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Wednesday , November 14 2018
Home | Tag Archives: utep

Tag Archives: utep

HP Sports In Depth: Miners Host CSU Bakersfield at The Don

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.

INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR

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.

TEXAS STRONG

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.

SPECIAL RUN

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.

TRAVEL TIME

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).

CLOSE CALLS

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.

UTEP to Play at National Power Arizona Wednesday Night

The young UTEP men’s basketball team will get another huge test as it travels to Tucson to take on national power Arizona on Wednesday, November 14 at the McKale Center.

Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. MT and the game can be seen on the Pac-12 Network.

“These kinds of games are game that help prepare for us for conference play. We’re playing, obviously, a well-respected program in our region and nationally,” first-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “The Arizona program speaks for itself and what they’ve been able to do over the years. I have a lot of respect for their program and it’s a quality opponent that prepares us for conference play. It’s one of the best environments in college basketball. You come to UTEP to play in these kinds of games. We’re excited about the opportunity, it’s a great challenge for us.”

The Miners and Wildcats can also be heard on KOFX 92.3 FM and TuneIn.com with Jon Teicher and Steven Yellen handling the call, while a Spanish broadcast is available on ESPN Deportes 1560 AM with Omar Ropele.

UTEP (1-1) has split its first two games of the season, defeating UT Permian Basin, 90-63, on Nov. 6 and falling at rival NM State, 96-69, on Nov. 9. Arizona (2-0) is coming off an 82-61 victory over Cal Poly on Nov. 11 in the McKale Center, while it opened the season with a 90-60 win over Houston Baptist in Tucson.

The Miners are playing at Arizona for the first time since Nov. 15, 2012, while it’s the first meeting between the two teams since Dec. 19, 2014 in El Paso. The Miners came up short against the-then no. 3 Wildcats, 60-55, in front of a sold-out crowd in the Haskins Center.

Evan Gilyard leads the Miners in scoring at 24.5 points per game. The sophomore guard led UTEP with a 24-point performance against UT Permian and put up another 25 points at NM State. He’s the first sophomore in UTEP history to score 49 points in the first two games of the season, while he’s the first Miner since 1994 (Antoine Gillespie) to score 24 points or more in the first two games of the season.

Kobe Magee has been an ironman the first two games into his sophomore season. Magee is the first Miner to play all 40 minutes in the first two games of a campaign. Magee chipped in with 12 points at NM State, while he tied for the team lead with seven rebounds.

Gilyard joined Magee in playing all 40 minutes at NM State.

Efe Odigie has had a solid start statistically to begin his UTEP career. The freshman is second on the team with an 18.0 points per game scoring average, while also collecting 7.0 rebounds per outing. Fellow freshman Jordan Lathon has rebounded well at the guard positon. Lathon leads the Miners at 8.5 rebounds per game after ripping 10 down in the season opener and tallying anther seven at NM State.

The Wildcats are led by 6-foot-6 sophomore guard Brandon Randolph’s 17.5 points per game, while 6-foot-10 redshirt junior forward/center Chase Jeter ranks second on the team in scoring (13.5 ppg). Jeter and 6-foot-5 redshirt junior guard Dylan Smith have each pulled down 16 rebounds (8.0 rpg) in the early going. Freshman guard Brandon Williams (11.0 ppg) has tallied 13 of the team’s 29 assists. Senior forward Ryan Luther (6-foot-9) is averaging 11.5 points per game along with 6.5 rebounds per contest and leads the team with four steals.

The Wildcats are averaging 86.0 points per game (172 points), while yielding 60.5 ppg (121 points). U of A has connected on over 47 percent (60-127) of its field goals, including over 33 percent (15-45) from beyond the arc. Arizona is 37-for-50 (74 percent) from the charity stripe, while it outrebounds opponents 93-72 (45.6 rpg overall).

The Miners will return to the Don Haskins Center for a Nov. 19 contest (7 p.m.) against Eastern New Mexico. UTEP season tickets are on sale by calling (915) 747-6150.

Macey Austin Selected to C-USA All-Academic Team

IRVING, Texas – Junior outside hitter Macey Austin was selected to the 2018 InTouch Credit Union C-USA All-Academic Team, the league announced on Tuesday afternoon.

Austin started in all 26 matches and played in all 99 sets for the Miners this season. She set a season career high in kills with 366 (eighth in C-USA) and kills per set with 3.70 (fifth in C-USA).

