March 11, 2011
Lobo Women's Basketball - Mountain West Tournament
Friday's Semifinal: TCU 61, Lobos 40; Utah 50, BYU 49
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer / GoLobos.com
LAS VEGAS -- The Lobos' only door to the NCAA Tournament was slammed shut in a big way Friday as the TCU Horned Frogs, probably the most talented team in the Mountain West Conference, rolled the Lobos 61-40.
The Frogs got 25 points from Helen Sverrisdottir and used a variety of zone and man defenses to frustrate the Lobos on the offensive end.
"She's tremendous," said Yvonne Sanchez, UNM's associate head coach, of the Frogs' star player. "She did it from the inside. She did it from the outside."
The Lobos didn't do it from either area. New Mexico shot a chilly 23.7 percent from the floor and 20.8 percent from behind the line. Sverrisdottir went 8-of-13 for the Frogs who shot 40.4 percent.
"Everything that we did they countered," said Sanchez. "They were big inside and they got rebounds and they cut down our driving lanes. We settled too much for the threes."
The Lobos launched 24 times from long range and knocked down five: two from Jasmine Patterson, two from Tina Doughty and one from Jessica Kielpinski. UNM actually was 100 percent from the line early as Patterson gave UNM a quick 3-0 lead.
The rest of the game went the Frog's way. The taller Frogs also dominated the boards 46-33 as they advance to play Utah for the 2011 MWC tourney title. The Utes used a buzzer-beater from 16 feet out to upset No. 1 seed Brigham Young, 50-49.
The Lobos had no players in double figures with Patterson coming the closest with nine points. The shooting stats from several of UNM's key players told part of the tale of this Lobo loss. Amanda Best went 2-of-13, Caroline Durbin went 0-of-6, Patterson went 3-10 and Lauren Taylor went 2-10. Taylor was UNM's leading rebounder with six boards.
TCU got 10 boards from Rachel Rentschler and seven from Sverrisdottir, who also had a game-high five assists.
The Lobos fell behind in this MWC semifinal game 17-5, cut TCU's lead to 24-19 in the first half, but simply couldn't handle Sverrisdottir or TCU's pressure defense. The Lobos end the season 13-18 while TCU raised its record to 22-9. The winner of the MWC tourney gets an automatic NCAA bid. BYU, the regular-season champion, looks like a good bet for an at-large bid.
"It was a good run," said Sanchez of the Lobos, who opened the tourney with wins over San Diego State and No. 3 seed Wyoming. "We didn't want it to end, but we're very proud of the girls. TCU is a very good team."
Second Half: TCU 28, Lobos 19
UNM came out of the halftime break down by 12 and had better movement on offense early. But UNM had no answer at the defensive end, especially for Sverrisdottir. At the 15:52 break, TCU was up 21-16 - 15 points. The Lobos had five points from Kielpinski, who had gone scoreless in the first half.
Both teams hit a stretch where the missed too many shots, but the Frogs did enough work inside to take a 45-28 lead at the 11:27 media break. The Frogs, and Sverrisdottir, continued to pull away, and TCU was up 50-32 with 7:47 to play. A Best jumper had UNM at 51-34 with 6:56 to play and TCU burning a timeout.
The Frogs had been doing a lot of damage inside but used back-to-back 3-pointers to go up 57-36 with 4:07 to play. TCU rolled in for the 61-40 win.
First Half - TCU 33, Lobos 21
Lobo Stat Leaders: Patterson 7 pts., Doughty 6 pts.
The Lobos had trouble with an extended and tall TCU defense that did a lot of switching from zone to man. UNM made their first shot of the half, a Patterson trey, but ended up shooting 21.2 percent. TCU shot 48 percent with Sverrisdottir hitting 12 points. TCU won the board battle 24-17, but a lot of that edge came from so many poor UNM shots.
UNM's Best, Kielpinski, Durbin and Taylor combined to go 1-of-20 from the field. The Lobos got 11 first-half points from their bench and 10 from their starters. The Lobos had a great start with a 3-0 lead coming off a Patterson bomb. At the midway point, UNM was down 17-7 and that was after a drive by best cut into TCU's 17-5 lead.
The UNM bench that wasn't used much in the first two UNM wins in Vegas came in handy as Flanagan decided to rest his starters. An inside bucket by Erskine and a long trey on top of the key by Doughty pulled UNM to 20-12.
Another Doughty trey cut TCU's lead to 24-19, but TCU went up 29-19 on a steal, layup and free throw by Breisha Wynn. The Horned Frogs finished the half strong to take a 12-point lead into the break.