The UTEP women’s basketball team (1-0) will continue its season-opening five-game homestand when it plays host to CSU Bakersfield (2-0) at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
The Miners won their campaign lidlifter, 77-51, vs. Alcorn State on Nov. 10. The Roadrunners are off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2014-15, using wins against Wright State (76-74, Nov. 6) and at UC Santa Barbara (56-48, Nov. 9).
Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234).
The contest will be broadcast locally on 600 ESPN El Paso with Steve Kaplowitz and Traci Miller on the call. There will also be a live stream on CUSAtv.com (subscription based).
UTEP will lock up with NM State in the FirstLight Federal Credit Union Battle of I-10 at 1 p.m. MT Saturday. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.
HE SAID IT (COACH BAKER ON csu bakersfield)
“CSU Bakersfield is a very good team. They return a lot of players from last year that contributed in a big way. They’re solid, very, very athletic. They’re 2-0 for a reason. They beat two pretty good teams in UC Santa Barbara and Wright State. It’s going to be a good test for us.”
THE SERIES (UTEP LEADS, 2-0 OVERALL; UTEP LEADS 2-0 IN EL PASO)
UTEP is locking up with CSU Bakersfield for the third straight year. The Miners have won both previous meetings. They cruised to a 74-61 conquest of the Roadrunners on Dec. 28, 2016.
UTEP rallied for a 67-56 win in the 2017-18 season opener for both squads on Nov. 11, 2017.
LAST MEETING WITH csu bakersfield: (at UTEP 67, csub 56, nov. 11, 2017)
UTEP used a huge fourth quarter to rally past CSU Bakersfield, 67-56, in the 2017-18 season opener for both squads at the Don Haskins Center on Nov. 11, 2017. The Roadrunners led by eight (45-37) through three quarters of action, but the Miners opened up the final frame on an 13-1 run to help fuel a dominant 30-11 advantage over the last 10 minutes of action.
Senior Tamara Seda (20 points), junior Jordan Alexander (15 points) and sophomore Faith Cook (14 points) each established career highs to lead the way for the Miners, who were victorious in head coach Kevin Baker’s Division I coaching debut. Junior Najala Howell (10 points) also reached double digits in scoring for UTEP.
The Miners nailed 51.2 percent (21-41) from the floor and 42.9 percent (6-14) from beyond-the-arc.
going back in time (at utep 77, alcorn state 51, 11/10/18)
Zuzanna Puc poured in 18 points to pace a quartet of players in double figures as the UTEP women’s basketball team cruised to a 77-51 season-opening win vs. Alcorn State on Nov. 10. Ariona Gill (15 points), Jordan Jenkins (career-high 11 points, six assists) and Katarina Zec (11 points, personal-best tying nine rebounds) also got after it for the Miners.
UTEP connected on 52.6 percent (30-57) from the floor, tied for the sixth-best rebounding margin (+27, 48-21) in program history and racked up 23 assists on 30 made field goals. They held ASU to 30.2 percent (16-53) shooting and forced 20 turnovers.
Conchi Satorre pitched in five points and a trio of boards in 10 minutes of action to lead the reserves in scoring. The Lady Braves scored the first two points of the contest on a jumper, but UTEP punched back with a 12-0 surge over the next five minutes. The home side never trailed again.
biggest win under coach baker
UTEP’s 26-point romp against Alcorn State served as its largest margin of victory under head coach Kevin Baker. The previous high was a 20-point differential (69-49) vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Nov. 18, 2017.
jenkins has night to remember
Sophomore Jordan Jenkins had a memorable contest against Alcorn State, establishing career highs for points (11), field goals made (four) and field goals attempted (seven). Jenkins also matched her personal bests for free throws made (two) and attempted (two). She dished out a team-leading six assists, but more importantly had only one turnover.
Jenkins also took three charges. It marked her second career double-digit scoring contest, but first in the regular season. She tallied 10 points in the quarterfinals of the 2018 C-USA Championships against UAB (March 8, 2018).
worth the wait
Ariona Gill, who sat out last year as a redshirt, had a quality debut for the Orange and Blue. She tallied 15 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists in 25 minutes of action. The redshirt-junior was 6-9 from the floor, including 2-2 on 3-pointers, while splitting (1-2) her charity stripe tosses.
quick hitters from the opener
UTEP outscored ASU by at least five points in every frame for the first time against a DI opponent since NCAA women’s basketball switched to a four-quarter format for the 2015-16 season … the 26-point margin of victory was the largest in program history when committing at least 27 turnovers in a contest … all 10 Miners who dressed vs. Alcorn State had at least two points and two rebounds while earning at least 10 minutes of playing time.
start it up
UTEP improved to 25-20 all time in season openers, including 21-7 when doing so in El Paso. The Miners are now 2-0 under Kevin Baker in season lidlifters.
45 YEARS AND COUNTING
The 2018-19 season marks the 45th in program history. The 1974-75 squad, the inaugural one at UTEP, will be honored in the Miners’ game against WKU on Feb. 2, 2019. The 1974-75 finished 11-5, including 8-1 in El Paso.