The junior registered 22 double-digit kill outings, along with eight double-doubles. Her best performance of the season came against Illinois-Chicago (8/31) when she recorded 23 kills and 14 digs in a five-set victory over the Flames.

The Keller, Texas, native boasts a 3.95 GPA majoring in kinesiology. She is a two-time C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal recipient (2017 & 2018) and C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll honoree (2017 & 2018).

Austin became only the 10th player in program history to reach the 1,000-kill mark, and rates fourth all-time in kills per set (3.25).

She is the first player to lead the Orange and Blue in kills for three-consecutive seasons (2016, 17 and 18) since Amy Sanders (2007, 08 and 09).

UTEP Volleyball Adds Coronado’s Sofia Sifuentes For 2019 Season

On Tuesday, the UTEP volleyball team announced the addition of defensive specialist/libero Sofia Sifuentes on Tuesday afternoon.

Sifuentes, a native of El Paso, Texas, played her high school career at Coronado High School. In her senior year she helped lead the T-Birds to a 36-7 record, earning a district championship and a Regional Semifinal appearance in the state playoffs.

She is a three-year letter winner at Coronado, and during her senior campaign the defensive specialist accumulated 271 digs, 2.4 digs per set and 21 aces. She produced six double-digit dig performances, and registered a career-high 16 digs in a four-set victory over Midland (9/15).

Sifuentes is the granddaughter of legendary volleyball head coach Norman Brandl, who produced the second most wins (355) in UTEP history by any head coach. Her mother, Chris Brandl, played at UTEP from 1988-1991, and recorded the most assists (4,210) and aces (148) by any player in program history.

“I chose UTEP to continue my volleyball career following in my mother’s footsteps. The location of the campus grants me the opportunity to study biology in depth, while remaining minutes away from my family at home.” Sifuentes said

UTEP Students Can Find Comfort at Food Pantry

Students in need at The University of Texas at El Paso now have greater access to nonperishable and nutritious food. And the best part is the food is free.

The UTEP Food Pantry has expanded and relocated to Memorial Gym to provide food access to undergraduates and graduate students, faculty and staff.

“By having our students’ basic necessities met, they are more apt to stay in school, focus on their studies and be involved in student success-related activities such as internships, leadership positions and research,” said Catie McCorry-Andalis, Ed.D., associate vice president for student engagement and dean of students. “Consistently eating healthy, nutritious food is critical to their success.”

According to the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, more than 50 percent of community college students nationwide do not have access to healthy and affordable foods.

“Knowing that many students who face food insecurity are in the demographic we serve, it is clear the services we provide are needed,” McCorry-Andalis said.

She said an average of 200 students a month used the old food pantry which began operations in 2014 in a small room in Union Building West.

“We anticipate many more students will use the food pantry because it is now located in a convenient location,” she said.

The pantry is open to UTEP students. They may access the food pantry with their Miner Gold Card.

The food pantry was funded by a $100,000 private donation. Albertson’s also provided $5,000.

There are also regular food drives throughout the year. In addition, cash donations are accepted through the UTEP Food Pantry website. The money will be used to purchase food, market the pantry and fund initiatives that raise awareness about food insecurity.

The pantry is stocked with canned and boxed foods including tuna, chicken, soups, beans, pasta, vegetables, tomato sauce, cereal and granola bars.

The pantry is located in an open and inviting space in the lobby of Memorial Gym where a concession stand previously existed.

The center is staffed by six students.

“The service we provide is very needed on campus,” said Karen Barraza, who is working on her master’s degree in mental health counseling. “We are getting the opportunity to interact with the students, learning about their backgrounds, their issues and the needs they might have. Being able to help them connect with other services we have on campus has been a rewarding experience.”

Barraza, who oversees the pantry, said she sees students from various backgrounds.

“Besides the food, we have students who ask if there are financial services that might be available to them or where they can get toiletries, school supplies and things of that nature,” she said. “Our staff and supervisors are working to make the food pantry a ‘one stop’ where students not only come for food, but where we can direct them to other needs they might have and direct them to other resources on campus.”

Raneem Karboji, a senior nursing student and a Student Government Association senator, said it’s great to be able to give back to the students.

