Unbeaten Miners Welcome UC Santa Barbara To Town
Dec. 20, 2011
THE OPENING ACT
Unbeaten Miners Welcome UC Santa Barbara To Town
UTEP will try to preserve its unbeaten record while locking up with UC Santa Barbara inside the Don Haskins Center at 7:05 p.m. MST Wednesday. The Miners moved to 10-0 on the year with a 68-48 triumph at Loyola Marymount while the Gauchos (4-6) were edged out at NM State, 52-51, after a last-second three-point shot rattled out on Dec. 19. The game will be carried on Miner TV (subscription required through UTEPAthletics.com). Fans can also get live updates by following @UTEPWBB on Twitter or through the gametracker feed.
Miners Pick Up Votes In ESPN/USA Top-25 Poll
UTEP has received a pair of votes in the most-recent ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ top-25 poll (12/19/11). The Miners (10-0) are tied for 32nd nationally according to the poll. It is the earliest point in a season that UTEP has garnered votes in either of the top-25 polls, besting prior mark from 2007-08 season. That year the Miners first received attention in the coaches’ poll with one vote on Jan. 9, 2008. Their initial vote in the AP poll that year was on Jan. 21, 2008, when they secured 18. There have now been two campaigns in school history (2007-08 & 2011-2) where the Miners have grabbed a vote in a top-25 poll.
We Meet Again
The series is tied, 1-1, but the Miners were bounced on the road, 68-50, by UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 10, 2010, in the most-recent meeting. The only other match-up resulted in a 73-66 victory for UTEP back on Dec. 3, 1983.
December Has Been A Month To Remember
UTEP is 45-23 under Keitha Adams in December, including 4-0 this year. The Miners are 21-1 at home in the month since the start of the 2006-07 season. Other months UTEP has winning records in are November (33-21) and January (42-37).
Second-Longest Active Streak
UTEP’s 10-game winning streak rates tied as the second-longest active streak nationally, and UTEP is one of nine undefeated squads in NCAA Division I women’s basketball.
Playing With The Lead Of Late
In the past eight games (320 minutes), the Miners have trailed by a total of 13:02. UTEP has not been behind any later than 12 minutes remaining in the first half while not facing a deficit larger than five points in that time frame.
Uncharted Territory For Seasonal Starts
This year’s Miners (10-0) stand alone for the best start to a season in program history, besting the prior standard out of the gates (7-0) during the 1996-97 season. In terms of the Keitha Adams era, the previous record for longest winning streak to christen a campaign was four in 2006-07. That team went on to record the first 20-win season in school history (22-8).
Getting Up There In C-USA As Well
UTEP is the first Conference USA school since the 2004-05 and fifth overall to open up the season with 10 straight wins. Overall the effort ties as the third-best start in league history. Tulane holds the standard (14-0, 1999-00), followed by Cincinnati (11-0, 2001-02), Charlotte (10-0, 2004-05) & Southern Miss (10-0, 2003-04).
Elite In NCAA Stats
The Miners boast top-55 rankings in 11 of the 14 team stat categories out of 336 squads nationally, including five within the top-20 (4th 3PT% defense, 8th FG% defense, 13th blocked shots, 16th scoring margin & 17th scoring defense).
Solid In C-USA Stats, Too
UTEP has a top-three placement in 11 of the 14 stat categories for C-USA teams. The Miners lead the league in blocked shots, FG% defense, rebound margin, scoring margin and 3PT% defense.
Talking Home Winning Streak
The Miners are 7-0 on the year in El Paso, which ranks tied as the fourth-longest home winning streak in program history. The school standard was set during the 2007-08 season when UTEP compiled a flawless 14-0 record.
Talking Road Winning Streak
The three-game road winning streak ties as the second longest in program history. The school standard is nine, set in 2007-08, while the 1980-81 squad (twice), 1992-93 & 1997-98 teams all posted three straight victories in hostile territory.
Talking Overall Winning Streak
UTEP’s 10-game winning streak ties as the second-longest in school history. The 2006-07 squad also rattled off 10 in a row. The school standard is 23, which was set during the historic 2007-08 campaign.
Following The Miners In 2011-12
Video and audio for every home game for the Miners on the year will be available through Miner TV on UTEPAthletics.com (subscription-based). All of the road contests on the season for UTEP will be broadcast on Talk Radio 1150 AM.
Staying Up Through Social Media
To keep up with the very latest on the program, LIKE the team’s page on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/UTEPWomensBasketball) and follow the official team Twitter Feed (www.twitter.com/UTEPWBB). Additionally, connect with head coach Keitha Adams by following her on Twitter, @UTEPKeithaAdams.
