Nov. 15, 2008
Saturday: Lobos 94, Alcorn State 38; DePaul 73, Idaho State 55
Sunday: Lobos vs. Idaho State, 7 p.m.; DePaul vs. Alcorn State, 5 p.m.
Monday: Lobos vs. DePaul, 7 p.m.; Alcorn State vs. Idaho State, 4 p.m.
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
This 94-38 Pit romp Saturday night over Alcorn State definitely was over at halftime when the University of New Mexico, now 1-0, waltzed into the locker room up 49-19. But it might have been over when the Lady Braves walked onto the court and the Lobos looked down - way down - on their opponents.
The Alcorn State starters went 5-11, 5-8, 5-6, 5-5 and 5-foot. Beggin, often the shorty on the court, actually was taller than three of the Lady Braves. Heck, UNM's 5-5 Nikki Nelson was eye-to-eye or better with two of the Alcorn starters.
The Lobos had a height advantage at every position and used it to muscle past or shoot over the smaller Lady Braves all night. The Lobos also beat Alcorn State in every single statistical category that mattered.
The Lobos had more field goals, better shooting percentages on the floor, more rebounds, fewer personal fouls, more assists, fewer turnovers, more blocked shots, more steals and way more points.
Flanagan was particularly pleased with his team's shooting touch which was off in UNM's two exhibitions. The Lobos shot 46 percent from the floor and 50 percent from behind the 3-point line.
The game was about as close as the final 56-point gap.
The Lobos had five players in double figures led by Amanda Adamson with 18 and Angela Hartill with 15. Sara Halasz chipped in 13, Beggin had 12 and Nelson added 10 points. Amanda Best led UNM with eight rebounds and Adamson, Jessica Kielpinski and Eileen Weissmann each had seven boards. UNM outrebounded Alcorn State 55-to-29.
All 11 Lobos played at least 12 minutes with Hartill logging the most time with 28 minutes.
"This is a three-night tournament and you have to rest some of your players," said Flanagan. "We got to play a lot of people."
The Lobos move on to battle Idaho State tonight while Alcorn State will try to run with DePaul. DePaul, probably the Lobos toughest foe in this tourney, pounded Idaho State 73-55. UNM will play DePaul Monday at 7 p.m.
Flanagan said Idaho State is, "More traditional. They have post players who are 6-2, 6-3," he said. "They had a little bit of a problem with DePaul's (defensive) pressure. We know that they are going to play hard. That's the type of team they are."
Said Adamson on Idaho State: "To beat a team like that, you have to work hard the whole game."
Adamson also said playing three games in three nights isn't such a bad thing. "Three games are definitely better than three practices," said the senior wing.
The Lobos ended the game with 22 turnovers, to 30 for Alcorn State, but Flanagan was not upset with that number."A little of it was the style of the game," he said. "I thought we got a little sloppy from time to time."
The Lobos easily drifted away to their 49-19 halftime lead. UNM was up 15-8, 21-8, 23-8 and back-to-back baskets by Adamson gave the Lobos a 33-10 lead.
It didn't get better for the Lady Braves in the second half. At the 17:00 mark, UNM was up 56-20. Flanagan was looking at the challenge faced by UNM men's coach Steve Alford in his team's 102-59 romp over Southeast Missouri State the night before. The huge lead gave Flanagan a chance to experiment with various combinations of Lobos and give his younger Lobos a lot of playing time.
But he also had to work a bit to make sure his Lobos didn't get sloppy in a game that resembled run-and-gun gym ball at times in the second half. The Lobos shot 46.7 percent from the floor in the first half and 54.5 percent from behind the line.
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