“I really hadn’t heard about food insecurity until a couple of semesters ago when I realized that my friend had a food insecurity,” she said. “Having seen my friend go through it really brought it home. People think it’s a certain part of town or no student really goes through it, but it’s really your classmates or your neighbors, so we need to check on each other. You never know what’s going on in other people’s lives.”

UTEP Food Pantry

Where: Memorial Gym, Room 105.

Hours: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays8 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays;  8-10 a.m. and 12:30-5 p.m. Thursdays; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Fridays.

More information: 915-747-8053; foodpantry@utep.edu or utep.edu/foodpantry

Author: Victor Martinez – UTEP Communications

Watts Out: UTEP Announces Change in Leadership With Volleyball Program

UTEP Director of Athletics Jim Senter announced on Monday that volleyball head coach Holly Watts will not return for the 2019 season.

“While the hard work and dedication is unquestioned, the results on the court did not meet expectations under Holly’s leadership,” Senter said.  “We thank her for her service to UTEP and wish her well in the future.”

Watts finishes her UTEP tenure with a record of 48-127, including a 24-64 mark in Conference USA play.

The Miners last posted double-digit victories (14) in her first season as head coach in 2013.

UTEP qualified for the Conference USA Tournament twice in her six seasons as head coach, in 2013 and 2016.  The Miners finished 5-21 in 2018 with a 2-12 C-USA record.

A native of Devine, Texas, Watts played at Texas from 1989-93 and was elected the team’s Most Valuable Player in 1993. Watts also played one season for the Texas basketball team (1993-94), averaging 15.4 minutes, 7.5 points, and 5.6 rebounds, with a .593 field goal percentage. Her efforts helped the Longhorns to an SWC title and top-25 ranking.

She began her coaching career at the University of Texas at Arlington (1994-96), while also founding and coaching the Texas Impact Volleyball Club team during that time. Watts moved on to Arkansas in 1996. The next 12 years (1996-2007) saw the Lady Razorbacks fashion a 272-129 mark, including 138-56 in the Southeastern Conference.

A national search will begin immediately to hire her successor.

Miners Earn All-Region Honors in Cross Country

UTEP cross country’s Linda Cheruiyot and Winny Koech were named to the 2018 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) NCAA Division I Cross Country All-Region team on Monday.

Cheruiyot will be making her first NCAA Championship appearance after qualifying at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships. The junior finished 10th overall, posting a personal-best time of 20:05.1 in the 6K race.

Cheruiyot also claimed the crown at the Conference USA Championships, helping the women’s team earn its first conference team title.

Koech has punched her ticket to the NCAA Championships for the third straight year. The junior has been a consistent force for the Miners, winning three meets this season.

Koech finished 13th overall at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships, posting a time of 20:10.1. She registered a silver-medal finish at the C-USA Championships, securing first-team honors.

The Miners will take the course on Saturday in Madison, Wi. in the NCAA Championships.

UTEP Nursing Faculty Member to Study End-of-Life Cancer Care in Latinos

Guillermina Solis, Ph.D., assistant professor of nursing at The University of Texas at El Paso, will serve as the El Paso region’s principle investigator on a national multisite study called, “Coping with Cancer III.”

Led by Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, the study is funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). Other sites include New York, Chicago, Florida and Dallas.

Solis will collaborate with Javier C. Corral, M.D., division chief of hematology and assistant professor of internal medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.

They will recruit patients, their informal caregivers, and their oncologists for a study to identify beliefs and practices among Latinos that significantly contribute to advance care planning and end-of-life care.

The goal is to gain a better understanding of Latino versus non-Latino disparities in making treatment decisions upon the progress of the disease.

Researchers will look at how Latinos and non-Latinos differ in oncology care, religious and familial beliefs that are related to cancer care in comparison to other ethnic groups, and how those differences contribute to care received.

According to Solis, Latino patients with advanced cancer are more likely to receive aggressive treatment at the end of their lives, which may lead to prolonged suffering and higher health care costs than non-Latino cancer patients.

The data will help determine potential interventions to lessen existing ethnic disparities in advance care planning and end-of-life care in Latino patients, caregivers and oncology professionals.

“The uniqueness of this study is that we will gain the perspective on end-of-life and advance care planning from a comprehensive group involved in the decision-making process that includes patients, caregivers and oncology providers,” Solis said.

Study participants must be 21 or older with certain types of cancer and receiving medical treatment. They must have an adult non-paid caregiver and an oncology provider who are willing to participate in the study.