Get Your Tickets Now
Season tickets for the 2011-12 campaign remain on sale, with $50 guaranteeing individuals a reserved floor seat. To purchase season tickets (while seats remain) please call (915) 747-6150. Individual tickets ($7 adults, $3 kids) are also on sale for all contests by calling (915) 747-5234.
UTEP will be off for a holiday break, and will resume action at Pacific-12 member Arizona State at 6:30 p.m. MST on Dec. 28.
GOING BACK IN TIME
Miners Roll To 68-48 Win At Loyola Marymount
Kelli Willingham poured in a season-high 18 points to help lead UTEP to a 68-48 triumph at Loyola Marymount on Dec. 17. The Miners bolted out to a 15-2 lead, which was capped by an Erika Warren three pointer with 15:02 to play in the first half. The Lions fought back to trim the deficit to four on a couple of occasions but the Miners used a 14-6 surge to carry a 37-25 advantage into the locker room. LMU never got closer than eight from that point on, with the Orange and Blue putting it on cruise control.
UTEP is off to the first 3-0 road start in program history. The prior standard for consecutive away wins to christen a campaign was 2-0 (1998-99 & 2006-07).
Warren Solid In First Career Start
Senior Erika Warren was steady in making her first career start at Loyola Marymount (12/17/11). In a season-best 22 minutes she matched her campaign high for assists (three), turned in her second-best scoring output (seven) while recording her third-highest rebounding sum (four).
Green Makes Her Mark
Senior Briana Green tallied seven points at LMU (12/17/11), to become the 27th Miner in program history with at least 600 career points. She also posted a season-high four assists, allowing her to move into 10th all time at the school for career helpers.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
The 411 On UCSB As An Institution
UC Santa Barbara is a public research university located on cliffs directly above the Pacific Ocean, which was founded as an independent teachers’ college in 1909. It joined the UC system in 1944. UCSB gained a form of national notoriety in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s when it became known for a hotbed of anti-Vietnam War activity. Now the university is famed for research, having spent $191.2 million on research expenditures in the 2007 fiscal year. It is one of the few schools in the nation to have its own beach, not to mention a lagoon. Notable alumni include the oceanographer who discovered the Titanic wreckage, Robert Ballard, musician Jack Johnson, ESPN poker announcer Lon McEachern and ESPN sports commentator and radio host Jim Rome.
The 411 On UC Santa Barbara Basketball
UC Santa Barbara’s program started in 1972-73. It has an all-time record of 646-488, including 4-6 this year. The Gauchos are a member of the Big West Conference, which it joined for the 1987-88 season. They boast 13 conference crowns and 21 straight seasons with a mark of .500 or better in league play. UCSB has made 13 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, which was aided by nine straight bids (1996-97 through 2004-05). The most-recent showing in the NCAAs was 2008-09. UCSB has played in the WNIT three times, including competing in the opening-round last year. The Gauchos were predicted to finish second in the Big West this year, after they won a share of the title in 2010-11.
Get To Know The UCSB Head Coach
UC Santa Barbara is led by first-year head coach Carlene Mitchell, who was tabbed as the fifth head coach in program history on May 19, 2011. She joined the school after serving on the Rutgers’ staff for 10 years, including the final three as the team’s associate head coach. She previously worked at UMKC, Western Illinois & Oklahoma State. Mitchell was a standout as a player, helping Trinity Valley Community College to the first of five straight national titles before transferring and starting at Kansas State (1995-96).
Looking At The UCSB Season
UC Santa Barbara opened up with a pair of losses before bouncing back to go 3-2 over the next five games. The Gauchos have gone 1-2 since, but the setbacks were by a combined three points (46-44 at UNLV, 12/10/11 & at NM State, 52-51, 12/19/11). UCSB also had a close call in its opener, a 60-55 setback at Seattle University (11/11/11). Overall the Gauchos are 4-6, including 0-4 on the road.
All About The UCSB Offense
UCSB has hit on 37.2 percent of its shots, including 29.6 from three-point range, while registering 51.8 points per game. The Gauchos take great care of the basketball with 14.4 turnovers per game and have secured 11.1 offensive boards per contest. It is a very balanced approach on offense with six plays producing at least 5.5 ppg. Sweets Underwood leads the way at 10.0 ppg, followed by Nicole Nesbit (8.8), Emillie Johnson (8.2), Melissa Zornig (7.8), Kelsey Adrian (6.5) & Kirsten Tilleman (5.7). Underwood has drilled 51 percent of her shots. Johnson (29 assists), Nesbit (25) and Zornig (23) have all shown the ability to distribute the ball. Adrian has been the top three-point threat, leading the squad in triples made (15) & percentage (44.1).