GETTING TO KNOW THE 2018-19 MINERS
UTEP returned four letter winners (Jordan Alexander-8.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg, Jordan Jenkins-2.0 ppg, 1.4 apg, Zuzanna Puc-9.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg and Katarina Zec-9.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg) from last year’s squad (17-14, 7-9 C-USA). Also back are a pair of players (Ariona Gill and Neidy Ocuane) who sat out last year as redshirts.
The Miners also added six newcomers (Eliana Cabral, freshman guard, Alexa Hoy, sophomore guard, Sabine Lipe, freshman guard, Jade Rochelle, junior guard/forward, Conchi Satorre, freshman point guard and Ariana Taylor, freshman forward), but Cabral is slated to take a redshirt year in 2018-19. The squad is under the direction of second-year head coach Kevin Baker, who is assisted by Lori Morris, Michael Madrid and Kayla Weaver.
Half (6-12) of the Miners’ roster in 2018-19 is comprised of international players. It is the largest such ratio (50 percent) in program history Eliana Cabral (Portugal), Sabine Lipe (Latvia), Neidy Ocuane (Mozambique), Zuzanna Puc (Poland), Conchi Satorre (Spain) and Katarina Zec (Serbia) give UTEP a distinct international flavor this season.
The Miners feature five native Texans (Jordan Alexander, Dallas, Alexa Hoy, Rockwall, Jordan Jenkins, Tennessee Colony, Jade Rochelle, Grandview and Ariana Taylor, Houston) on the roster. The only other American on the team (Ariona Gill) hails from Las Vegas, Nv.
SHARING THE LEADERSHIP
For the third straight season the Miners features a squad with just one senior (Jordan Alexander). She is far from alone in terms of leadership, with five juniors (Ariona Gill, Neidy Ocuane, Zuzanna Puc, Jade Rochelle and Katarina Zec) on the roster. Puc and Zec have earned a pair of letters for the Miners. Gill and Ocuane sat out last season as redshirts, while Rochelle is a transfer from Blinn College.
NOTING THE SCHEDULE
UTEP (1-0) has 29 games on tap in the 2018-19 regular season, including 15 slated to be played at the Don Haskins Center. The Miners will compete in a pair of tournaments (Seventh-Annual UTEP Thanksgiving Classic and Las Vegas Christmas Shootout) during nonconference action.
UTEP will also face both NM State (Nov. 17-home) and New Mexico (Dec. 5-road), in addition to Pacific-12 member Arizona (Dec. 17-road) and former C-USA foe Tulsa (Dec. 29-road). There are 16 C-USA games on the docket. The 2019 C-USA Championships will be held at The Star in Frisco, Texas, for the second straight year, with the winner clinching the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
THE BAKER FILE (OVERALL: 362-145, COLLEGE: 140-44, UTEP: 18-14)
Kevin Baker is in his second year (18-14) at the helm of the UTEP women’s basketball team. He is in his 17th year overall (362-145) as a head coach, including his seventh season (140-44) as a college head coach. He has a unique background which has seen him rise through the coaching ranks from the high school level, to NCAA Division III, then NCAA Division II and now his NCAA Division I position at UTEP.
He has set school records for wins at every previous stop of his career, and has taken every prior school to the postseason with a total of five district championships. He is an eight-time Coach of the Year. In his most-recent posts prior to UTEP, Baker’s teams captured back-to-back conference championships at UT-Tyler and Angelo State.
Baker led both a Division II (Angelo State) and Division III (UT-Tyler) school to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
BAKER’S FIRST-YEAR SUCCESS
Kevin Baker set the school record for most wins (17-14) by a first-year Miner head coach in 2017-18, but that doesn’t even begin to tell the whole story. The seven previous first-year head coaches had an average combined record of 8-17. Carol Ammermann (11-5, 1974-75) and Janet Wood (11-16, 1979-80) shared the school mark for wins (11). Baker obliterated that mark while also joining Ammermann as the lone individuals to experience a winning season in year one at UTEP. Furthermore, Baker became the initial first-year Miner head coach to taste victory at the league tournament.
CHANCE AT MORE HISTORY
Kevin Baker has the opportunity to continue his record-setting ways in 2018-19. If the Miners can finish above .500 (currently 1-0), Baker would become the first coach in program history to post winning records in each of their opening two seasons. Carol Ammermann went 11-5 in 1974-75, but slipped to 6-11 the ensuing year.
winning numbers under baker
The Miners are 8-0 under Kevin Baker ( 1-0 this year) when shooting at least 50 percent from the floor. Other notable records in the Baker era include being 14-4 (1-0 in ‘18-19) when tied or leading after three quarters, 9-1 (1-0 this year) when scoring 70+ points and 8-1 (1-0 this season) when drilling better than 40 percent from 3-point range (min. four makes).