Coping with Cancer III is a longitudinal cohort study of advanced cancer patients and their oncologists led by principle investigators Holly Prigerson, Ph.D., and Paul Maciejewski, Ph.D., co-directors of the Center for Research on End-of-Life Care at Weill Cornell Medicine.

For more information, contact Guillermina Solis at gsolis2@utep.edu.

UTEP Downs Alcorn State 77-51 In Season Opener

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 against Alcorn State at the Don Haskins Center Saturday evening.

Redshirt-junior Ariona Gill (15 points), sophomore 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 (1-0). 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.

The Lady Braves (0-2) were held to 30.2 percent (16-53) shooting and committed 20 turnovers. Jada Hargrove finished with 10 points to lead her squad.

Freshman Conchi Satorre pitched in five points and a trio of boards in 10 minutes of action to lead the reserves in scoring.

“We definitely got better today,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “Our team improved. We were not perfect, it’s your typical first game of the year. Sometimes in your first game of the year you’re going to have 27 turnovers. I’m not proud of that, I’m not excited about that. But there’s way more positives out there that we can build on. We’re looking forward to CSU Bakersfield (on Wednesday).”

The Miners improved to 2-0 in season openers under Baker. They are now 25-20 all time in campaign lidlifters, including 21-8 when doing so in El Paso.

Alcorn State 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. Jenkins capped the run with a corner triple. The Lady Braves regrouped with an 8-2 push to get within four (14-10). A free throw from Neidy Ocuane and a triple by Gill sent it back to eight (18-10) before a late score from ASU made it 18-12 through 10 minutes of action.

UTEP started to open things up in the second quarter, ripping off six consecutive points to vault ahead by 14 (30-16) with 3:49 left in the frame. It was back-and-forth the rest of the way, with the Miners settling for a 12-point cushion (37-25) heading to halftime.

UTEP used a big run at the onset of the third quarter, essentially putting the game away in the process. The Miners unleashed a 16-2 surge to extend their advantage to 26 (53-27) with 5:26 left in the frame. ASU finally got on track a bit, allowing it to trim the deficit to 21 (60-39) heading to the fourth quarter.

It was a mere formality in the final frame, with UTEP extending its advantage to as many as 29 (72-43). Aiding in that was a 12-2 run, which was capped by a 3-pointer from Satorre.

UTEP will continue its season-opening five-game homestand when it plays host to CSU Bakersfield at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and may be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234.

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Miners Fall to C-USA East Leader Middle Tennessee in Shootout

Brent Stockstill threw for 352 yards and four touchdowns, and Conference USA East Division leader Middle Tennessee won for the sixth time in seven games with a 48-32 victory at UTEP on Saturday afternoon.

Ty Lee recorded 10 catches for a career-high 158 yards for Middle Tennessee (7-3, 6-1 C-USA), which jumped out to a 14-0 lead and scored 27 of the game’s first 34 points.

The tone was set early as Middle Tennessee drove 75 yards on nine plays for a touchdown on its opening possession, then capitalized on a UTEP fumble to score again less than three minutes later.

“That was a pretty frenetic game for sure, a lot of stuff going on,” UTEP coach Dana Dimel said. “I obviously wasn’t happy with the way we started the ballgame. On the first drive we got them into a third and long, they converted (it) and got a nice drive going. They got the first score in. But then offensively, we had a turnover right after that and put them in good field position. So I wasn’t happy at all with our early execution. It allowed them to get some momentum on the road. You’ve got to come out and start faster and start a little more precise than we did tonight. And from then, we were just playing behind.”

The game got away from the Miners after they pulled within a touchdown (14-7) on a seven-yard rushing score by Quardraiz Wadley early in the second quarter. Middle Tennessee tacked on a couple more touchdowns in the quarter, and UTEP couldn’t get closer than 16 points in the second half.

The Miners did get the ball back down a couple of scores with 3:25 to go, but Kai Locksley was sacked twice on the series and UTEP was unable to pick up a first down.

“We made some runs in the game,” Dimel said. “We got some deficits there that were larger than what we’ve been in for quite a while, but again our team rebounded in those types of situations and showed a lot of fight and a lot of character. I really liked what they did as far as making plays and battling. Our defense was out there quite a bit, but they battled and they battled and did some really positive things even though to the naked eye it may not appear that way. And then our offense found some rhythm in the second half and responded, had some success.”

