UTEP Welcomes Pacific-12 Force Washington In WNIT Elite Eight Game Monday


POSTED: Sunday, March 30, 2014 - 11:22pm

UPDATED: Monday, March 31, 2014 - 9:34am

UTEP (27-7) will play host to Pacific 12 member Washington (20-13) in the Elite 8 of the WNIT at the Don Haskins Center 7 p.m. Monday.
- The victor will advance to play South Dakota State in the semifinals at a site to be determined on April 3.
- Tickets are $4 for UTEP students & $6 for general admission. UTEP’s ticket center opens at 8 a.m. Monday & will remain open through halftime.
- Call (915) 747-5234 for complete ticket info.
- 6-2 vs. teams in power conferences since the start of 2012-13 season, including 3-0 vs. Pac-12 foes.
- UTEP is 4-2 all time in postseason play (3-0 WNIT & 1-2 in the NCAA Tournament).
- UTEP is first C-USA squad since 2002 & the third in league history to advance to the WNIT Quarterfinals. Houston (now AAC member) lost in the 2002 championship game (lost, 54-52 to Oregon) while Memphis (now AAC member) appeared in the 1999 quarterfinal & semifinals.
- Fans can stay-up-date by following the Miners on twitter (@UTEPWBB) or listening live on 1150 AM with Mark Brunner and Traci Miller.
- Audio & video stream of the contest will also be available through subscription-based Miner TV.

- First appearance in program history (at-large).
- UTEP, which finished 22-8 a year ago, declined a bid in 2013 due to a depleted roster from injuries.
- Defeated A-State, 74-64, in first round (3/21).
- Beat Saint Mary’s, 76-64, in round of 32 (3/24).
- Topped Colorado, 68-60, in Sweet 16 (3/28).
- Opposition is shooting 42.3% from floor (71-168) to UTEP’s 39.2% (69-176) but the Miners have generated extra possessions through crashing the offensive glass (49 offensive boards) & forcing 54 turnovers.
- UTEP has a +10.0 scoring margin the event (72.7-62.7), with free throws being a big factor. The Miners are 66-85 (77.6%) compared to 31-of-49 (63.3%) by the opposition with aggressive drives & dominating boards (41.7 rpg-31.7) & the turnover margin (+3.7) making a difference.

- Leading the WNIT in attendance (avg. 5,812).
- Has been at home through first three rounds as result of the crowd & support by UTEP administration.
- Drawn better than 4,500 fans in a school-record-tying three straight games.
- Shattered the prior school standard (7,255, vs SMU, 2/28/08) with 8,234 fans in the WNIT Sweet 16 win vs. Colorado (3/28/14).
- 19-2 all time, including 17-1 under Keitha Adams, in home games with 4,000+ fans.

- The Miners have the third-most wins among all DI programs in Texas since 2006-07.
- Recent national champions & 2014 NCAA Elite 8 participants Baylor (247-40) & Texas A&M (216-65) lead the way.
- UTEP has a firm grip on third (178-75).
- Lamar (159-96, 4th), Texas (154-108-5th), TCU (151-104-6th), SMU (149-101-7th), Prairie View A&M (148-112-8th), Stephen F. Austin (138-112) and Texas Tech (136-122-10th) wrap the top-10.

- UTEP is 78-21 since the start of the 2011-12 season, including 27-7 this year.
- Have registered 54 double-digit wins in stretch.
- Only five double-digit losses in time frame.
- Aiding record were 10 winning streaks of at least three games. The breakdown is as follows:
15 game (12/31/11 through 2/23/12)
10 game (11/12/11 through 12/17/11)
9 game (12/1/12 through 1/13/13)
9 game (11/8/13 through 12/15/13)
7 game (1/22/14 through 2/15/14)
5 game (11/0/12 through 11/23/12)
4 game (3/1/12 through 3/10/12)
3 game (1/24/13 through 1/27/13)
3 game (3/8/13 through 3/14/13)
3 game (2/22/14 through 3/1/14)
3 game (3/21/14 through current)
- Contrast that with one three-game losing skid.

- First meeting.

- Senior Kayla Thornton secured First-Team All-Conference USA honors while also earning placement on the five-member All-Defensive squad, the league office revealed on March 9.
- Thornton, a second-team honoree in 2012 and 2013, becomes the second Miner in program history to garner at least three all-conference accolades (Jareica Hughes, four, 2007-10).
- Thornton also joins Hughes as the lone players in school history to be a two-time member of the All-Defensive squad. Thornton was also tabbed to the team last year & Hughes was in ‘07 & ‘08.
- UTEP has now been recognized on an all-conference squad for eight straight years.
- Redshirt-sophomore guard Jenzel Nash was named the 2014 Conference USA Women’s Basketball Sixth Player of the Year, the league office revealed March 10.
- It marks the third time in the past four years that the Miners have secured the award, with former standout Gloria Brown being so recognized in 2011 and 2012.
- Thornton was also tabbed to the C-USA All Tournament team, marking her second such selection during her four-year career.

- Senior Kristine Vitola poured in 22 points while junior Chrishauna Parker posted her third straight double-double (10 points, 12 rebounds), and UTEP bested Colorado, 68-60, in the WNIT Sweet 16 in front of a school-record and raucous 8,234 fans at the Don Haskins Center March 28.
- It was a two-point tilt (54-52) in favor of UTEP with 4:11 to play, giving the chance for the boisterous crowd to play a factor.
- The Orange and Blue faithful delivered, with the Buffaloes committing three turnovers down the stretch. The giveaways helped fuel an 8-0 run in the final two minutes, as the Miners closed out the contest in style.
- UTEP pounded CU on the boards, 43-26, aided by 19 offensive rebounds. The home side also drilled 26-of-30 from the charity stripe to compensate for a rare off shooting night (19-of-55, 34.5 percent) from the floor.

(20-13, 11-5 home, 7-6 away & 2-2 neutral )
- Washington is making third straight and sixth overall WNIT appearance & is 11-5 all time in it.
- In search of first-ever WNIT Final Four Bid.
- Cruised past Hawai’i in its WNIT opener, 67-50 (3/21) at home before bouncing fellow Pacific 12 foe Oregon, 93-85, on the road (3/24).
- Punched its ticket to WNIT Elite 8 with a 62-55 home triumph against San Diego (3/26).
- Led by the nation’s second-highest scoring backcourt duo in the form of Kelsey Plum (21.2) and Jazmine Davis (19.1)
- Talia Walton (10.8) is also in double figures for scoring while Aminah Williams (7.3) & Mercedes Wetmore (6.6) also involved in act.
- Perfect (13-0) on year in games with better field-goal percentage than the opposition.
- Notched three wins on the year against ranked teams, its most since 2001.
- Included among victories was a conquest of third-ranked & perennial power Stanford.
- One area of concern has been rebounding (-3.8 margin), which is ninth in the Pacific 12.
- Notable alumni include Chris DeWolfe (CEO & Co-Founder of MySpace), William C. Dement (Founding president of the American Sleep Disorders Association), Hank Ketcham (creator of US Comic strip Dennis the Menace) & Irv Robbins (Co-founder of Baskin & Robbins).

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