Dec. 20, 2010
Lobo Women Basketball -- At Texas El Paso
Monday: UTEP 64, Lobos 62
Up Next: New Mexico State at Lobos, 7 p.m., Dec. 30
By Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
The New Mexico Lobos' game at UTEP wasn't on TV Monday night. However, a TV screen froze two teams as the game officials hovered over a courtside monitor to see if UTEP's Gloria Brown's buzzer-beating shot did indeed beat the buzzer.
The monitor said, "Yes," and the Miners, once up 19 points, held off a furious rally by New Mexico to post a 64-62 win over the visitors from Albuquerque.
"Almost winning games isn't good enough," Lobo coach Don Flanagan said on the Lobo Radio Network. "We have to start beating some people. I thought we came back time after time, but I'm disappointed we don't get started earlier."
The Lobos trailed 27-8 in the first half and worked into a 55-all tie with 4:03 left on a jumper by Amanda Best. UTEP went up 62-57 before UNM used three free throws by Best and two more by Lauren Taylor with 22 seconds to play to form a 62-62 tie.
UTEP then worked the ball up against a New Mexico press and got the ball inside to Brown. She threw up a shot as the buzzer sounded. The Don Haskins Center as well as Lobos and Miners awaited the final viewing to see if the ball left Brown's hand before the buzzer. It counted to give Brown a game-high 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting.
"In the second half, we couldn't stop their big kid inside," said Flanagan. "She really hurt us. She is left-handed, strong and jumps well. She's a pretty good player."
UTEP's Briana Green also hurt UNM with four treys (4-of-6) to help get her 14 points. The Lobos got 14 points from Porche Torrance, 13 from Best, and 12 points from both Taylor and Jessica Kielpinski. Best added eight boards and Kielpinski pulled down seven.
UTEP had 22 turnovers to 16 for the Lobos. UTEP won the board battle by one, 37-36. UNM shot 37.1 percent from the field to 43.6 percent for the Miners. UTEP got 30 points off the bench while UNM got 18 points from its substitutes.
UNM's obvious problem was falling into that 19-point hole. "I liked what we did as far as effort and our execution improved in the second half," said Flanagan. "But we have to have better starts."
The loss dropped New Mexico under the .500 level at 5-6. UTEP jumps to 7-3. A huge play for the Lobos was Best missing her second free throw with 24 seconds to go, but UTEP lost the rebound out of bounds. That led to Taylor's game-tying free throws with 22 seconds to play.
The Lobos next play host to New Mexico State on Dec. 30 in The Pit.
Second Half: Lobos 40, UTEP 33
The Miners came out of the break up by nine points and widened that gap by a single point, 36-26, going into the first media break of the second half at 15:54. Jasmine Patterson and Torrance scored for UNM.
The Miners extended their lead to 49-37 at the 11:39 break. UTEP's Briana Green hit two treys to help form that lead. UNM came back at the Miners again. A Kielpinski layup followed by a Morgan Toben 3-pointer made it 49-42 and UTEP called a timeout with 9:46 to play.
Taylor drove at the UTEP middle and got fouled while shooting. The junior hit two free throws to make it 49-44. It was UNM's smallest gap since it was 7-2 in the first half. At the 7:21 mark, it was UTEP 53-47. A Best trey moved UNM's count from 44 to 47. Brown went into that break with four fouls and 15 points.
The Lobos got a single free throw from Patterson and turned a UTEP shot-clock violation into a Torrance layup that moved the count to 53-50. UTEP called a timeout.
The Miners' 19-point lead was totally gone after a Best 10-footer tied the game at 55-all. UTEP's Green hit a 3-pointer over UNM's Taylor. A Best turnover led to a Brown bucket inside and UTEP was up 60-55. Torrance then scored inside to make it 60-57 with 2:13 to play.
Brown came out of the huddle shooting a one-and-one. She converted both shots: 62-57. It was a big possession for UNM. Best made it count for UNM by going to the line and hitting two free shots: 62-59.
UTEP turned it over and Toben had a good look inside, but missed. UNM kept possession at 1:33 and again at 1:25. UNM turned the ball over trying to go inside to Kielpinski, but UTEP turned it back over at 1:04. UNM was still down by three points.
Best had a tough shot in traffic, missed, but UNM retained possession and called timeout with 44 seconds left, down 62-59. UNM got the ball in and called timeout with 39 seconds to go. Best got fouled inside with 24 seconds to go and hit one to make it 62-60. UTEP lost the rebound on Best's miss, and UNM had the ball and a chance.
Taylor got a chance to tie the game when she was fouled with 22 seconds to play. She made them both to form a 62-all tie.
UNM pressed the Miners. Brown scored near the buzzer and the refs went to the TV monitors to see if the shot beat the buzzer. It counted and UTEP had the 64-62 win.
First Half: UTEP 31, Lobos 22
Stat Leaders: Kielpinski 8 pts., Taylor 6 pts., Torrance 6 pts.
The Lobos went into the half down 31-22, but it could have been a lot worse. The Lobos fell into a 27-8 hole, down 19 points, before scratching to that nine-point halftime deficit. The Miners used a 12-0 run to produce their big lead and UNM used a 10-0 run to whittle down that gap.
The Miners took advantage of four Lobo turnovers that were converted into seven Miner points en route to UTEP's early 15-6 lead. Kielpinski scored UNM's first six points.
The Miners continued to outshoot and out hustle the Lobos and going into the 11:21 break, UTEP had extended its lead to 21-8. It only got worse for the Lobos. UTEP's 12-0 run put them up 27-8 before Kielpinski scored inside to make it 27-10 going into the 7:12 break. The Lobos now had eight turnovers that led to 10 UTEP points.
The Lobos started scratching back and playing with elevated energy. Torrance scored to make it 27-12 and when Taylor tossed in a trey to cut the Miners' lead to 27-15, UTEP called a timeout. UTEP came out of the huddle and Taylor picked up a steal. That UTEP turnover led to another Taylor trey and the Miner lead was down to 27-18. The Lobos were on a 10-point run.
That nine-point gap held up to form the 31-22 halftime score. UNM shot 29 percent in the first half to 36 percent for UTEP. The Miners won the board battle 26-20 in the first 20 minutes. UNM had 10 turnovers to 11 for UTEP. UNM went 2-of-9 from long range with Taylor knocking down both treys. Taylor, Kielpinski and Torrance combined to score 20 of UNM's 22 points.