UTEP To Cap Non-League Play At Home Against Texas State
Dec. 30, 2011
THE OPENING ACT
UTEP To Cap Non-League Play At Home Against Texas State
UTEP will wrap up non-conference play while also taking to the court for the final time of 2011 when it welcomes Texas State to town for a 2:05 p.m. MST tip-off on Dec. 31. The Miners (10-2) were edged at Arizona State, 47-45, on Dec. 28, while the Bobcats (7-4) won for the fourth time in five games by virtue of an 86-61 dismantling of Houston Baptist on Dec. 28. 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.
Get In Free
There is free admission to the game against Texas State. Fans are encouraged to arrive in the area early, due to the Hyundai Sun Bowl kicking off at 12 p.m. Parking is available, but on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Sky Is Not Falling
The Miners have dropped consecutive contests but there is no need to push the panic button. The setbacks have come by a combined three points (49-48 vs. UCSB, 12/21/11 & 47-45 at Arizona State, 12/28/11) and UTEP has not faced a deficit of greater than six during the stretch. Furthermore, the Miners had the ball in the waning moments of each game with a chance to either tie or take the lead.
Even In Defeat, UTEP Is Competitive
Dating to the start of last season, 16 of the 18 setbacks in that timeframe have been by single digits. The Miners were saddled with a single-season school record 14 defeats by fewer than 10 points in 2010-11 while the two losses in 2011-12 have been by a combined three points.
That’s A Lot Of Non-League Wins
With a victory against Texas State, the Miners would finish non-conference play at 11-2. The 11 triumphs would rate tied as the most wins heading into the start of league action in program history, matching the effort by the 2006-07 squad (11-1).
We Meet Again
UTEP trails in the all-time series against Texas State, 6-5, but the Miners have had the upper hand of late. UTEP has claimed the past four contests, including wins in 2008-09, 2009-10 & 2010-11.
December Has Been A Month To Remember
UTEP is 45-24 under Keitha Adams in December, including 4-2 this year. The Miners are 21-2 at home in the month since the start of the 2006-07 season.
Elite In NCAA Stats
The Miners boast top-55 rankings in 11 of the 14 team stat categories out of 336 squads nationally (as of most-recent report on Dec. 18), 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 10 of the 14 stat categories among C-USA teams (through Dec. 29), including leading the league in four areas (blocked shots, FG% defense, scoring margin & 3PT% defense)
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
There are still nine home games remaining on the docket for the 2011-12 season, and individual tickets ($5 adults, $3 kids) are on sale for all of them. They may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.
UTEP will christen Conference USA play by playing at longtime traditional rival SMU at 6 p.m. MST on Thursday. The game will air on 1150 AM & can also be followed through game tracker or the team’s Twitter feed (@UTEPWBB).
GOING BACK IN TIME
Arizona State Holds Off UTEP, 47-45
Kelli Willingham’s potential go-ahead three pointer from the right wing was blocked with seven seconds to play, allowing Arizona State to creep past UTEP, 47-45, inside Wells Fargo Arena on Dec. 28. It was a back-and-forth defensive battle, with seven ties & nine lead changes. The Miners (10-2) trailed by four (47-43) with 1:20 remaining in regulation but held the Sun Devils (9-2) scoreless down the stretch to give themselves a chance at a comeback.
Road Streak Comes To A Close
The setback at Arizona State (12/28/11) was the initial one on the road for the Miners, who were off to a program-best 3-0 start in hostile territory. Overall the three-game road winning streak tied 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.
Vitola Has Another Big Night On Boards
Kristine Vitola notched her third double-digit rebounding effort of the year, with a career-high 11 boards at Arizona State (12/28/11). It marks her third game of the year with 10 or more rebounds. She never had more than nine in her first two seasons with the Miners.
Brown Double-Doubles Again
Gloria Brown led the way for the Miners at Arizona State (12/28/11) with her fourth double-double (10 points & 12 rebounds) of the season. She now has 12 double-doubles, which rates tied as the sixth most in school history.
Joins UTEP 500-Point Club
Gloria Brown scored 10 points at Arizona State (12/28/11), to lift her career total to 502 points. She is the 11th Miner to reach the half-century mark after transferring in as a junior, and is the 35th player overall in program history to do so.
Houston Makes Debut
Whitney Houston was a senior transfer from Colorado to UTEP prior to the start of the 2010-11 season, but missed the entire year after suffering a knee injury. She had a setback in her rehab in fall 2011, but has finally worked her way back into form. Houston made her Miner debut at Arizona State (12/28/11), playing a pair of scoreless minutes.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
The 411 On Texas State As An Institution
Texas State University is a doctoral-granting university located in San Marcos, Texas, with an enrollment of better than 34,000 to rank as the sixth biggest in the state. The school has had six name changes, and took its current name in 2003. It is the only institution in the state to boast a former U.S. President (Lyndon B. Johnson) as an alum. Other notable alumni include actor Bill Paxton, who is best known for his starring roles in the movies Aliens, Apollo 13, True Lies and Twister and grammy-award-winning American country singer George Strait.
