MINERS
Undefeated UTEP Challenges Southeastern Louisiana Sunday

Sparkle Taylor

Sparkle Taylor

Dec. 14, 2013

Game Notes In PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

THE OPENING ACT

-   UTEP returns to action after a break for finals to play host to Southeastern Louisiana at 2 p.m. MST at the Don Haskins Center Sunday.

-   Tickets are $5 for adults & $3 for kids.

-   Audio & video of the game will be available through subscription-based Miner TV on UTEPAthletics.com.

-   The Miners (8-0) are off to their second-best start in school history. Only the 2011-12 team at 10-0 (finished 29-4) had a better start to the season.

-   Stand 55-25, including 2-0 this year, in the month of December under Keitha Adams.

NATIONAL MATTER

-   28th in USA Today Sports Top-25 Coaches Poll.

-   Tied for 31st in Associated Press Top-25 Poll.

-   Third straight week to get votes in both polls.

-   Earned 12 points in coaches & six in the AP.

-   UTEP is 59-14 since the start of the 2011-12 season, including 8-0 this year.

-   One of 17 undefeated teams in Division I (through all games played on Dec. 12).

-   Eighth in steals per game (12.9), ninth in turnover margin (9.25), 14th in scoring margin (24.5), 19th in scoring defense (55.1), 25th in field-goal percentage defense (33.6), 33rd in scoring offense (79.6) and 40th in blocked shots per game (4.8).

-   Kristine Vitola is 12th in blocked shots (3.0).

-   Chrishauna Parker is 73rd in steals per game (2.5) and 91st for rebounding (9.0).

-   Kayla Thornton is 37th for double-doubles (4), 73rd in steals (2.5), 139th in scoring (17.1), 226th in block shots per game (1.0) and 245th in field-goal percentage (41.8).

INSIDE THE SERIES

-   The series is tied, 1-1, with both meetings occurring during the 1989-90 season.

-   Both teams successfully defended their home court that campaign.

 

WINNING BIG

-   Program-best +24.5 scoring margin through eight games in school history.

-   While maintaining that figure will be near-to-impossible, the single-season school standard (+13.2, 2011-12) could be in reach.

-   Set a school record with seven straight wins by double figures (11/8 through 12/3). Prior standard was  six (2006-07 & 2011-12).

-   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.

GETTING OFFENSIVE

-   Scored 70+ points in seven of the eight games, including two in the 90’s & two in the 80’s.

-   Better than 40% from floor in five games.

-   Committed 15 or fewer turnovers six times.

-   Deep squad, with 10 players earning at least 10.0 minutes per game, including six at +20.0

-   Kayla Thornton (17.1 ppg) and redshirt-sophomore Jenzel Nash (10.4 ppg) are both in double figures for scoring.

-   Chrishauna Parker (9.0 ppg), Irene Gari (8.0 ppg), Stacie Telles (7.5 ppg), Kristine Vitola (7.4 ppg) and Kelli Willingham (7.3 ppg) have also proven to be consistent scoring threats.

-   20+ free throws made in five games & on pace to make 645, which would obliterate current school standard of 468 (2000-01).

-   30+ free throws attempted in four games & on  pace to take 952, which would shatter the current program record of 712 (1988-89).

 

GETTING DEFENSIVE

-   SMU (71 pts, 12/7) is only team with +70 points.

-   Held six teams to 61 points or less, including three to less than 45, &  hasn’t allowed 70+.

-   10+ steals in six games & eight in the other two.

-   On pace for 386 steals, which would top the single-season school standard (343, 2006-07 & 2007-08)

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

-   Forced 17+ turnovers in every contest.

-   Opponents committed 20 or more turnovers in five straight games  (11/16/13 through 12/3/13), for the first time since the 1996-97 season (six).

-   Out-rebounded foes in seven of eight tilts.

 

RUNDOWN ON THE 2013-14 MINERS

 -  The Miners are in search of a third straight 20+ victory campaign, which would be a program first (22-10, ‘12-13 & 29-4, ‘11-12).

-   UTEP returned four starters and seven letterwinners. Sophomore Irene Gari, junior Chrishauna Parker and seniors Kayla Thornton & Kelli Willingham started last year while sophomore Cameasha Turner earned a letter. Redshirt-sophomore Jenzel Nash & redshirt senior Kristine Vitola are also back after missing  last year due to torn ALCs.

-   Seven newcomers are in the fold.

-   UTEP will play host to the C-USA Championships (March 11-15, 2015) for the second time since joining the league.

 

GOING BACK IN TIME

-    Kayla Thornton (21 points, 10 rebounds) and Chrishauna Parker (12 points, 15 rebounds) recorded double-doubles while Jenzel Nash provided a spark with 19 points off the bench to help lead UTEP past long-time rival SMU, 76-71, at home on Dec. 7.

