Miners Take Aim At 4-0 Start Vs. Northern Arizona Friday
El Paso, TX — UTEP will look to stay unbeaten when it squares off with Northern Arizona at 7:05 p.m. MST Friday.
- Fans who donate three canned goods will receive free admission to the contest, as part of the ongoing “Let’s SAAC Hunger Food Drive.”
- Audio & video of the game will be available through subscription-based Miner TV on UTEPAthletics.com
- UTEP is off to a 3-0 start for a third straight year.
- Never had two in a row before current streak.
- All three wins have been by double digits.
- Outscored opponents by 87 points on year.
- Only the 1974-75 squad & 1996-97 had a greater margin of win (+90) through three tilts.
- Aiming for third straight & seventh overall start of at least 4-0 on the year.
- Previously achieved feat in 1974-75 (4-0), 1996-97 (7-0), 1998-99 (4-0), 2006-07 (4-0), 2011-12 (10-0) & 2012-13 (5-0).
- UTEP is in the midst of a season-opening six-game homestand, the second longest in program history. Only the 2008-09 campaign (seven contests) featured a longer stretch in the Sun City to start the year.
- UTEP is 14-1 in November since starting the 2011-12 season, including 3-0 this year.
- It is 41-22 all time in month under head coach Keitha Adams.
INSIDE THE SERIES
- UTEP and Northern Arizona will be meeting for the 19th time when they do battle on Friday
- The Lumberjacks lead the series, 12-6, but 16 of those meetings occurred from the program’s inception in 1974-75 through the 1996-97 season.
- The Miners have secured both match-ups during the Keitha Adams era, topping NAU, 68-49, in El Paso on Nov. 20, 2005.
- NAU was poised to avenge that loss the ensuing year, but former Miner great Jareica Hughes drilled a three-pointer at the buzzer to pull out an improbable 63-62 win in Flagstaff on Dec. 29, 2006.
GOING BACK IN TIME
- UTEP forced 34 turnovers and held Big 12 member Kansas State to 26.3 percent shooting from the floor in a 84-39 shellacking at the Don Haskins Center on Nov. 16.
- The 45-point differential is the second-biggest margin of victory against a Division 1 opponent in school history, which was aided by the program’s biggest halftime lead (46-13) vs. a D1 foe.
- Five different Miners (3-0) reached double figures in scoring, with senior Kayla Thornton leading the way with her school-record 23rd career double-double (15 points, 11 rebounds). The prior standard was 22, held by Amy Pack (1999-01).
- Sophomores Irene Gari and Cameasha Turner and senior Kristine Vitola each buoyed Thornton with 12 points while junior Stacie Telles added 10 points. Redshirt-freshman Jenzel Nash pitched in eight off the bench while senior Kelli Willingham and freshman Sparkle Taylor netted five a piece.
- UTEP drilled 35-of-47 from the free-throw line and also won the rebounding battle, 54-43.
- It is the third most free throws made & ties as the fourth-highest for free throw attempts.
- Thornton was named the C-USA player of the week as result of efforts vs. Kansas State & NM State.
- But the day belonged to the defense, with UTEP forcing 34 turnovers. That ties as the sixth-highest sum by an opponent in school history.
- The Orange and Blue finished with 20 steals, equaling their eighth-highest single-game sum.
- Sophomore Chrishauna Parker, who posted a game-high 12 boards, recorded the sixth-best sum (seven) by a Miner in school history.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
- Northern Arizona is 0-1 on the year. It has been idle since falling in its home & season opener to Hawaii, 74-66, on Nov. 10.
- The Lumberjacks were picked 10th in the 2013-14 Big Sky Preseason Poll.
- Senior Amanda Frost poured in 24 points against Hawaii while sophomore Raven Anderson also reached double figures (15 points).
- Another sophomore, Erikka Banks, led the efforts on the glass with 14 rebounds.
- NAU is a youth-laden squad, with eight freshmen on its 13-member roster.
- Notable alumni include the late Clyde Tombaugh, an American astronomer best known for discovering Pluto, Latvian-American actress Rutanya Alda, who starred in the cult classic Mommie Dearest, & Travis Engvall — Son of comedian Bill Engvall.