A late flurry gave the Miners (1-9, 1-5 C-USA) a season high for points. They have scored 30+ points in consecutive C-USA games for the first time since the 2014 season. UTEP scored 22 points in the fourth quarter.

Wadley had a big day for UTEP, rushing 15 times for 99 yards and two touchdowns while going over 1,000 yards (1,019) for his career.

Stockstill was precision-sharp for Middle Tennessee, completing 31-of-40 passes with no interceptions.

“He played as good of a game as any quarterback I’ve been around for quite a while,” Dimel said. “That kid really, really played a ballgame today. He put some passes in some spots and he had to go to his third, fourth and fifth progressions at times and he does it so quickly and gets out there. You can just tell that he grew up in the game, he’s talented and he’s got some moxie and some savvy to what he does.”

The Blue Raiders gained 491 yards to the Miners’ 333.

Locksley and Brandon Jones both saw action for the Miners at quarterback, combining to complete 18-of-39 passes for 218 yards. The tight ends had a huge afternoon for UTEP, as Josh Weeks (4-71) and David Lucero (4-62) were the top two receivers.

UTEP had a pair of double-figure tacklers in A.J. Hotchkins (14) and Nik Needham (10), while Reed Blankenship led Middle Tennessee with nine tackles and two pass breakups.

The special teams standout for the Miners was Terry Juniel with 95 kickoff return yards and 21 punt return yards. He now ranks ninth in school history with 1,103 kickoff return yards.

“Overall our execution can be better than what it was today, but our effort was tremendous,” Dimel said.

The Miners will play their final road game of 2018 next Saturday (Nov. 17) at WKU. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. MT and the game will be televised on beIN Sports.

Photo gallery courtesy Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta, Chief Photographer, El Paso Herald-Post

UTEP Rifle Shoots Season High At Ohio State Saturday

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The UTEP rifle team fired a season-high aggregate (4611) in a match at fellow Patriot Rifle Conference member Ohio State (4651) on Saturday.

The Miners shot a season-high tying 2284 in smallbore before also matching their campaign best in air rifle (2329).

“Today was an exciting day,” UTEP head coach Austin Litherland said. “The team showed the hard work they have put into the range the past two weeks. A coach cannot ask any more from their athletes than to put their maximum effort into their sport. The girls also know that we still have two more matches left until the fall semester is up so we will continue to work on improving at the range.”

Freshman Morgahn Warner produced an aggregate of 1160, registering 575 in smallbore and a career-high 585 in air rifle.

Junior Mara Rouse fired a career-high tying aggregate of 1156, relying on a personal-best 577 in smallbore and 579 in air rifle.

Sophomore Jessica Boyce notched an aggregate of 1149, using 563 in smallbore and 586 in air rifle.

Senior Maranda Nelson compiled an aggregate of 1143, recording 568 in smallbore and 575 in air rifle.

Sophomore Samantha Miller checked in with an aggregate of 1141, tallying 564 in smallbore and 577 in air rifle.

Freshman Josephine John shot a career-high aggregate of 1134, using a personal-best 562 in smallbore and 577 in air rifle.

The Miners will look to build on the effort when they return home against Alaska-Fairbanks at 8:30 a.m. MT Thursday at the UTEP rifle range. Admission is free.

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UTEP Researchers Collaborate to Prevent Lead Exposure in Children

Whether it is due to chipped paint on 40-year-old windowsills or lead-glazed ceramic cookware, millions of children in the United States each year are at risk for lead exposure, usually in their own homes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nearly 500,000 children ages 1-5 have blood-lead levels higher than 5 micrograms per deciliter, the level at which the CDC recommends public health actions be initiated. Previous studies suggest these levels can lead to behavior and learning problems, hyperactivity and anemia.

“Early chronic low-level lead exposure is undermining the short- and long-term health of hundreds of thousands of children in the U.S. every year,” said Christina Sobin, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at The University of Texas at El Paso. “There’s even data now to suggest that the growing rates of dementia could be linked to exactly these types of early chronic low-level contaminant exposure.”

Sobin has studied early childhood lead exposure in El Paso for more than 10 years. Her research has shown that 14 percent of children in Downtown neighborhoods had elevated levels of lead in their blood. She also found that 50 percent of Downtown children had sub-elevated blood lead levels, which her studies have shown significantly change how the brain and kidneys develop.

