Oct. 5, 2011
Albuquerque, N.M. --- Attendance figures garnered a seven-spot national ranking at the conclusion of last season, and fans can expect that to continue in The Pit for the 2011-12 Lobo women's basketball season. To guarantee a seat for all of the action in head coach Yvonne Sanchez's debut season, fans are encouraged to pick up their season tickets starting tomorrow, October 6 at 8:30 a.m., at the Lobo Ticket Office in The Pit.
The University of New Mexico women's basketball team is looking forward to an exciting season with Sanchez at the helm. An assistant coach for 11 seasons under former head coach Don Flanagan, Sanchez saw the Lobos to nine post-season appearances, including seven NCAA Tournament bouts and five MW Championship titles.
An incredibly qualified staff has joined Sanchez for her flagship season, including former WNBA and European professional Vicki Hall, the Big XII all-time assist leader and WNBA player Erin Grant, and an experienced Mountain West assistant coach and NCAA/BCA ACE program participant in Anthony Turner.
ar assistant coach under Flanagan, has assumed the position of Director of Operations on Sanchez's staff. The Lobos return two starters and four letterwinners form last year's squad, as well as two redshirts. Fifth-yeah senior Porche Torrance is the top returning scorer from 2010, and fellow senior starter Lauren Taylor led the team with a free-throw percentage of .850. A third senior in returning redshirt Nikki Nelson rounds out the senior class as the team's most experienced point guard.
Junior guard Sara Halasz, a promising scorer out of Ohatchee, Ala., is another returning redshirt for the Lobos, and is joined by fellow classmates Emily Stark, Caroline Durbin and Jourdan Erskine in returning to The Pit. Stark, a 6-5 center, is by far the tallest Lobo, while Erskine brings power and physical talent to the floor. Chinyere Nnaji is the lone sophomore returnee and brings experience at the guard position.
Sanchez and her staff also welcome four newcomers, including two junior college transfers in Jayme Jackson out of Missouri Jefferson College and Deeva Vaughn, a transfer out of Northern Oklahoma College-Enid. Joining them are freshmen Whitney Johnson, a talented post player out of Highland, Utah, and Maddie Muraida, a local athlete out of Albuquerque Academy.
The Lobo home schedule features 17 home games, including an exhibition event, nine non-conference home games, and the always-challenging Mountain West slate. New Mexico opens the regular season a home exhibition event against New Mexico Highlands on Nov. 5 and hits the road for two before a colossal eight game home stand that will bring Oklahoma, Loyola Marymount and Rio Grande Rival New Mexico State to town, among others. The home stretch also includes the annual New Mexico Thanksgiving Tournament, during which the Lobos will play host to Morehead State, Idaho and Pepperdine. UNM's seven-game Mountain West slate opens on January 14 with a home game against Wyoming.
"We're definitely excited to get our fans back in here with their season tickets to support the players and enjoy some great basketball," Sanchez said. "As always, we have a really competitive schedule and are playing host to some great teams that represent a lot of different conferences. We're just looking forward to packing The Pit."
Season ticket packages for the 17-game home slate begin at just $94 for adults and $45 for youth. Tickets can be purchased at the Lobo Ticket Office at The Pit, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.golobos.com or www.unmtickets.com, or by calling the Lobo Ticket Office at 505-925-5858.
NOTES: The Lobos will entertain the fans on October 14 as the Lobo Howl returns to the Pit for the first time in three years. Festivities will begin at 6 p.m. at The Pit, with the men's team hitting the court around 8 p.m. Flagship station 770 KKOB and sister station 610 The Sports Animal will be broadcasting from The Pit throughout the day.