The 411 On Texas State Basketball
Texas State is a member of the Southland Conference, and has had a program since 1966. It sports an all-time record of 650-612, including 7-4 in 2011-12. The Bobcats have made three postseason appearances all time (two NCAA & one WNIT), with the most-recent bid coming in the 2008 WNIT. Texas State returned three starters and nine letterwinners overall from last year’s squad (9-20 overall, 4-12 Southland).
Get To Know The Texas State Head Coach
Zenarae Antoine in her first year as head coach for Texas State. The eighth head coach in program history, she previously worked at Arkansas, Louisville, Ohio and College of Charleston. She played for Colorado State, wand was a three-year starter for the Rams. She finished her career third in blocked shots and seventh in rebounding. She aided CSU to a pair of league titles and NCAA Tournament appearances.
Looking At The Texas State Season
Texas State bolted out to a 3-0 start before dropping four of the next five. The Bobcats have regrouped and won three in row, including two on the road. Most recently TSU dismantled Houston Baptist, 86-61, on Dec. 28, to improve to 7-4 on the year.
This And That On Texas State’s Offense
Five players are contributing 6.5 points per game, including two at better than 14.0 ppg (Diamond Ford, 19.2 & Ashley Ezeh, 14.3) Three individuals (Ford, 23, Demi Clinch, 18 & Kelsey Krupa, 18) have accounted for 59 of the 77 three pointers on the year. Ezeh (45) & Verinus Kalu (30) have grabbed almost half of the team’s 165 offensive rebounds on the season. TSU accounted for 61 points per game over the first six games (3-3) but has poured in 79.5 ppg in the five contests (4-1) since.
This And That On Texas State’s Defense
Five players have made 10+ steals, including a pair with 15 or more (Verinus Kalu, 31 & Diamond Ford, 15). Ashley Ezeh (10) & Ford (7) are responsible for more than half of the team’s 34 blocked shots on the season. Kalu has fouled out twice and is committing 3.5 fouls per game. TSU limited foes to 55.4 points per game over the first five contests (3-2) but has allowed 70.7 ppg in the six contests since (4-3).
The Texas State Winning Formula
Texas State (7-4) is 6-0 when winning the rebounding battle, 6-1 when leading at the half, 5-0 when scoring 70+ points & 5-1 when keeping the opposition to fewer than 40 percent from the floor.
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 428-584, including 10-2 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 165-145 in her 11th year at the school, including 10-2 this year. Overall Adams is 292-182 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. 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.
Talk About A 10-Year Stretch
Including the mark of 10-2 in 2011-12, the Miners are now 162-20 over the past 10 years (2002-03 season-present). The effort obliterates the prior standard at the school for a decade-long stretch (115-155 from 1990-91 through 1999-2000).
Winning Mark At Major Junctures
Thanks to the 10-0 start (now 10-2), UTEP was above .500 at the 10-game mark for the fifth time in the past six years. The Miners are already assured of their school-record eight straight year with a winning record at the 15-contest juncture (prior standard four). UTEP is one win victory shy of notching the seventh consecutive campaign for the 20-game mark (prior record six).
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 86-56 in non-conference play during the Keitha Adams era, including 10-2 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
The Miners registered 74.7 ppg over their first seven games, which was aided by topping 70 five times. UTEP has dipped to 57.6 ppg in the five tilts since, with one game of 70+ points in the stretch. After making a season-best 53.8 percent (7-of-13) from three-point land at LMU (12/17/11), UTEP is at 23.3 percent (7-of-30) in the two tilts season. Overall UTEP drilled 42.9 percent (272-634) in the first 10 games, but is down to 34.0 (36-of-106) since. UTEP had 19 giveaways at Arizona State (12/28/11), halting a six-game stretch with 14 or fewer turnovers. It has grabbed 10+ offensive boards in four consecutive contests and in 10 of 12 overall.
The Miners have held a school-record 10 straight opponents to 55 points or less, with six of those foes failing to crack the 50’s. The effort doubles up the prior stanard (five) during the 2007-08 campaign. In terms of field-goal percentage defense, only UC Santa Barbara, which made 40.8 percent, on Dec. 21 has been into the 40’s. Nine of the foes have been kept to below 34 percent. The Miners forced 18+ turnovers-including five of 20+, in the first seven games, but the past four opponents have committed 16, 15, 15 &16.
Not Just Winning But Winning Big
Nine of UTEP’s 10 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).
