UTEP Women's Basketball Notes / Game 11 / At NM State
Dec. 14, 2009
THE OPENING ACT
UTEP To Play At I-10 Rival New Mexico State Tuesday
The UTEP women’s basketball team (7-3) is set to take on I-10 rival New Mexico State (5-3) at the Pan-American Center at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday. The meeting is the first of two on the year for the programs, with the Aggies playing a return game in El Paso at 3 p.m. MT on Dec. 28.
How To Follow It
The game will be carried locally on KHRO 1150 AM. There will also be an audio stream available online through the all-access section of www.utepathletics.com.
Plenty Of History To This Series
Tuesday’s game will mark the 73rd meeting all time between the two programs, with NM State leading the all-time series with UTEP, 43-29. The Miners have emerged victorious in nine of the past 11 match-ups. The two squads split the series last year, with each team successfully protecting its home court. The last contest between the foes resulted in a 77-67 NM State victory on Dec. 7, 2008, which prevented the Miners from sweeping the battle of I-10 for a fourth straight year.
More On The Battle Of I-10
While UTEP has won nine of the past 11 games against NM State, that does not mean that there have not been some close calls. Of those nine triumphs, four have been of the single-digit variety.
The Miners will play host to Texas State and Alcorn State on Friday and Sunday, respectively. The games will open up the start of an eventual five-contest homestand. Overall UTEP is in the midst of playing six of seven inside the friendly confines of the Don Haskins Center.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
The 411 On New Mexico State
New Mexico State University is located in Las Cruces, N.M., and is a member of the Western Athletic Conference. The Aggies sport a 5-3 record on the year, including 4-2 at home. Included among those victories was a defeat of Big 10 foe Michigan.
NM State’s high-octane offense has produced 73.1 points per game through eight games this year. Aiding that figure have been three different contests in which the Aggies eclipsed 79 points, including a season-high 86 points against Cal Poly. Strangely enough, NM State is 0-2 on the year in games in which it scores 80+ points.
Plenty Of Players Providing The Scoring
NM State’s offensive exploits have been courtesy of several players. Jasmine Lowe (14.6 ppg) leads a quartet of individuals in double figures for scoring, with Crystal Boyd (12.5), Madison Spence (11.6) and Danisha Corbett (11.5) getting in on the act as well. Two others are just shy of double digits, in the form of Kaitlyn Soto (9.5) and Tabytha Wampler (8.1).
Aggies Can Defend Too
While the Aggies are allowing 70.4 ppg, that number is a bit deceiving. Five of the six past opponents have failed to crack 70 points, with two of those foes being held below 60.
Especially In Guarding The Three
NM State’s opponents have connected on 41.0 percent from the floor, but the Aggies have been very good in defending the triple. NM State foes have connected on just 28.4 percent from beyond-the-arc (44-of-155).
GOING BACK IN TIME
Miners Ride Big First Half To Victory Over Texas Southern
UTEP used a 24-4 run early in the first half and never looked back on the way to downing Texas Southern, 72-49, at the Don Haskins Center Sunday afternoon.The game was knotted at 9-9 with 14:17 to play in the initial stanza before the Miners took up their intensity. The result was a nine-minute stretch in which the Lady Tigers had no answer at either end of the court on the way to UTEP taking an 35-15 lead with 4:56 left in the clock. TSU did not get any closer than 15 from that point on.
Williams Enters Class Of Her Own
Timika Williams registered five boards in the win against Texas Southern on Sunday, and as result became the first member of the 900-point, 700-rebound club at UTEP. Heading into the game at NM State, Williams boasts 965 career points and 703 rebounds.
Balanced Attack Overwhelmed TSU
Ten different Miners tallied points in the triumph against Texas Southern, Sviatlana Trukshanina (20 points-18 of which were on three-pointers) and Torrie Childs (10 points) leading the way. Dietra Caldwell chipped in nine, Kristine Vitola contributed eight while Jareica Hughes and Ashley Milian each had seven.
Trukshanina Garners Recognition
Sviatlana Trukshanina’s season-high 20 points off the bench helped power UTEP past TSU on Sunday, and as result the junior was selected as the Conference USA Player of the Week on Monday. She accounted for almost half of the points by the reserves (20-of-43) and registered five points and one of her two steals during the game-deciding 24-4 run early in the opening period.
Milian Gets It Done On The Glass
Junior Ashley Milian notched a career-high 10 rebounds in the victory against Texas Southern on Sunday. The effort improved her season output to 4.5 rpg, which rates third on the squad.
Long Time Coming
Ashley Milian’s effort made her the first Miner this year to reach double figures in rebounding. It marks the most games into a season (10) that a UTEP team had ever gone without having a player record at least 10 boards in a game.
We Like To Share
UTEP dished out 22 helpers in the victory against Texas Southern on Sunday, with Briana Green and Jareica Hughes leading the way by registering seven a piece. The Miners have now registered 41 games in the Keitha Adams era of at least 20 assists, and they are 39-2 in those contests. 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.
