Trio of Miners Honored in C-USA Postseason Awards

DALLAS – UTEP women’s basketball had a trio recognized in the 2022-23 Conference USA Postseason Awards, the league office announced on Tuesday.

In her first season with the Miners, guard Jazion Jackson earned first-team All-Conference accolades after leading the team with 12.2 points per game to go along with 5.8 rebounds on average during the regular season. Jackson ranks third in C-USA with 62 steals, leads the team with 43 triples and is second with 71 assists. She becomes the second UTEP player named as a first-team selection in the past seven years. Jackson has scored in double-digits 21 times this season and is hitting at an impressive 39.4 percent clip from downtown. She is one of just two players to have started all 29 games to this point in the campaign. Her regular season was highlighted by hitting the game-winning shot for UTEP in a win over No. 21 Middle Tennessee at home, the first victory against a ranked program for the squad since the 1998 season.

Forward Elina Arike was named the Defensive Player of the Year in the league, the first time that a UTEP player has ever garnered the honor. She also took home second-team All-Conference accolades and was chosen as part of the All-Defensive Team. Arike serves as the anchor of the UTEP defense on the interior, impacting the game in many ways not seen on the stat sheet. Her presence has the ability to detract drivers and post players from coming her way. She has blocked 14 shots this season, the most in a single campaign to this point in her career as a third-year player. She also has 22 steals as part of an aggressive defensive attack that ranks third in C-USA in scoring defense. Arike averages 11.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game while hitting 48.9 percent of her attempts from the floor.

Both players were recognized by the conference in the postseason awards for the first time in their careers.

Kevin Baker was honored by the league as Co-Coach of the Year for guiding the Miners to their most wins since the 2015-16 campaign. After being selected eighth in the C-USA Preseason Coaches’ Poll, Baker has led the Miners to a 19-10 overall record, including a 12-8 mark in conference with eight new players on the roster. This is the second time in the last three seasons that the Miners have reached double-figure conference wins, with the 19 overall wins the most in a season under Baker. On Nov. 25 against San Jose State, he won his 200th career collegiate game. Every player on the roster has made an impact this season for UTEP, as the Miners have had 16 games in which at least four different scorers reached double figures. The team has won seven true road games, the most since the 2015-16 squad went 8-3 on the way to a 29-5 record, the C-USA regular season title and a WNIT trip. This is the fifth time that a UTEP coach has taken home Coach of the Year honors, with Baker joining Keitha Adams (2008, 2012, 2016) and Sandra Rushing (1998).

UTEP begins action in the C-USA Championships as the No. 4 seed with a quarterfinal matchup against No. 5 LA Tech slated for Thursday at 10:30 a.m. MT/11:30 a.m. CT inside the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco. 

Player of the Year

Jordyn Jenkins, UTSA

Defensive Player of the Year

Elina Arike, UTEP

Freshman of the Year

Aniya Hubbard, Florida Atlantic

Sixth Player of the Year

Kseniya Malashka, Middle Tennessee

Co-Coach of the Year

Rick Insell, Middle Tennessee

Kevin Baker, UTEP

Newcomer of the Year

Jordyn Jenkins, UTSA

2022-23 All-Conference USA First Team

Dazia Lawrence, Charlotte

Jada McMillian, Charlotte

Keiunna Walker, LA Tech

Savannah Wheeler, Middle Tennessee

Courtney Whitson, Middle Tennessee

Quincy Noble, North Texas

Jazion Jackson, UTEP

Jordyn Jenkins, UTSA

2022-23 All-Conference USA Second Team

Kaliah Henderson, FIU

Aniya Hubbard, Florida Atlantic

Anna Larr Roberson, LA Tech

Jalynn Gregory, Middle Tennessee

Ashlee Austin, Rice

Malia Fisher, Rice

Margaret Whitley, UAB

Elina Arike, UTEP

2022-23 Conference USA All-Freshman Team

Sifa Joyeuse, FIU

Aniya Hubbard, Florida Atlantic

Denim DeShields, UAB

Sidney Love, UTSA

Acacia Hayes, WKU

2022-23 Conference USA All-Defensive Team

Aniya Hubbard, Florida Atlantic

Keiunna Walker, LA Tech

Elina Arike, UTEP

Elyssa Coleman, UTSA

Jaylin Foster, WKU