March 29, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- New Mexico women's basketball will host Kansas Monday, March 30 at 7 p.m. MT in the Santa Ana Star Center. The Lobos (25-10, 9-7 MWC) and Jayhawks (20-13, 6-10 Big 12) will battle on the hardwood for the first time and will meet in the quarterfinals of the Women's National Invitational Tournament. New Mexico is 9-3 all-time in the WNIT and will make its second WNIT quarterfinals appearance in school history. The Jayhawks are making the quarterfinals of the WNIT for the first time. The game will be broadcast live on 610 AM The Sports Animal. Gametracker and live video streaming will be available on www.GoLobos.com.
REACHING NEW MARKS - New Mexico will play in its 36th game of the year Monday against Kansas and have set a new single-season record for most games played. The Lobos had only played 35 games in a season twice and had never played 36 games in a season. UNM has an opportunity to reach the 26-win mark for the third time in school history and the first time since the 2004-05 season.
HALASZ LIFTS NEW MEXICO PAST OREGON STATE - Lobo freshman Sara Halasz scored a career-high 17 points Friday against Oregon State and helped UNM advance to the quarterfinals of the WNIT. Halasz had 14 first-half points and was 7-of-16 shooting from the field. Halasz led UNM in scoring and helped the Lobos bench score 25 compared to six by the Beavers. Friday marked the sixth time this season Halasz had reached double figures. She also moved into the 15th spot on the freshman scoring list with 193 points.
BEGGIN COMES UP BIG LATE - Friday's game with Oregon State was a true battle for the Lobos and junior Amy Beggin stepped up down the stretch. Beggin scored 11 of her 13 points in the second-half. Beggin drained a critical three-pointer with three minutes remaining on the clock and nearly clinched the victory. Beggin also went 6-for-6 from the charity stripe including two free throws with :05 left. She had five assists against the Beavers and none bigger than a bullet from the top of the key to a cutting Amanda Best with :26 left. Best hit the layup and gave UNM a 57-53.
ROLL ON WNIT - UNM has reached the quarterfinals of the WNIT for the second time in school history and is 7-1 during its last eight WNIT games. The Lobos are 3-0 this season in WNIT action. The WNIT Championship is scheduled for April 4 live on CBS College Sports.
LOBOS ADVANCE WITH WIN OVER OREGON STATE - New Mexico's postseason plans continued Friday with a 61-56 victory over Oregon State at the Santa Ana Star Center. The Lobos had three players score in double figures including 17 from freshman Sara Halasz. Senior Angela Hartill chipped in 15 points and has reached double figures over the last 13 games. Junior Amy Beggin had 13 and moved into 12th place all-time in scoring at New Mexico with 1,048 points. She also moved into first place for most minutes played in a single season with 1,266 minutes.
ALL-TIME AGAINST THE BIG 12 - Monday will be the fifth game this season against a Big 12 opponent. UNM is 3-1 against the Big 12 this season and has defeated Nebraska twice including a 54-43 second round WNIT victory. The Lobos beat Texas Tech at home and lost on the road at Texas A&M. New Mexico is 24-40 all-time against the Big 12. After this season, UNM has officially played every Big 12 team. The Lobos played Texas A&M and Kansas for the first times this year.
WEISSMANN LISTED AS PROBABLE - Lobo junior Eileen Weissmann did not play against Oregon State Friday and is listed as probable for Monday. Weissmann hit her head on the hardwood last Wednesday against Nebraska. Junior Georonika Jackson replaced Weissmann in the starting lineup against the Beavers. It was the first start for Jackson in her career.
KANSAS CONNECTIONS - UNM and Kansas have a couple of connections. Former Lobo women's basketball player Molly McKinnon is a current strength and conditioning coach at KU. McKinnon played at UNM from 1999-2002. UNM staff members Greg Remington (Associate AD for Media Relations), Kurt Esser (Associate AD for External Affairs and Mark Paulson (Head Strength and Conditioning Coach) are notable KU alum.
SCOUTING THE JAYHAWKS - Kansas is 20-13 overall and has three of its last four games. The Jayhawks have reached the WNIT quarterfinals for the first time in school history. KU defeated Arkansas last Thursday, 75-59, to advance to the quarterfinals. The Jayhawks were 6-10 in Big 12 action and finished tied for seventh in the conference.
Danielle McCray leads the Jayhawks in scoring with 20.9 points per game. McCray ranks 13th nationally in scoring and is coming off a 35 point performance against Arkansas. She was 11-for-17 from the field against the Razorbacks and hit nine of her 10 free throws. McCray is also the teams top rebounder with 7.8 boards per game but Aishah Sutherland pulled down 11 rebounds against Arkansas.
Sade Morris chipped in 23 points against the Hogs and is second on the team in scoring with 12.6 points per game.
FIRST MEETING - Monday will be the first ever meeting between Kansas and New Mexico. The Lobos and Jayhawks have never played on the hardwood. Monday will also be the first time that Bonnie Henrickson and Don Flanagan have faced each other.
JAYHAWKS ROAD TO THE QUARTERFINALS - Kansas received a first round bye in the WNIT but the Jayhawks have rattled off two wins to reach the quarterfinals. KU opened the WNIT with a 79-64 victory over Creighton and then beat Arkansas 75-59.
SANTA ANA STAR CENTER SUCCESS - Monday will be the third game UNM has played inside the Santa Ana Star Center. The Lobos are averaging 4,629 fans per game and had 4,759 fans at the Oregon State game Friday. The atmosphere inside the Star Center is a peek to what the renovated Pit will feel like.
ON THE HORIZON - The winner of Monday's game will advance to the semifinals and will face the winner of the Indiana-Illinois State game. The Hoosiers and Redbirds will battle on Sunday for a chance to reach the semifinals. The location of the semifinals have yet to be determined.