All About The Santa Barbara Defense
Santa Barbara is a smothering team defensively, with first-year head coach Carlene Mitchell putting in a system that has made Rutgers one of the top defensive teams in the nation over the past several years. The Gauchos are ninth nationally in scoring defense (49.7), 67th in the country for field-goal percentage defense (35.5) & 94th at guarding the three (27.5). It yielded 60 & 65 points, respectively, in the first two games. No foe has surpassed 52 in the eight games since, with six of them being limited to fewer than 50. UCSB has registered 60 steals, with Emillie Johnson (13), Melisa Zornig (10) & Kirsten Tilleman (10) leading the charge in the area. Tilleman also has 11 of the squad’s 18 blocked shots on the season.
CRASH COURSE ON UTEP HOOPS
The Basic Facts On UTEP Basketball
2011-12 marks the 38th season for the UTEP women’s basketball team. The Miners have an all-time record of 428-582, including 10-0 this year. They have registered 13 campaigns of .500 or better. Six of them, including five straight, have come during head coach Keitha Adams’ tenure. UTEP has been a member of four leagues, including being affiliated with Conference USA since the start of the 2005-06 season. The Miners have one postseason appearance and one conference championship to their credit, both of which came during the historic 2007-08 season (28-4 overall, 16-0 C-USA). UTEP returned three starters (and eight letterwinners (four guards, four posts) overall from last year’s squad (16-14, 7-9 C-USA). Six newcomers, all guards (freshmen Syerra Davis, Jenzel Nash, Chrishauna Parker & Marissa Rodriguez, sophomore Ryah Lacy and junior Melisa Mendes) are in the mix for the Orange and Blue in 2011-12.
Getting To Know Coach Adams
UTEP is led by the winningest coach in program history, Keitha Adams. She is 165-143 in her 11th year at the school. Overall Adams is 292-180 in her 16th season as a collegiate head coach, having compiled a mark of 127-37 in a five-year run at Independence Community College. In the past 10 years the Miners are 162-118, obliterating the top record at the school for a decade-long stretch (115-155 from 1990-91 through 1999-2000). Adams has delivered the three most successful seasons in program history (22-8, 2006-07, 28-4 2007-08 & 18-12 in 2009-10). She was the 2008 C-USA Coach of the Year/finalist for national honor after leading the Miners to their first league championship & postseason bid (advanced to second round of NCAA Tournament). Every player who has exhausted her eligibility at UTEP during her tenure has graduated.
Playing Time A Plenty
Twelve Miners are earning double figures in minutes played (rounding up), with Kelli Willingham topping the list at only 23.8 mpg. Only three times has a Miner played at least 30 minutes in a single game. Kayla Thornton had 32 minutes vs. Idaho State (11/12/11), Willingham secured 31 at UNM (12/10/11) while senior Gloria Brown played a career-high 30 minutes at NM State (11/16/11).
The Bench Bunch
The Miners’ back-ups are accounting for 37 points per game. They had nine straight games of 30+, including a quartet of 40+ point contests, before tallying 22 at Loyola Marymount (12/17/11).
Diving Deeper With The Reserves
UTEP’s bench has outscored the opposing bench by double figures in every game of the year. Furthermore, the Miners’ reserves have out-paced the opposition’s starters in five games while matching their effort in two others.
Ready To Rebound
UTEP was out-rebounded in the first two games but has won the battle of the boards in seven of eight contests since. Overall the Miners boast a +6.9 margin. Seven different players are grabbing at least 2.5 rpg.
The Miners are outscoring the opposition, 38-27, on average in the second half of contests this year. The effort helped UTEP post come-from-behind victories against both Idaho State (11/12/11) & at NM State (11/16/11) while ensuring double-digit triumphs the past eight games.
The Miners have featured at least one player from the El Paso area in every year of the Keitha Adams era, with this year’s team sporting a pair. Sophomore forward Kayla Thornton starred at Irvin High School in El Paso while freshman guard Marissa Rodriguez grew up in the area before moving to San Antonio and playing high school basketball at San Antonio Reagan.
Success In Non-League Play
UTEP is 86-54 in non-conference play during the Keitha Adams era, including 10-0 in 2011-12. The Miners are ensured of their program-best seventh straight year with a mark of at least .500 or better in non-league play. The prior standard was four (1994-95 through 1997-98).
Miners Picked Fourth In Preseason Poll
The UTEP women’s basketball team was selected tied for fourth in the 2011-12 Conference USA Preseason Poll, as voted upon the league’s 12 head coaches. Additionally, senior forward Gloria Brown was tabbed to the all-conference preseason team, which was also revealed by the league office on Oct. 6. Memphis was selected as the preseason favorite, with Tiger guard Brittany Carter being named the preseason player of the year.
