POSTED: Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 1:34pm
UPDATED: Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 7:38pm
Conference USA leader UTEP will take the show on the road when it plays at Tulsa at 6 p.m. MST Thursday. The Miners (22-2, 11-0 C-USA) are enjoying their third-longest winning streak (12) in program history, having downed Tulane, 80-65, on Feb. 12. The Golden Hurricane (10-12, 5-6 C-USA) dropped a hard-fought 55-48 decision at Rice last time out. The contest will be broadcast locally in El Paso on 1150 AM. Fans can get live updates through following the team’s official Twitter feed (@UTEPWBB).
We Meet Again
Thursday’s match-up will be the 28th meeting all time between the programs, with the Miners holding a 17-10 advantage. UTEP has won 11 in a row vs. TU and 14 of the past 17. The effort has been a nice reversal of fortune for the Orange and Blue. TU claimed seven of the initial nine contests.
One Of Top Statistical Teams In C-USA
The Miners are first (six) or second (four) in 10 of the major team statistical categories amongst Conference USA squads.
Stats Don’t Lie; UTEP Elite Defensively Nationally Too
Defense has been the calling card for success for the Orange and Blue in 2011-12. UTEP is fourth nationally in field-goal percentage defense (33.1) & at guarding the three (23.8), eighth in blocked shots per game (6.0), 12th in scoring defense (52.4), 15th in rebound margin (+9.1) & 16th in scoring margin (+15.6).
Talking 20-Win Seasons
This year’s Miners (22-2) are the third team in program history to reach the 20-win plateau, all of which have come in the Keitha Adams era & within the past six seasons. The school standard was set by the 2007-08 team (28-4), followed by the 2006-07 squad (22-8). The 2006-07 team was the first to do so, and it broke the school standard (18-10) that had stood since 1992-93.
Putting The Success In Perspective
For the fourth time in the past six seasons, the Miners have posted at least 18 wins. Three of the campaigns featured 20+ wins, including this year’s team at 22-2. Prior to Keitha Adams’ tenure, the Miners only had one season with more than 16 victories, which came when the 1992-93 squad finished at 18-10.
Getting Some Love Nationally
UTEP made some ground in both major polls this week. The Miners received 22 votes to check in 28th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ poll while grabbing 17 votes and a spot of 31st in the AP.
Third-Best Team In Texas
UTEP is the third-highest rated team in the state of Texas, trailing only top-seed Baylor & #13 Texas A&M.
Rolling In League Play
The Miners are 11-0 in league play for the second time in program history. The 2007-08 squad got off to a quick start in conference and never looked back en route to becoming the first women’s school in Conference USA history to run the gauntlet to finish 16-0.
Putting It In C-USA Historical Context
There have only been four teams in C-USA history to open up league play at 11-0, with the Miners achieving the feat twice. UTEP did so in 2007-08 (finished 16-0), and it stands at 11-0 at this point in 2011-12.