Feb. 12, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- New Mexico women's basketball hosts Utah Saturday at 2 p.m. MT. The Lobos will hold their WBCA Pink Zone game against the Utes and it will be Youth Day with all tickets $2 for kids 18 and under. UNM has won three of its last four games and brings a 14-8 overall record into Saturday with a 6-4 Mountain West Conference mark. The Utes are 13-9 on the year and 4-5 in league play. The game will be broadcast live locally on My50-TV (Comcast Channel 12) with Scott Stiegler and Abbie Letz calling the action. Fans can listen to the game live on 610 AM The Sports Animal. GoLobos.com will have live video streaming and GameTracker.
New Mexico will be wearing new pink uniforms Saturday in support of breast cancer awareness. UNM will auction off the uniforms at a later game with proceeds going to the Kay Yow Foundation. Fans and media are encouraged to wear pink Saturday.
Saturday will be the 67th all-time meeting between New Mexico and Utah. The Utes lead the series 48-18 and have won six straight including a 46-40 battle in Salt Lake City earlier this year. The Lobos are 14-16 all-time against Utah in The Pit and will be looking for their first win over Utah since Feb. 8, 2007, 73-65, at Utah. The last win for New Mexico at home against the Utes was on Jan. 5, 2006, 59-42. Don Flanagan is 13-20 against Utah during his career.
The last six games have been determined by six points or less. The Lobos have lost three straight at home against Utah. Last year, New Mexico lost on a last second shot by Morgan Warburton in The Pit.
In the last meeting between these two programs, UNM held a 28-19 halftime lead but shot 10.7 percent (3-28) in the final 20 minutes and let the game slip away. The game was a heartbreaker for the Lobos and marked the sixth straight loss to the Utes. Senior Eileen Weissmann was the only Lobo to reach double figures with 10 points but it wasn't enough. Kalee Whipple led the comeback for Utah with 11 points, while post player Taryn Wicijowski had a game-high 13 points and 10 rebounds. Rachel Messer added 10 in the win.
Both teams are coming off losses Wednesday. New Mexico fell to UNLV at home, 65-59, and let their home record slip to 9-5. Despite the setback, UNM has won five of its last seven games. New Mexico is averaging 7,328 fans per game this year in 14 home events.
Against the Rebels, New Mexico struggled offensively in the second half. The Lobos shot 36.4 percent for the game but hit only six of their 27 shots in the final 20 minutes. It was a similar situation as the game at Utah earlier in the year. Junior Amanda Best led the way for New Mexico with 18 points while senior Amy Beggin added 12. Three starters in Eileen Weissmann, Jessica Kielpinski and Sara Halasz combined to scored nine points and 13 rebounds.
This season, Beggin is leading the Lobos with 13.5 points per game. Beggin has hit 53 3-pointers and is shooting 80.2 percent from the free throw line. Sophomore Lauren Taylor is back and is second on the team in scoring with 10.1 points per game. New Mexico has seven players averaging over 5.0 points per game.
Utah is 13-9 and lost two of its last three games. The Utes are 4-5 in conference and trying to climb back into the conference race. Utah dropped a thriller Wednesday against TCU. The Utes took the conference leaders to four overtimes before falling 105-96. Utah is led by Kalee Whipple who is averaging 17.5 points per game. Whipple had 11 points in the previous game.
Freshman Taryn Wicijowski could be one of the toughest players in the conference. Wicijowski is averaging 14.6 points per game and 6.9 rebounds in her first collegiate season. She had a double-double against the Lobos last game with 13 points and 10 boards.
Saturday will feature two legendary coaches in Elaine Elliott and Don Flanagan. Elliott, who missed the previous game with an illness, is in her 17th season at Utah. Flanagan is in his 15th year on the sidelines for the Lobos.