Feb. 24, 2009
What: Lobos at TCU
When/Where: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday - Fort Worth
Radio: 610-AM KNML
Online: GameTracker on GoLobos.com
By Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
The strategy didn't work. It backfired as Georonika Jackson went off on the Frogs for a career-high 23 points knocking down six 3-pointers. UNM won 75-63.
The Frogs might be thinking about pulling that strategy out of their bag of tricks one more time. Lobo coach Don Flanagan is worried that his Lobos have once again returned to being too much of a two-Lobo show when it comes to putting points on the board.
"It's important that other players get some points to help us," said Flanagan. "We have to have a couple of people get 10, 12 points. We need to have those other three (positions) contribute. I'm not only talking defensively. They have to give us some points."
Beggin paces UNM with a 15.4 average. Hartill comes in at 11.5 per game. Eileen Weissmann is the next highest-scoring starter at 5.9. All five of the TCU starters score more than Weissmann with Helena Sverrisdottir at 16.0 and TK LaFleur at 15.0.
Flanagan is worried about TCU's offensive potential and worried about the 6-foot-1 Sverrisdottir, who is a guard in a forward's body, but plays both roles pretty well. Sverrisdottir can drive you or burn you from long range.
"They have maybe the smartest player in the conference in Sverrisdottir," said Flanagan. "She just understands the game so well and handles the ball 80 percent of the time. Their smartest player has the ball most of the time and then they have so many shooters. They have depth and they have talent and they are tough to beat over there (Fort Worth)."
Said Hartill: "I've never won there since I've been at UNM. They play a lot harder at their place, but it's always harder to play on the road."
The Lobos take an 18-7 overall and 7-5 Mountain West mark to TCU. The Frogs sit at 18-8 and 10-3. The Lobos are hoping to finish in the top three of the MWC's regular-season race because those spots receive byes in the MWC tourney: two byes for 1-2 and one bye for the No. 3 seed.
The Frogs are coming off a 60-47 win over Wyoming and have won five straight. TCU is 10-2 at home. UNM has lost three straight at TCU and are coming off a 75-64 loss at San Diego State.
Flanagan said a key to the stretch run in the MWC race is to have his Lobos fresh for the back end of the race and the upcoming MWC tourney in Las Vegas.
"The most important thing is to put a rested team on the floor that's not burned out. It's a tiring time of the year," said the Lobo coach. "That's hard for me as a coach because we have more things to cover. But you need to back off a bit on the physical part.
"And then the next thing is you have to play really aggressive. The teams that want it the most, win those games. We'll have to play our very best and see if that is good enough."
Hartill, a senior, said the thought of her UNM season nearing the end has her fired up to go out strong. "I might as well leave it all out there and play as hard as I can to help the team," she said. "I feel from here on out, we have to win every single game. There is pressure from it, but we're just going to have to pull together."
The pulling together hasn't really been a problem for this Lobo team this season. But it would be helpful at TCU, if the Lobos managed to score together, too.
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 GoLobo.com articles can be found on The Richard Stevens Corner.