloria Brown flirted with a triple-double (21 points, nine boards, eight blocks) while playing a career-high 31 minutes in the win at NM State (11/16/11). The eight rejections rate third all time at the school, trailing only former Miner Izabela Piekarska’s single-game effort (10, twice).
Double Your Pleasure
For the second straight season, Gloria Brown posted a double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds) in the campaign lidlifter (Idaho State, 11/12). She became the first Miner to achieve the feat
HOME SWEET HOME
Loving Life In El Paso
The Miners are 71-17 in El Paso since the start of the 2006-07 season, including 4-0 this year.
Keitha Adams’ charges have strung together a school-record four straight seasons with 12 or more home triumphs. UTEP only had four campaigns with double figures in home wins in the first 27 years of the program, with the high water mark (12-1) coming in 1988-89.
Home Games A Plenty In 2011-12
By year’s end, the Miners will have played 17 home games (nine non-conference & eight C-USA), which ties as the third-highest figure in program history. The school standard (19 games, 13-6 record) was set last season, which was aided by the Miners playing host to the 2011 Conference USA Tournament. UTEP rolled to a record of 16-2 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 eight straight years with at least nine home victories and boasts an overall record of 106-49 in El Paso. The Miners had six such seasons in the 27 years prior to her tenure, and were a combined 163-142
Life On The Road
UTEP is 39-83 on the road under Keitha Adams, but there have been signs of progress. The Miners are 1-0 this year and 26-32 away from home since the start of the 2006-07 season. They have posted three years (5-5 2006-07/2008-09, and 10-3 2007-08) with a mark of .500 or better on the road in the stretch. Prior to Adams’ arrival in the Sun City, UTEP never posted a winning road record and it had only two years (2-2; 1974-75 & 7-7; 1992-93) where it mustered a mark of .500. The Miners were a combined 68-241 in hostile territory the 27 years before Adams’ tenure. They were held at two triumphs or fewer in 14 of those campaigns.
Have Had Some Big Wins Away From Home
UTEP boasts 15 double-digit victories on the road under head coach Keitha Adams. The Miners compiled 32 such victories before her 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 WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
UTEP has piled up more than 100 victories since the start of the 2006-07 season.
UTEP has posted a school-record five straight seasons with a record of .500 or better in the sequence
Only 20+ win seasons and postseason appearance at school occurred during stretch
UTEP went 28-4 in 2007-08, including historic 16-0 in Conference 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 Adams have graduated
CLIFF’S NOTES ON 2011-12
UTEP Takes Down UTPA
Powered by Gloria Brown’s second double-double on the year, UTEP dispatched UTPA, 62-51, on Nov. 22. The Miners jumped out to a 29-17 lead at the half, extended it to as many as 19 (58-39 with 4:56 to play) before a mini run late made the final score a little more aesthetically pleasing for UTPA. The Miners dominated down low, scoring 40 of their 62 points in the paint, in addition to winning the rebounding battle, 40-35.
Brown & Vitola Got It Done
Gloria Brown led the way for the Orange and Blue with 13 points, 11 rebounds while also registering five blocked shots against UTPA (11/22/11). Kristine Vitola recorded eight points to go along with five boards to support Brown.
Plenty Of Playing Time
Head coach Keitha Adams used 14 of the 15 played dressed in the win against UTPA (11/22/11). Twelve of those 14 logged at least 10 minutes on the court.
UTEP Routs Houston Baptist, 82-53
The Huskies jumped out to a 2-0 lead but the Miners (3-0) used an 11-0 run to stake an advantage they would never relinquish. UTEP led 43-17 at the half before putting it on cruise control in the second half.
Big Rebounding Nights For Vitola & Warren
Nash Finds Her Rhythm
Jenzel Nash was 0-7 from the floor in her first two collegiate games before breaking through against Houston Baptist (11/19/11). She nailed 8-of-16 from the floor, including a dazzling fake on a one-on-one situation midway through the second half on a lay-up to bring the crowd to life. She finished with with a team-high 18 points.
Brown Leads UTEP To 76-72 OT Win At NM State
Gloria Brown poured in 21 points while grabbing nine rebounds and blocking eight shots to help lead UTEP to a 76-72 overtime victory at New Mexico State in the SONIC® ® America’s Drive-In® battle of I-10 on Nov. 16. The Aggies scored the first two points of OT before the Miners ripped off nine straight to surge ahead, 70-63, with 3:03 to play. NM State eventually whittled the margin down to two (74-72) but Melisa Mendes came up with a clutch steal and sank a pair of free throws with six seconds left to seal the win.
Other Standouts In The Game Against NM State
Chrishauna Parker delivered 11 points and five rebounds in 27 minutes in her first career start while Melissa Mendes. Kristine Vitola came through with eight points-including six in OT- to go along with eight rebounds.
UTEP trailed by as many as nine in the first half and was down by six with 9:27 to play. The Miners utilized a 17-3 run over the next seven-plus minutes on the way to surging into the lead (60-52). NM State forced OT by closed the period on a 9-1 run, including a lay-up at the buzzer.
UTEP Rides Big Second Half To Topple Idaho State
UTEP thumped Idaho State, 53-28, during a dominating second half on the way to securing a 79-63 win in the 2011-12 season opener for both squads at the Don Haskins Center on Nov. 12.
Defense Does It
The Miners held the Bengals to 30.8 percent (16-of-52) from the floor, including just 4-of-26 (15.4) in the second half. ISU committed 27 turnovers, which led to 28 UTEP points.
Unselfish play helped with UTEP registering 20 assists on 29 field goals against Idaho State (11/12). Kelli Willingham & Kim Smith accounted for half of them, with five helpers each.
Miners Topple St. Mary’s
The Miners dispatched St. Mary’s, 79-56, in their lone exhibition contest on the year on Nov. 5. Freshman Jenzel Nash paced the squad with 15 points to lead a balanced UTEP offense. Junior Kristine Vitola (13 points, 11 rebounds) and sophomore Kayla Thornton (11 points, 10 rebounds) each recorded a double-double while junior Anete Steinberga (11 points) and freshman Chrishauna Parker (10 points) also reached double figures in scoring.
Getting It Done Across The Board
UTEP connected on 46.0 percent from the floor (29-of-63), including 52.0 percent (13-of-25) after the break. It was locked in at the free-throw line, nailing 16-of-22 attempts (72.7). The Miners took care of business defensively, limiting the Rattlers to 37.9 percent (22-of-58) from the field. They also won the battle of the boards, 45-32, while forcing the visitors into 14 giveaways.