UTEP Women's Basketball Notes/Game 10/UTPB
on the cusp of history: UTEP is off to an 8-1 start, its second-best christening to a campaign in program history. The 2006-07 edition of the Miners now trail only the 1996-97 team which surged out of the gates at 9-2. The
LISTEN LIVE ONLINE FOR FREE: Audio for all of UTEP’s games this year, including the match-up against UTPB at 1:05 p.m. MST Saturday, will be streamed for free at utepathletics.com. To access it, click on the women’s basketball schedule. On that page, there will be a little speaker under the media column for the game that day. Click that and you will be listening live. Mark Brunner will provide play-by-play, while former Miner Traci Miller will serve as the color commentator.
blocking party: By virtue of posting double-digits in blocks the past two games (10 vs. Prairie View A&M and 12 versus La. Lafayette), UTEP has accomplished something this year that not a single team could do throughout an entire campaign. Dating to 1983- prior records are incomplete- a squad has never registered double-digit block totals more than once in a contest during the complete season.
winning with plenty to spare: Not only are the Miners, 8-1, off to their second-best start in school history, but they are also winning games with relative ease. On the season, UTEP is averaging 71.8 points per game while holding the opposition to a miniscule 53.3 ppg. That margin, 18.4 points, is the second largest in school history through nine games. Only the 1976-77 squad (23.7) opened the year stronger in terms of point differential. In reality, the efforts of this year’s edition of the Miners is more impressive considering that the team from 1976 played games against the likes of Fort Bliss, Howard College, Sul Ross State, Western New Mexico and Odessa College.
we like december: Maybe it is the holiday spirit in the air, or the prospect of gift-giving. Whatever it is, the Miners certainly enjoy playing in the month of December. UTEP is off to a 3-0 start this year and 20-14 historically under Keitha Adams in the final month of the season. Additionally, the Miners have won their past six games played in the month.
scoring more than 70=wins: There are stats for everything, but the statistic regarding the Miners record when they score 70 or more points is worth noting. UTEP has achieved the feat six times this season, and it has posted a perfect 6-0 mark in those games. Historically under Keitha Adams, the
midst of busy stretch: Not only is the contest against UTPB the fourth of a five-game home stand, but it also marks the third of four tilts in an 11-day stretch. The Miners will challenge Arkansas Pine-Bluff of the SWAC on Dec. 20 before taking the holiday break.
look out from
winning streak hits four: The UTEP women’s basketball team secured its fourth straight victory by dispatching Prairie View A&M, 79-54, inside the
quite a rarity: By virtue of knocking off PVAMU, 79-54, on Tuesday, the Miners have now secured their second four-game winning streak on the season. It marks the first time since 2003 and the just the fourth occasion in program history that they have achieved the feat.
inside look at the streak: During the four-game stretch, the Miners have out-scored the opposition by 23 points per game thanks to hot shooting (44.7 percent) and stingy defense (29.4 percent for the foe). Three Miners have averaged double-digits in scoring, with Izabela Piekarska (15.0) leading the way. Timika Williams (11.0) and Tasha Marisett (10.0) have also been locked in offensively. Free throw shooting has been much improved in the period, with the Miners draining 72 percent of their chances. Prior to the win at NMSU- the first triumph of the streak- UTEP was hovering at 60 percent.
hughes likes to share: Freshman point guard Jareica Hughes dished out 10 assists, while committing only three turnovers, in the 79-54 rout of Prairie View A&M on Tuesday. The 10 helpers equal the seventh-highest single-game total in program history. For the season, the stellar rookie leads UTEP with 5.2 assists per game. If the campaign concluded today, that average would break the school standard.
