Stevens: Lobos Look To Snap N. Colorado's Streak Vs. Mountain Teams
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  12/14/2011
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Dec. 14, 2011

New Mexico Lobos Women's Basketball - In The Pit

Thursday: 6 p.m. (MT), Northern Colorado (5-5) vs. New Mexico Lobos (3-6)
On The Air: 610-AM KNML
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By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

If Lobo coach Yvonne Sanchez looks down her bench Thursday night and says, "Hey, you. New kid. Get in there." - will Jaime Parker or Ashley Rhoades stand up?

OK, Sanchez does know the names of her new Lobos. They are Jaime Parker, a freshly-found walk-on from La Cueva High, and Ashley Rhoades, a freshly-recruited jumping jack off Jeff Nelson's volleyball team.

And Sanchez is happy to have them. The Lobo coach said the two players weren't added simply to have a few more warm bodies around, but - well, the Lobos could use a few more warm and healthy bodies.

It helps that Parker was a standout for the Bears and Rhoades played some hoops at Rio Rancho High.

However, if Sanchez does call for the "new kid" against Northern Colorado, Parker probably will be the one standing up. Rhoades still has to learn a few plays and she also is coming off an ankle sprain suffered in the Mountain West Volleyball Tournament held in Johnson Center.

Hey, you wouldn't be an official Lobo, if you weren't hurting somewhere!

"Once she gets in the mix, I think (Rhoades) will help," said Sanchez. "She'll get rebounds. She'll be able to screen. She'll be able to score down in the low block.

"She just has to get familiar with the basketball again. It's going to be a process for her, but I don't think it's going to take her long at all."

Rhoades said Sanchez approached her several months ago about coming out for basketball after the volleyball season. "At first, I thought she was just joking around," said Rhoades. "I decided, `Why not go for it?'"

Sanchez was interested in throwing Rhoades under the hoop. Rhoades can sky several inches above the rim. She also was All-State and All-District in basketball at Rio Rancho. Sanchez's interest increased after losing two Lobos for the season - Sara Halasz and Whitney Johnson.

Parker, a Class 5A champion at La Cueva, saw a few minutes in UNM's loss to UTEP. She said she wasn't expecting to hear her name called so soon after joining the team.

"I was very surprised," said Parker. "I wasn't expecting it at all. I still don't know all the plays, so I was shocked when she said, `Parker, go in." I thought I'd be more nervous, but there wasn't time to be nervous."

The Northern Colorado Bears will be a good chance for Parker to see more playing time. The Bears are not exceptionally athletic and have no monsters in the paint. Their top four players are 5-foot-11 or shorter.

"They're not real tall," said Lobo coach Yvonne Sanchez. "Their tallest player is about six-one, but they'll get after you. They'll post really, really hard. They know each other well. Their chemistry is excellent."

The Bears' tallest player is 6-2 Kirsten Hess, who is one of four Bears who see double-digit minutes coming off the bench. That gives Northern Colorado nine players in double-digit minutes.

Northern Colorado will be coming into The Pit looking to go 3-0 against the Mountain West Conference.

The Lobos also will be trying to extend by one game the Bears' skid on their journey South. The Bears were softened up - or maybe made mad? - by the UTEP Miners 74-51 Tuesday night in El Paso. A 22-2 Miner run turned a 17-17 tie into a rout.

The Bears had three minor injuries in El Paso that hurt them against the wave of undefeated UTEP (12-0) talent.

The Miners also overpowered the Bears with inside height. The Miners outscored the Bears 44-30 in the paint and won the board battle 44-32. The Bears are on more equal ground inside in The Pit in those two categories.

Northern Colorado has had success in the Mountain posting a 71-51 win at Air Force and beating Colorado State 66-60 in Greeley, Colo. The CSU Rams got a monster game from Kim Mestdagh (28 points), but the Bears got 22 points from D'Shara Strange and 14 from Kaisha Brown to post the win. Strange paced the Bears in El Paso with 13 points.

The Bears are led in scoring by 5-11 Lauren Oosdyke, who averages 13.3 points and 5.9 boards. She played only 11 minutes at UTEP, nursing a first-half injury, and scored only two points.

The 5-10 Strange averages 13.2 points and 8.0 rebounds. Northern Colorado gets 9.0 points a game from the 5-10 Kaisha Brown. That trio of Bears plus 5-9 Victoria Timm all average 25-plus minutes per game.

The Bears might have a slight edge in depth and might throw some full-court pressure on the Lobos.

Emily Stark


Probable StartersHTPositionSeason Statistics
12 - Nikki Nelson5-5Guard4.1 Pts. - 2.9 Asts.
14 - Jourdan Erskine6-0Post5.2 Pts. -- 7.2 Rebs.
24 - Caroline Durbin6-0Guard15.1 Pts. - 4.8 Rebs.
23 - Porche Torrance6-1Wing10.8 Pts. - 9.0 Rebs.
21 - Jayme Jackson5-7Guard7.7 Pts. - 1.7 Asts..

The NM BenchHTPositionSeason Statistics
11 - Lauren Taylor6-0Guard4.4 Pts. - 1.1 Rebs.
35 - Chinyere Nnaji6-0Post2.1 Pts. - 4.0 Rebs.
43 - Emily Stark6-5Post1.0 Pts. - 1.0 Rebs.
44 - Deeva Vaughn6-0Wing3.2 Pts. - 3.2 Rebs.
33 - Maddie Muraida6-2Post0.4 Pts. -- 0.4 Rebs.
41 - Jaime Parker5-9Wing0.0 Pts. -- 0.0 Rebs.
25 - Ashley Rhoades5-11Wing0.0 Pts. -- 0.0 Rebs.