WNIT: Colorado at UTEP Game Preview

Anthony Salom-MinerRush

UTEP continues its WNIT run Friday night against the Colorado Buffaloes, 7 PM Mountain Time in the Don Haskins Center.

History keeps building itself with every step the UTEP women's basketball takes in this WNIT run, Friday is another opportunity for more.

The Miners welcome the Pac-12's Colorado Buffaloes as the WNIT Sweet 16 takes center stage in El Paso on Friday night.

This run marks the third time in four seasons the Lady Buffs have made a WNIT appearance, with wins over TCU, and Southern Utah in the first two rounds, they have won five out of their last six WNIT games.

Colorado has been without one of its leading scorers for this postseason, but leading scorer Arielle Robinson has picked up the slack, averaging a double-double in their first round games, she also averages 12.5 points a game on the season, also leading the team in rebounding.

For UTEP their solid streak of taking care of the ball, and nailing timely shots has lead them to their two early rounds victories.  UTEP has also continued to get great contributions from their bench during key stretches, and runs.

UTEP has broken a number of school year records this year including field goals made (881), free throws made (604), and scoring offense (77.8).

Here are some stats and notes to chew on.

UTEP Miners

Current Record: 26-7

Projected Starters:

Kelli Willingham, Sr, G, 7.7 ppg,

Cameasha Turner, So, G, 5.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg

Chrishauna Parker, Jr, F, 7.0 ppg, 8.7 rpg

Kayla Thornton, Sr, F, 20.2 ppg, 10.2 rpg

Kristine Vitola, Sr, C, 10.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg

Team Stats

Points Per Game 77.8
Opponents 67.5
FG% .415
Opponents% .390
3-point% .321
Opponents% .325
Free Throw% .714
Rebounds Per Game 43.3
Rebounding Margin +3.6
Assists Per Game 15
Steals Per Game

9.8

*- UTEP is 19-2 at the Don this season.

*- Chrishuana Parker has recorded back-to-back double-doubles in UTEP's first WNIT appearance.

*- 22-3 record this season when UTEP wins the rebounding margin.

*-Kayla Thornton scored a UTEP post-season high 28 points in the opening round win against Arkansas State, and is averaging 22.5 points, and 7.0 rebounds in the WNIT.

*- UTEP set a school record this season with 21 double digit wins.

*- Since the 2006-07 season, UTEP has a 176-75 overall record.

Colorado Buffaloes

Current Record: 19-14, Pac-12

Head Coach: Linda Lappe

Projected Starters:

Haley Smith, G, Fr., 3.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg,

Ashley Wilson, G, Sr., 7.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg,

Brittany Wilson, G, Sr. 10.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg,

Arielle Roberson, F, So., 12.3 ppg, 8.4 rpg

Rachel Hargis, F, Sr., 3.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg,

Team Stats
Points Per Game 69.5
Opponents 63.4
FG% .414
Opponents% .370
3-point% .290
Opponents% .323
Free Throw% .690
Rebounds Per Game 41.9
Rebounding Margin +5.6
Assists Per Game 16.3
Steals Per Game

8.1

*- Blocked 14 Southern Utah shots in latest win.

*- First time CU has won back-to-back games since December.

*- Averaging 23.5 turnovers in first two WNIT games.

*- Coach Lappe played on CU's 1999 WNIT team.

*- Last three teams to eliminate Colorado have gone on to win WNIT.

*- 3-7 overall post season record on the road, 6-7 on the road this season, played in front of 9,812 in loss to Louisville earlier this season.

*- Buffaloes returned four starters and nine letterwinners from its 2012-13 squad that finished No. 19 in the country and competed in the NCAA Tournament.

*- Guard Brittany Wilson made her first 19 attempts from the free throw line this season, and will play in her 133rd game of her CU career.

*- Colorado started 13-2 in non-conference play to start this season.

*- Five Pac-12 teams earned NCAA bids, while four notched WNIT bids.

*-The Buffaloes, who rank third in the Pac-12 in scoring defense, have held 16 opponents under 60 points. Colorado has held its opponents under 70 points in 56 of the last 65 games.

Game Info

Colorado Buffaloes (19-14) at UTEP Miners (26-7)

WNIT Third Round

Friday March 28th, 7:00 PM, Don Haskins Center, El Paso TX

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