Getting After It On The Boards
After struggling in the early stages of the season with rebounding, the Miners have stepped it up the past two times out. UTEP won the battle of the boards by 16 against Grambling State (56-40) on Dec. 5. It followed that effort by out rebounding TSU by 15 (48-33). The 56 total rebounds vs. GSU marked the most since UTEP also had that many against Houston the 2006 C-USA Tourney. The Miners registered 26 rebounds of the offensive variety against GSU, which were the most since they also had 26 in a loss at Tulane on Jan. 20, 2007.
More On The Rebounding
The effort over the past two games has allowed the Miners to post a +1.3 rebounding margin heading into the tilt at NM State. UTEP had been saddled with a negative margin in the department for most of the season.
Starting To Put Things Together
The Miners were saddled with a 1-2 start to the season but have quietly regrouped to win six of their past seven games. UTEP’s average margin of victory in those six triumphs is 13.7 (67.7-54.0).
Strong Start Again
Thanks to the 7-3 start, the Miners have now registered a winning record through the first 10 games of the season in three of the past four years. UTEP has eight such starts in program history, with three of them coming under the direction of Keitha Adams. The best record through 10 tilts at the school was the 2006-07 squad, which was 9-1. Both the 2007-08 & 1996-97 units were 8-2. This year’s team joins the 1976-77, 1992-93 & 1995-96 squads to stand at 7-3. The 1998-99 team was at 6-4.
After allowing the opposition to score 66 and 80 points in the season’s first two games, the Miners have turned up the heat defensively. Only one opponent since then has registered more than 65 points in a contest. UTEP’s best defensive game of the campaign came against Grambling State on Dec. 5, with the Miners setting season lows for points allowed (40) and field-goal percentage defense (.246).
Big-Time Improvement On Defending The Three
UTEP permitted the opposition to make the most three pointers in program history over the first eight games of this year (57), but it has answered the call since then. The Miners have forced the opposition into connecting on just 5-of-37 in the two games since, both which they won. Included among that was Grambling State going 1-of-15 from beyond-the-arc on Dec. 5. The effort tied as the fifth-lowest percentage by a UTEP opponent (min 10 attempts), in program history. The list is as follows:
% 3PTM 3PTA Opponent Date
0.0 0 13 Bellhaven 11/27/93
0.0 0 14 Northern Illinois 12/22/03
0.0 0 10 at Northern Illinois 12/21/04
5.6 1 18 Texas Lutheran 12/9/95
6.7 1 15 vs. Eastern Michigan 12/7/96
6.7 1 15 vs. Grambling State 12/5/09
No Love At The Line
The Miners have racked up 66 points in the paint the past two games (wins against Grambling State and Texas Southern) yet amazingly earned four free throw attempts in each of those games. It marks just the second time in program history that UTEP has attempted fewer than five free throws in consecutive contests. The Miners were stricken with three such successive games during the 2001-02 year (3-of-3, 1-of-3 & 5-of-5).
Low Foul Tally Factored In
One way to explain UTEP earning four free throw tries vs. Grambling State on Dec. 5 is the fact that the Lady Tigers were whistled for only eight fouls. The figure ties as the third-fewest infractions in a game by the opposition in school history. Only contests against Hawaii (7 fouls on Jan. 7, 1999) and Rice (7 fouls on Feb. 10, 2006) resulted in fewer fouls by a UTEP foe. Texas Southern was hit with 14 infractions, so there really is no explanation for that game.
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 is at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays. It can be listened to locally on AM 600 or on the web at www.krod.com.
Miners Have Faced Veteran-Laden Squads
Nine of UTEP’s 10 opponents returned at least four starters from last year’s squad. The Miners are 4-2 vs. teams which brought back a quartet of starters; (Grambling- W, 54-40, EIU-W, 84-80, UALR- L, 66-40, ULM- W, 56-54, WNMU- W, 73-56, & MSU- L, 80-73).UTEP is 2-1 vs. foes which were buoyed by all five starters coming back (FGCU-L, 54-66; Toledo-W, 79-65 & Weber State-W, 70-58). UTEP is 1-0 on the year against teams which brought back three starters (72-49 win vs. TSU on Sunday).
All About Making The Three
UTEP has knocked down 78 three-point shots through the season’s first nine games. It is the most makes to this point in a season in program history. The prior standard was 63 (2008-09).
Plenty Of Players Knocking Shots Down
The Miners enter the game at NM State having connected on 42.9 percent from the floor. Seven of the nine players in the rotation have made at least 40 percent of their shots. That figure would rate tied as the second most in program history. The 2006-07 squad featured eight such players while the 2007-08 Miners boasted seven.
Talking Points Off Of Turnovers
The Miners are a combined -22 in points off turnovers on their three losses this season. In the seven victories, UTEP is + 46 in the category.
The Bench Bunch
UTEP’s reserves have done a good job this season in providing some scoring punch, contributing 23.2 ppg. The effort was especially impressive when the back-ups poured in 55 points in the victory against Western New Mexico on Dec. 1. It marked the most points by UTEP’s bench since a 68-point outburst during a 107-43 drubbing of UT-Permian Basin on Nov. 15, 2006.