In the rankings
Through all games played on Nov. 11, 2018, UTEP paced Conference USA and boasted top-20 NCAA marks in 3-point field-goal percentage (.500; ninth), rebounding margin (+27.0; 12th), field-goal percentage (.526; 17th) and assists per game (23.0; 19th). The Miners are also among the league/national leaders in field-goal percentage defense (.302; third/55th), scoring defense (51.0; third/56th), scoring margin (+26.0; second/61st), 3-point field-goal percentage defense (fourth/61st), rebounds per game (48.0; third/73rd) and scoring offense (77.0; sixth/97th). Jordan Jenkins is ranked in assist-to-turnover ratio (+6.00; first/19th) and assists per game (6.0; second/46th), Ariona Gill is rated in 3-point field-goal percentage (100.0; tied first/tied first) and field-goal percentage (66.7; fourth/77th) and Zuzanna Puc checks in for field-goal percentage (66.7; fourth/77th).
FOURTH BEST IN TEXAS SINCE 2006-07
The Miners have the fourth-highest winning percentage and fourth-most victories among all DI programs in the state of Texas since 2006-07. Power conference members Baylor (385-53, 87.0%), Texas A&M (311-108, 74.2%) and Texas (264-140, 65.3%) lead the way followed by the Miners (247-134, 64.8%). Lamar (235-142, 62.3%), Stephen F. Austin (227-147, 60.7%), TCU (224-164, 57.7%), Prairie View A&M (204-178, 53.4), SMU (198-176, 52.9%), and Texas Tech (187-196, 48.8%-10th) round out the top 10.
The Miners are 147-80 since the start of the 2011-12 season, with 86 double-digit victories in that time frame. UTEP has played postseason basketball three times during the stretch, making two deep runs in the WNIT (2014 runner-up, 2016 quarterfinals) and earning the C-USA automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Tournament (lost, first round). The Orange and Blue have enjoyed 15 separate winning streaks of at least three games during that time frame.
HOME SWEET HOME
UTEP has an all-time home record of 361-219, including standing 1-0 in the Don Haskins Center in 2018-19. The Miners have amassed a record of 162-45 at home since 2006-07, including 95-28 since 2011-12. Aiding that 95-28 mark was a school-record (winning percentage) 19-1 home record in 2015-16. UTEP has been particularly strong in nonconference play, standing 81-12 in the Sun City in such contests since 2006-07.
UTEP is 144-363 all time on the road, including finishing 5-8 in 2017-18. When playing at a neutral site the Miners stand 60-79, including 3-1 last year. Since the start of the 2006-07 season UTEP is 60-68 on the road, including 36-37 since 2011-12.
QUICK YEAR IN REVIEW
The Miners compiled an overall record of 17-14 (7-9 in C-USA play, 9-4 in nonconference action) to surge past the 2016-17 team’s overall victory total (8-23) by nine wins while also exceeding the number of league victories (5-13 C-USA). UTEP also won a game at the C-USA tournament, and it even led top-seed UAB by five points late in the third quarter before ultimately succumbing, 75-66, on March 8, 2018.
GETTING AFTER IT ON THE GLASS
The Miners sported the second-best rebounding margin (+7.9) in program history in 2017-18. UTEP won the boards on average, 39.2-31.3. The effort trailed only the 2011-12 squad, which boasted a +9.5 margin (44.2-34.7)
CALL YOUR SHOT
The Orange and Blue showed off good shot selection in 2017-18, finishing with the second-highest shooting percentage (.435) in a season at UTEP in program history. The Miners drilled 710-1632 from the floor. Only the 1980-81 unit (.450) shot it better.
getting it done at the line
UTEP was locked in at the charity stripe in 2017-18, connecting on the second-highest percentage (.735) from the line in school history. The Miners connected on 435-587 free throws last year, which trailed only the efforts of the 2002-03 unit (.746).
UTEP finished 7-5 in games decided by five points or less in 2017-18, which set the school standard for the most such victories in a season in program history.
connect on social media
Fans are encouraged to connect with the Miners on Facebook (UTEP Women’s Basketball), Instagram (@utepwbb) and Twitter (@UTEPWBB).
BASIC FACTS ON UTEP
UTEP is 565-662 in its 45th season as a women’s basketball program, including standing 1-0 in 2018-19. The Miners have made four postseason bids (2016,-WNIT quarterfinals; 2014-WNIT runner-up, 2012-NCAA first round and 2008-NCAA second round), sporting a combined record of 9-4 (8-2 WNIT, 1-2 NCAA).
UTEP has claimed four league championships (2016 C-USA regular season, 2012 C-USA regular season and conference tournament and 2008 C-USA regular season). It has a 1-1 record all time in league tournament title games, cutting down the nets in 2012 and falling in 2008. There have been six 20+ win seasons (all since 2006-07), UTEP has cracked the top-25 poll in two seasons (2015-16, 2007-08), including being ranked in the final six weeks in ‘07-08, while receiving votes in seven campaigns total (‘15-16, ‘13-14, ‘12-13, ‘11-12, ‘08-09, ‘07-08 and ‘06-07).
The Miners have been mentioned in the AP Preseason Poll four times (most recent 2016-17). In 2008 UTEP became the first C-USA women’s team to finish undefeated in league play (16-0) while claiming the program’s initial league title. The Miners finished 15-1 in C-USA in 2012 in addition to also winning the program’s first conference tournament championship. UTEP owns the C-USA single-season record for winning streak at 23, which was set in 2007-08.