UTEP To Tangle With High-Scoring Aggies At Pan-American Center Tuesday

Kayla Thornton

Dec. 2, 2013

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-   Undefeated UTEP will play its first road game of the year when it challenges I-10 rival New Mexico State at 6 p.m. at the Pan-American Center Tuesday.

-   Fans can listen live to the game on 1150 AM & also get updates by following @UTEPWBB on twitter.

-   UTEP (6-0) is off to its third-best start in school history. The 2011-12 team (finished 29-4) opened up at 10-0 while the 1996-97 squad (finished 13-12) rolled out of the gates at 7-0.

-   All six wins have been by double figures, which is a first at the school. The 1996-97 team had 5.

-   Included in the stretch was back-to-back

-   UTEP sports a +28.7 scoring margin, its second-highest differential through six games on the year. Only the 1976-77 Miners (+29.5) were better but they were aided by games against against the likes of Ft. Bliss, Howard College, Sul Ross State, Odessa College & WNMU.

-   Included in stretch were 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).

-   Also won four straight games (11/12/13 to 11/27/13) by 20+ points in the stretch for first time since ‘06-07 & third occasion in the program’s history.

-   Enjoyed school-record-tying stretch of three consecutive games (11/16/13 to 11/27/13) of holding opposition to fewer than 45 points.

-   UTEP  gained some ground in the AP-Top 25 poll,  grabbing six points to tie for 33rd. It had one point & tied for 36th in the Nov. 25 poll.

-   UTEP is also getting votes in the coaches’ poll, with the new edition set to be released Dec. 3.

-   70+ points in five of six games, including two in the 90’s & another in the 80’s.

-   Connecting on 44.2 % from floor while making 13.8 turnovers per game.

-   Kayla Thornton (16.0 ppg) is the lone player averaging double figures in scoring, but she is not the only threat by any means.

-   Eight other Miners are contributed +5.5 ppg, including four at better than 8.0 ppg. 

-   Keeping foes to 31.7% from floor & forcing 24.7 turnovers per game.

-   Outrebounding opponents (43.2-38.5) & enjoying big advantage at charity stripe (127-of-191 to 61-of-103).

-   Deep squad with nine players earning at least 10 minutes per game & another at 9.8.

-   UTEP is 57-14 since the start of the 2011-12 season, including 6-0 this year.

-   The Miners finished a perfect 6-0 in November & they are now 17-1 in the month since 2011.

-   It is 44-22 all time in the month under head coach Keitha Adams.

-   UTEP has enjoyed even more success historically under Adams in December, with a record of 53-25 during her tenure.


-   NM State leads the series, 47-34, including 30-10 in Las Cruces.

-   The Miners won the first meeting this year, 94-69, on Nov. 12.

-   UTEP has played NM State at least twice every year since the Miner program was founded (1974-75).

-   UTEP  is 15-10 against the Aggies during the Keitha Adams era, making her the lone coach  in program history to sport a winning record in the “Battle of I 10.”


-   Kayla Thornton (17 points, 10 rebounds), Cameasha Turner (career-high 13 points) and Jenzel Nash (10 points) all reached double figures in scoring, and UTEP moved to 6-0 on the year after a 73-60 conquest of visiting Texas State at the Don Haskins Center on Nov. 30.

-   The Miners led 41-23 at the break.

-   The advantage swelled to as many as 22 (54-32, 11:58 to play) before the Bobcats tried to put together a rally. The visitors battled back but could never get closer than 12 the rest of the way out during the foul-plagued contest.

-   There were 56 combined infractions in the game (30 on UTEP, 26 on Texas State), with the Miners knocking down 21-of-32 free throws and TSU finishing at 14-of-30 from the charity stripe.

-   UTEP connected on 40.3 percent (25-of-62) from the floor, with that figure aided by 42 points in the paint.

-   UTEP won the rebounding battle, 44-40, aided by 12 from Chrishauna Parker & 10 from Thornton. 


-   NM State returned two starters from last year’s team that finished 15-16, 7-11 WAC.

