Stevens: Flanagan Says 'No Excuses' For 84-60 Loss To Arizona
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  12/07/2010
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Dec. 7, 2010

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Lobo Women's Basketball - In The Pit
Arizona 84, Lobos 60

By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

No excuses. That was the message from Lobo coach Don Flanagan following New Mexico's 84-60 spanking Tuesday night in The Pit at the hands - no, make that the hot hands - of the Arizona Wildcats.

"I thought we were a pretty good defensive team until today," said Flanagan. "We got beat in about every facet of the game."

Actually, there were a few numbers in UNM's favor. The Lobos outrebounded Arizona 40-35, had one less turnovers (20 to 21) and had three more steals (13 to 10). However, that was not enough to compensate for Arizona shooting 54.2 percent in the first half and 54.8 percent in the second half.

"It seemed like the whole team was playing like freshmen," said Flanagan, who did say freshman Jasmine Patterson had a good game.

"You can't blame it on youth anymore. I don't want to use any excuses. They ran down the court with the ball faster than we could run down the court without the ball."

Said Amanda Best, who had 20 points and nine boards: "It was frustrating all around. We didn't play well in any aspect. We couldn't really get out of that hole. There was a big separation from the get-go."

The Wildcats came out and ran to a 25-4 lead before UNM cut that gap to 28-20 with a 16-3 run. The `Cats did a good job running their offense to roll into halftime up 38-24. UNM cut Arizona's lead to 38-29 at the 18:31 mark of the seconds half, but UNM had no answer for Arizona's penetration and 3-point attack.

The Wildcats went 12-of-26 from behind the line with Davellyn Whyte and Brooke Jackson knocking down five treys apiece. Whyte ended with 24 points, six assists and three steals. Brooke had 17 points and Soana Lucet had 18 points in 17 minutes.

Patterson had a career-high seven steals to go along with her 11 points. Of the 10 Lobos who took a shot Tuesday night in The Pit, only Lauren Taylor (2-of-3) shot better than 50 percent. Caroline Durbin, Tina Doughty, and Porche Torrance combined to shoot 3-of-22. UNM actually shot better at 3-point range: 31.3 percent to 28.6 percent.

"I'm not buying what I'm seeing," said Flanagan. "I didn't like it."

The Lobo coach said he will work on putting a Lobo team on the court that is better conditioned and better able to run the court. "There was no doubt they were much quicker than us at every position except I think Jas (Patterson) hung in there with their quickness, said the Lobo coach."

Said Best: "We have to learn from it, but we have to put it behind us. Defense is something we have been really good at and we played horrible defense."

Second Half: Arizona 46, Lobos 36

The Lobos came out of the half and quickly cut their 14-point deficit to nine, 38-29, on an inside bucket by Torrance and a long trey by Taylor. Arizona did something quick, too. The `Cats called time at the 18:29 mark.

The break helped the `Cats regroup. Arizona also got Lucet back into the offense. The smooth Cat drove the baseline, scored, got fouled by Taylor, and made the extra shot to push Arizona up 43-29. Erin Boettcher scored inside for UNM to make it 43-31 and Lucet scored on the baseline to produce a 45-31 Arizona lead.

Arizona scored out of transition to go up 47-31. Best hit two free throws: 47-33. Jackson hit a trey over UNM's zone and Arizona was up 50-33. Lucet then tossed up a baseline trey over the zone to put the `Cats up 53-33. Whyte made the UNM zone pay again: 56-33. Erskine hit a jumper to make it 56-35 going into the 11:23 break.

"That didn't slow them down at all," Flanagan said of the zone. "In fact, they were just having target practice."

Durbin hit a 15-foot jumper to pull UNM to 56-37. Jackson hit another trey: 49-37. Whyte then scored on a layup and followed that with a trey to make it 64-39. The Lobos had 7:50 to make a miracle finish.

Another Whyte trey made it 69-41. The `Cats were up 28 points. There would be no miracle in The Pit on this night, but the Lobos could cut the gap to a more respectable margin.

The Lobos started cutting away. A Best trey made it 70-50 with 4:15 to play and that count held for the media break at 3:57. Best made it 70-52 before Whyte tossed in a couple of treys to make it 76-52. Arizona coasted to the 84-60 final.

First Half: Arizona 38, Lobos 24

Stat Leaders: Patterson 7 pts., 4 steals; Best 6 pts., 5 rebs.

It could have been worse for the Lobos. It could have been better. UNM fell behind 25-4 before speeding up the temp - and themselves - and scratching to 28-20. The Wildcats survived that 16-3 UNM run to go into the halftime break up by 14, 38-14. At one point, UNM was 1-of-12 from the floor with five more turnovers (6) than baskets.

Arizona ended the half shooting 13-of-24 (54.2 percent) to UNM's 7-of-31 (22.6 percent). The Wildcats had more field goals, more 3-pointers, more rebounds and more assists. The Lobos got an early break when Arizona's Soana Lucet went to the bench early with two fouls and eight points.

UNM's spark in the first half was Patterson coming off the bench to score seven points and produce four steals. Torrance had four turnovers, one point and one rebound in the first half.

The Wildcats came out hot against a Lobo defense not exactly in-your-face. Wildcat Lucet opened the scoring with two baseline buckets that produced a 5-0 Arizona lead. The `Cats went up 7-0 before UNM's Taylor cracked the ice off the UNM rim with a trey on the right side to make it 7-3.

Arizona's Brooke Jackson then drilled a trey to allow Arizona to carry a 10-3 lead into the first media break at 15:59. UNM was 1-of-5 from the field at that point and Arizona was 4-of-7. Arizona came out of the break to go up 17-3.

It got worse for the Lobos. UNM threw out a zone press that the `Cats broke for a 19-4 lead. Jackson then banged in a trey off a UNM turnover and Arizona was up 22-4. Flanagan called time. At the 11:43 media break, it was still 22-4. UNM was 1-of-12 from the field with five more turnovers (6) than field goals. Arizona was 9-of-15 (60 percent).

The `Cats drifted away even further. UNM stayed with the press. Arizona Jackson nailed another trey: 25-4. UNM then did what Flanagan said going into the game that he didn't want to happen. The teams began to run and UNM took a small advantage.

UNM's Patterson got a steal and a layup to make it 25-10. Arizona went into the 7:44 break up 26-10. UNM now was 3-of-18 (16.7 percent) from the floor. The faster pace continued to help the Lobos. A second Patterson steal and layup made it 28-16. The `Cats turned it over and Best tossed in a trey to make it 28-19. Arizona called time.

The `Cats turned it over again and Patterson got fouled driving the baseline with 5:15 to play. She made one: 28-20. Arizona's Whyte hit both ends of a one-and-one: 30-20. Cat Reiko Thomas put Arizona up 32-20 with a head fake leading to a 14-foot jumper. That 32-20 lead held up going into the 3:35 break.

Arizona found some advantage in the final three minutes driving and going to the line. Arizona had a 38-22 lead in the closing seconds when Patterson drove, bumped her defender out of position, and threw in a 16-footer at the buzzer to form the 38-24 halftime count.