In Brief 2010-11 Year-In-Review
UTEP overcame the loss of four key players to injuries at various points in the year on the way to finished with an overall record of 16-14 during the 2010-11 season. The Miners fought hard throughout the year, with a single-season school record 12 of the 14 setbacks coming by single digits. UTEP was 13-6 in El Paso, including 8-3 during non-conference play.
TRENDING WITH THE TEAM
UTEP has registered six games with at least 70 points, including three of 80+. It has nailed better than 42 percent eight times, with a season-best 48.1 percent at Loyola Marymount (12/17). The Miners drilled a campaign-high 53.8 percent (7-of-13) from three-point range at LMU, snapping a seven-game skid of 25.6 percent (40-of-156). It has drilled at least four three pointers nine times while reaching double figures in offensive rebounds in eight contests. The Miners have committed fewer than 15 turnovers in five straight contests and seven overall on the year.
The Miners have held a school-record eight straight division I opponents to 55 points or less, toppling the prior standard (five, 2007-08). No foe has surpassed 39 percent from the floor, with eight of them being limited to below 34 percent. The opposition has committed 18 turnovers or more in eight of the 10 games, and it has made at least 20 giveaways five times.
Not Just Winning But Winning Big
Nine of UTEP’s wins have come by double figures, eclipsing the effort by last year’s squad. Furthermore, the Miners have six triumphs by at least 20 points,
It’s A Scheduling Thing
Six of the first seven games were at home, but UTEP is in the midst of alternating home & road contests until it has back-to-back home games (1/8, 1/12).
FRONT COURT VETS TRENDING
What Can Brown Do For You
Gloria Brown, the 2011 second-team all C-USA member & Newcomer/Sixth Player, has been a consistent force in her second & final year with UTEP. She has posted double figures in scoring three straight games (six overall) while recording 8+ points nine times. Brown grabbed 7+ rebounds in the first nine games of the year (six with 9+) before tallying four at LMU (12/17/11). She has hit better than 50 percent of her shots seven times. After making 17 free throws in a row, Brown was 1-of-4 at the line at LMU. She is responsible for 26 of the team’s 60 blocked shots on the year.
Junior Kristine Vitola has made great strides in her third year with the Miners. She has made 51.0 percent of her shots, up from 36.8 percent over her first two seasons. She has registered at 6+ points in eight games, topping her 2010-11 seasonal effort (seven). Vitola had only three boards against Idaho State (11/12/11) but has snared 5+ in nine straight. She has swatted 2+ shots in six games while registering multiple steals four times.
Sophomore Kayla Thornton has been an impact player with high-energy motor. She has tallied 8+ points seven times, including a trio of double figure efforts. She has secured 5+ rebounds in eight games, including six games with at least two offensive boards. Thornton made 50% or better from the field eight times. She has 13 steals on the year, with eight of them coming in the past three games.
Junior Anete Steinberga, who started for two seasons, has been utilized as a reserve in 2011-12. After scoring 4+ points on 19-of-27 shooting over a seven-game stretch, she was 0-5 in nine scoreless minutes at LMU (12/17/11). She was called for six fouls in 14 minutes combined of the first two games but has been hit with only eight infractions in 101 minutes since. Steinberga has grabbed 2+ boards in eight straight games including three with four or more.
BACK COURT VETS TRENDING
Willingham’s Will To Succeed
Kelli Willingham, a 2011 All C-USA Freshman honoree, was held to 6.0 points per game through four contests. She has registered 12.7 ppg in the six games since, with all four of her double-digit efforts occurring in the stretch. She had nine turnovers over the first five games but has committed only five since. Willingham nailed 4-of-7 triples at LMU (12/17/11), snapping a 2-of-9 two-game skid. She has 27 total rebounds, with almost half of them (13) coming in the past three tilts.
No Ordinary Smith
Senior Kim Smith has been a quality on-ball defender while getting involved in the offense in her second & final season for the Miners. She has been credited with 3+ assists in six games, including in four of the past six. Smith was 1-of-2 on three-pointers at LMU (12/17/11), breaking out of a 0-10 stretch which spanned six games. She tallied five points at LMU, her best effort since dropping 7 points on Houston Baptist (11/19/11).
Not Easy Being Green
Senior Briana Green, who has fought through a pair of season-ending injuries (freshman & junior), has been healthy thus far as a reserve for the Miners in 2011-12. She has scored 4+ points in six games, including four with seven or more. She had eight assists in the first 9 games before dishing out a season-best four at LMU (12/17/11). She started season 11-of-41 from the field, she has hit 7-of-14 in the past three games.
Second-year Miner & senior Erika Warren was held to four points on 2-of-11 shooting over the first three games but she has heated up to go 12-of-26 in the seen games since while tallying 34 points. She had a pair of rebounds in the first two games but has grabbed 21 in the eight contests since.
