STEVENS: Cold-Shooting Lobos Fall 70-56 to Oklahoma State
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  11/18/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Nov. 18, 2009

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Wednesday: Oklahoma State 70, Lobos 56

By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

The Pit was toasty again and, for a while, so were Don Flanagan's Lobos.

The Lobos came out and shot 71 percent in the first 11 minutes, but were doomed by 25 percent shooting in the second half and were knocked out of the preseason Women's National Invitation Tournament 70-56 by Oklahoma State.

"All of a sudden, we got a little nervous with the ball and in the second half we couldn't shoot," said Flanagan, who saw his Lobos drop to 2-1 on the young season.

"Their point guard (Andrea Riley) in the second half just controlled the game. She didn't do much the first half, but the second half she showed why she is such a quality player."

Oklahoma State's bug-quick Riley was held to 0-of-8 shooting in the first half, and despite those bad numbers, the Cowgirls held a 34-33 halftime lead Wednesday night in The Pit.

Riley warmed up in the second half, and so did most of her teammates, as OK-State shot 48.3 percent in the second 20 minutes and Riley ended with a game-high 22 points. Tegan Cunningham had 20 points and 8 rebounds for OK-State.

"She's a great player," Lobo Amy Beggin said of Riley. "She made some tough shots and she got a couple of easy ones in transition. She was 10-for-10 from the line. She finds way to score."


Lobo Scoring


The Lobos got 15 points from Amanda Best and ten from Lauren Taylor. UNM was hurt by the shooting of Beggin, Taylor and Jessica Kielpinski, who combined to go 9-of-37 from the field.

"We just shot so poorly," said Flanagan. "I didn't see us take too many bad shots. We just didn't knock them down."

Best was 7-of-10 from the field. Porche Torrance had eight rebounds and Kielpinski had four assists and four steals. UNM ended up shooting 35.5 percent for the game to 40 percent for the Cowgirls. UNM lost the battle of the boards, 45-to-34.

"Overall, they were stronger on the boards and more determined on the boards than us," said Flanagan.

The Lobos' hot shooting early ended when Oklahoma State shifted from a man-to-man defense into a zone. "That bothered us a bit," said Flanagan. "We corrected it for the second half, but they went back to the man. Tonight, we weren't the better team."

A key shift in momentum hit the Lobos going into a Flanagan timeout at 4:39. Beggin had a breakaway layup, but Riley darted underneath the Lobo and distracted Beggin on the shot. The miss turned into a OKS trey by Lakyn Garrison and it was 56-52. Riley came down with a short jumper: 58-52.

The Cowgirls then came up with a steal and Riley got a breakaway layup to put Oklahoma State up 60-52. When Riley knocked down both ends of a one-and-one to put OK-State up 62-52 with 2:25 to play, it was pretty much over.

"I'm a lot better than that," Beggin said of her missed layup. "I can't let that happen again."

Porche Torrance - 8 Rebs

The Cowgirls came out of halftime up 34-33 and stretched it to 37-33. The zone that gave the Lobos so much trouble at the end of the first half had turned into the man-to-man that the Lobos had ripped through early in the game. This time the Cowgirls' defense was holding up -- and Riley, who went 0-for-8 in the first half, had showed up.

When Riley knocked down her second straight jumper to put OKS up 41-34, Flanagan was up calling a timeout with 16:38 to play. UNM's Taylor missed a trey and OKS turned it into a fast break and a 43-34 lead.

Lobo Sara Halasz, who only played two minutes in the first half, got back on the scoreboard at 13:12 with a 3-pointer that brought UNM to a point at 43-42. That also brought the OKS bench to its feet asking for a timeout.

Cunningham, who scored 16 first-half points, threw in a step-away jumper to make it 47-44 OKS at the 11:18 media break. The Cowgirls still had not gone to their zone, but their man had held UNM to 25 percent shooting at that mark -- 3-of-12. The Cowgirls came out of the break in a zone.

UNM then scored six straight to take a 50-47 lead. The Cowgirls outscored UNM 23-to-6 to end the game.

First Half -- Cowgirls 34, Lobos 33

The Cowgirls jumped up 7-2 before UNM came back to form a 7-7 tie on a trey by Beggin and two free throws by Georonika Jackson. The teams carried an 11-all tie into the first media timeout at 15:32.

Kielpinski put UNM up 13-11 scoring underneath off a lob pass. Jackson made it 16-11 for UNM lofting in a deep trey. Oklahoma State called a timeout at 13:57. Best came out of the break and scored off the glass on a break to give UNM an 18-11 lead.

The Lobos went into the 11:30 break with a 24-17 lead. UNM got a hoop underneath from Kielpinski on an in-bounds pass from Beggin, a Best 14-footer and a drive from Taylor on the left wing off a Best pass.

OKS came back with a free throw, a layup, and a trey to cut UNM's lead to 24-23. At the 7:35 break, a Beggin trey over the Cowgirls' pesky zone had the Lobos up 27-23.

Best drove the right side and flipped up a soft floater that bounded high off the rim and dropped in for a 29-23 UNM lead. Taylor hit a single free throw to push it to 30-25. Taylor got a pass from Valerie Kast and popped in a trey from near the top of the key for a 33-25 UNM lead.

OKS got a trey going into the 3:41 media break to trail the Lobos 33-28. Cunningham had 14 points for the Cowgirls at that point, going 5-of-5 from the floor.

The OKS zone had slowed down the Lobos' offense. UNM was passing around the zone, but not attacking it much. Riley hit two free throws to cut UNM's led to 33-32. Riley was 0-of-8 from the field at that point.

Riley went for a steal at the 1:22 mark and collided with Beggin. The Lobo senior missed a one-and-one chance. Megan Byford threw a post move on Kielpinski and touched one off the glass for a 34-33 OKS lead that the Cowgirls carried into the locker room.

Cunningham led all scorers in the half with 16 points. Best scored well off the OKS man defense and led UNM with ten points. Kielpinski, Beggin and Taylor all had six points and Jackson had five at the break.

UNM, shooting 71.4 percent at the 11:30 mark, ended at 50 percent, finishing 3-of-12 from the floor. The Cowgirls shot 32.3 percent in the first half with Riley not scoring from the field. Oklahoma State finished the half on a 9-0 run.