Jan. 6, 2010
Wednesday: San Diego State 61, Lobos 39
Saturday: Lobos at UNLV
By Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer /GoLobos.com
The Lobos' 61-39 Mountain West Conference loss to San Diego State Wednesday night in The Pit is a game story you probably can start and finish with just a couple of quick stats.
-- No Lobos scored in double figures.
-- New Mexico shot 26.8 percent from the floor.
-- The Aztecs got 25 points from Jene Morris.
The Lobos (8-5, 0-1 MWC) opened their MWC season with a Pit loss and need to hope for a breakthrough road win at UNLV on Saturday. The Aztecs (9-4, 1-0), picked to win the 2010 regular-season title, grabbed a huge road win on a floor not usually so favorable to visitors.
Lobo coach Don Flanagan didn't hold back any punches in his postgame analysis of a Lobo team that just lost by 22 points in The Pit.
"The first half was bad and the second half was worse," said Flanagan. "It was a poor example of basketball. That was just horrible.
"It was just a kicking. San Diego State is good, but I have a hard time believing they are that much better than us. We didn't play well and we didn't coach well."
Neither the Aztecs nor the Lobos had a particularly good first half and SDSU carried a 25-20 lead into the half. UNM shot 30 percent in the first half and came out of the break to shoot 23.1 percent in the second half. SDSU shot 39.1 percent in the first half and 57.1 percent in the second half.
SDSU's Morris was joined in double figures by Paris Johnson with 12 and Quenese Davis with 10. UNM got eight points from Amy Beggin, seven from Lauren Taylor, six apiece from Georonika Jackson and Sara Halasz.
Amy Beggin 8
Lauren Taylor 7
Sara Halasz 6
Georonika Jackson 6
Amanda Best 4
Nikki Nelson 4
Caroline Durbin 2
Jessica Kielpinski 1
Jourdan Erskine 1
Beggin, like her coach, did not seek to hide from the Lobos' poor play.
"I want to apologize to our fans for having to watch that," said Beggin. "We promise that will never happen again the rest of the year."
Said Jackson: "We just didn't play like a team today."
The Aztecs turned their five-point halftime lead into a 43-30 and then 52-30. That pretty much ended it. The Aztecs had 17 assists to seven for the Lobos and outrebounded UNM 40-to-30. SDSU ended with 34 points in the paint, mostly layups. The Aztecs also had 14 fast-break points to none for the Lobos.
"I don't want to talk too long or I might say something I don't want to say," said Flanagan, throwing a dash of humor into his postgame chat with the media.
Second Half -- San Diego State 36, Lobos 19
The Lobos came out of the half down 25-20 and cut the Aztecs' lead to 25-23. SDSU turned the ball over on its first two possessions. The Aztecs then scored inside twice to make it 29-23. Davis drove for a 10-foot jumper to make it 31-23 going into the first break of the second half at 15:53.
UNM's Jackson came out and hit a 14-foot jumper on the baseline to pull the Lobos to 31-25. Morris slipped behind the Lobo defense for a layup and a 33-25 SDSU lead. Johnson then got behind the Lobos' defense for another layup and a 35-25 Aztec lead.
Beggin finally woke up the UNM offense and The Pit with a trey: 35-28. The Aztecs took that seven-point lead into the 11:52 media break. UNM was shooting 23.1 percent in the second half (3-of-13) at that point. SDSU was 5-of-11 for 45.5 percent. The Aztecs' shooting percentage was aided by layups and short jumpers that were falling.
UNM missed a baseline jumper and Morris slipped behind the UNM defense for another layup: 37-28. Morris then hit a baseline jumper: 39-28. The Lobos turned it over and Morris was at the line with 9:18 to play. She made both free shots and SDSU had its biggest lead at 41-28. Morris now had 21 points. Another Aztec layup made it 43-28 before Best drove the lane and flipped in a short jumper: 43-30.
Morris then threw the Lobos into a 45-30 hole with a baseline drive. The quick Aztec also was fouled and hit her free one to push SDSU up 46-30 with 7:29 to play. The Lobos were now shooting 21.1 percent from the floor. The layups pushed SDSU to a 56.3 percentage. Morris went into transition and hit an 8-footer: 48-30. Allison Duffy scored inside: 50-30. Duffy again inside: 52-30.
The Aztecs rolled to the 61-39 final.
First Half -- San Diego State 25, Lobos 20
The first half probably won't make the highlight film for either Lobos or Aztecs. UNM shot 30 percent from the field and got hot down the stretch to reach that number. UNM went 1-of-7 from behind the line.
SDSU shot 39.1 percent, missing numerous shots inside. The Aztecs shot themselves in the foot at a higher rate with 13 first-half turnovers. The Lobos didn't exactly come out with hands of glue and had nine turnovers. SDSU won the board battle 21-to-16.
UNM was led by Beggin and Taylor, each with five points. SDSU's Morris led all scorers with 13 points. Johnson had six points.
The pace was anything but up-tempo in the first half. The Aztecs worked the ball inside and had reasonable success with the short stuff early. The Lobos got three points from Beggin and a bucket from Halasz to trail 6-5 going into the first media break at 15:34.
Halasz came out of the break to toss up an off-balance jumper in the lane that bounced in for a 7-6 lead. The Aztecs were hurting themselves with turnovers and had five at the 14:45 mark.
At the 11:32 mark, the game remained low scoring and low tempo. The Lobos were up 10-8, aided by a long Taylor trey at the top of the key. UNM lost Kielpinski at the 13:18 mark when the Lobo post left the game with a cut under her chin.
Not much had changed at the 7:35 media break. The Lobos were missing a lot of shots. The Aztecs were passing like a youth team at the local YMCA. They had ten turnovers, mostly of their own design, at the 7:35 mark.
SDSU used a Val Kast turnover to create a transition layup to form a 10-10 tie. The Aztecs got a trey from Davis followed by a post move from Johnson to go up 15-10. UNM's Taylor drove the baseline for a layp to make it 15-12 in the Aztecs' favor at that 7:35 break.
The Lobos then went on a 4-0 run -- a pretty good run considering the pace of this game and the shooting. UNM's Jackson got both the buckets for UNM, muscling up a short one in the paint and driving for a layup for the second hoop. UNM was up 16-15 and the Aztecs called a timeout.
It was then the Aztecs' turn to grab the lead at 19-16. They carried that score into the 3:49 media break. SDSU's Johnson came out of the break to knock down two free throws and push the Aztecs up 21-16. UNM's Amanda Best threw up a jumper to beat the shot clock and it rattled in to make it 21-18.
Morris then was fouled and made both free throws: 23-18. SDSU scored a layup on a UNM turnover to grab a 25-18 lead. Beggin got open underneath and scored a layup to form the 25-20 halftime score.