Senior Baiba Eglite has played in five games for a total of 29 minutes. Four of her five made field goals have been three-point shots. She had one assist in her first 15 minutes on the year (over three games) but has posted three in 14 minutes (two games) since.
Mendes Means Business
Junior Melisa Mendes, an all-conference performer at NW Florida State College, has posted three double-digit scoring efforts and four total contests with at least nine points. She hit 16-of-44 from the floor the first seven games but has gone 1-of-8 while scoring a combined 3 points in the three tilts since. She is a combined 8-of-14 from three-point land in the three games she has made at least two triples. She is 2-of-21 in the other seven tilts.
Freshman Chrishauna Parker, a top-50 guard nationally out of Atascocita HS, has been the top backcourt reserve. She has scored 8+ points on better than 50.0 percent shooting in five of eight games played (missed one game due to team rules), with three double-digit efforts. Parker has grabbed at least four rebounds five times while tallying multiple assists on four occasions. After taking at least two free throws in every game (four with 4+), she did not have an attempt from the line at LMU.
The Name Is Nash
Freshman Jenzel Nash joined UTEP as the program’s first Parade All-American after leading the nation in scoring with 37.7 ppg for Worthing HS. She was a combined 12-of-25 for 26 points against Houston Baptist (11/19/11 & Lamar, 12/01/11). In her other seven games played she is 3-of-27 from the floor with nine points. She has four assists on the season, with three of them in the past three tilts.
Lace It Up With Lacy
Sophomore Ryah Lacy, who led Grayson County College to a fifth-place finish nationally, made a combined 5-of-12 from the floor for 12 points against Houston Baptist (11/19/11 & NM State, 11/29/11). In her other seven contests played she checks in at 3-of-14 for six points. Lacy has six assists and six steals in the past four games after tallying respective figures of four & two in her first five.
Davis Does It
Syerra Davis, a top-50 guard who won three straight state titles with Tolleson HS, made her first collegiate basket against Lamar (12/01/11). She had been 0-6 from the floor in her first five games as a Miner. She did have three boards against Houston Baptist (11/19/11), though, in that scoreless stretch. She has played 6+ minutes four times, including a season-high 16 vs. HBU.
Welcome Home Marissa
Freshman Marissa Rodriguez grew up in El Paso before starring at San Antonio Reagan High School after her family moved. She has appeared in three games, securing four minutes and a rebound in that timeframe.
Threes A Plenty Since 2008
From the time the three-point shot was introduced in college basketball (1986-87) until the end of the 2007-08 season, UTEP managed eight games 10 or more made triples. The Miners have registered 11 such contests since, including one thus far in 2011-12.
177 Straight Games With A Triple
UTEP has made least one three-point shot in a program-record 177 straight games. The last time UTEP failed to fill up a triple in a contest was on Dec. 30, 2005. They have hit one in all but four games during Keith Adams’ era.
STAT LOVERS’ LANE
The Magical 70-Point Barrier
The Miners are 105-12 during the Keitha Adams era, including 6-0 this year, in games which they eclipsed 70 points.
UTEP holds a record of 86-15 in the past 101 contests in which it has hit on at least 40.5 percent from the field. The Miners are 8-0 in the situation this year.
It’s All About The Triple
UTEP sports a mark of 47-9 in its past 56 games when making 40 percent or better from three-point range (min. 5 3PM). The Miners are 1-0 in area this season.
Better Get Ready To Rebound
UTEP has a record of 98-40 under Keitha Adams, including 31-9 in the past 39 games, when out-rebounding the opposition. It is 7-0 in the situation this year.
Helping Hand Leads To Triumphs
UTEP is a robust 52-2 under Keitha Adams, including 3-0 this year, when registering at least 20 assists in a contest. Sharing hasn’t always been so common, though. UTEP compiled 19 such games from 1984-85 through 2000-01, going 13-6.
As Does Forcing Turnovers
The Miners are 61-15 over their past 76 games that they’ve forced the opposition into committing at least 20 turnovers. UTEP is 5-0 in the situation this year. No foe has made fewer than 15 in a game this year, with eight committing 18+.
Turning Up The Pressure
UTEP is 60-12 during the Keitha Adams era, including 42-3 since the start of the 2006-07 campaign, when forcing the opposition into committing more turnovers than field goals made in a game. The Miners are already 6-0 in the situation this year.
Making Free Throws Can Help
UTEP is 44-10 over the past 54 contests when knocking down better than 70 percent at the free-throw line (minimum 10 FTM), including 3-0 in 2011-12.
Finding A Way To Win When Not Though
Dating to the start of the 2006-07 campaign, the Orange and Blue boast a head-scratching mark of 25-11, including 1-0 this year, in games in which they were below 61-percent from the free-throw line (minimum 10 attempts.
