Jan. 10, 2007
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Mallary Gillespie (18) and Shawnee Slade (16) combined for 34 points, including 25 in the second half, as BYU rallied for a 63-59 victory over slumping New Mexico in a Mountain West Conference game tonight in The Pit. The Cougars (11-4, 2-0 MWC) went 9-18 from three-point range, with Gillespie and Slade combining for all seven of the team's threes in the second period (7-12). The Lobos (10-6, 0-3) have lost four straight games for the first time in seven years.
After entering the season with a 35-game home winning streak in MWC play, UNM dropped back-to-back conference games in The Pit for the first time since suffering three-straight losses in Western Athletic Conference play during the 1992-93 season.
New Mexico led for the first 33 minutes and held a 49-42 advantage with less than 10 minutes to play in the 2nd half. However, a Slade three - her fourth of the half - gave the Cougars their first lead, 50-49, with under seven minutes remaining.
The lead changed hands six times in the next three minutes. Lobo center Angela Hartill hit a jumper to put UNM up 56-55 with just over four minutes to play, but BYU center Dani Wright scored and was fouled by Hartill on the ensuing possession as the Cougars move ahead 58-56.
Slade scored again to make it a two possession game, 60-56, with 2:08 left to play, but New Mexico senior guard Katie Montgomery answered with a three to snap a three-minute UNM scoring drought.
Following a BYU shot clock violation, Lobo senior Julie Briody missed a jumper in the lane with 30 seconds remaining. Gillespie then hit a pair of free throws to give the Cougars a 62-59 lead, but with a chance to tie the game, Montgomery lost the ball out of bounds with 12.5 seconds remaining.
Second half shooting cost New Mexico for the second straight game as the Lobos hit just 7-22 (32%) from the floor in the final 20 minutes, compared to 50 percent shooting by BYU. UNM also managed just a pair of Montgomery three pointers in the final period.
Montgomery finished with a game-high 19, including 4-5 shooting from beyond the arc, while Hartill added 10 points off the bench. The Lobos' top two offensive threats, Briody and forward Dionne Marsh, combined to hit just 1-13 from the floor for nine points on the night.
Slade scored 14 of her 16 points in the second half, while Gillespie had 11 of her 18 after halftime.
Montgomery and the Lobos got out of the gates quickly in the first half with the senior scoring eight points as New Mexico took a 12-4 lead.
Rookie center Valerie Kast gave the Lobos a spark off the bench, blocking a pair of shots and scoring six points as UNM extended its lead to 24-14. The 6-6 Kast finished with eight points and four blocks in 12 minutes on the night.
The Cougars refused to fold, however, whittling the lead down to four, 26-22, and eventually going into the locker room down just five after a Wright field goal in the closing seconds.