POSTED: Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 6:11pm
UPDATED: Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 6:12pm
THE OPENING ACT
- UTEP will continue its season-opening three-game homestand when it challenges Houston Baptist at 7:05 p.m. MST at the Don Haskins Center Friday.
- The Miners (1-0) are seeking their 12th 2-0 start to a season in program history. UTEP has previously achieved the feat four times under head coach Keitha Adams.
- The Huskies (1-1) are in search of consecutive wins for the first time since early in the 2010-11 season.
- It is Boys And Girls Scouts Night against HBU, with free admission to members by wearing their uniform or showing their ID. Otherwise tickets are $5 for adults & $3 for kids.
- UTEP has won the only match-up between the programs, 82-53, on Nov. 19, 2011.
- UTEP stands at 34-21 in the month of November under Adams. It is 11-2 over the past three years, including 1-0 this season.
- The Miners are 88-56 in non-league play under Adams, including 1-0 this year.
- They have posted a school-record seven straight years of .500 or better during non-conference action (prior standard four, 1994-95 through 1997-98).
- Video and audio for every home game for the Miners on the year will be available through UTEPAthletics.com (subscription-based). All of the road contests on the season for UTEP will be broadcast on Talk Radio 1150 AM.
- To keep up with the very latest on the program, LIKE the team’s page on Facebook (UTEPWomensBasketball) and follow it on Twitter (@UTEPWBB). Additionally, connect with Coach Adams by following her on Twitter (@UTEPKeithaAdams)
GOING BACK IN TIME
- Senior Kristine Vitola notched her first career-double double (21 points, 12 rebounds) to help UTEP pound Loyola Marymount, 79-51, in the 2012-13 season opener for both squads at the Don Haskins Center Nov. 10.
- In addition to it being the initial double-double since joining the Orange and Blue, Vitola also set career standards for points (21) and boards (12). She hit on 10-of-11 free throws, also personal bests. She made 5-of-7 shots from the floor, including 1-of-2 from beyond-the-arc.
- Juniors Kayla Thornton and Kelli Willingham buoyed Vitola with 15 points each while six other Miners also scored in the contest.
- UTEP took control early thanks to Thornton. She scored the first 10 points of an eventual game-opening 15-0 run. The Miners , who led by 21 at the break (45-21), pushed their advantage out to as many as 35 (64-29, 11:12 second half), before putting it on cruise control down the stretch.
- After making one three pointer in her first 54 career games, Thornton has drilled 10 in her past nine. She hit a pair against St. Mary’s.
- Chrishauna Parker dished out a team-best & career-high four assists. She also grabbed seven boards.
- Three newcomers scored, with freshman Cameasha Turner tallying six points & freshman Irene Gari & junior Destinee LaFountain each pitching in five. Freshman Saidah Zuberi Allen grabbed four rebounds & posted a squad-best two blocks in 15 minutes while Diamond Posey earned seven minutes of action.
- The 28-point margin of victory was the largest in a season opener vs. D1 foe in program history. The prior standard was 19 (68-49 vs. Northern Arizona, 11/20/05).
- The Miners improved 7-5 in campaign lidlifters under head coach Keitha Adams, including 6-2 when starting the year at home.
- UTEP moved to 26-13 in home openers, helped by an effort of 9-3 under Adams.
- UTEP is now 20-19 all time in season openers, including 17-6 in El Paso.
- The 15-0 run was the best to start a year in the Adams’ era, topping the prior standard (7-0, 2006-07).
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
- Houston Baptist has an all-time record of 277-153 since the program was founded in 1999-2000.
- HBU registered eight appearances in the NAIA Tournament but has since returned to DI hoops.
- The Huskies have dropped 28 straight against D1 competition. Their last victory of that nature came when they downed South Dakota on March 9, 2011.
- It is 1-1 this year, and has already matched the win total from the 2011-12 squad (1-27). All five starters & six letterwinners overall return from that squad.
- HBU is coming off against a 73-46 triumph against Schreiner (11/12), its seventh triumph in as many contests against the Mountaineers.