Playing Time A Plenty
Eleven Miners are earning double figures in minutes played, while a 12th individual is at 9.5 mpg. Kelli Willingham tops the list at 24.8 mpg, while six others are snagging better than 15.0 mpg.
The Bench Bunch
The Miners’ back-ups are accounting for 35.7 points per game. They poured in better than 30 in the first nine contests, including a quartet of 40+ point outings. It has not reached that figure since, though, with efforts of 22, 25 & 29 in the past three tilts.
Diving Deeper With The Reserves
UTEP’s bench has outscored the opposition’s reserves in every game, with a double-digit advantage in 11 of the 12 contests. 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 eight of 10 contests since. Overall the Miners boast a +5.5 margin. Six different players are grabbing at least 2.5 rpg.
FRONT COURT VETS TRENDING
What Can Brown Do For You
Gloria Brown was the 2011 second-team all C-USA member & Newcomer/Sixth Player. She has reached double figures in four of the past five games and seven occasions overall. Brown has managed 8+ points in 11 of the 12 contests. She had a season-high 12 boards at Arizona State (12/28/11), eclipsing her sum (10) from the previous two games. Brown is 4-10 from the free-throw line over the past three contests. She had made 17 in a row before the stretch. She has seven games with at least two blocks, and is responsible for 31 of the team’s 68 rejections on the year.
Junior Kristine Vitola has hit 48.2 percent of her shots, a stark improvement of 36.8 percent in her first two seasons. After scoring 6+ points in eight of the first 10 games (topping 2010-11 seasonal total of seven) she has tallied combined six points since. Vitola had only three boards against Idaho State (11/12/11). She has grabbed 4+ in 11 games since, including eight with six or more. She has swatted two or more shots in seven games. Vitola was 1-of-2 at the fre-throw line vs the Bengals (11/12/11) but has gone 17-of-18 since.
Sophomore Kayla Thornton has been an impact player with high-energy motor. She registered 6+ points in 10 of the first 11 games (including four double-digit efforts) before being held to a pair of points at Arizona State (12/28/28). She had four rebounds at ASU, snapping a streak of seven straight with 5+. Thornton has 16 steals on the year, with half of them coming in the past three tilts. She is 3-of-7 at the free-throw line in the past three games. She had hit 12-of-15 during a solid stretch previously.
Junior Anete Steinberga, a two-year starter, was utilized as a reserve for the first 11 games this year before starting at Arizona State (12/28/11). She is 4-of-14 (28.6) from the floor in the past three games. She had made 19-of-26 (73.1) in the prior seven. Steinberga was whistled for three fouls at ASU, halting a stretch of 10 straight games with two or fewer infractions.
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 in the first four games. She has registered 11.3 ppg in the eight 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 made only eight since. Willingham has drilled 8-of-19 from three-point range over the past three games. She was 2-of-9 in the two tilts prior to the stretch.
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 multiple assists in eight straight games, including five with 3 or more. Smith hit both free-throw attempts at Arizona State (12/28/11). She was 3-of-7 in the prior eight contests. Smith scored 23 points over the first three games (7.7 ppg) on 40.0 percent (6-of-15) shooting, but she tallied 18 points (2.0 ppg) in the nine contests since while making 19.4 percent (6-of-31).
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 nine rebounds in the past three games, topping her total (eight) from the first nine. After a three-game stretch of going 7-of-14 from the floor, Green is 3-of-10 in the past two tilts.
Second-year Miner & senior Erika Warren made 8-of-13 shots while scoring 19 points during a four-game stretch. She has made 5-of-15 with 17 points in the five contests since. After back-to-back games with one rebound, Warren has grabbed six total in the two tilts 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.
Freshman Chrishauna Parker was a top-50 guard nationally out of Atascocita HS. She hit 4-of-7 from the floor while scoring nine points at LMU (12/17/11) but has tallied eight points on 3-of-10 shooting since. She made 5-of-8 free throws at New Mexico (12/10/11) but is 3-of-9 in the five contests since. She has strated twice on the year, including last time out at Arizona State (12/28/11).
Mendes Means Business
Junior Melisa Mendes was an all-conference performer at NW Florida State College. She accounted for 7.0 ppg on 40.9 percent shooting (18-of-44) over the first seven games. She has dipped to 0.8 ppg while going 1-of-8 from the floor since. She has made multiple three pointers in a trio of contests, and is a combined 8-of-14 from distance in those contests. She is 2-of-21 in the other games on the season.
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 scored 26 points while nailing 12-of-25 from the floor against Houston Baptist (11/19/11 & Lamar, 12/01/11). She has managed 13 points while going 5-of-31 in the other games, but she did score four points while making 2-of-5 at Arizona State (12/28/11). After back-to-back games with a pair of rebounds, Nash has not posted a board in the ensuing four contests.
