Jan. 10, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The New Mexico women's basketball team will travel to Salt Lake City Tuesday to battle conference rival Utah inside the Huntsman Center. The game is set for an 8 p.m. MT tip and will be broadcast live on the MountainWest Sports Network with Erin Bajackson and Andrea Lloyd calling the action. The Lobos are 9-5 on the season and 1-1 in the Mountain West Conference. Utah is 9-5 and 0-1 in conference play but has an 18-game home winning streak. Tuesday's game can be heard on 610 AM The Sports Animal with gametracker on GoLobos.com.
New Mexico will try to snap Utah's home court streak that ranks ninth nationally. TCU has the 12th longest home streak in the country at 15 games. The MWC has proved to be a tough conference and road wins are critical. The Lobos are 3-1 on the road this season after beating UNLV, 63-54, Saturday inside the Cox Pavilion.
UNM and Utah have always been an intense rivalry and over the last couple of years things haven't changed. The Utes have won five straight by a combined 14 points over the last two seasons. Utah leads the all-time series with the Lobos 18-47 and Don Flanagan is 13-19 against the Utes.
The Lobos will try to earn their first win in Salt Lake City since Feb. 8, 2007. UNM has lost two straight in the Huntsman including a 57-54 thriller last year. The Feb. 8 game was the only time members of the current UNM squad have beat a Utah team. This senior class has lost six games to Utah by a combination of 15 points.
The last game between two the programs was on March 13, 2009 in the MWC Championship. The Lobos led by double digits in the second half but Utah used a 16-2 run to make it a game down the stretch. UNM and the Utes went back-and-forth for the final six and half minutes leading up to a big finish. Amy Beggin had the chance to clinch the UNM victory with two key free throws but missed both opening the door for Utah. Morgan Warburton took advantage, driving the length of the floor for the game winning basket. The heartbreaking loss ended up sending UNM to the WNIT.
In that championship game, the trio of Beggin and seniors Angela Hartill and Amanda Adamson combined for more than half of the Lobos 55 points with 39. Beggin led the way with 16 points and four rebounds. Hartill added 13 points and six rebounds. Adamson had 10 points.
New Mexico last played in the Huntsman Center on March 4, 2009 and lost 57-54. The Lobos had three players score in double figures but it wasn't enough to overcome 21 points by Morgan Warburton. Both teams shot 40 percent in that game with Utah hitting two more 3-pointers. Angela Hartill led the way for UNM with 11 while Amanda Adamson and Sara Halasz had 10.
The last win over Utah was an exciting game in the Huntsman. The Lobos pulled out a 73-65 win behind the 29-point performance from Katie Montgomery. Montgomery led all scorers with a career-high and passed the 1,000 point mark that night. Montgomery is 10th all-time at UNM in scoring with 1,135 points. Dionne Marsh had 13 points in that game while Julie Briody had 16. New Mexico shot 38 percent from the field and hit 91.2 percent of its free throws (25-of-27) in the game. Utah did outshoot the Lobos hitting 40 percent of its shots.
The Lobos are coming off a 63-54 win over the Rebels Saturday. Junior Jessica Kielpinski had a career day for New Mexico chipping in 18 points and pulling down a career-high 12 rebounds. It was the first career double-double for Kielpinski. UNM played much better defense against UNLV and picked up its first conference victory. Sophomore Lauren Taylor came off the bench to score 11 points and has reached double figures in two of the last three games. UNM was pushed by the Rebels after UNLV hit six second half 3-pointers.
Senior Amy Beggin still leads the team in scoring with 14.6 points per game and ranks fifth in the MWC. Sophomore Lauren Taylor is second on the team in scoring with 11.7 while sophomore Sara Halasz is third with 9.9 points per game. Juniors Jessica Kielpinski and Amanda Best are both leading the team in rebounding with 5.1 boards per contest. UNM is shooting 41.8 percent from the field and 75.7 percent from the free throw line which leads the conference.
The Lobos are 2-2 when playing on TV this season. UNM has six games left on TV in 2009-10 including Tuesday's game at Utah.
Utah lost its conference opener Saturday at No. 25 TCU, 62-41, on the road. Kalee Whipple is back and is leading Utah in scoring with 16.0 points per game. Whipple is one of the top players in the MWC and a game changer. She is shooting 36.8 percent from the field, 32.9 percent from behind the arc and 78.7 percent from the free throw line. Utah has two other players averaging in double figures in Taryn Wicijowski (14.4) and Janita Badon (10.8). Halie Sawyer is the top rebounder with 8.4 boards per game. The Utes have four players pulling down at least five rebounds per game.
Utah is 8-0 at home this season and has won five of its last six games.
The last outing for Utah wasn't a friendly opener at TCU. The nationally-ranked Horned Frogs beat the Utes, 62-41, and limited Utah to only 27.7 percent shooting. Utah fired 15 3-pointers but only connected on one. TCU shot 33.3 percent from the field and had two players score in double figures. Taryn Wicijowski led the way for Utah with 16 points while Janita Badon had 11. TCU shutdown Kalee Whipple, holding her to two points and one rebound.
After the Utah game, New Mexico will return home to host Wyoming Saturday at 2 p.m. MT. For more information about Lobo women's basketball visit GoLobos.com.