Feb. 6, 2010
Saturday: Lobos 65, San Diego State 58
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
It's possible that the Mountain West Conference made a huge mistake by pushing the New Mexico Lobos up against the wall with no choice but to play tough, loose and with a bit of gunslinger desperation.
The Lobos knocked off the top team in the MWC standings for the third consecutive time with a stunning 65-58 win over the San Diego State Aztecs Saturday in San Diego.
The Lobos powered out of a 36-31 second-half deficit and a 53-53 tie to slap down the run-and-gun Aztecs 65-58. The win highlights an amazing three-game win streak that includes a win at Brigham Young and a win over No. 20 TCU in The Pit.
Lobo coach Don Flanagan said his Lobos needed to shoot well at SDSU in order to win and the Lobos were blistering most of the afternoon. The Lobos shot 55 percent in the first half to finish the game at 47 percent.
"That was a big win for us," said Flanagan. "I thought our pressure bothered them and they never got into their offense quickly, and that helped us. Our seniors today did a great job.
"To sweep all three, is an exception. I'm not sure we've ever done that before. They might have taken us a little lightly, but they played pretty hard. I just wanted us to play hard and compete against them."
A key stretch for UNM was the play of Weissmann that helped pull UNM out of a 53-51 deficit into a 59-53 lead. That 8-0 run was fueled by six Weissmann points.
The Lobos had four players in double figures with Eileen Weissmann and Georonika Jackson with 14 apiece. Jessica Kielpinski chipped in 13 points and Sara Halasz added 12 points. The Lobos got the win despite senior Amy Beggin not scoring a field goal.
UNM went 19-of-24 from the free-throw line. The Lobos' combination of a press and a zone defense forced SDSU into 25 turnovers. UNM had 23 turnovers and won the board battle 31-to-20. The Aztecs got 21 points from Jene Morris.
Second Half - Lobos 39, SDSU 28
The Lobos came out of the half down by four, 30-26, and a Jessica Kielpinski trey cut that gap to 30-29. SDSU went up 36-31 on a Morris trey. At the first media break, the Aztecs were up 36-34.
Georonika Jackson came out of the huddle and hit two free throws to tie the game at 36-all. The Aztecs used a Jene Morris trey to help them drift up 41-36 before Jackson scored for UNM to make it 41-38.
The Lobos then used the free-throw line, including four by Beggin, to cut into the SDSU lead and slip into a 44-43 lead.
A shot-clock violation by SDSU led to a free throw by Lauren Taylor and UNM was up 45-43. A quick Aztec turnover turned into a 47-43 UNM lead. The Aztecs called a timeout. The Lobos' combination of a press and a zone defense was bothering the Aztec ball handlers.
The Aztecs came out of their huddle with a little more intensity. They went inside to outscore UNM 6-to-2 going into the third media break of the half at 7:52. The two teams were tied 49-all.
The teams then went back and forth. A Lobo turnover with the score tied at 51-all had Flanagan calling a timeout with 6:07 to play.
The run to the wire got intense. The Aztecs went up 53-51 before Weissmann scored inside to make it a 53-53 tie. The Aztecs then turned it over. The Lobos then turned it over. At the final media break at 3:36, the teams were still tied 53-all.
UNM's Weissmann came out of the huddle to hit two free throws and UNM was up 55-53. It got better for the Lobos. The Aztecs lost the ball on a shot-clock violation with 2:52 to play. Weissman powered inside to push UNM up 57-53.
The Aztecs' Morris missed a trey. A Beggin pass led to a Porche Torrance layup and UNM was up 59-53. The Aztecs called time, down six points with 2:02 to play. The home team was running out of clock.
The Aztecs, playing with some deperation, cut UNM's lead to 59-56 on a layup by Paris Johnson. UNM's Kielpinski went to the line and hit two free throws to make it 61-56. The Aztecs missed on offense and SDSU sent Beggin to the line looking at two. The clutch Lobo senior made them both and UNM was up 63-56 with 31 seconds to go.
The Lobos cruised in for the 65-58 win.
First Half - SDSU 30, Lobos 26
The Lobos needed to shoot well against the Aztecs and got off to a sizzling 55 percent first half. The Lobos' problem was 15 turnovers, many of which were converted into SDSU baskets. The Aztecs shot 48 percent from the floor and had three more 3-pointers than did UNM. Beggin did not score in the first half for UNM.
The Lobos held a one-point, 11-10 lead at the first media break. The Lobos got five points from Kielpinski, four from Halasz and a layup from Weissmann. The teams opened with some slopply play early. When there were seven points on the board, there also were seven turnovers on the stat sheet.
The Aztecs came out of the break and went on a little run fueled by Lobo turnovers. At the 11:35 break, SDSU was up 16-11. The Aztecs had scored 11 points off eight UNM turnovers.
The Lobos came out to produce two Jackson layups off in-bounds plays. UNM cut the gap to 16-15 and Aztec coach Beth Burns called time. At the 7:53 media break, the Aztecs were up 18-16.
Not much changed going into the final media break of the first half. The Lobos got baskets from Halasz, Valerie Kast and Jackson, but a 3-pointer by Morris allowed the Aztecs to extend their lead to 25-23.
The Lobos were shooting 60 percent from the floor, but had 14 turnovers at that mark. SDSU had 10 turnovers. Beggin had yet to take a shot for UNM.
The teams again exchanged hoops going into the halftime break, but the Aztecs again got a trey to grab a 30-26 halftime bulge.