Sveta Has Surpassed Start Total From First Two Years
UTEP junior Sviatlana Trukshanina earned starts in the first three games this season, surpassing her total appearances in the top five over her first two seasons with the Orange and Blue. Trukshanina had played in 50 games prior to this campaign, with only two of those featuring her as a starter.
UTEP sophomore Torrie Childs registered a career-high-tying three blocks in just six minutes of action during the Miners’ triumph against Weber State on Nov. 27.
Had Hit The Ground Running
The Miners’ game against ULM on Nov. 28 marked the end of a busy November. The six games tied as the third-most contests in programs annals during the 11 months. Before this year, the last time the Miners played at least six times in November was in 2006-07. That year UTEP went on to record its first 20-win season in school history.
Third Tournament In As Many Weekends
UTEP’s participation at the K-State tournament marked the third straight weekend that it played a game on both Friday and Saturday.
CRASH COURSE ON 09-10 MINERS
UTEP returned four starters and eight letterwinners overall responsible for more than 80 percent of the points and 75 percent of the rebounds/assists from last year. The Miners went 18-12 in 2008-09 on the way to finishing second in a very competitive Conference USA. UTEP has since lost two of its returning letterwinners, though, in the form of Marta Micula and Fannie Goodwin due to different reasons.
Now That Is Depth
Keitha Adams added seven newcomers for 2009-10 which affords her depth across the board, but particularly in the front court. At the start of the since the Miners featured a program-best eight players taller than 6-0, which was a stark contrast from a year ago when injuries left UTEP with just three healthy posts.
In Jareica We Trust
Senior Jareica Hughes entered her final year in the Sun City as the unquestioned leader of the veteran-laden team and as the reigning two-time Conference USA player of the year. She is the active leading scorer in the conference, and owns the program records for assists, points and steals while being on track to finish as part of the winningest class ever at UTEP. She began the year as one of three players in the 14-year history of C-USA to register at least 1,100 points, 445 helpers and 220 thefts.
Williams Has Her Back
Timika Williams is aiding Jareica Hughes in the leadership department-both on and off the court. The 6-1 post is on track to become the program’s all-time leading rebounder while also joining the 1,000-point club. She is the only Miner to pace the team in rebounding for three straight seasons. Williams has been up to her old tricks through nine games this year, posting a team-high 68 boards.
2009 C-USA Freshman of the Year Dietra Caldwell has provided a one-two scoring punch in the backcourt this year with Jareica Hughes. Caldwell rates second on the team in scoring (10.6), behind Hughes’ 13.5 ppg. Twenty-three of her 37 field-goals made have been of the three-point variety, which should come as no surprise considering that she nailed the third-most three pointers in a single season ever at UTEP last year (64).
Talk About A Shooter
Sviatlana Trukshanina, who led C-USA and was second nationally with a school-record 48.4 from beyond-the-arc last year, got off to a great start this year by nailing five of her first six shots from distance. After enduring a slump (1-of-11) over next several games, she has regained her touch. Trukshanina nailed 6-of-7 against TSU on Sunday and has made eight of her past 12 triple tries. She has chipped in 6.0 points per game, which is the most among the reserves.
Good To Be Green
Last year Briana Green contributed 9.7 ppg and 2.5 apg in 21 games before having her promising freshman year cut short due to a knee injury. She has shown no ill effects in 2009-10, posting 5.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg and 2.3 apg in 26 minutes per game. Green, who started 14 of 21 games as a freshman, came off the bench the initial three contests in 2009-10 before being elevated into the starting line-up against Toledo on Nov. 24. The Miners are 6-1 since that time.
Don’t Forget Marta
The third senior on this year’s team is Marta Micula, who has once again been saddled with injury issues. She has been held to one appearance, registering an offensive rebound in three minutes of action in the season-opening setback at FGCU on Nov. 13.
Boot Be Gone
Sophomore Torrie Childs spent most of her first year in El Paso with her foot in a boot as result of an injury which just did not want to heal. The New Jersey native appeared in only nine games and never truly got things going. She has equaled that total this year, and has surpassed her efforts from a year ago in field-goal percentage (45.5-27.3), minutes played (72-57), points (23-21) and rebounds (17-14). She has equaled her efforts for assists (one) and blocked shots (six).
Six UTEP newcomers have earned playing time this year, including junior-college transfer Ashley Milian who is fourth on the team in scoring. She also had contributed 4.5 rpg, which rates as the most of any newcomers. Freshman Kristine Vitola, who has started the first eight games on the year, is the second-leading scorer (3.4 ppg) and rebounder (3.8 rpg) among newcomers. Kayla Guidry (2.5 ppg/1.2 apg) has been a factor off the bench as well. Additionally, Niya Santiago (0.6 ppg, 0.8 apg), Tracy Wittebolle (1.6 ppg/1.2 rpg) and Deanna Key (five minutes) have grabbed playing time.