-   The Aggies stumbled out of the gates at 1-3, including the 94-69 season-opening loss (for NM State) at UTEP on Nov. 12.

-   NM State has gone 2-1 since that point, trouncing Eastern New Mexico (88-56, 11/21) before toppling Northern Illinois, (77-73, on Nov. 29). It was edged out by Milwaukee, 84-81, last time out.

-   The Aggies are producing 77.3 points per game, aided by three players in double figures and three more at +8.0 ppg.

-   NM State has drilled 42.6% of its shots from the floor, including 34.6 percent from beyond-the-arc.

-   Eight newcomers are in the fold for the Aggies.

-   NM State is led by third-year head coach Mark Trakh, who is 24-44 with the program. Overall he stands at 312-232 in his 19th year as a collegiate head coach.

-   NM State was voted third in the WAC preseason poll. Sasha Weber was picked as a second-team selection in both polls.

-   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.


 -  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.


-   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).



-   This is the 40th season of UTEP women’s hoops.

-   Overall record of 475-596, including 6-0 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.


-   UTEP is led by 13th-year head coach and the all-time win leader in program history, Keitha Adams, who is 212-158 in that time frame.

-   Adams is 339-194 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.

-   181-102, including 6-0 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 three straight years & six times overall.

-   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 record of 137-54 in Keitha Adams era.

-  102-22 since 2006-07, including 6-0 this year.

-  66-34 was most wins over 8 years before Adams.

-  35-5 over past 40 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.


-   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


-   The game against the Aggies is the first road contest of the year. The only other actual road contest in non-conference play for the Miners will be at Texas A&M (Jan. 2, 2014).

-   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.



-   Hit at least one three pointer in 237 straight games. Last game without a trey was 12/30/05.

-   Posted wire-to-wire wins in first four games & has enjoyed lead for 218:45 out of 240 total minutes played.

-   1-0 on year & 60-3 with +20 assists during the Keitha Adams era.

-   4-0 on season & 75-12 under Adams when opposition has more turnovers than field goals.



Class of 2014 (Thornton, Vitola & Willingham)

-   Aided UTEP to record of 73-28 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 (24).

-   On track to break Kim Watts’ (1978-82) career rebounding mark (810). Timika Williams (2006-10) is second & Thornton is third at 730.

-   Sixth all time on UTEP scoring list (1,112)

-   Tied for sixth at school for starts (82).

-   Also among top 10 for field-goals attempted (947-7th), steals (141-7th), field goals made (411-8th) & free-throws made (233-8th)

-   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 (102).

-   Ranks fourth all time at UTEP for blocks (118).

-   500+ points (572) & 400+ boards (438).


 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.



at UTEP 63, Northern Colorado 40

-   Fueled by a huge second half (42-16), UTEP dispatched upset-minded Northern Colorado, 63-40, at the Don Haskins Center on Nov. 27.

-   The Bears led by three (24-21) at the break.

-   Senior Kayla Thornton (21 points) and sophomore Irene Gari (14 points) led the way.

-   UTEP hit 46.6 percent (27-of-58) of its shots.

-   Junior Chrishauna Parker added nine points while sophomore Jenzel Nash buoyed Gari’s spark off the bench with eight.

-   Thornton made six steals.

-   UNC shots 27.5 (14-of-51) percent & committed 30 turnovers that led to 36 UTEP points.

-   UTEP out-scored UNC in points in the paint (42-16) & on fast-break tries (15-2) to more than compensate for losing the rebounding battle 46-31.


at UTEP 92, Northern Arizona 43

-   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.

-   Senior Kayla Thornton and sophomore Irene Gari each netted 12 points while senior Kristine Vitola pitched in 10.

-   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.


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).

-   Stacie Telles came off the bench to provide 16 points, while Jenzel Nash (14 points) & Kelli Willingham (12 points) also reached double figures in scoring.

-   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.

-               Sophomore Cameasha Turner (11 points), senior Kelli Willingham (10 points) and Jenzel Nash (10 points) joined Thornton in double figures.



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