Feb. 19, 2011
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - The University of New Mexico women's basketball team fell to Utah, 61-58 in the final seconds of the game, Saturday evening in the Huntsman Center. Junior Porche Torrance tipped the ball in off of a missed jumper by Caroline Durbin to tie the game 58-58 with 3.8 seconds left on the clock.
Utah's Rachel Messer threw in a long pass that was deflected and then grabbed by the Utes' Janita Badon who found Iwalani Rodrigues on the right-side baseline to get the game winner from long range in the final second of the game.
"First of all you have to execute down the stretch," said Lobos' head coach Don Flanagan. "We stopped cutting, we stopped moving and they out executed us again, and then they hit a shot with 3.8 seconds left."
New Mexico shot 34.6 percent on the floor against Utah, but was 0-for-6 from long range. This was the first time this season that the Lobos did not make a shot behind the arc. New Mexico shot 84.6 percent from the free-throw line, which included a 100 percent (10-10) free-throw shooting in the first half.
Torrance had a career-high 16 points to lead the Lobos in scoring. Senior Amanda Best led the team on the boards with 10 rebounds and added eight points. New Mexico had three players score 10 points each: Jessica Kielpinski, Jasmine Patterson and Durbin.
The Lobos took a four point lead in the first half of the game with 13:49 remaining to make it 10-6. Best started the run with two made free throws, while Torrance and Patterson added two points each.
With the game tied at 20 apiece with 3:38 remaining in the first half, Durbin helped spark an 8-0 run for New Mexico with a jumper to retake the lead. Best found Durbin again for another jumper to extend the lead. Kielpinski and Patterson had two made free throws each during the run to take the Lobos into halftime with a 28-20 lead.
The Lobos had their largest lead of the game with 14:17 remaining in the second half off of a layup by Torrance to make it 42-29.
Utah's Michelle Harrison helped ignite a 20-6 run on a made jumper with 11:33 remaining in the game. Michelle Plouffe and Badon scored 15 of the Utes' points during that run with Rodrigues adding three. Utah took the lead with a layup by Badon to make it 49-48 with 5:07 left in the game.
Utah regained the lead with 1:01 left in the game on a made 3-pointer from Rodrigues to make it 56-55. The Utes increased their lead by two with a made free throw by Badon with 29 seconds remaining.
Utah's Harrison fouled New Mexico's Kielpinski with 18 seconds left to send Kielpinski to the line for a double bonus. The senior made her first free throw to cut the Ute's lead to one, but was unable to make her second free throw. The Lobos' Best fouled Plouffe on the rebound to send her to the charity stripe for a double bonus. Plouffe missed her first free throw, but was successful in her second attempt to sustain the lead at 58-56.
New Mexico had the ball with 17 seconds remaining to run its offense. Durbin missed a jumper with eight seconds left, but Torrance was there to get the rebound and tip it in to tie the game 58-58 with 3.8 seconds left in the game.
Utah called a 30 second timeout in order to set up a play. Messer in-bounded the ball for the Utes and threw in a long pass towards half court. New Mexico deflected the ball, but was unable to come up with it as Utah's Badon grabbed the ball to find Rodrigues on the right-side baseline for the game winner from long range.
"I thought we played them to win," said Flanagan. "I just didn't think that in the end we really wanted to win as much as they did, but that's two times we played them and both games went right down to the wire."
Badon and Plouffe led Utah in scoring with 21 points each. Rodrigues added 11 points for the Utes. Harrison led Utah on the boards with nine rebounds, while Badon dished out a team-high six assists.
The Lobos fell to 9-15 on the season and 3-9 in the Mountain West Conference. Utah improved to 13-14 on the season and 6-7 in conference play. New Mexico will play UNLV in Las Vegas, Nev. at 8 p.m. on Feb. 23.