Jan. 12, 2010
Tuesday: Utah 46, Lobos 40
Saturday: Wyoming at Lobos, 2 p.m., The Pit
By Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
The New Mexico Lobos held a soft stranglehold on the Utah Utes with a 28-19 halftime lead, but the Lobos shot 10.7 percent in the second half, scored only 12 points, and let Utah escape with a 46-40 Mountain West Conference win Tuesday night in Salt Lake City.
The Lobos shot 3-of-28 in the second half and 14-of-59 on the night to finish at 23.7 percent. The Lobos had only one player in double figures: Eileen Weissmann with 10 points, all in the first half.
"I don't ever remember any team I've had shoot 3-of-28," said Lobo coach Don Flanagan, who saw his Lobos drop to 9-6 overall and 1-2 in the Mountain West race. "I don't understand why we shoot so poorly. It must be they are putting too much pressure on themselves."
The Lobos came out of the halftime break up by nine points, but a quick Utah run put the Utes up 30-28. The Lobos didn't score in the second half until the 13:26 mark when senior Amy Beggin scored two points at the free-throw line.
"I thought the first four minutes of the second half was the difference," said Flanagan, whose Lobos were outscored 27-to-12 in the second half. "We had chances, but they made the plays and we didn't. They closed it out."
The Lobos got only three field goals in the second 20 minutes -- by Amanda Best, by Jessica Kielpinski and the final field goal coming at the 3:47 mark by Porche Torrance. The Utes' final field goal of the game came with 5:58 to play, a jumper by Janita Badon that put Utah up 42-37.
Utah didn't score again until there was 27 seconds left to play, but New Mexico had only cut the gap by three points on the trey by Torrance. The Utes squeezed that 42-40 lead into the 46-40 final. The Lobos scored only one time in the final seven minutes of play.
"We're getting the looks I want," said Flanagan. "When you are 3-of-28, I guarantee you there are some pretty good shots in there.
"Defensively, we were there to win the game. Offensively, we were just awful. We defended them with man-to-man and they are very hard to defend man-to-man. We did a pretty good job on Whipple."
Utah got 13 points inside from Taryn Wicijowski, who also had a double-double with 10 boards. Kalee Whipple had 11 points and seven rebounds. Rachel Messer had 10 points.
The Lobos return to The Pit for a 2 p.m. (Mt) tip on Saturday with Wyoming.
"We did a nice job on this (road) trip," said Flanagan, whose Lobos won at UNLV. "But I thought we played well enough to win both games. We just didn't do it. We go back (home) and don't feel that good about a split."
Second Half -- Utah 27, Lobos 12
The Lobos came out of the halftime break up by nine points, 28-19. The Lobos' defense had frustrated Utah in the first half, especially bothering Whipple, who had only two points against the smothering Lobo defense. Utah shot 25 percent in the first 20 minutes.
The Lobos opened up in a zone defense and Wicijowski got the Utes on the board first with a power spin in the lane to cut UNM's lead to 28-21. The Utes then cut the lead to 28-24 when Whipple burned the Lobos' zone from the right baseline. That score held up going into the first media break of the second half at 15:33.
Eileen Weissmann 10
Amy Beggin 9
Jessica Kielpinski 9
Porche Torrance 3
Amanda Best 3
Lauren Taylor 2
Sara Halasz 2
Georonika Jackson 2
Utah cut it to 28-27 by feeding Wicijowski in the post. She flipped in a short, left-handed shot that rolled in. Utah grabbed the lead a few seconds later at 13:54 when Wicijowski drove the lane, threw up a basket, and added a foul shot to push her Utes up 30-28. Utah was on an 11-0 run.
Beggin finally cracked the scoreboard in the second half for UNM, sliding under a Utah defender and hitting two free throws: 30-30. Beggin put the Lobos back up 32-30 getting fouled on a drive with one second left on the shot clock and making both shots.
"One of our problems is that Amy isn't at full strength," said Flanagan of his star, who is coming off slow-healing ankle surgery. "You can see that with her shooting (2-of-10 vs. Utah). That's unfortunate."
The Utes went on a quick 6-0 run to grab a 36-32 lead. Flanagan called a timeout with 10:32 to play.
Best pulled UNM to 36-35 on a long trey from the right wing. Whipple threw up a jumper on the baseline to up Utah to a 38-35 lead. The Lobos' soft press was forcing Utah to rush its offense. UNM's Kielpinski got a rebound and a layup to cut Utah's lead to 38-37 going into a media break at 6:55.
Whipple came out of the huddle and hit two free throws and Utah was back up by three points, 40-37. The Lobos were shooting 12 percent from the floor at that mark.
UNM's Torrance gave the Lobos a lift with a trey that clawed UNM into a 42-40 hole. Both teams missed shots and turned the ball over down the stretch. UNM had a turnover at 1:30 and another at 1:09 while still down only 42-40.
The Lobos also missed shots with 38 seconds, 36 seconds, 33 seconds and 30 seconds left on the game clock, still down 42-40. Whipple finally put a four-point gap between the Utes and the Lobos by hitting two free throws with 27 seconds to play. Messer hit two free throws with 10 clicks left to form the final count.
First Half -- Lobos 28, Utah 19
The Lobos didn't exactly shoot lights out in the first half, but compared to some of the bricks the Utes were throwing up, the Lobos were on fire. UNM shot 35.5 percent in the half to 25 percent for Utah. The Lobos played good defense. The Utes also forced shots and shot badly, obviously frustrated by UNM's pressure.
The Lobos were leading 15-14 before outscoring Utah 13-to-5 down the stretch. The Utes hit a long trey right before the gun. Utah got only two points from Whipple while UNM got 10 points from Weissmann. UNM led by 14 points before Utah scored the final five points of the half.
Game Notes: Ex-Lobo Amanda Adamson was the in-studio commentator for The Mtn. telecast of this game. ... Utah coach Elaine Elliott missed her first Utah game in 28 seasons, out with an illness. ... The attendance was announced at 1008. ... The Lobos are now 2-30 in the Utah Huntsman Center.