- Former Miner Erin McGarrachan led the effort with her first collegiate double-double (12 points & 16 boards) while Tayler Jefferson (16), Shanice Steenholdt (12) and Brittany Barton (10) also reached double figures.
- Steenholdt paces the Huskies at 13.0 ppg while McGarrachan is contributing 11.5 ppg & 10.5 rpg. Jefferson is third on the team in scoring at 10.0 ppg.
- HBU is led by third-year head coach Mary Gleason, who is 6-53 in that timeframe. The fourth head coach in program history, she joined the Huskies after serving as an assistant coach & recruiting coordinator for Dartmouth.
- Houston Baptist University (commonly abbreviated HBU) is a private Baptist institution which was founded in 1960.
- It opened its doors officially in 1963, with a freshman class of 193 and 30 faculty members. The enrollment has grown significantly since then, with it now being 2,200.
- Notable alumni include tenor, Charles Reid, and president & CEO of BMC Software, Bob Beauchamp.
RUNDOWN ON THE 2012-13 MINERS
- UTEP returned three starters (senior F Anete Steinberga junior F Kayla Thornton & junior G Kelli Willingham) from last year’s record-setting squad.
- Sophomore guards Syerra Davis & Chrishauna Parker & senior F Kristine Vitola all earned letters in 2011-12 & are back in the fold. Also back is sophomore walk-on G Marissa Rodriguez.
- Sophomore guard Jenzel Nash suffered a torn ACL during an exhibition game win against St. Mary’s on Nov. 3 and will redshirt the 2012-13 season.
- Five of the top seven scorers & four of the top-five rebounders from a year ago are back in the fold.
- Including this year, the returnees have combined to play in 287 games, including 151 starts, during their respective careers.
- UTEP, which had the largest senior class in program history a year ago at seven, has only two seniors in 2012-13 (Steinberga & Vitola)
- Six newcomers are in the mix, with four true freshmen (Irene Gari, G, Jamie Madden, G, Diamond Posey, G, & Cameasha Turner) & two transfers (Destinee LaFountain F & Saidah Zuberi Allen (G/F).
- Freshman F Tommitrise Collins will sit out the year as a redshirt.
- The Miners were picked second in the 2012-13 Conference USA Preseason Poll, as voted upon by the league’s 12 head coaches. Thornton was tabbed to the all-conference preseason team.
- Tulane was picked as the favorite to win the league while Rice’s Jessica Kuster was named the preseason player of the year.
TOUGH TO REPLACE
- UTEP lost seven seniors to graduation, which was the largest class in program history.
- Headlining that group was 2012 C-USA Tournament MVP & second-team all C-USA honoree Gloria Brown, who paced the Miners in blocked shots (97), free throws made (102), attempted (125), percentage (.816), field-goal percentage (.527), points per game (12.1) and rebounds per contest (8.8). A reserve, she repeated as the C-USA 6th Player of the Year.
- Kim Smith (2.9 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 2.8 apg) & Erika Warren (5.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.2 apg) both started for the Miners last year while Baiba Eglite (1.6 ppg, 0.3 rpg, 0.4 apg), Briana Green (2.9 ppg, 1.1 rpg & 1.1 apg), Whitney Houston (1.4 ppg, 0.1 rpg, 0.5 apg) & Melisa Mendes (4.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 0.7 apg) joined Brown in coming off the bench.
THE BASIC FACTS ON UTEP
- UTEP is 448-586 since launching the program for the 1974-75 season, including 1-0 this year.
- UTEP has won three conference titles, including claiming both the 2012 C-USA regular season & tournament championship.
- The Miners’ first league crown was in 2007-08 when they became the first C-USA women’s team to go 16-0 in league play. Aiding that was a school & league-standard 23-game winning streak
- UTEP has appeared in two NCAA Tournaments, forging a mark of 1-2 at the "Big Dance." The Miners earned an at-large bid in 2008, advancing to the second round. UTEP secured the automatic bid last year but was derailed by national power (11/12) Penn State, 85-77.