“This is a huge child public health problem, and many, many more people need to be working on this problem,” she said.

That is why Sobin has assembled a team of interdisciplinary researchers to work on a project to prevent and respond to elevated blood lead levels in children by educating their caregivers on identifying and mitigating lead hazards in their homes.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funded the project in October. UTEP is one of only seven universities and public health organizations nationwide that received a grant from HUD’s Lead and Healthy Homes Technical Studies Grant Program to improve methods for identifying and controlling residential health risks, including lead-based paint, mold, secondhand tobacco smoke, and other indoor contaminants.

Sobin will lead the project with co-principal investigators Carla Campbell, M.D., director of UTEP’s Master of Public Health Program; William Hargrove, Ph.D., director of UTEP’s Center for Environmental Resource Management (CERM); and Ganga Hettiarachch, Ph.D., professor of Soil and Environmental Chemistry at Kansas State University. The team also includes two doctoral students, four graduate students and one undergraduate student.

Researchers will test children for lead in their blood who live in ZIP codes at high risk for lead exposure. They will motivate and assist families to identify and mitigate potential sources of lead in their homes.

Their goal is to eventually develop a strategy to efficiently identify clusters of children who are at greatest risk of lead exposure in El Paso neighborhoods and to reduce that risk through community engagement and education.

“We think we may have an approach that could work in El Paso and maybe in other cities as well,” Sobin said.

According to the CDC, lead-based paint and lead contaminated dust are the most hazardous sources of lead for children.

Contributing to some of the risk are homes built before 1978 when lead-based paints were used in housing. Lead-based paint becomes a concern when it chips, turns into dust, or gets into the soil.

Other potential sources of lead include drinking water that has been contaminated from lead pipes and water systems that have become corroded.

When Flint, Michigan, changed its water source from Detroit to the Flint River in 2014, tests showed that blood-lead levels in five percent of children had nearly doubled after the switch.

Two years later, a Reuters investigation revealed that 3,000 cities in the United States had lead levels twice as high as in Flint.

“It’s not a problem that has gone away because we have this legacy of lead paint in the homes,” said Campbell, associate professor of public health sciences. “We also have the legacy from all those emissions from leaded gasoline that got deposited in the soil, especially near highways and busy roadways.”

Although no amount of lead exposure is safe for children, the CDC recommends taking action on children who have elevated blood-lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter, or mcg/dL.

But Campbell said the key is to prevent children from getting lead into their bodies.

“Unless the level is really high, there’s no magic medicine that we can give to take the lead out of the body,” Campbell explained. “Chelation medicine can be given if blood lead levels are 45 mcg/dL or higher, but it’s only taking the lead out that is in the bloodstream and not the lead stored in the bones.”

Campbell was the principal investigator on a HUD lead technical studies grant when she was the medical director of the lead clinic at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in 2005. She also served on and chaired the CDC’s advisory committee on childhood lead poisoning prevention.

“There’s not much that can be done except prevent further exposure,” Campbell said. “That’s why primary prevention is so important to keep children from getting exposed in the first place.”

By Laura L. Acosta – UTEP Communications

NM State Uses Big Second Half to Down Miners

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Evan Gilyard scored a team-high 23 points and Kobe Magee added 15, but NM State surged out to a four-point lead heading into the locker room after being down most of the first half.

“NM State pulled away and we just kind of stopped guarding them. Our defense kind of let us down towards the end of the first half,” first-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We got off to a great start from an offensive standpoint, but those guys [NM State] made some big shots to close out the first half the right way. At halftime the challenge was, for our young guys, ‘how are you going to come out and respond?’ We’re going to come back and put it on our defense, really come out and try to get a stop. We had to start the half the right way, set our defense and try to get back after it again.”

The Aggies (2-0) then took care of business during the second half in front of their home crowd to down the Miners (1-1), 96-69, on Friday night in the Pan American Center.

UTEP went up as many as nine points (18-9) to open the contest, while even taking a six-point lead (29-23) at the midway point during the first stanza. But NM State finished out on a 20-10 run to close out the half and take a 43-39 lead.

NM State outscored UTEP, 53-30, during the big second half.

The Miners got within six points (51-45) during the second period, but the Aggies used another run (8-0) to pull away for good.