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 nine contests played she checks in at 5-of-24 for 11 points. She is 3-of-22 from three-point land, but did go 1-of-4 in that area at Arizona State (12/28/11). Half of her steals on the year (5-of-10) have come in the past four games.
Davis Does It
Syerra Davis, a top-50 guard who won three straight state titles with Tolleson HS, was 0-6 from the fllor in her first five games as a Miner, but she is 2-of-4 in her four contests played since. She grabbed three boards against Houston Baptist (11/19/11), which accounts for half of her seasonal sum.
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.
New Line Impacting Miners
The three-point line was moved back this year, and it has had an impact. Through 12 games, the Miners are down from 36.0 percent (76-of-211) to 28.5 percent (65-of-228) on three-point shooting. The opposition has also suffered, though, slipping from 30.1 percent (69-of-229) to 21.7 (34-of-157).
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.
179 Straight Games With A Triple
UTEP has made least one three-point shot in a program-record 179 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
Jekyll & Hyde
There have been two different Miner clubs this year, with the Dr. Jekyll version showing up 10 times and the Mr. Hyde unit appearing on two occasions.
In 10 Wins (Average Stats)
Team Pts FG% 3fg% FT% RB TO
UTEP 71.8 42.9 29.3 66.3 43.6 14.8
Opp. 50.9 31.0 20.3 72.3 36.7 20.1
In 2 Losses (Average Stats)
Team Pts FG% 3fg% FT% RB TO
UTEP 46.5 34.0 23.3 51.9 37.5 15.0
Opp. 48.0 36.2 27.6 60.0 39.0 15.5
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 98-41 under Keitha Adams, including 31-10 in the past 40 games, when out-rebounding the opposition. It is 7-1 in the situation this year, with the lone loss coming to UCSB (12/21/11).
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 25-13 in games in which they were below 61-percent from the free-throw line (minimum 10 attempts. They are just 1-2 in the area this year though.
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 165-145 in her time in the Sun City. She has led her charges to a record of 162-120 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 (610). Additionally, she recently became the 16th Miner to earn 2,000+ minutes of playing time (2,005).
Brown’s Not Too Bad Either
Senior Gloria Brown has enjoyed a very nice career after transferring to UTEP as a junior for the start of the 2010-11 season. She recently became the 35th member of the 500 career point club, and is making her impact in several other areas too. Brown is second all-time at UTEP for career free-throw percentage at 78.5 (117-149) and fourth in blocked shots (96).
Senior Gloria Brown has blocked 96 shots in her time in the Sun City, including 3` 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 67 swats, including 18 this year.
Was A Historic Start To The Season
UTEP opened up at 10-0 (now 10-2) to 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. The Miners became the first Conference USA school since 2004-05 & fifth overall to open up with 10 straight wins. Overall it tied as the third-best start in league history.
Miners Pick Up Votes In ESPN/USA Top-25 Poll
UTEP received a pair of votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ top-25 poll on Dec. 19. It marked the earliest point in a season that UTEP had 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.
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. Overall she has 12 double-doubles in her two years at UTEP (tied sixth all time), with four of those coming this season.
HOME SWEET HOME
Loving Life In El Paso
The Miners are 74-18 in El Paso since the start of the 2006-07 season, including 7-1 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.
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
UTEP has posted a program-best eight straight years with at least nine home victories and boasts an overall record of 109-50 in El Paso. The Miners had six such seasons in the 27 years prior to her tenure, and were a combined 163-142.
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.
Making Progress On The Road
UTEP is 41-84 on the road under Keitha Adams, but there have been signs of progress. The Miners are 29-33 away from home dating to the 2006-07 season, including a solid 3-1 this year.
Appreciating The Efforts Under Adams
UTEP is off to a good start of notching its fourth season of .500 or better during the Keitha Adams era (5-5 2006-07/2008-09, and 10-3 2007-08). 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 41 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
UTEP Falls For First Time, 49-48, To UCSB
UTEP was saddled with its first loss of the season in challenging fashion, falling to UC Santa Barbara, 49-48, on a last-second shot by Sweets Underwood at home on Dec. 21. The Miners led 47-40 with 2:56 to play only to have the Gauchos close out in the contest on a 9-2 push, which was capped by Underwood’s short jumper off an out-of-bounds play with 0.4 seconds remaining.
Sometimes Shots Don’t Fall
UTEP finished at 35.2 percent from the floor (19-of-54), with a readout of 18.8 percent (3-of-16) from three-point land impacting that figure. The Miners heated up in the second stanza to drill 45.5 percent from the floor, including 2-of-4 from distance, but ultimately it wasn’t enough.
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.
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).
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.