What’s In A Name
While most Miner fans are familiar with how to pronounce the names of their favorite players, here is a quick rundown on some of the more challenging ones for those who need a refresher.
Dietra Caldwell= DEE-truh Caldwell
Baiba Eglite= Buy-buh E-glee-tay
Briana Green= Bree-ah-nuh Green
Jareica Hughes= Jer-ICK-uh Hughes (Jareica rhymes with Erica)
Deanna Key= Dee-ANN-uh Key
Marta Micula= Marta Meet-SUE-uh
Ashley Milian= Ashley Mill-E-on
Niya Santiago= NI-Uh (Niya like the word “I”)
Anete Steinberga= On-net-tay Stine-burga (Stine rhymes with nine
Kristine Vitola= Chris-TEEN Vee-toll-uh
Sviatlana Trukshanina= Svet-Lah-nuh TROOK-shuh-KNEE-nuh
Tracy Wittebolle= Tracy Whit-Uh-bowl-uh
Keitha Adams= Keith-ah
Ewa Laskowska= A-vah Less-cow-skah
We Love The Three Ball
UTEP, which set school standards for three-pointers made (201) and three-point field-goal percentage (.382) last season, has picked up right where it left off. The Miners have connected on 78-of-192 from beyond the arc (.406) in 2009-10. Those figures have been aided by a pair of single-game program-tying 14 three-pointers made (in the wins against Toledo and Eastern Illinois.)
Last year’s team became the first in program history to feature multiple players with 50+ three pointers made in a single season in the form of Dietra Caldwell and Sviatlana Trukshanina (64 and 59 threes, respectively last year). Caldwell (23-of-52) and Trukshanina (14-of-29) have done damage from beyond-the-arc, but senior Jareica Hughes (20-of-42) has made her presence felt as well through eight tilts in 2009-10.
More On Hughes’ Triples
Jareica Hughes is only six threes shy of equaling her season total from last year. While her percentage of 44.4% is almost apt to drop, she is still shooting the three ball much better than at any point of her career. Hughes’ top season on three-point shots came as a freshman, when she connected on 37.8 from byeond-the-arc. It has slowly dropped since then (39-of-127-30.7% as a sophomore and 26-of-93-28.0% as a junior).
Have Equaled Single-Game Standard Twice
UTEP has tied the school record for triples in a game (14) twice this year. It made 14-of-26 (.538) from beyond-the-arc in a 84-80 wire-to-wire victory vs. EIU on Nov. 20. UTEP went 14-of-32 in the triumph against Toledo on Nov. 30.
Threes A Plenty Past Two Years
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. The Miners have equaled that output in the past two years alone (school-record five such games last season & already three this year).
Break Single-Half Standard
The Miners drilled nine three pointers in the first half against Eastern Illinois, which are the most ever made in a single half in program history.
116 Straight Games With A Triple
UTEP enters the game at NM State having made at least one three-point shot in a program-record 116 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.
First Time For Everything
Sophomore Dietra Caldwell failed to attempt a three-point shot in a game for the first time of her career in the loss at UALR on Nov. 21. She only took two shots total in the contest, but got involved by dishing out six helpers. She certainly was more aggressive in the victory vs. Toledo on Nov. 24, draining a school-record-tying seven three pointers on the way to notching a career-high 28 points.
ALL ABOUT THE FINAL SCORE
Jekyll & Hyde
There have been two different Miner clubs-especially in terms of taking care of the basketball- this year, with the Dr. Jekyll version showing up seven times and the Mr. Hyde unit appearing on three occasions. The stark statistical contrast in wins compared to losses is as follows:
In 7 Wins (Average Stats)
Pts FG% 3fg% RB To Pts FG% 3fg% RB To
70.0 44.4 39.3 39.1 15.7 57.7 34.2 29.2 37.1 17.1
In 3 Losses (Average Stats)
Pts FG% 3fg% RB To Pts FG% 3fg% RB To
55.7 39.0 44.7 35.0 21.3 70.0 40.8 39.3 35.3 16.0
Something Magical About That 70-Point Barrier
UTEP registered 72 points against Texas Southern on Dec. 13, and is now 54-4 over the past 58 games in which it eclipsed 70 points.
Doesn’t Take A Basketball Wiz To Figure This Out
UTEP drilled 50.0 percent of its shots against Texas Southern on Dec. 13 on the way to improving to 57-4 in the past 61 tilts which eclipsing 40.5 percent from the floor.
Three-Point Success Add Up To Wins
UTEP drilled 60.0 percent of its three-point tries against Texas Southern on Dec. 13 en route to moving to 37-3 in its past 40 tilts when making better than 40 percent from beyond the arc (min. five made).
Defense? Who Needs It
After having lost 42 straight games when allowing more than 80 points in a game, the Miners won their next two in that situation. UTEP downed Southern Miss, 105-87, on Feb. 21, 2008, and most recently bounced Eastern Illinois, 84-80, on Nov. 20. The streak came to a close, though, when it fell vs. Missouri State, 80-73, on Dec. 4. The Miners are now 9-141 all time when giving up 80 or more points.