The Miners are 16-8 in their past 24 regular-season contests, including 1-0 this year, in which they have made more three pointers than free throws.
Start Them Up
Adams Adding To Record With Every Win
Eleventh-year UTEP head coach Keitha Adams, the winningest coach in program history, has compiled a mark of 165-143 in the timeframe. She has led her charges to a record of 162-118 from the start of the 2002-03 campaign. From the program’s inception in 1974-75 through the end of the 1990-91 season, six different coaches aided UTEP to a record of 145-286. Sandra Rushing was 123-175 in 11 seasons on the sideline (1990-91-2000-01).
Green’s Got It Going On
Briana Green’s career has been hindered with injuries (missed 29 games), making her numbers across the board even more impressive. She is 10th all time for assists (184)and individual wins (60). Green is one of 25 Miners with at least 75+ steals (78) & one of 27 with 600+ points (601).
Free-Throws Live Up To Their Name With Brown
Senior Gloria Brown has a great shooting touch for a post player. Proof of that comes when she is at the free-throw line, with a readout of 79.9 percent (114-143) to rank first all time at the school for the category (min. 100 FTM).
Senior Gloria Brown has blocked 91 shots in her time in the Sun City, including 26 this year, to rank fourth for career rejections at the school. She is second all time in blocked shots per game, with an average of 2.4. Junior forward Kristine Vitola rates tied for 6th on the list with 65 swats, including 16 this year.
Now That’s Balance
The Miners racked up 81 points against Lamar (12/1/11) despite their leading scorer for the game (Melisa Mendes) finishing with only 10 points. UTEP averaged 47 points in 29 games dating to the 1983-84 season in which its leading scorer finished with 10 or fewer points. It only eclipsed 60 in one of those contests, with a 71-point effort against McNeese State on Nov. 24, 1989.
Dominant Three-Game Stretch
The Miners blew past Denver, 80-49, on Nov. 26, New Mexico State, 63-27, on Nov. 29 & Lamar, 81-52, on Dec. 1, which marked the first time they won three straight games by at least 29 points against a Division I foe for the first time in school history.
Historic Night Of Defense
UTEP smothered New Mexico State (11/29/11), setting program records against a division I opponent for fewest points allowed in a half (eight)and game (27) and field-goal percentage defense (18.4 percent). Additionally, it ranked as the third-fewest points permitted by a Conference USA school.
The Miners sunk 11 three pointers in the win against Denver (11/26/11), which rated tied for the seventh-highest single-game total in program history.
Crashing The Glass
UTEP secured 29 offensive rebounds, the third most in program history, which led to 33 second-chance points in the win against Houston Baptist (11/19/11). Overall the Miners tallied 60 rebounds, which was their highest sum since the 2005-06 season and tied for ninth overall in school history.
Gloria Was Glorious
Gloria Brown flirted with a triple-double (21 points, nine boards, eight blocks) while playing a career-high 31 minutes in the win at NM State (11/16/11). The eight rejections rate third all time at the school, trailing only former Miner Izabela Piekarska’s single-game effort (10, twice).
Double Your Pleasure
Gloria Brown posted a double-double (18/10) in the season opener, becoming the first Miner to register the feat in consecutive years.
HOME SWEET HOME
Loving Life In El Paso
The Miners are 74-17 in El Paso since the start of the 2006-07 season, including 7-0 this year.
Keitha Adams’ charges have strung together a school-record four straight seasons with 12 or more home triumphs. UTEP only had four campaigns where it even reached double figures in home wins during the first 27 years of the program, with the high water mark (12-1) coming in 1988-89.
Not Too Shabby Of A Homestand
UTEP rolled to a record of 5-0 in its homestand from Nov. 19 through Dec. 1. The Miners’ largest deficit during the sequence was three, 5-2 with 18:47 to play first half against Lamar. Overall UTEP only trailed for a combined time of two minutes and 25 seconds in the five games.
Home Games A Plenty In 2011-12
By year’s end, the Miners will have played 17 home games (nine non-conference & eight C-USA), which ties as the third-highest figure in program history. The school standard (19 games, 13-6 record) was set last season, which was aided by the Miners playing host to the 2011 Conference USA Tournament. UTEP rolled to a record of 16-2 in 2006-07 while forging a mark of 12-5 in 2008-09.
Don’t Take Things For Granted
Under head coach Keitha Adams, UTEP has posted a program-best eight straight years with at least nine home victories and boasts an overall record of 109-49 in El Paso. The Miners had six such seasons in the 27 years prior to her tenure, and were a combined 163-142.