-   The Mustangs, who were 8-1 entering the game, jumped out to a double-digit lead (14-4) six minutes into the contest.

-   UTEP used a 31-14 run to carry a 35-28 cushion into halftime. It stayed hot to start the second half, with a 12-4 surge giving them their largest lead of the contest at 47-32 with 15:29 to play.

-   SMU wasn’t done, though, especially not with Keena Mays at its disposal. Mays, who finished with a game-high 34 points, refused to let her squad go down without a fight. It whittled the deficit down to two (56-54) with 7:28 to play, but UTEP would not relinquish the advantage.

-   Free throws (25-of-37) and winning the rebounding battle (47-45) proved vital, as did committing only 15 turnovers against a well-executed press by the visitors.

 

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

-   Southeastern Louisiana is 1-8 on the year.

-   The game at UTEP marks its ninth straight away from home.

-   Symone Miller (15.4), Nanna Pool (13.4), Aja Gibson (10.7) and Elizabeth Stylers (10.7) are all in double figures for scoring.

-   Annessa De La Cruz (7.7 ppg). is the only other player with better than 4.0 ppg.

-   Less than 60 points in three straight games.

-   Posted 69+ points in four of first six.

-   Allowed 80+ points in six of past seven tilts.

-   Kept first two foes to less than 70 points.

-   Pool leads the Southland Conference with a 67.1 percentage from the floor.

-   Pool (9.8) and Gibson (7.2) are the top two rebounders on the team.

-   Southeastern Louisiana University is a state-funded public university in Hammond, Louisiana, United States. It was founded in 1925.

-   Notable alumni include the late Bill Evans (American Jazz Pianist) and  Robin Roberts (anchor on Good Morning America),

 

THE BASIC FACTS ON UTEP

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

-   Overall record of 477-596, including 8-0 in ‘13-14.

-   UTEP has posted four 20+ win seasons in the past seven years.

-   UTEP has won three conference titles, including claiming both the 2012 C-USA regular season & tournament championship.

-   The Miners’ first league crown was in 2007-08 when they became the first C-USA women’s team to go 16-0 in league play. Aiding that was a school & league-standard 23-game winning streak

-   UTEP has appeared in two NCAA Tournaments, forging a mark of 1-2 at the “Big Dance.” The Miners earned an at-large bid in 2008, advancing to the second round. UTEP secured the automatic bid last year but was derailed by national power Penn. State, 85-77.

-   The school is in the midst of its centennial celebration, which will continue through ‘14-15.

-   Notable alumni include former ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Sam Donaldson,  well-respected NFL referee Ed Hochuli, former NASA astronaut Danny Olivas engineer & Dennis Poon, who designed Taipei 101 & some of the tallest buildings in the world.

 

THE ADAMS FILE

-   UTEP is led by 13th-year head coach and the all-time win leader in program history, Keitha Adams, who is 214-158 in that time frame.

-   Adams is 341-194 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.

-   183-102, including 8-0 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.

 

CHECK THE STATS

-   Hit at least one three pointer in 239 straight games. Last game without a trey was 12/30/05.

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

-   5-0 on season & 76-12 under Adams when opposition has more turnovers than field goals.

 

TAKING ON POWER CONFERENCE SCHOOLS

-   UTEP has claimed five consecutive contests against teams from power conferences.

-   It is 8-35 all time in the situation.

-   The Miners are 2-0 in the situation this year, toppling Big 12 member Kansas State, 84-39, on Nov. 16 & besting SMU of the American Conference (features #1 UCONN & #7 Louisville), 76-71 on Dec. 7.

-   UTEP will also face Georgia Tech (ACC) & Texas A&M (SEC) 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).

-   Six of the eight 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).

 

HOME SWEET HOME

-   Home record of 138-54 in Keitha Adams era.

-  102-22 since 2006-07, including 7-0 this year.

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

-  36-5 over past 41 home games.

-   On track for 8th straight year of 12+ home wins.

-   Four 10+ win seasons in 27 years before Adams.

-   Only one of those teams (12-1, ‘88-89) hit mark.

-  Have not lost back-to-back games in El Paso since falling by combined 4 points in final 2 home games of 2009-10.

-  Have not dropped 2 league home tilts in span of 7 days since 2005-06, its first year as C-USA member.

 

ALL ABOUT THE FANS

-   UTEP has paced C-USA in attendance & been among top 50 nationally in back-to-back years.

-   All four non-conference home games of 3,000+ fans at school have been under Keitha Adams.

-   25 of the 31 home games in school history with 3,000+ fans occurred during Adams’ tenure.

-   23-8 all time in such contests, including 20-5 under Adams.