Finding A Way To Win
UTEP went hot and cold in its shooting against Grambling State on Dec. 5, with it ultimately connecting on 31.9 percent from the field. The Miners still came away with a triumph, and as result improve to 2-28 when making less than 33% of their shots dating to the 2004-05 season.
More Along Those Lines
UTEP won the game against Grambling State on Dec. 5 even though some of the aforementioned factors led to it tallying 54 points. The Miners are now 7-42 under Keitha Adams when their point total is in the 50’s.
Talk About A Feat
UTEP posted a 14-point triumph against Grambling State on Dec. 5 in spite of tallying 54 points. It marks the eighth-largest margin of victory in a game in which the Miners were held to 60 or fewer points in school history. The biggest win when UTEP did not reach 60 points came in the program’s first game, a 38-point trouncing of Beaumont (58-20) on Dec. 13, 1974. Before the effort against GSU, the last time the Miners had registered a double-digit victory when not topping 60 points was during the historic 2007-08 campaign. UTEP bested Tulsa, 58-44, on the road on Feb. 2, 2008.
RECORDS ARE MADE TO BE BROKEN
Adams Break School Standard For Wins
Head coach Keitha Adams became the winningest coach in program history thanks to the Miners’ 84-80 victory against Eastern Illinois on Nov. 20. Entering the game at NM State, she boasts a record of 130-116 at UTEP. Adams, who is in ninth year at the helm of the program, surpassed former Miner coach Sandra Rushing. Rushing produced 123 wins in her 11 years with UTEP.
More Than 250 Career Collegiate Triumphs
Heading into Tuesday’s tilt at NM State, head coach Keitha Adams boasts 257 career collegiate victories (130 at UTEP in nine years and 137 at JC level prior).
Hughes Sets Scoring Record
Senior point guard Jareica Hughes became the program’s all-time leading scorer during UTEP’s victory against Weber State on Nov. 27. Hughes moved past former Miner-and teammate for that matter- Izabela Piekarska (1,251 points from 2004-08) and one of the school’s all-time greats Be Stoney (1,249 from 1977-81).
Hughes Has Her Name All Over UTEP Books
Jareica Hughes’ name is all over the UTEP record books. She owns the school standards for career assists (506), points (1,319) and steals (238), while rating second in individual wins (75), free-throws made (308) and starts (94). She is third in three-pointers made (119) and minutes played (3,150).
Williams Sets Sight On Rebounding Mark
With six boards against ULM on Nov. 28, Timika Williams moved into second place all time at the school for career rebounding. This year she has already surpassed Kiana Taylor (676) and former teammate Izabela Piekarska (651). Williams boasts 703 boards heading into the game at NM State, and now trails only program record holder Kim Watts (810). To break the record, Williams must average at least 5.5 rebounds during the remaining 20 regular-season contests.
Williams Doing It In Other Areas Too
Senior forward Timika Williams also has her name mentioned plenty throughout the UTEP career record book. She is third in starts (93), fifth in blocked shots (56), sixth in minutes played (2,774) and 10th in scoring (965).
Most Important Stat
Jareica Hughes & Timika Williams are already responsible for the second-winningest four-year class in program history. Only the 2007-08 senior class (76 triumphs) boast more triumphs than Hughes and Williams’ class (75 wins).
Hughes In Class Of Her Own
Jareica Hughes posted 21 points and eight assists in the win against Toledo on Nov. 24. She has now registered 12 career games with at least 20 points and seven assists. From 1982 until 2006, the feat was achieved by six different players a combined nine occasions at UTEP.
1,000-Point Club Has Distinct Adams Flavor To It
Last year Jareica Hughes became the sixth member of UTEP’s 1,000-point club, and half of those individuals have been under the direction of head coach Keitha Adams. Hughes, who was the fastest to the mark ever at the school, joined Izabela Piekarska (1,251), Be Stoney (1,249), Kasia Krezel (1,172), Kiana Taylor (1,134) and Holly Russ (1,068). Timika Williams has set her sights on becoming the fourth Adams’ mentored player and seventh such overall to reach 1,000 at the school Entering the game at NM State, Williams boasts 965 career points.
Hughes Did So At Unprecedented Clip
Of the prior five members in UTEP’s 1,000-career point club, none managed to surpass 900-career points by the end of their junior year let alone 1,000. The total for each of the players at the conclusion of their junior season is as follows. Izabela Piekarska (857 career points), Kasia Krezel (829 points), Kiana Taylor (754 points), Be Stoney (741 points) and Holly Russ (600 points).
LIFE AT THE LINE
Dating to the start of the 2006-07 campaign, the Orange and Blue boast an incredible mark of 18-7 in games in which they were below 61-percent from the free-throw line (minimum 10 attempts). UTEP is, however, 1-2 in the situation this year.
Go Figure Part Two
The Miners have won 14 of their past 18 regular-season contests in which they made more three pointers than free throws. They are 3-1 in that situation this year (wins vs. Toledo, Grambling and Texas Southern; loss vs. Missouri State.)