Life On The Road
UTEP is 41-83 on the road under Keitha Adams, but there have been signs of progress. The Miners are 29-32 away from home dating to the 2006-07 season, including being off to the first 3-0 start on the road in program history this year. They have posted three years (5-5 2006-07/2008-09, and 10-3 2007-08) with a mark of .500 or better on the road in the stretch. Prior to Adams’ arrival in the Sun City, UTEP never posted a winning road record and it had only two years (2-2; 1974-75 & 7-7; 1992-93) where it mustered a mark of .500. The Miners were a combined 68-241 in hostile territory the 27 years before Adams’ tenure. They were held at two triumphs or fewer in 14 of those campaigns.
Have Had Some Big Wins Away From Home
UTEP boasts 17 double-digit victories on the road under head coach Keitha Adams. The Miners compiled 32 such victories before her and almost half of them (13 of the 27) were at the hands of non-division I opposition.
Tough To Win On Road When Shots Don’t Fall
The Miners have lost 40 straight road games when falling shy of 33.0 percent from the field. The last time UTEP picked up a win under those circumstances was on a 74-51 defeat of New Mexico State on Nov. 26, 1996. The Miners made 29 free throws in that game-the most ever in a road tilt in program history- to overcome the overall poor shooting.
THIS IS UTEP WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
UTEP has piled up more than 100 victories since the start of the 2006-07 season.
UTEP has posted a school-record five straight seasons with a record of .500 or better in the sequence
Only 20+ win seasons and postseason appearance at school occurred during stretch
UTEP went 28-4 in 2007-08, including historic 16-0 in Conference USA play
Effort tied the 1966 men’s national champions for most wins by a basketball team in school history
Advanced to second round of ‘08 NCAA Tournament after drilling Western Kentucky, 92-60
Nationally ranked in polls final six weeks of ‘07-08 and received votes at start of ‘08-09
One of eight schools in country with multiple players chosen in ‘08 WNBA Draft
All players who have exhausted eligibility under head coach Adams have graduated
CLIFF’S NOTES ON 2011-12
Brown Powers Miners Past UNC, 74-51
Gloria Brown recorded her third double-double of the season (16 points, 11 rebounds)to help the Miners post a 74-51 conquest of Northern Colorado at home on Dec. 13. The Miners were up 19-17 with 9:17 to play in the first half before putting together a 20-2 run to break the game wide open. They led 41-27 at the half, pushed their advantage out to as many as 31 (74-43).
Balanced Approach Does It
Seven different players scored at least six points against Northern Colorado (12/13/11). Gloria Brown keyed the efforts with 16 while Anete Steinberga registered a season-high 11 points to join her in double figures. Chrishauna Parker (nine points), Kayla Thornton and Kelli Willingham (eight points) and Kristine Vitola and Baiba Eglite (six points) all got in the act as well.
Big Effort By The Bench
UTEP’s reserves poured in a season-high 47 points in the win against Northern Colorado (12/13/11).
Willingham Dishes It Out
Sophomore Kelli Willingham tallied a season-high nine assists while committing only one turnover to help the Miners turn in an efficient offensive night against Northern Colorado (12/13/11). UTEP finished with 20 assists on 28 field-goals made.
UTEP Smothers New Mexico, 53-43
Stifling defense, a quality effort at the free-throw line and baskets at key times carried UTEP past New Mexico, 53-43, on the road on Dec. 10. Gloria Brown (12 points, 7 rebounds), Briana Green (10 points), Kelli Willingham (10 points) and Kristine Vitola (six points, 10 rebounds) led the way for the Miners.
UTEP kept the Lobos to 25.5 percent from the floor and harassed them into committing 22 turnovers.
Winning At The Pit Is Always Special
Thanks to the effort at New Mexico (12/10/11), the Miners picked up their first win at The Pit since the 1994-95 season to stand at fourth all time (4-20). Additionally, it marked the Lobos’ first double-digit home setback of the season.
Miners Crush Lamar, 81-52
UTEP played its most complete game of the year to remain undefeated on the season with a resounding 81-52 victory against Lamar on Dec. 1. Eight different players scored at least seven points for the Miners (7-0).UTEP bolted out to a 39-21 halftime lead, extended it to as many as 36 (79-43) before putting it on cruise control down the stretch.
How Sweep It Is; UTEP Crushes NM State, 63-27
Behind stifling defense, UTEP cruised past New Mexico State, 63-27, to complete the sweep of the Sonic Battle of I-10 series at the Don Haskins Center on Nov. 29. The Miners led 23-8 at the break and were up by at least 30 points over the final 10 minutes of the contest. It marked the largest margin of victory in the series for the Miners and the second-biggest overall.
UTEP limited NM State to just 9-of-49 shooting from the floor, including 1-of-11 from beyond-the-arc on Nov. 29. The Miners also harassed the visitors into committing 25 points, only two shy of the Aggies’ point total.
