Bryce Owens
Bryce Owens
Stevens: Lobos Shocked 58-53 By Binghamton
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  11/29/2013

New Mexico Lobos Women’s Thanksgiving Tournament – In The Pit

Friday:  Binghamton 58, New Mexico 53; Arkansas 88, SE Missouri 37

Saturday’s Championship Game:  5 p.m., Binghamton (1-4) vs. Arkansas (8-1)

Saturday’s Third-Place Game, 7 p.m., SE Missouri (2-5) vs. New Mexico (2-4)

Lobos on The Air: 610-AM KNML; Live Stream on GoLobos.com

GoLobos.com:  Live Stats & Video Stream, Game Story, Complete Stats, LoboTV, Quotes

By Richard Stevens – Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

It was kind of a shocker.  It was more than hurtful.  “In the pit of my stomach, I’m kind of angry,” said Lobo Antiesha Brown.  “I have all the respect in the world for our opponent, but there is no way they should have beaten us tonight.”

The Binghamton Bearcats did beat the Lobos: 58-53. “We let them hang around,” said Lobo Coach Yvonne Sanchez. “And that’s what makes any team dangerous.”

It didn’t look like the Bearcats would hang around down the stretch.  UNM had pushed itself into a 48-39 lead and it looked like the 0-4 visitors from New York were about to fold.  They didn’t.

Instead, the ‘Cats outscored UNM 19-5 down the stretch and powered into Saturday’s 5 p.m., championship game against 8-1 Arkansas which smothered SE Missouri 88-37.  The Lobos and the Redhawks will battle at 7 p.m., for third place in New Mexico’s Thanksgiving Tournament.

Coach Sanchez did not hold back any punches in evaluating the loss.

:This is probably one of the most disappointing losses that I’ve been a part of in all my years of coaching," she said. "These happen, but our guards have to do better when it comes to shooting from the outside. We're just not a threat when it comes to shooting from outside."

The Bearcats went zone about 99.9 percent of the game challenging the Lobos to win the game from the edge.  UNM went 7-of-19 from 3-point range – not a horrible 36.8 percentage – but shot 34.4 percent overall.  “I told them, ‘I’m not sure why you guys aren’t ready to shoot,” said Sanchez.  “I’m kind of at a loss for words. I’m very disappointed.”

UNM also went 4-of-6 from the free-throw line while the attacking Bearcats went 13-of-17. “We go to the line six times and they go to the line 17.  That was kind of the game right there,” said the Lobos’ coach.

Said Antiesha Brown: “We let them stay with us. It ended up killing us in the long run. I’m disgusted. We need to do a better job of defending our home court." 

Binghamton’s strategy was to attack the rim.  The Bearcats scored 32 points in the paint which also helped them score 13 at the line.  That’s 45 points off their attack strategy.   The Bearcats hit 3-of-9 from 3-point range including a bomb with 29 seconds to go that pushed them into a 56-53 lead.  

The Lobos called time with 28 seconds to play and when they came out of their huddle, the Bearcats had switched to a man-to-man defense.  The ‘Cats pressured Brown on the edge and she missed her 3-point attempt.  The Bearcats got the rebound and mopped up the game at the line: 58-53.

“They came in and outworked us on offense and defense and showed their passion in wanting it more,” said Sara Halasz. “It was kind of an awakening for us. We just need to build each other up.  Tough loss.  We can’t focus on what we did today.”

The Lobos got 14 points from Halasz and 12 from Brown.  Khadijah Shumpert had eight points and four turnovers going 3-of-12 from the floor.  Brown and Halasz were both 5-of-14 from the field.  Deeva Vaughn and Bryce Owens combined to go 4-of-12.  Owens had five assists against a single turnover.

UNM got only 19 minutes from Vaughn, who left the game after hitting her head.  “I’m not real confident Deeva is going to play (on Saturday),” said Sanchez, who also said: “Expect another zone for 40 minutes.”

The Bearcats got 18 points from their leading scorer Sherae Swinson and 15 off the bench from Kim Albrecht, who went 6-of-8 from the floor.  UNM found only nine points off its bench.  Binghamton shot 57.1 percent in the second half and 50 percent on the night.  Both teams had 17 turnovers – many unforced.  The Bearcats had nine steals and UNM had six.