Finally Something That Makes Sense
While UTEP has shown an innate ability to win games when faltering at the free-throw line, it has been good to see it win twice this year already when taking care of business at the charity stripe. The Miners are 2-0 this season when making at least 70 percent from the free-throw line. UTEP has claimed 31 of its past 34 games when doing so (min. 10 FTM)
Last season, the Miners set a school standard for fewest TOs in a year. (390). UTEP was third nationally for fewest giveaways per tilt (13.0). It is numbers like those which is why it was baffling to see the Orange and Blue having been hit with 17.4 turnovers per game through 10 tilts in 2009-10.
There’s Your Problem
UTEP committed 25 turnovers in both of its losses in the preseason WNIT. The contest at FGCU marked the Miners’ highest single-game totals in almost two years. UTEP registered 32 giveaways vs. UAPB on Nov. 30, 2007, but still prevailed with a 73-56 victory.
Not The Norm Under Adams
The Miners have already been hit with a pair of games with 25+ turnovers in 2009-10. It is early on in the year and the Miners are still trying to find the chemistry with seven newcomers in the mix, but it certainly is a stark contrast from year’s past. Consider the following list.
Year Games with 25+ Turnovers Total Games Played
2009-10 2 5
2008-09 0 (high was 19) 30
2007-08 3 32
2006-07 1 30
2005-06 1 29
2004-05 3 29
2003-04 0 (high was 23) 29
2002-03 2 29
That works out to 10 games with 25+ turnovers from the start of the 2002-03 season to the conclusion of 2008-09, a span of 208 games. For math lovers, that works out UTEP experiencing a 25+ turnover contest once every 21 games on average.
Making Some Strides
After committing 65 turnovers through the first three games of the season (1-2 in those contests), the Miners have made only 109 giveaways in the seven tilts since (6-1).
Turning Up The Pressure
UTEP is 47-10 under head coach Keitha Adams when forcing the opposition into committing more turnovers than field goals made in a game, including 2-0 this year. The Miners are 28-1 in that situation since the start of the 2006-07 campaign.
More Along The Lines
The Miners have forced the opposition into committing double figures in turnovers in 99 straight games and in all but three of the contests during the Keitha Adams era.
WNIT WRAP UP
Breaking It All Down
UTEP finished at 1-2 in the 2009 Preseason WNIT, falling at Florida Gulf Coast 66-54 on Nov. 12. UTEP bounced back to defeat Eastern Illinois, 84-80, in an entertaining neutral-site game on Nov. 20 before falling at UALR, 64-40 on Nov. 21. The three foes had a combined record of 76-21 last year. FGCU returned all five starters, while UALR brought back four starters and EIU featured one returning starter.
Not Much Luck For Anybody Away From Home
While UTEP suffered a pair of challenging defeats on the road in the 2009 Preseason WNIT, the results were in line with the rest of the field. Home teams posted a mark of 21-1, winning by an average score of 73-56. The lone road team to pick up a victory was Oklahoma State, which advanced to the championship contest before being routed by No. 3 Ohio State.
Long Time Coming
UTEP’s appearance in the 2009 Preseason WNIT marked the first time in school history that the UTEP women’s basketball team opened a season at a prestigious invitation-only tournament.
UTEP’s participation in the 2009 Preseason WNIT marks the first of three in-season tournaments it will play in this year. That marks the most tournaments during the regular season of the Keitha Adams’ era and the third-most ever.
THIS IS UTEP BASKETBALL
Golden Age Of Women’s Hoops
It is the golden age of women’s basketball at UTEP. The Miners have posted a school-record three straight winning seasons. Head coach Keitha Adams has directed the team to four winning campaigns overall. From the 1978-79 season to the 2002-03 season (26-year stretch), UTEP mustered four such years.
Appreciating The Stretch
Below is the breakdown of UTEP’s record from the start of the 2006-07 season to the end of the 2008-09 campaign, compared to the best three-year stretch at the school before head coach Keitha Adams’ arrival. As you can see, it truly is the golden age of UTEP women’s basketball.
Under Coach Adams Before Coach Adams
Home: 42-7 Home: 27-10
Road: 20-13 Road: 13-27
Road/Neutral: 26-17 Road/Neutral: 20-26
Overall: 68-24 Overall: 41-38
The Best C-USA Has To Offer
Since joining Conference USA in 2005, UTEP boasts the most wins, fewest losses and top winning percentage of the 12 teams in the highly-competitive league.
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).
Three Straight Successful Road Ventures
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 will have to step things up if it intends to notch a fourth successive such season. UTEP is 0-2 on the road this year, but is still 21-16 in hostile territory since the start of 2006-07.
Appreciating The Progress On The Road
UTEP has rattled off a school record six straight seasons with at least three road triumphs. 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.
And They’ve Had Some Comfy Win Margins
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, 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.
TIME TO START IT UP
Talking Season Openers
With the defeat at the hands of FGCU on Nov. 13, the Miners slipped to 17-19 all time in season openers, including 4-5 under head coach Keitha Adams.
