The UTEP women's basketball program added some size while solidifying their backcourt needs in their early recruiting class. The team announced today that five players had signed letters of intent to play for the Miners beginning next season.

Head coach Keitha Adams has seven seniors on her current roster, which gives UTEP two more players to add before the end of the season. For the second straight season, 600 ESPN El Paso will be broadcasting every regular season game for the UTEP women as well as the C-USA Tournament from Birmingham, Alabama. Sunday afternoon at 2pm, UTEP will host Houston Baptist and Brandon Cohn will call the action courtside with Traci Miller.

Here is a list of the players that will be joining the Miners for the 2016-17 scholastic year along with comments from Coach Adams, courtesy of the UTEP Athletic Department.

Axelle Bernard
6-2 Forward
Seward County Community College
Awans, Belgium

Off to a great start in sophomore season for Seward County Community College … through four games played is averaging 15.3 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.8 steals and 2.3 blocks … as a freshman she earned both All-Jayhawk West and All-Region VI honors … averaged 8.1 points and 8.8 rebounds … recorded eight double-doubles … grabbed 10+ rebounds in 17 contests, including a single-game school-record 21 boards in a Region VI Tournament First-Round victory against Neosho Country … hit double digits in scoring in 10 games … averaged 12.5 rebounds over the final 10 contests, five of which were in the postseason … finished with 300 total rebounds on the year, which was eighth on the school’s single-season list … KJCAA All-Academic and a member of the school’s Athletic Director’s Honor Roll … will have two years of eligibility for the Miners … member of the Belgium u20 national team that compete at the FIBA U20 European Championships in Spain … will have two years of eligibility for the Miners.
Coach Adams on Bernard
She is a hard-working and competitive young lady that we have had our eyes on for long time. She's a post player that can score the 15-foot shot and around the basket. She is an excellent passer and decision maker and an outstanding teammate. We’re thrilled about her decision to join us.

Faith Cook
5-3 Guard
Goose Creek Memorial HS
Baytown, Texas

Rated as the No. 27 point guard in the nation according to ESPN’s HoopGurlz the class of 2016 … received a scouts grade of 90 from the organization … 2014-15 Max Preps 5A Player of the Year for the state of Texas … secured Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) All-Region and Texas Girls Coaches Association (TGCA) All-State accolades as a sophomore and junior … three-year varsity starter who has been selected as a First-Team All-District honoree in each of those seasons … other individual accomplishments include being the 2012-13 newcomer of the year, 2013-14 district MVP and 2014-15 District Offensive Player of the Year … has been a team captain since her sophomore season … 2014-15 Texas University Interscholastic League (UIL) Free-Throw Champion … three-time All-Academic honoree … played in 96 career high school games, averaging 18.2 points, 3.3 assists, 2.6 steals and 2.3 rebounds … huge junior season by putting up 25.1 points per game, to go alone with 3.2 assists per contest, 3.1 steals per game and 2.8 rebounds.
Coach Adams on Cook
She is a young lady that has spent a lot hours in the gym to develop her game. She's a point guard that can handle the basketball and she can shoot the basketball. She's very competitive. We look forward to her being on our team.

Jakeira Ford
6-1 Forward
Port Author Memorial HS
Port Author, Texas

Ranked the No. 16 player in the state of Texas for the class of 2016 by Premier Basketball Report … was one of only 40 players in the country to be invited to the adidas 3 Stripes All-American camp in Atlanta, Ga. (July 30-31, 2015) ... a three-time First-Team All-District honoree … voted the District’s Newcomer of the Year as a freshman … YMBL MVP as a sophomore … has been selected to several All-Tournament teams … a Beaumont Enterprise Super Gold First-Team All-District selection the past two years … three-year varsity standout … competed in 75 career games, averaging 16.9 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals … averaged a double-double the past two seasons … put up 17.8 ppg and 10.7 rpg as a junior while finishing at 21.5 ppg and 10.2 rpg in 2013-14 as a sophomore … chose UTEP over offers from Texas A&M, LSU, California, Louisiana Tech and Houston.

Coach Adams on Ford
She’s a very athletic forward that can score in transition and in the half-court setting. She has a natural knack for playing around the rim. She’ll give us scoring and rebounding. She has very good instincts on defense that gives you rebounds and blocked shots. We look forward to her arrival.

Roeshonda Patterson
5-8 Guard
New Way Christian Academy
Midland, Texas

Two-time (2014 and 2015) National Christian HomeSchool All-American honoree … averaged 33.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 4.0 steals per game as a junior … prior to joining New Way Christian Academy she was a major contributor for Permian Basin as a freshman … was named First-Team All-District after securing the Newcomer of the Year award … garnered attention at the club level after scoring 34 points against DFW Elite TJack at an NCAA certified event in Dallas last April.

Coach Adams on Patterson
Roe can go! She's a scoring two guard that has a great knack for putting the basketball in the basket. She’s a dynamic scorer, and we’re thrilled about her decision to play in UTEP Miner uniform.

Rachel Tapps
5-8 Guard
Cypress Ranch HS
Cypress, Texas

Expected to play a big role, especially on the defensive end, for Cypress Ranch High School ... considered one of the fastest players on the court and viewed as a great defender … was coming into her own during her sophomore season before going down with an injury that forced her to miss most of the 2014-15 campaign … has made a full recovery from the injury … helped the squad finish at 28-10 in 2013-14 … grabbed at least five rebounds in nine contests that year despite her 5-9 frame …

Coach Adams on Tapps
She is a very athletic guard that can defend, score, and rebound. She has a great basketball IQ. She's a well-rounded player that can play one through three at the guard position. We’re very excited about her joining our program.