miners post convincing win against ull: The UTEP women’s basketball team picked up its most impressive win of the season by defeating Louisiana-Lafayette (7-3), 70-49, at the
talk about team basketball: One of the more impressive statistics from UTEP’s 70-49 win against the Ragin’ Cajuns was that the Miners registered 23 assists on 27 baskets. The 23 were the most by the
c-usa honors iza: Following a dominating performance in UTEP’s 70-49 win against Louisiana-Lafayette, Izabela Piekarska has been named the Conference USA Player of the Week. It marks the first time of her career that the junior has been so honored. Piekarska poured in a career-high 22 points, while posting a school-record-tying 10 blocks to help the Miners throttle the Ragin’ Cajuns. She also pulled down seven rebounds, to nearly achieve the second triple-double in the 34-year history of the program. Perhaps most impressive is the fact that she did all of that in just 25 minutes of action
bench battering the opposition: One of the key factors in the Miners’ strong start has been the play of their bench. UTEP’s reserves have accounted for 20 points or more eight of the nine times out (28, 39, 22, 28, 32, eight, 38, 22 and 43) on the way to an average of 29 points per game. The opposition’s backups- who have yet to crack the 20-point barrier (13, 10, 17, 15, 19, seven, 10, nine and 12) - are contributing an insignificant 12 points per game. UTEP’s reserves don’t show any signs of slowing down, either, as they poured in a season-high 43 points in the 79-54 throttling of Prairie View A&M.
strong starts paying off: In seven of the nine games this year, UTEP has led at the half. And it isn’t as if the Miners are holding on for dear life entering the break. They have led by the following heading into the locker room: 14 (St. Mary’s), 16 (UTSA), 12 (UC-Irvine), 17 (NMSU), eight (at NMSU), 14 (
going to the line early and often: Whether it is the presence of talented post players, or the fact that UTEP is blessed with guards who can penetrate into the lane, the Miners are making plenty of trips to the free throw line this year. UTEP has already taken 212 free throws (an average of 24 attempts per game). Conversely, the opposition has attempted just 159 free throws (an average of 18 per game). It is a nice change from last season, as during the 2005-06 campaign UTEP averaged 18 attempts per game, while its foes checked in at 22 tries per contest.
that’s more like it: Following its worst game in terms of assists to turnovers (eight-22) at New Mexico State on Nov. 29, Keitha Adams was determined that her squad do a better job of handling the ball. Her efforts in practice appeared to have paid off, as the Miners posted a season-high-tying 22 assists against
success in the
scoring at will: Through nine games, the Miners are averaging 71.8 points per game. That average checks in as the best at this point in the season in 15 years as the fifth-highest average through nine games in program history. The key to the offense has been the balanced scoring attack. Entering the Dec. 16 tilt against UTPB, five players are contributing at least eight points per contest.
first time for everything: The balanced scoring attack has enabled the Miners to score 64 points or more in the season’s initial nine games for the first time in program history. The previous best effort out of the gates came during the 1996-97 campaign when that team toppled the 64-point barrier the first five games of the season.
don’t forget about the d: The Miners are doing an equally impressive job on the defensive end of the court through eight games, as the opposition has been limited to 53.3 points per game. That figure ranks as the best effort since 1996 and as the fourth-lowest average in school history. Excluding the 1974-75 and 1976-77 teams, and this year’s edition of the Miners check in at second all time.
it had been more than 10 years: UTEP has limited its last four opponents to fewer than 54 points (54, 43, 49 and 54), marking the first time it has done so since the 1996-97 season. That year, the Miners held the opposition to less than 54 points (51, 51, 52 and 52) right out of the gates.
shooting woes for the opposition: UTEP has dominated defensively, holding its foes to a paltry shooting percentage of 35.1. If the season ended today, that figures would break the school-record mark of 36.5 established last year. The aggressive defense has kept the opposition away from the charity stripe, as well, with the
no shooting problems here: While UTEP’s opponents have struggled to connect on shots, that has not been the case for the Miners. UTEP is shooting a blistering 43.7 percent from the floor, including a sizzling 38.1 percent from downtown. The effort from home run range would shatter the current school standard of 37.7 established during the 1987-88 campaign, while the overall percentage of 43.7 would rank as the third-highest.