Not As Fun Being Away From Home
The game at FGCU marked the 15th time in the 36-year history of the program that the Miners christened the campaign in hostile territory. While UTEP has now dropped four straight, 12 of the past 13 and is 3-12 all time when doing so there is some good news. The past two times the Miners have started a season on the road, they have gone on to a winning campaign (28-4 in 2008-07 & 16-13 in 2003-04). In fact, half of UTEP’s 10 winning seasons all time have come in years which it started on the road.
Three Straight In Unfamiliar Territory
The Miners played their first three tilts of 2009-10 away from El Paso, marking the first time they opened up a campaign with at least three straight away from home in 2002-03. The Miners also did so in 1975-76, 1979-80, 1982-83, 1985-86, 1986-87 and 1990-91.
Long Way To Go
The Miners traveled across two time zones on the way to taking on FGCU on Nov. 13. It marked the farthest distance (1,525 miles) that UTEP has covered simply to open a season. The next closest came when the Miners squared off against Louisiana Lafayette after covering 864 miles in 1993.
UTEP didn’t waste time in getting the 2009-10 season going, as the game at Florida Gulf Coast marked the fourth-earliest start date in the 36-year history of the program.
HOME SWEET HOME
Strong Start To 2009-10 Home State
UTEP opened up its 2009-10 home slate with four straight victories for third time in the past four seasons. The Miners were a perfect 14-0 at the Don Haskins Center in 2007-08. UTEP started at 4-0 in 2006-07 on the way to ultimately posting a mark of 16-2 at the venue. The Miners are now 5-0 at the venue after the victory against Texas Southern on Sunday.
Loving Life At The Don
UTEP stands a stout 47-7 at home since the start of the 2006-07 season, including 5-0 this year. Aiding in that effort has been a program-record three straight seasons with 10 or more home triumphs.
Don’t Take Things For Granted
Under head coach Keitha Adams, UTEP has posted a program-record six straight years with at least nine home victories and boast an overall record of 79-39 at the Don Haskins Center. That figure is especially impressive when taking into account the 1-12 mark during Adams’ initial year of her tenure. UTEP registered six such campaigns in the program’s 27-year history prior to her arrival.
Talking Home Openers
UTEP improved to 23-13 in home openers after defeating Toledo, 79-65 on Nov. 24. The Miners are now 6-3 in the situation under Keitha Adams.
UTEP Downs Grambling 54-40
Stifling defense, timely runs and an improved effort in the rebounding department all added up to the UTEP women’s basketball posting a convincing 54-40 victory against Grambling State en route to earning third place in the 15th-annual Commerce Bank Classic on Dec. 5. The Miners used three big runs in opening period (11-0, 6-0 & 9-0) while forcing the Lady Tigers into missing 25 of their first 27 shots. The end result was a 13-point lead at the half (32-19), and the Orange and Blue were never seriously threatened after the break.
Miners Edged By Missouri State, 80-73
Timika Williams paced a quartet of Miners in double figures with a season-high 24 points but it wasn’t enough as UTEP fell to Missouri State, 80-73, in the opening round of the 15th-annual Commerce Bank Classic on Dec. 4. The Miners looked to be in good shape as they led the Lady Bears by four (57-53) with 7:51 to play in the game. MSU struck back with 12 straight points, six of which were of the second-chance variety, and UTEP could get no closer than three down the stretch.
Milian’s Big Night Sends UTEP Past WNMU
Junior Ashley Milian poured in a career-high 24 points off the bench to lead UTEP past Western New Mexico, 73-56, at the Don Haskins Center Tuesday evening. The Miners used an 11-0 run early in the first half to surge ahead by double figures, and the Mustangs would get no closer than 12 from that point on. The advantage at the half was 20 (43-23), and it swelled to as many as 27 midway through the second stanza.
More On Milian
The 24 points off the bench by Ashley Milian are the most by a Miner reserve since former Miner Fannie Goodwin also reached that point total in the C-USA quarterfinal contest vs. Marshall on March 7, 2009. The junior-college transfer also got after it on the boards, notching a career-high eight boards.
Tournament Title Goes To UTEP
Jareica Hughes poured in 24 points and dished out six assists on the way to earning tournament MVP honors and leading the Miners past ULM, 58-56, in the championship contest of the third-annual UTEP Thanksgiving Classic on Nov. 28. Hughes’ final assist set up Timika Williams’ layup with 2:13 to play, which gave the Miners a lead they would not relinquish. The Warhawks had a chance to tie it in the last possession of the game, but Williams blocked Jesse Carrier’s shot as it barely left her hands.
UTEP Takes Top Two Awards
The top two individual awards at the UTEP Thanksgiving Classic went to the Miners. Jareica Hughes snagged the tournament MVP award while Timika Williams was recognized as the top defensive player in the event.
