Dec. 13, 2008
Saturday: Lobos 63, Texas Tech 54
Up Next: Lobos vs. UTEP, 7 p.m. Tuesday, The Pit
By Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
Maybe the Texas Tech Red Raiders got the Lobos' numbers mixed up. Or maybe Amy Beggin just didn't appear on their scouting report as a Lobo to worry about. Whatever -- it seemed like the Raiders were either losing or ignoring Beggin at every key moment of the game. And she ripped the Raiders apart.
Beggin banged in a career-high six 3-pointers and a career-high 27 points as the University of New Mexico ripped Texas Tech 63-54 Saturday night in The Pit.
"Amy just had a terrific game, a terrific game," said Lobos coach Don Flanagan. "And I thought Amanda (Adamson) had maybe her best game. She did a lot of good things for us."
Actually, if any stat put Beggin's 27 points to shame, it might have been the numbers Adamson put up in the rebounding column: 20. Yes, that was 20, like in 20 rebounds.
"Wow. She's my idol," said Flanagan. "I didn't realize she had that many and she helped bring the ball up. She did have a special night."
The 6-foot senior also had 10 points and five assists in 37 minutes. Adamson kind of ho-hummed her effort under the glass. "I guess I was where the ball was going," she said. "The ball was just there. I'm glad because it was a huge win for us."
The win pushed UNM to 9-1 in a season that was looked upon as kind of a rebuilding year for Flanagan's high-powered program. "Nobody ever told us it was a rebuilding year," said Beggin, who oddly didn't have a single assist Saturday.
Said Flanagan, jokingly: "She told me the other day she wants to shoot all the time and stop passing. She can play a two-guard very effectively. She creates a lot of problems from that position. She is a scorer and I don't want to waste all her energy on distributing the ball. I would like her to get a few assists though."
Beggin and Adamson were joined in double figures by senior Angela Hartill, who had 16 points and 10 rebounds. No other Lobo scored more than five points. Flanagan got eight points and five rebounds off his bench, but it was a night in which Beggin, Hartill and Adamson didn't need much help in scoring points and hauling down rebounds. The defensive effort, though, was all team.
"They (Tech) have a lot of athleticism and quickness. That bothered us for a while," said Flanagan. "We overcame it most of the second half and ran some stuff they hadn't really seen. I thought they were surprised by that and didn't have an answer.
"The zone effected them, no doubt about it. They have to hit shots to bring you out of the zone and they never had a consistent 3-point shot to bring us out of the zone. We were shooting horrible the first half. We felt confident if we shot our normal shooting percentage in the second half, we could control the game."
The Lobos shot 22.2 percent in the first half and 47.8 percent in the second half. Tech shot 17.6 percent and 43.5 percent. UNM outrebounded Tech 48-to-38. The Red Raiders' leading scorer, Dominic Seal, had little impact on the game, finishing with five points and a single rebound.
"Their post weren't really killing us," said Flanagan. "I thought we contained them pretty well. You can't give a team like that confidence."
The Lobos led 22-20 at the half and pushed that lead to 30-25 at the 16:21 mark behind four free throws by Hartill. Tech got an inside bucket by Seals and an old-fashioned 3-point play by Moore to tie the game at 30-all. The Lobos steadily pulled away from that point.
Beggin came down to bury a 3-pointer out of the corner and UNM was up 33-30. She hit again from that same spot at 13:53 to push UNM to a 38-32 lead.
The Lobos used a 12-footer by Hartill, an Amanda Best free throw and then a Best drive that led to a shovel pass to Hartill for a layup to forge a 47-37 lead with 9:29 to play. Beggin shot another dagger into Tech at the top of the key, a 3-pointer at 7:44 to up UNM into a 52-41 lead. Jessica Kielpinski added two free throws at 7:28 to make it 54-41 at 7:28.
The Red Raiders began to force shots while the Lobos continued to work a controlled offense. UNM's patience put Hartill at the line with 6:48 to play. That foul also put Tech's Seals on the bench with five fouls. Hartill converted both free shots and UNM was up 56-41 and drifting away.
The undisciplined Raiders continued to toss up bad shots and UNM continued to find its way to the free throw line. Beggin added one more at the 6:09 mark and UNM was up 57-41. Hartill hit a 12-foot at 5:44 -- 59-41 in favor of UNM.
The Lobos massaged that 18-point lead into an easy 63-54 final.
The first half definitely favored defense over offense, especially after the first media timeout at 14:34 when UNM held a 9-0 lead.Tech went almost five minutes before scoring its first points. At the 7:24 mark, the Lobos had added four points to their total and Tech was down 13-10.
Tech scratched into the lead at 15-14 behind two free throws by Maria Moore, but a pull-up jumper by Beggin put UNM up 16-15. Tech snatched the lead back a few seconds later at 18-16 on a 3-pointer by Maddy Brown.
UNM got one free throw from Adamson and Tech came back with a driving layup from Kierra Mallard to make it 20-17 in favor of Tech going into a media timeout with 3:11 to play.
Adamson drove the middle to throw up a layup to cut Tech's lead to 20-19 and at the 1:07 mark, Beggin shook loose for a 3-pointer to put UNM up 22-20 at the half. The first half was not a clinic in shooting. UNM shot 22.2 percent from the floor and 15.4 percent from behind the line. Texas Tech shot 17.6 percent and 11.1 percent from 3-point range. Of course, there were lots of rebounds to be had with UNM pulling down 29 and Tech hauling in 28.
Editor's note: Richard Stevens is a former Associate Sports Editor and sports columnist for The Albuquerque Tribune. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Previous articles are available at The Richard Stevens Corner