- The school will celebrate its 100th year of operation in 2014.
- Notable alumni include former ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Sam Donaldson, well-respected NFL referee Ed Hochuli, former NASA astronaut Danny Olivas engineer & Dennis Poon, who designed Taipei 101 & some of the tallest buildings in the world.
THE ADAMS FILE
- UTEP is led by 12th-year head coach and the all-time win leader in program history, Keitha Adams, who is 185-147 in that time frame.
- At 312-184 in 16 years, Adams is one of five active coaches in C-USA women’s basketball to have more than 300 career victories.
- All three 20-plus victory campaigns and four of the five seasons of at least 18 wins in program history have been during her tenure.
- Seven of the 10 seasons all time at UTEP with at least 16 wins are courtesy of her.
- Both regular-season conference championships and the lone league tournament title in program history have been during her tenure.
- Her efforts have put the program on the regional & national landscape, with the Miners playing in 16 nationally-televised games.
- UTEP has received votes in the top-25 poll in four of her seasons, including being ranked in the top-25 for the final six weeks of the 2007-08 season.
- From 2002-03 through the end of last year, UTEP forged a mark of 181-122. The best record for a 10-year stretch before Adams’ arrival was 115-155.
- Twelve of the 18 major individual career records at the school are held by players who were mentored by her.
- She has coached 15 players who have gone on to play professionally, including 2008 WNBA Draft Picks Izabela Piekarska & Natasha Lacy.
- She has impacted the international game at the highest level, with Noni Wharemate representing New Zealand at the 2008 Olympic Summer Games.
- Every player who has exhausted her eligibility at UTEP during her tenure has graduated.
HOME SWEET HOME
- The Miners are 83-18 in El Paso since the start of the 2006-07 season, including 1-0 this year
- Keitha Adams’ charges have strung together a school-record five 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.
- Overall the Miners are 118-51 at home under Adams, helped by a program-best nine straight years with at least nine home victories.
- The Miners had six such seasons in the 27 years prior to her tenure, and were a combined 163-142.
BEST SUPPORT IN C-USA
- The Miners were head & shoulders above the rest of the Conference USA for average attendance in 2011-12. They had an overall average of 2,639, with ECU (1,528) more than 1,100 back.
- In terms of league only, UTEP had 4,243 on average. Memphis (1,774) was nearly 2,500 in back of that figure.
- UTEP drew better than 2,000 fans in nine of the final 10 contests of 2011-12, and a single-season 11 contests overall.
- Ten of the 13 games in program history (excluding double headers) with at least 4,000 fans in attendance have come during the Keitha Adams era.
- The Miners are 9-1 in those games.
- UTEP is 37-33 away from home since the 2006-07 campaign.
- It will play its first road game this year at New Mexico State (11/28/12).
- Keitha Adams has led UTEP to a pair of winning road records & two other years at .500.
- Prior to her arrival, the Miners never had a winning road mark & were at .500 just twice in 27 years.
- Overall the Miners are 49-84 on the road under
- UTEP boasts 21 double-digit victories on the road during Adams’ era
- The Miners had 27 such victories before her tenure, but 13 were against non-DI schools.
STAT LOVERS’ LANE
- UTEP has made least one three-point shot in a program-record 201 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.
- The Miners are 112-13, including 1-0 this year, when scoring 70+ points under Adams.
- UTEP holds a record of 98-16 in the past 114 contests, including 1-0 this year, that it made 40.5% or better from the floor.
- The Miners are 52-10 in their past 62 games , including 1-0 this year, when nailing at least 40% on threes (min. five made).
- UTEP is 49-12 in the past 62 games & 115-42 overall when winning the rebounding battle. It is 1-0 in the situation this year.
- The Miners are a robust 56-2 under Adams 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.
- The Miners are 66-15 over their past 81 games, including 1-0 this year, that they’ve forced the opposition into committing at least 20 turnovers.
- UTEP is 66-12 under Adams, including 48-3 since the start of the 2006-07 campaign, when forcing the opposition into committing more turnovers than field goals made. It is 1-0 this year in that area.