UTEP Tops Weber St. As Hughes Sets Scoring Standard
Jareica Hughes became the program’s all-time leading scorer as UTEP downed Weber State, 70-58, in the first game of the 2009 UTEP Thanksgiving Classic at the Don Haskins Center Friday evening. The Miners bolted out to a 9-0 lead and never looked back en route to the wire-to-wire victory.
Sharing The Wealth
Jareica Hughes led the Miners points (13) and assists (6) in 28 minutes of action against Weber State. She had plenty of help, though, with Briana Green (12 points), Timika Williams (10 points, eight boards) and Dietra Caldwell (10 points, five rebounds) all reaching double figures in scoring.
UTEP Soars Past Rockets
Dietra Caldwell poured in a career-high 28 points, Jareica Hughes flirted with a triple-double (21 points, nine rebounds & eight assists) as UTEP drilled Toledo, 79-65, in its home opener at the Don Haskins Center Tuesday evening.
Dietra Caldwell connected on single-game school record tying seven triples, while Jareica Hughes buried six three pointers to help UTEP match the school standard (14) for the second time already in 2009-10. The Miners also made 14 triples in the victory against Eastern Illinois on Nov. 20.
Defense Steps Up
Toledo had entered the game red hot as winners of three straight but the barrage of triples and tight defense by UTEP overwhelmed the preseason MAC West Division favorites. The Miners’ swarming defense forced UT into 36.2 shooting-it had entered at almost 45 percent from the floor- in addition to creating 16 turnovers. The 16 giveaways were converted into 21 points.
Slow Start Hurts UTEP In Loss At UALR
The UTEP women’s basketball team was saddled with a sluggish start in the opening half and could never recover, falling 64-40 against UALR in the final contest of the 2009 Preseason WNIT for both squads at the Jack Stephens Center on Nov. 21. The Miners gave the homestanding Trojans more help than they needed in the opening 20 minutes. UTEP turned it over 14 times- which resulted in 17 points- while connecting on just 26.3 percent of its shots (5-of-19). UALR was harassed into 10 giveaways in the opening stanza, but the Trojans compensated for that by knocking down 48.1 from the floor (13-of-27). The Trojans’ Chastity Reed did most of the damage, scoring 14 of her eventual game-high 24 points in the timeframe. When it was all said and done, the Miners faced a 20-point deficit at the half (34-14).
Adams Secures UTEP Win Record As Miners Best EIU
Keitha Adams became the winningest coach in program history as UTEP defeated Eastern Illinois, 84-80, in its second game of the 2009 Preseason WNIT at UALR’s Jack Stephens Center on Nov. 20. UTEP drilled a school-record-tying 14 three pointers, including nine during the opening 20 minutes, on the way to staking a 49-40 edge at the break. The Miners shot a sizzling 60.6 percent in the first half (20-33). The Orange and Blue, who never trailed in the contest, pushed their advantage out to as many as 18 in the second stanza (73-55) and held on down the stretch. The Panthers tried to rally in the latter stages of the tilt, and got it down to five (80-75) following a jumper from Dominique Sims with 1:55 to play. EIU sliced the deficit to three (83-80) in the waning seconds but senior Jareica Hughes, who led all players with 19 points and five assists, filled up a free throw to ice the game.
Taking Advantage Of Turnovers
Eastern Illinois connected on 51.1 percent of its shots, but the Miners did force the Panthers into making 18 turnovers. The giveaways were converted into 24 UTEP points. The Miners had 15 turnovers, but they only resulted in 10 EIU points.
UTEP Drops Season Opener At FGCU
The UTEP women’s basketball team dug itself an early hole and could never quite recover as it fell, 66-54, to Florida Gulf Coast in the first round of the 2009 WNIT and the season opener for both squads at Alico Arena on Nov. 13. The Miners were plagued by poor shooting (4-of-24) and uncharacteristic turnovers (12) in the opening half, which allowed the Eagles to stake a 36-17 halftime lead. Senior Jareica Hughes paced UTEP with 12 points.
Didn’t Go Down Without A Fight
Trailing by 19 at the break against a team which was 15-1 at home a year ago, UTEP could have folded up shop in the second half. The Miners showed plenty of character, though, by roaring back to pull with six (39-33) with 11:56 to play. Three straight turnovers allowed the Eagles to regroup and FGCU rattled off 10 straight points and the Miners never got closer than 12 down the stretch.
Silver Lining In Taking Care Of The Boards
UTEP controlled the glass against FGCU to the tune of 43-31. It was the largest positive differential in a loss since the 2005-06 campaign. That year the Miners out-rebounded ECU, 56-36, but fell in OT, 77-72, in Greenville.
Miners Ride Big Second Half To Exhibition Win Vs. St. Mary’s
The UTEP women’s basketball team came alive in the second half on the way to securing a 57-43 victory against St. Mary’s in its lone exhibition contest this year on Nov. 7. Senior Jareica Hughes paced the squad with 11 points while also contributing seven assists and six steals. Freshman Kristine Vitola showed some promise, registering eight points, six boards and a team-high five blocks. Dietra Caldwell, chipped in eight points and junior transfer Ashley Milian picked up six boards while adding five points to the Miners’ final tally.