Sept. 11, 2008
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The New Mexico women's basketball team has begun preparing for the 2008-09 season and has their eyes set on another NCAA Tournament berth. The Lobos are coming off their seventh consecutive NCAA appearance and return three starters along with 10 letterwinners. UNM ranked sixth nationally in home attendance last season and will play 18 games inside The Pit this year.
The Lobos are currently going through individual workouts and conditioning drills while preparing for the season. UNM enters the year under the direction of head coach Don Flanagan and remains one of the elite programs in women's basketball. The Lobos are one of 13 teams nationally to make the last seven tournaments and have won five of the last six Mountain West Conference Championships.
The standard for excellence has been established at New Mexico and the Lobos are poised for the new season. UNM returns all-conference selection Amy Beggin along with seniors Angela Hartill and Amanda Adamson back. Beggin, Eileen Weissmann, Georonika Jackson and Valerie Kast are entering their junior season.
Sophomores Amanda Best, Jessica Kielpinski, Porche Torrance and Kelsey Ansley return after gaining valuable experience at the collegiate level. Kielpinski was the most productive newcomer last year averaging 5.0 points and making four starts. Best has the ability to shoot from behind the arc while Torrance came through late in the year. Ansley appeared in 24 games averaging 1.2 rebounds and 1.5 points per contest.
Redshirt freshman Nikki Nelson is healthy and will battle for time at the guard position. Nelson, who missed the 2007-08 season due to a knee injury, was highly touted coming into her freshman campaign with outstanding ball-handling skills. She is expected to provide some relief for Beggin at the point.
UNM adds two newcomers this season, Sara Halasz and Lauren Taylor. Both are coming off exceptional high school careers and have been labeled as shooters. Their ability to score could help UNM offset the production loss of Dionne Marsh and Brandi Kimble.
UNM is determined to continue its success with the philosophy of defense, determination, hard work and discipline the Lobos are bound for another great season.