mixing things up: The Miners have used five different starting lineups in nine games this year, as Keitha Adams has shuffled the top five in search of the right combination. Who knows if the most-recent quintet of Ana Valtierra, Jareica Hughes, Shalana Taylor, Izabela Piekarska and Tasha Marisett will stick or not- it has been used three straight games-, but one thing is certain. Count on
home for a while: Following the win at
miners pacing c-usa in several categories: In the weekly Conference
talking national statistics: The NCAA ranks all 324 division I teams in 15 categories. The Miners are doing quite well, checking in among the top-50 in eight of them. UTEP is 19th in three-point field-goal percentage (39.7), 20th in scoring margin (+17.6), 21st in assists per game (17.5) 22nd in scoring defense (53.3), 22nd in blocked shots per game (5.4), 24th in field-goal percentage defense (34.6), 26th in win-loss percentage (87.5), 49th in three-pointers per game (6.0), 59th in fewest turnovers per game (16.3), 82nd in scoring offense (70.9), 83rd in steals per game (10.3), 84th in field-goal percentage (42.9), 113th in rebound margin (+2.3), 152nd in fewest personal fouls per game (18.1) and 221st in free-throw percentage (65.1). Individually, Izabela Piekarska is ninth in blocks per game (3.0) and Jareica Hughes is 75th (4.6) and Shalana Taylor is 79th (4.5) in assists per game.
get that weak stuff out of here: Izabela Piekarska held her own private block party in UTEP’s 70-49 thrashing of Louisiana-Lafayette on Sunday. Not only were the 10 rejections a career high, but they also equaled the school record for a single game. Moreover, it was almost 25 years to the date. Former Miner Kim Watts also swatted 10 shots in a single contest, doing so against
leading by example: Freshman Jareica Hughes has quickly asserted herself as one of the leaders on the squad. The talented point guard has started all nine games, filling up the stat sheet in the process. She has provided 8.9 ppg to rank fourth on the team, while dishing out 5.2 assists per game to pace the squad. Hughes has also taken care of business on the other end of the floor, tallying a team-high 2.8 steals per game despite guarding the opposition’s top ball handler.
williams thriving as well: Fellow classmate Timika Williams has also been stellar since arriving in the
taylor torches ull from long range: Shalana Taylor, who has struggled to find her shooting touch this year, certainly had no problems against the Ragin’ Cajuns. The junior connected on 4-of-4 from three-point land and 2-of-2 at the charity stripe on the way to posting a career-high-matching 14 points. She had entered the game shooting just 8-32 on the season.
valtierra locked in from beyond the arc: After making just 1-of-4 three-pointers in the first three games, Ana Valtierra has found her shooting touch since then. The senior has connected on 10-of-13 in that span. The performance should come as no surprise, though, as Valtierra is the school-record holder in terms of percentage. For her career, Valtierra has made 75-of-162 for a sizzling percentage of 46.2. The next closest player to her is former Miner Kimya Murray (80-of-206, 38.8). She currently ranks second in C-USA, trailing only teammate Izabela Piekarska.
you better slow down: Opposing players who look to cruise into the lane and score at ease against the Miners should do so at their own risk. Not only will Izabela Piekarska and her 3.1 blocks per game be waiting, but there is a strong possibility that another UTEP player will be lurking. Ana Valtierra will most likely be in the area, and while she will not try to block the shot, do not be surprised to see her give up her body in order to take a charge. She has already taken a squad-best nine charges this season. For her career, Valtierra has taken 81 charges- by far the most of any active Miner.
piekarska sizzling: Izabela Piekarska has averaged 9.8 points per game since arriving in the
keep her on the court: Shalana Taylor, who came off the bench the first five games of the season, has earned a starting nod the past fours times out. Whether starting or doing her work off her bench, the way the Miners have played when she has been on the court has been simply amazing. In her 196 minutes of action, UTEP has outscored the opposition by 137 points (375-238). In the 164 minutes in which
taylor not the only one shining: Shalana Taylor is not the only Miner to boast some gaudy plus/minus numbers. Other standouts include Ana Valtierra (+135), Jareica Hughes (+134), Timika Williams (+91) and Izabela Piekarska (+88).With differentials such as those, it is not surprising that those five have played significant minutes during UTEP’s four-game winning streak.
