Women's Basketball Set For Rio Grande Rivalry Wednesday
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  11/30/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics
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    Nov. 30, 2009

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The New Mexico women's basketball team will travel to Las Cruces, N.M., Wednesday to take on New Mexico State in the Rio Grande Rivalry. The 61st meeting between the two schools is set to tip at 7 p.m. MT in the Pan American Center. The game will be televised on Aggie Vision channel 77 on Comcast in Albuquerque. Wednesday's game can be heard live on 610 AM The Sports Animal with gametracker on GoLobos.com.

    THE SERIES UNM has won 25 of the last 26 meetings with NMSU. New Mexico leads the all-time series with the Aggies, 38-22, and has won the last three games. The Lobos hold an 18-11 series advantage inside the Pan-Am Center and won the last game in Las Cruces, 78-64, on Dec. 20, 2008. The Aggies snapped a 22-game losing streak to New Mexico on Dec. 2, 2007 with a 58-42 win in the Pan-Am. Don Flanagan is 25-3 all-time against NMSU.

    The Lobos are looking to bounce back after a disappointing 62-56 loss to Toledo Saturday in the championship game of the Holiday Inn & Suites Express Midtown Thanksgiving Tournament. UNM is 4-2 to start the year for the first time since 2006-07. Senior Amy Beggin led all scorers with 18 points while sophomore Sara Halasz chipped in 11. The Lobos led by five at the half but Toledo's 41-second half points proved to be more than UNM could stand.

    The next three games for New Mexico will be on the road against regional opponents. The Lobos battle NMSU Wednesday in Las Cruces before heading to Lubbock, Texas this weekend to face Texas Tech Saturday at 2 p.m. CT. UNM plays at Arizona next Wednesday. The next home game for the Lobos will be Dec. 12 against Loyola Marymount.

    The University of New Mexico Lobos women used a 17-to-0 run in the second half to race from a 44-42 deficit and into a 59-44 lead and held off New Mexico State, 78-64.

    The Lobos were down 36-32 at the halftime in NMSU's Pan American Center, but used a combination of tenacious defense and solid offense to pull away from the Aggies early in the second half.

    The Aggies went almost six minutes without scoring before Madison Spence hit two free throws to end UNM's 17-0 run. Spence's free throws made it 59-46, but by that time it was too late to catch the Lobos, who ended up shooting 51 percent for the game.

    The Lobos were paced in scoring by Amy Beggin with 20 points, Amanda Best with 15, Angela Hartill with 12 points and Nikki Nelson with 10 points. The win moved the Lobos to 11-1 on the year and their best start to a season in the program's history. The win also was UNM's 25th win in 26 games against NMSU.

    The Lobos (4-2) went 2-1 last week with victories over North Carolina A&T and Northern Arizona. Senior Amy Beggin is leading the Lobos offensively with 16.0 points per game. Beggin is second in the Mountain West Conference in scoring and second for most 3-pointers made with 17. Sophomore Lauren Taylor, who is in her first starting role, is second on the team in scoring with 10.2 points per game. Junior Amanda Best is the team's leading rebounder with 5.3 boards per contest. UNM is scoring 70.3 points per game and shooting 43.1 percent from the field. The Lobos are a 77.2 percent free throw shooting team this season.

    New Mexico has gone with three different lineups and it could be ever changing this season. Two Lobos have made their first career starts including sophomores Porche Torrance and Lauren Taylor. Taylor has started every game while Torrance started against Toledo. Taylor and junior Amanda Best are the only two players that have started every game. Senior Amy Beggin has started 5-of-6 but didn't start the North Carolina A&T game due to an ankle sprain. The missed start snapped a 73 consecutive game starting streak for Beggin dating back to her freshman season.

    Senior Amy Beggin is an All-America and MWC Player of the Year Candidate. She is averaging 16 points per game and scored in double figures in five of six games. She is leading the team in assists with 20, second on the team with eight steals and averaging 35 minutes per game. The Maplewood, Minn., native is a shooting machine hitting 17 3-pointers and shooting 42.1 percent from the field. Her determination and work ethic changes the dynamic of the UNM women's basketball team.

    New Mexico is 64-34 all-time against teams from the Western Athletic Conference. The Lobos, who played in the WAC until 1999, are 19-2 against WAC opponents since joining the MWC during the 1999-2000 season. UNM lost to No. 16 Louisiana Tech during the 2002-03 season and at NMSU in 2007-08.

    New Mexico State is 4-2 on the year and has won its last two games. The Aggies defeated Michigan, 72-67, inside the Pan-Am Saturday. NMSU is 3-1 at home this year and averaging 71.5 points per game. Danisha Corbett is the leading scorer with 13.2 points per game. Madison Spence is back and having another strong season. Spence, who is the daughter of head coach Darin Spence, is chipping in 12.5 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. Tabytha Wampler is crashing the boards with 8.5 per game.

    Darin Spence is in his seventh year and is one win shy of becoming the second winningest coach ever at State.

    New Mexico State defeated Michigan in its last outing 72-67. Jasmine Lowe highlighted the victory with 24 points on 7-10 shooting. Lowe hit five 3-pointers in the game and drained 5-of-7 free throws. NMSU was 12-of-27 from behind the arc and hit 14-of-18 free throws. Along with Lowe, Danisha Corbett and Crystal Boyd scored in double figures. Corbett had 14 points while Boyd scored 10. Michigan had four players in double figures but it couldn't over come the long distance shooting of the Aggies.

    The Lobos will face Texas Tech this weekend. Texas Tech enters the week with a 5-1 overall record and has won four straight. The Red Raiders only loss has come to Tennessee on a neutral court in San Antonio. TTU is undefeated at 5-0 at home. The Red Raiders captured the Basketball Travelers Tip-Off Tournament title over the weekend with victories over Texas-Arlington and Prairie View A&M. TTU hosts Texas State Wednesday at 8 p.m. CT.

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