“I thought our defense in general was poor,” said Sanchez. “They shot 50 percent from the field. They just played harder and that’s tough as a coach to say. We weren’t smart on the defensive end.  We went for fakes and gave them layups.”

Second Half:  Binghamton 37, New Mexico 32

The Lobos fell into their biggest hole at 24-21 early in the second half, but Halasz pulled them out of that hole with five straight points: 26-24. The Lobos had used a zone late in the first half and both teams opened the second half in zone defenses.   Halasz burned the Birmingham zone for a trey that made it 29-25.

UNM carried a 31-27 lead into the 15:11 media stop. UNM was on an important 10-3 run as The Pit reacted to the UNM charge. The Lobos were 4-of-7 shooting over that run.  The Bearcats hung around.  At the 11:54 stop, UNM was up by two: 34-32.  The Lobos needed to find a solution to the Binghamton zone.

The Lobos got a trey from Owens, but the Bearcats sandwiched two layups around that bomb and at 10:36 the game was again knotted: 37-all.   UNM then drifted into a five-point gap behind a basket inside by Alexa Chavez and a 3-point bomb by Brown.  It was 44-39 at the 7:47 stop.  UNM pushed it to 48-39 – nine points.  The Bearcats came back to 48-44 on their second trey of the game and Coach Sanchez burned a timeout with 5:21 to go.

UNM went up 51-46 on a trey by Brown, but the Bearcats continued to attack the rim with success and formed a 51-51 tie with 2:36 to go.  The Bearcats were still hanging around.  The Lobos had the ball coming out of the break.

Shumpert turned it over at 2:21 and the Bearcats went up 53-51 on a short jumper by Morgan Murphy that rattled its way down.   UNM turned it over again, but Binghamton was called for palming the dribble as they walked it down the court.  It was a huge turnovers and Owens made Binghamton pay with a drive and a jumper: 53-all.

The ‘Cats then came up big.  A drive and a kickback led to a trey by Kandace Newry and a 56-53 lead.   The Lobos called time with 28 ticks to go and Binghamton came out of the huddle and switched to a man defense.  Brown launched a trey over pressure and missed.  The ‘Cats got the rebound and mopped up the win at the free-throw line:  58-53.

First Half:  New Mexico 21, Binghamton 21

The Lobos took 10 more shots in the first half than the Bearcats, but shot 25.8 percent to 42.9 percent for Binghamton.  The Bearcats’ shooting percentage came from an obvious tactic:  attack the basket.  All nine of the Bearcat field goals were scored in the paint, most off layups.  The ‘Cats also got three points from the free-throw line.

The Lobos went 8-of-31 from the field and got two treys to form their 21 points.  The first-half stats were snug.  UNM had an 18-17 edge on the boards and a 9-10 advantage in turnovers.  The Lobos went 3-of-5 from the line and the Bearcats went 3-of-4.  The biggest edge on the stat sheets came in the foul department: 10 for Binghamton and five for UNM. Binghamton went into the locker room with two players with two fouls and one player with three fouls. Shumpert had two fouls for UNM.

Shumpert led UNM with six points in the half and Sherae Swinson had six for Binghamton.  The Bearcats threw a zone at UNM in the first half. The Lobos went 2-of-9 from behind the line. The Bearcats went 0-of-3.

The Lobos went up 4-0 and carried a 6-4 lead into the first media break at 15:40. The Bearcats grabbed their first lead 8-6 on their fourth drive through the UNM defense.  A trey by Sara Halasz put UNM up 9-6 and Binghamton tied the game at 9-all on a single free throw.

The Bearcats went up 11-10 – on a layup – before Bria Mitchell drove and hit a short pull-up jumper to give UNM a 12-11 lead going into a timeout at the 11:05 mark.  UNM was shooting 35.7 percent at that point and the Bearcats were leaning on layups to shoot 50 percent.  At the 7:54 break, UNM was up 14-13.  At the 3:27 stop, New Mexico guarded a 19-17 lead that turned into a 21-all count at intermission.