snapping out of it: After enduring a 4-of-23 shooting slump- including 1-of-10 from three-point land, Kasia Krezel has made some strides the past two games. She has connected on 5-of-10 shots, including 2-of-5 on three pointers. She has also done a good job of sharing the ball, tallying seven assists in that stretch.
three straight double-digit efforts: After scoring 10 or more points in three straight games (11, 18 and 20), Tasha Marisett tallied just eight combined points in the match-ups vs.
double your pleasure: Tasha Marisett quietly posted her second double-double on the season with a 13-point, 10-rebound effort against Louisiana-Lafayette on Sunday. The reason it was quiet was the fact the Izabela Piekarska also notched a double-double after registering career-highs in points (22) and blocks (10). Overall, the Miners have registered five double-doubles on the year with Marisett and Piekarska accounting for four of the five. Jareica Hughes has the other, with an 11-point, 10-assistt effort versus Prairie View A&M.
first of many: Freshman Christina Ray scored the first points of her careers against
making progress: Charnette Phelps, who has been saddled with a knee injury this season, is slowly but surely on her way back to becoming a steady contributor. The senior has played in the six of the past seven games, averaging 8.3 minutes per contest. She has scored 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting (3.3 ppg) and pulled down 15 boards (2.5 rpg). While those numbers are well off her career averages entering the year (8.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg), it is evident that she is not too far away from reverting to form.
how sweep it is: Four Miners scored in double digits, while UTEP forced NMSU into shooting a paltry 29.5 from the field on the way to knocking off its 1-10 rivals for the second time this year by a score of 65-54 in Las Cruces High School on Nov. 29. UTEP has now posted four straight victories against the Aggies and has emerged triumphantly in six of the past seven match-ups. Moreover, the effort allowed the Miners to sweep NMSU for the second straight year and fifth time overall in program history.
never say never: Most teams trailing by 20 points with 3:37 to play in a basketball game would simply go through the motions on the way to closing out the game. A few would put up a fight and might close the gap to 10 points, or possibly even single digits. Only teams with tremendous character and leadership would narrow the lead to a single possession and make the opponent sweat out the win. Count the 2006-07 edition of the Miners in that third group, as that is exactly what they did when faced with that situation against
stifling d: UTEP held the first three opponents on the year to fewer than 51 points (43, 47, and 51). It marked the first time the Miners had accomplished the feat late since UTEP shut down
no rest? no problem: The UTEP women’s basketball team picked up its second victory in as many days by knocking off UC-Irvine, 64-51, at the
utep routs utsa: There were many impressive performances in UTEP’s 80-47 thrashing of in-state rival UTSA. None was more notable, though, than that of Jareica Hughes. The freshman point guard led the Miners in points (15), assists (eight), and rebounds (five). She also provided lockdown defense on the ball.
now that’s team basketball: The Miners put on an offensive clinic in their 80-47 romp against UTSA. UTEP registered 20 assists on 32 buckets, while turning the ball over just 10 times. The
miners tip off season in fine fashion: The Miners defeated St. Mary’s (TX), 67-43, to tip off the 2006-07 campaign in fine fashion. UTEP forced the Rattlers into committing 36 turnovers, which led to 35 points for the
UTEP ROMPS IN LONE eXHIBITION GAME: Newcomers Jareica Hughes, Tasha Marisett and Timika Williams combined to score 47 points- with all three in double figures- as the UTEP women’s basketball team waxed the Houston Jaguars, 83-63, in its only exhibition game of the 2006-07 season. It marked the second consecutive campaign that the
MINERS wILL PLAY OFTEN IN
DON’T I KNOW YOU?: The 2006-07 Miner squad features many familiar faces, as UTEP rings back nine letterwinners and all five starters from last year’s team. Overall, the
MINERS INK FOUR FOR 2007-08 CAMPAIGN: UTEP women’s head basketball coach Keitha Adams announced that Ilda Chambe, Alyssa Faubion, Brittnay Jones and Stephanie Rosado have signed national letters of intent to join the Miners for the start of the 2007-08 season. The class features three high school standouts and a junior college transfer, all of whom will make immediate impact for the