- UTEP is 53-11 over the past 64 contests when knocking down better than 70 percent at the free-throw line (min. 10 FTM)
- Oddly enough, UTEP has gone 26-12 since 06-07, including 1-0 this year, when falling shy of 61-percent at the line. (min 10 FTA).
- The Miners are 18-8 in their past 26 regular-season contests in which they have made more three pointers than free throws.
- Kristine Vitola is three points shy of becoming the 39th Miner to reach 500 career points. Kelli Willingham (547), Kayla Thornton (540) & Anete Steinberga (526) have all done so.
- Vitola has played in 95 career games, and will soon become the 18th Miner to reach triple digits.
- UTEP has won 62 games since Steinberga & Vitola arrived on campus in 2009, which ties as the 10th-most by class in Miner history.
- With a start against Houston Baptist, Willingham will move into a tie for 10th-place all time at UTEP (60). Steinberga has earned 56 career starts.
- Thornton is sixth all time at UTEP for career field-goal percentage (46.0). A minimum of 200 FGM is required to qualify.
- Willingham has drilled 96 career three pointers, which puts her eighth in the UTEP record books. Her 264 3PA rank seventh, as does her percentage of 36.4
- Willingham is currently first (min. 100 made) for career free-throw percentage at UTEP (81.1). She has yet to try a charity-stripe toss this year.
- Thornton is one of 22 individuals all time at UTEP to have pulled down at least 400 rebounds (412). Her career average (6.5) is just shy of the top 10.
- Willingham is climbing the school’s career assist charts. Her tally of 221 places her ninth all time.
- Vitola has swatted 97 career shots, including one in 2012-13, to put her on the cusp of becoming the fifth Miner to record at least 100 blocked shots.
- Went 29-4 to set both the school (men’s) & Conference USA single-season record for wins. The four losses on the year were by a combined 15 points.
- Won both the 2012 Conference USA regular-season & tournament title championship. The tournament title was the first in program history while it was the second regular-season crown.
- Competed at the 2012 NCAA Championships, falling to nationally-ranked Penn State (11/12) 85-77, in the first round. It was the program’s second appearance all time at the NCAA Tournament.
- Finished 15-1 in C-USA play, with the .938 winning percentage rating third all time in the league.
- Enjoyed separate winning streaks of at least 10 games, including a program-best 10-0 to start year.
- Other single-season records set include blocked shots (197), games played (33), rebounding margin (+9.5), scoring defense (54.2), scoring margin (13.4), double-digit wins (21), road wins (11), wins by at least 20 points (10) and overall wins (29).
- Led C-USA in attendance average (2,639), blocked shots (6.0), field-goal percentage (40.8), field-goal percentage defense (33.6), free-throw percentage (69.7), RPI (49), rebounding margin (6.0), scoring margin (+13.4), three-point percentage defense (24.5)
- Received votes for the top-25 the final nine weeks of the season.
- Gloria Brown was voted first-team All C-USA, a member of the all-defensive team, named the Sixth Player of the Year and voted as the 2012 C-USA Tournament Champion MVP.
- Kayla Thornton was a second-team All C-USA member and was voted to the all-tournament team.
- Keitha Adams was voted as the C-USA Coach of the Year.
- Kelli Willingham was voted to the C-USA Academic All Conference Team.
- More than 2,000 fans in nine of the final 10 games and a single-season best 11 times overall.
- Final five games all had more than 4,000 fans, also a program best.
- Averaged 4,243 fans during the eight C-USA home games.
CLIFFSNOTES ON 2012-13 CAMPAIGN
- Kayla Thornton (12), Anete Steinberga (11), Kristine Vitola (11) and Kelli Willingham (10) all reached double figures in scoring to help UTEP down St. Mary’s (Texas), 69-60, in an exhibition game on Nov. 3.
- The Miners led for most of the game, and were up by 17 (61-44) with five minutes to play.
- Marring the victory was sophomore Jenzel Nash suffering a torn ACL that will force her to miss the 2012-13 season.