 

UTEP Home Games With 3,000+ Fans

No.     Crowd          Foe                              Score                              Date

1.        7,255           SMU*                         W, 76-63                  2/28/08

2.        7,212           Memphis*                W, 80-58                  2/10/07

3.         7,103            BYU*                            L, 57-61                    2/22/93

4.        7,003           ECU*                           W, 81-53                  2/10/08

5.        6,532           SMU*                         W, 68-50                  2/23/12

6.        6,421           Rice*                          L, 48-52                   2/26/12

7.        5,513           Houston*                  W, 80-55                  2/14/08

8.        5,093           Tulsa*                        W, 65-50                    3/1/08

9.         4,682            UNLV*                         W, 73-58                  2/10/98

10.      4,536           Tulane*                     W, 80-65                  2/12/12

11.      4,501           Southern Miss*     W, 60-55                  2/10/13

12.      4,167           Marshall*                W, 64-58                    2/9/12

13.      4,069            TCU*                             W, 79-76                  2/22/01

14.      4,029           UCF*                           W, 67-38                  1/29/12

15.      4,007           Tulsa*                        W, 50-35                  1/31/13

16.      3,962           Rice*                          L, 59-62                   2/28/13

17.      3,781           UAB*                          L, 57-61                   1/20/13

18.      3,612           Tulane*                     W, 71-52                    3/8/13

19.      3,497           Houston*                  W, 73-55                  2/21/13

20.      3,726            Hawaii*                       L, 36-65                       2/3/00

21.      3,646            Houston*                   W, 74-67                  1/11/09

22.      3,497           Rice*                          W, 65-52                    1/5/07

23.      3,450           UNM                           W, 64-62               12/20/10

24.      3,273           NM State                  L, 60-61                   12/7/02

25.      3,215           Fresno St.*              L, 62-78                   2/14/02

26.      3,173            San Diego St.*            W, 70-59                  1/22/93

27.      3,107            Fresno State*             W, 45-38                  2/12/04

28.      3,104            Wyoming*                 L, 64-66                       3/6/93

29.      3,102           SHSU                          W, 85-66               12/28/12

30.      3,091           New Mexico            W, 60-45               12/20/12

31.      3,052           Memphis*                W, 66-60                    1/8/12

denotes Adams era

* denotes league contest

 

TRAVEL TIME

-   UTEP rolled to a 80-61 win at NM State on Dec. 3, its first road contest of the 2013-14 season.

-   The only other non-conference road game will be at nationally-ranked Texas A&M (1/02/14).

-   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 record of 54-90 under Keitha Adams.

-   UTEP is 40-37 on the road since 2006-07, including the 1-0 mark this year.

-   17-7 over past 24 road contests.

-   25-57 was the best seven-year record before Adams.

-   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.

 

CAREER ACHIEVEMENTS

Class of 2014 (Thornton, Vitola & Willingham)

-   Aided UTEP to record of 74-28 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 (25).

-   On track to break Kim Watts’ (1978-82) career rebounding mark (810). Timika Williams (2006-10) is second & Thornton is third at 755.

-   Fifth all time on UTEP scoring list (1,153) and field-goals made (425).

-   Sixth in field-goals attempted (984), games started (84) and steals (148).

-   Seventh in free throws made (245) and 10th 10th in attempts (350)  & scoring average (11.3).

-   Back-to-back second-team All C-USA selection.

-   2012 C-USA All-Tournament Team.

 

Kristine Vitola (Senior)

-   Ranks fourth all time at UTEP for blocks (124).

-   22nd Miner with 500+ points (583) & 400+ rebounds (449).

-   Tied for ninth in career games played (105).

-   On track to break school standard (120), held by Timika Williams (120, 2006-10).

 

 Kelli Willingham (Senior)

-   Drilled 166 threes (3rd) & attempted 460 (3rd).

-   Ranks fourth for starts (93) & assists (314).

-   Logged 2994 career minutes (6th).

-   3rd Miner with 700+ points & 300+ assists (300). Jareica Hughes (2006-10) & Valtierra (2002-07) also achieved the feat.

 

CLIFFSNOTES ON 2013-14 CAMPAIGN

UTEP 80, at NM State 61 (12/3/13)

-    Kayla Thornton (20 points), Chrishauna Parker (career-high 19 points), Jenzel Nash (14 points) and Irene Gari (10 points) all reached double figures in scoring to help power UTEP to an 80-61 road conquest of I-10 rival New Mexico State on Dec. 3.

-   Sixth sweep of series during Keitha Adams era.

-   Miners led by four (39-35) at the break before finding another gear to leave NM State in dust.

-   Forced 24 turnovers, including 17 in second half, while holding Aggies to 38% shooting.

-   No such issues for UTEP, which had just 12 turnovers & nailed 42.6% of its shots.

-   UTEP also hit its free throws (20-of-26) & won the battle of the boards (39-34).

 

 at UTEP 73, Texas State 60 (11/30/13)

-    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. 

 

at UTEP 63, Northern Colorado 40 (11/27/13)

-   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 (11/22/13)

-   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.