Lobo Women's Basketball Set For Rio Grande Rivalry Sunday
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  12/17/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Dec. 17, 2009

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The 62nd Meeting of the Rio Grande Rivalry is set for Sunday at 2 p.m. in The Pit. New Mexico (7-3) and New Mexico State (6-3) battle for the second time this season and continue this intense rivalry. The Lobos defeated NMSU, 92-85, in a shootout earlier this year in Las Cruces. The Lobos have won 26 of the last 27 meetings heading into Sunday.

The game will be broadcast locally on My50-TV with Scott Stiegler and former Lobo Abbie Letz calling the action. Joe Behrend and former Lobo Nikki Heckroth-Lobato will provide the radio broadcast on 610 AM The Sports Animal. Gametracker and live video streaming are available on GoLobos.com.

The Lobos have been playing some of their best basketball over the last two weeks. UNM has won three of its last four games including a 74-55 victory over Loyola Marymount last Saturday in The Pit.

New Mexico is 5-2 at home this year and is averaging 6,946 fans per game. UNM has had four home crowds over 7,000.

UNM leads the all-time series with NMSU 39-22. The Lobos are 20-11 all-time against New Mexico State in the Pit and have won 13 straight home games against the Aggies. The last victory for NMSU in the Rio Grande Rivalry was on Dec. 2, 2007 in Las Cruces, 58-42. NMSU hasn't won in The Pit since Dec. 22, 1995 in a double overtime 78-73 thriller.

Senior Amy Beggin continues to lead New Mexico in scoring with 14.8 points per game. Beggin ranks second nationally in assist/turnover ratio (4.25) and 46th nationally in three-point field goals per game with 2.7.

Sophomores Lauren Taylor and Sara Halasz have been outstanding this year. Taylor is second on the team in scoring with 12.9 points, second on the team in assists with 30 and pulling down 3.8 rebounds per game. Taylor has scored 20 or more points in three of the last four games including a career-high 22 points against Arizona.

Halasz has been consisted scoring in double figures in four of the last five games. Halasz had 20 points in the last game against New Mexico State.

The last time UNM faced New Mexico State on the hardwood was Dec. 2, 2009 in the Pan American Center. The Lobos and Aggies played on of the most excited college basketball games in the Rio Grande Rivalry ever. UNM had five players reach double figures including 20 points by Taylor and Halasz. Beggin chipped in 12 points while senior Georonika Jackson added 10 and senior Valerie Kast had 12.

UNM had its highest scoring performance against NMSU after chipping in 92 points. The Lobos shot 52.5 percent from the field and hit eight 3-pointers.

Jasmine Lowe led NMSU with 29 points while Crystal Boyd had a double-double for the Aggies with 16 points and 11 rebounds. New Mexico State shot 43.5 percent from the field but hit 22 of its 23 free throws. The Aggies are shooting 76.5 percent from the charity stripe this year.

NMSU held the rebounding advantage in the last game, 36-33. New Mexico has been outrebounded this year 366-370. Don Flanagan's teams have outrebounded their opponents for 13 consecutive years and haven't been outrebounded at the end of the season since Flanagan's first season.

Kast has shined over the last three games with New Mexico State scoring in double figures twice. She had 12 points earlier this year and had a career-high 18 points last year against the Aggies. Kast has 10 career blocks against NMSU and seven have come in the last three games. During her career day in The Pit last year, Kast had five blocks.

Sunday's game features two coaches who have sustained a strong presence in college coaching. Flanagan is 315-140 all-time at New Mexico and in his 15th season. Flanagan has taken UNM to a national level making 13 straight postseasons. Darin Spence is in his seventh year at NMSU and his 19th year as a head coach. Spence won his 400th career game Tuesday against UTEP. Spence is 400-187 all-time as a head coach and 83-107 while at NMSU.

The Lobos are 65-34 all-time against the Western Athletic Conference. The Lobos, who played in the WAC until 1999, are 20-2 against WAC opponents since joining the MWC during the 1999-2000 season. UNM lost to No. 16 Louisiana Tech during the 2002-03 season and at NMSU in 2007-08.