Feb. 27, 2010
Saturday: Lobos 62, Brigham Young 30
Lobos winning in The Pit is no shocker. Probably never will be. Lobos rolling Brigham Young by 32 points Saturday in University Arena probably will have a few followers of basketball checking for a typo.
So, let's repeat that margin: 32 points. Yep, the hot-again, cold-again Lobos were sizzing Saturday on Senior Day as they simply mauled the BYU Cougars 62-30. And most of that sizzle was really on the Lobos' defensive end.
"We played really good defense early," said Lobo coach Don Flanagan. "I was surprised by the margin."
It was a game that was over almost from the beginning, but definitely over by the half when New Mexico sat on a commanding 30-11 lead. The Lobos went up 7-0 12-3, 25-7 and 30-11. When you are down 19 points in The Pit to Lobos, it's usually a smart move to tell the bus driver to start his engine.
It was a rout. The win pushed UNM to 17-10 overall and 9-6 in the Mountain West. BYU stumbles to 18-8 and 9-5 in league play.
"Sometimes we don't play with confidence, but we always play tough," said Flanagan. "Today we had confidence."
The Lobos' shooting touch, surprisingly, wasn't what you might suspect considering the way the scoreboard leaned toward Lobos. UNM shot 35.5 percent in the first half. Not bad. The Lobos shot 30 percent in the second half. Not really good.
But look what the Lobos' did to BYU. The Cougars, a top-level team in the Mountain West Conference, shot 13 percent in the first half. They were 0-of-9 from 3-point range.
The Cougars didn't fall into as deep a hole in the second half, but it was still a fall. BYU shot 23.1 percent and were outscored 32-19 in the second half. The Cougars shot 18.4 percent for the game. No Cougars reached double figures.
"If we're going to shoot 30 percent, we have to play defense like that every time," said Flanagan. "I was surprised they (BYU) shot that poorly. Nobody has beaten them like that all year.
"Our defense was outstanding and mostly it was how we helped each other."
UNM also outrebounded BYU, 49-37, won the turnovers battle, 8-to-18 and beat BYU at the line, 16-to-8. The Cougars had nine field goals on the day.
"It felt really good to end it like this on Senior Day," said senior Amy Beggin.
The Lobos' totals were a bit of a surprise, too, considering the pounding they put on the Cougars. Beggin had five points and none of the UNM starters reached double figures -- although Flanagan did juggle his starters for Senior Day.
"I figured why not throw them (seniors) all in together and give them an opportunity to play together," said Flanagan. "I thought they responded well."
A solid Pit crowd of 8,360 showed up for UNM's final regular-season game in The Pit. The Lobos close their season Tuesday at TCU.