UTEP will return to the hardwood after a holiday layoff by playing host to Sam Houston State at 5:30 p.m. MST Friday.
- The Miners (10-1) have won five straight games.
- The Bearkats (3-7) have dropped four of five after a 2-3 start to the season.
- Tickets are $5 for adults & $3 for kids & fans can use it to watch the men’s exhibition game against Cameron at 8:30 p.m. MST.
- The contest is the first of two in three days for the Miners, who will wrap up non-league play at home vs. UTPB at 2:05 p.m. MST Sunday.
STARTING IT OFF RIGHT
- For the second straight year & third time in program history, UTEP is off to a 10-1 start.
- This year’s team is vying to become the second in school history to sustain just one loss through 12 games played.
- The 2006-07 squad surged out to a 14-1 mark before finishing at 22-8 overall.
- Last year’s team set the school record for longest winning streak (10) to start the season.
- The Miners boasted a winning record through 10 games for the fourth straight year and the sixth occasion under Keitha Adam
- Five teams did so before Adams, but the longest streak was consecutive campaigns (once).
- UTEP opened up at 5-0 for a second straight year & third time overall in program history.
- The Miners had never been better than 3-0 in back-to-back years.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS, HONORS & MORE
- Picked up votes in both of the top-25 polls.
- UTEP had six votes & tied for 33rd in the coaches’ poll & it picked up two votes to tie for 38th in the AP poll.
- Garnered placement of 6th in the ESPN.com Midmajor Poll.
- Boast a RPI of 14th according to RPI & a strength of schedule of 69th.
- Record of 3-1 on year vs. top-100 RPI foes.
- Had three players recognized by Conference USA through weekly awards.
- Both Kristine Vitola (11/12) & Kayla Thornton (12/17) were the player of the week while Irene Gari (12/10) was the freshman of the week.
- The Miners are 97-57 in non-league play under Adams, including 10-1 this year.
- The most wins heading before starting league action in school history is 11.
- The Miners were 11-2 entering conference play last year while they stood 11-1 at that juncture in 2006-07.
- UTEP has now posted a school-record eight straight seasons of .500 or better in non-league play.
- It is 73-33 in timeframe, including 21-4 in the past two years.
- The prior record was four (1994-95 to 1997-98).
MONTH TO REMEMBER
- December has been the best month for the Miners during the Keitha Adams era.
- UTEP is 51-25 in the month, including a 5-0 mark this year.
- The Miners are 26-2 in December home games since the start of the 2006-07 campaign.
QUITE A RUN
- UTEP is 39-5 since the start of the 2011-12 season, including 10-1 this year.
- Twenty-six of those wins, including five this year, have been by double figures.
- The five losses in the sequence have been by a combined 16 points.
- UTEP is 55-19 since the 2010-11 campaign, with only two of the losses coming by double digits (@ Houston, 61-77, 2/20/11 & @ UCSB, 50-68, 12/11/10).
- The last double-digit home loss came against Kansas State (65-44, 11/14/08).
INSIDE THE SERIES
- Friday marks the second meeting all time.
- UTEP downed SHSU, 64-51, back on Dec. 4, 1992.
GOING BACK IN TIME
at UTEP 60, New Mexico 45 (12/16/12)
- Kayla Thornton poured in 22 points while Irene Gari (11 points) and Anete Steinberga (10 points) also reached double figures to help propel UTEP to a 60-45 conquest of I-25 rival New Mexico in front of a season-best 3,091 fans at the Don Haskins Center Dec. 20.
- The Miners led wire-to-wire.
- UTEP forced 20 turnovers-which led to 22 points- and kept UNM to 35.7 percent.
- UTEP made 20-of-29 free throws.
- UNM was 1-of-3 at the line, which ties as the fewest makes & attempts by foe in school history.
GETTING TO KNOW SAM HOUSTON STATE
- Returned four starters & nine letterwinners from last year’s team that finished 18-12.
- After 2-3 start to season, has lost four of five to slip to 3-7 overall.
- Is 3-2 at home/neutral courts but 0-5 on road.
- Three players in double figures for scoring & two others at better than 5.5.
- Five Bearkats with at least 4.0 rebounds per game but Sequeena Thomas (13.3) is the only above 5.5.
- Is 3-1 when registering 70+ points this year.
- Has held three straight & eight teams total to below 70 points.
- Sam Houston State University was founded in 1879 & is the third-oldest public institution of higher learning in Texas.
- Notable alumni include Jonathan Aibel, screenwriter of Kung Fu Panda & Kung Fu Panda 2 & Frank Bielec, Trading Spaces designer