Break Out The Brooms
The effort against NM State (11/29/11) locked up the Miners’ first sweep of the series since 2007-08 and ninth overall. Five of the sweeps have come during Keitha Adams’ tenure. UTEP is now 13-9 against the Aggies under Adams, making her the lone coach in school history to have a winning record against their Sonic I-10 rivals.
UTEP Stomps Denver, 80-49,
UTEP overpowered Denver, 80-49, in a clash of unbeaten squads on Nov. 26. Sophomore Kelli Willingham poured in a season-high 18 points to lead a quartet of players in double figures. UTEP was up, 40-26, at the half and led by as many as 38 (80-42) at one point. The Miners drilled 11 threes (t7th-most school history), with Willingham making four of them.
Getting It Done At The Line
UTEP used good movement & motion to earn ample trips to the free-throw line against Denver (11/26/11). The Miners hit a campaign-best 19-of-27 at the free-throw line.
UTEP Takes Down UTPA, 62-51
Powered by Gloria Brown’s second double-double on the year, UTEP dispatched UTPA, 62-51, on Nov. 22. The Miners jumped out to a 29-17 lead at the half, extended it to as many as 19 (58-39 with 4:56 to play) before a mini run late made the final score a little more aesthetically pleasing for UTPA. The Miners dominated down low, scoring 40 of their 62 points in the paint, in addition to winning the rebounding battle, 40-35.
Brown & Vitola Got It Done
Gloria Brown led the way for the Orange and Blue with 13 points, 11 rebounds while also registering five blocked shots against UTPA (11/22/11). Kristine Vitola recorded eight points to go along with five boards to support Brown.
Plenty Of Playing Time
Head coach Keitha Adams used 14 of the 15 played dressed in the win against UTPA (11/22/11). Twelve of those 14 logged at least 10 minutes on the court.
UTEP Routs Houston Baptist, 82-53
The Huskies led 2-0 led but the Miners used an 11-0 run to stake an advantage they would never relinquish. UTEP led 43-17 at the half before putting it on cruise control in the second half.
Big Rebounding Nights For Vitola & Warren
Kristine Vitola and Erika Warren both got after it on the glass with nine rebounds each. The nine board is a career high for Warren,while it matched Vitola’s personal-best at the time (since eclipsed).
Nash Finds Her Rhythm
Jenzel Nash was 0-7 from the floor in her first two collegiate games before breaking through against Houston Baptist (11/19/11). She nailed 8-of-16 from the floor, including a dazzling fake on a one-on-one situation midway through the second half on a lay-up to bring the crowd to life. She finished with a team-high 18 points.
Brown Leads UTEP To 76-72 OT Win At NM State
Gloria Brown poured in 21 points while grabbing nine rebounds and blocking eight shots to help lead UTEP to a 76-72 overtime victory at New Mexico State in the SONIC® ® America’s Drive-In® battle of I-10 on Nov. 16. The Aggies scored the first two points of OT before the Miners ripped off nine straight to surge ahead, 70-63, with 3:03 to play. NM State eventually whittled the margin down to two (74-72) but Melisa Mendes came up with a clutch steal and sank a pair of free throws with six seconds left to seal the win.
Other Standouts At NM State
Chrishauna Parker delivered 11 points and five rebounds in 27 minutes in her first career start while Melissa Mendes. Kristine Vitola came through with eight points-including six in OT- to go along with eight rebounds.
UTEP trailed by as many as nine in the first half and was down by six with 9:27 to play. The Miners utilized a 17-3 run over the next seven-plus minutes on the way to surging into the lead (60-52). NM State forced OT by closed the period on a 9-1 run, including a lay-up at the buzzer.
UTEP Rides Big Second Half To Topple ISU, 79-63
UTEP thumped Idaho State, 53-28, during a dominating second half on the way to securing a 79-63 win in the 2011-12 season opener for both squads at the Don Haskins Center on Nov. 12.
Defense Does It
The Miners held the Bengals to 30.8 percent (16-of-52) from the floor, including just 4-of-26 (15.4) in the second half. ISU committed 27 turnovers, which led to 28 UTEP points.
Unselfish play helped with UTEP registering 20 assists on 29 field goals against Idaho State (11/12). Kelli Willingham & Kim Smith accounted for half of them, with five helpers each.
Miners Topple St. Mary’s
The Miners dispatched St. Mary’s, 79-56, in their lone exhibition contest on the year on Nov. 5. Freshman Jenzel Nash paced the squad with 15 points to lead a balanced UTEP offense. Junior Kristine Vitola (13 points, 11 rebounds) and sophomore Kayla Thornton (11 points, 10 rebounds) each recorded a double-double while junior Anete Steinberga (11 points) and freshman Chrishauna Parker (10 points) also reached double figures in scoring.