Freshman Efe Odigie registered another double-digit performance after scoring 12 points, while also pulling down nine rebounds for the second straight game to open his UTEP career. Senior Paul Thomas tallied 10 points, while freshman Jordan Lathon chipped in with six and sophomore transfer Gilles Dekoninck connected on a three-point bucket during the first half.

Gilyard produced his first back-to-back 20-point effort in his career after leading the Miners in scoring with 24 points against UT Permian Basin on Nov. 6. Gilyard also drew a pair of charges during the contest.

“This year’s team will need [Gilyard’s] scoring,” Terry said. “Obviously, he’s an older guy who is able to do that and we’re allowing him to be able to do that for us. Nigel [Hawkins] will bring some scoring as well for us.”

Freshman Nigel Hawkins missed his second straight contest with hopes of making his UTEP debut soon.

Up Next
UTEP will play at Pac-12 power Arizona on Wednesday, November 14. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. MT at the McKale Memorial Center.

The Miners will play in Tucson for the first time since the 2012-13 season, while facing the Wildcats for the first time since the 2014-15 campaign when the two tangled in the Don Haskins Center.

Two Miners Punch Ticket to NCAA Championships

Provo, Utah – Juniors Linda Cheruiyot and Winny Koech earned a spot at the NCAA Championships on Friday after finishing in the top 15 at the 2018 NCAA Cross Country Mountain Region Championships.

“I am very proud of both the men and women’s teams for competing at the regional championships,” head coach Paul Ereng said. “The women’s team again performed very well, managing to advance Cheruiyot and Koech, who will represent our institution at the national championships.”

Cheruiyot clocked in a personal best of 20:05.1 in the 6K, finishing 10th in the competitive field. This marks the first time that the distance runner has advanced to the NCAA Championships.

Koech punched her ticket to the national meet for the third straight year. The last Miner to make three appearances at the national meet was Risper Kimaiyo (2009-2012). Koech finished 13th out of 136 runners with a time of 20:10.1.

Carolyne Chepkosgei was the third Miner to cross the finish line, taking 33rd place with a time of 20:57.0.

Rounding out the women’s team were sophomore’s Andrea Lucero and Destiny White.

The young men’s team finished three runners in the top 70 out of 120 competitors.

Sophomore Cornelius Kapel was the Miners’ top runner, posting a personal-best time of 30:55.0 in the 10K.

Freshmen Boaz Ronoh (30:57.4) and Rodgers Korir (31:10.8) followed, finishing 59th and 67th overall, respectively.

Also taking the course was senior Antony Kosgei (32:32.6), freshman Isaiah Page (34:28.8), freshman Michael Sims (35:50.1) and freshman Daniel Maes (37:03.7).

Both teams finished 13th overall at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships.

Cheruiyot and Koech will close out the cross country season at the national meet in Madison, Wisconsin, on November 17.

UTEP Rifle To Compete At Ohio State Saturday

The UTEP rifle team will compete at fellow Patriot Rifle Conference member Ohio State in a match beginning at 11:30 a.m. MT (1 p.m. ET) Saturday.

The Miners are coming off a season-high aggregate (4602) in a two-day match at Nevada (Oct. 27-28). UTEP registered 2273 in smallbore before firing a campaign-best 2329 in air rifle.

“We are excited to compete against Ohio State,” UTEP head coach Austin Litherland said. “The team had a weekend off from competing to make improvements to their shot process and positions. Our focus has been staying in the zone and one 10 at a time.”

Sophomore Jessica Boyce has paced the team in the fall, producing the top average on the squad for smallbore (569), air rifle (583) and aggregate (1152). Junior Mara Rouse follows in aggregate (1144), but freshman Morgahn Warner has come on strong of late to lift her aggregate average to 1142.

Warner has established career highs in each of the past two matches, with the most-recent performance (1165) serving as the top aggregate on the season for any Miner.

Senior Maranda Nelson checks in with an average aggregate of 1138, including a season and career-best 1161. That was achieved on Oct. 13, in a tri-angular meet with Air Force and Nevada.

Sophomore Samantha Miller has posted back-to-back career efforts, including an 1152 at Nevada (Oct. 27-28). The push has propelled her aggregate average to 1134. Freshman Josephine John has an aggregate average of 1122, aided by a career-high tying 1128 at Nevada (Oct. 27-28).

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