UNM Women's Basketball Narrowly Escapes North Texas, 66-63
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  12/09/2008
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Dec. 9, 2008

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ALBUQUERQUE -- The University of New Mexico Lobos women's basketball team protected its undefeated mark in The Pit, but just barely. The Lobos converted two North Texas turnovers in the final two minutes of play into easy buckets to help UNM escape with a 66-63 win Tuesday night in The Pit.

The Lobos were down 63-59 with 1:59 to play but North Texas turned the ball over on back-to-back possessions. The first miscue led to an Amanda Adamson layup with 1:45 to play and the second turned into a Sara Halasz layup at 1:13 that tied the game 63-all.

The Lobos then played solid defense, broke the North Texas full-court press and Amy Beggin found Eileen Weissmann alone under the bucket for a layup with 22 seconds to play.

"They set a back screen for me," said Weissmann. "My teammates got me open for that shot."

North Texas failed to convert on their next possession and fouled Beggin with 8.8 seconds to play. Beggin missed the first shot, but made the second free throw and the Lobos were up 66-63. The Mean Green launched a long three that missed wide and the Lobos' had their eighth straight win in University Arena.

"I didn't think their speed would bother us like it did," said Lobos coach Don Flanagan, who saw his Lobos raise their season mark to 8-1. "They key with them is every kid has speed. Even their subs had speed."

The Lobos trailed at halftime 32-30. UNM was paced by Beggin with 18 points and seven assists. Weissmann scored 14 points and added six rebounds and Adamson had 10 points and seven rebounds. North Texas was paced by Amber Jackson with 22 points and 12 rebounds.

UNM shot 26-of-61 from the field for 42.6 percent. The Mean Green were 21-of-69 for 30.4 percent. North Texas had 15 steals and went 14-of-18 from the free-throw line. UNM won the battle of the boards 48-to-40 and had 19 turnovers to 16 assists.

"They are much quicker than they look on tape," said Flanagan of the Mean Green. Said Beggin: "It (the win) kind of showed our character again. Things weren't going right for us today, but we pulled it out. It was a good sign that we pulled it out in the end."

The loss dropped North Texas to 4-4 on the season.

The visitors from Texas went into halftime with a 32-30 lead and were up 44-40 with 13:53 to go after scoring a layup off a steal on a Beggin cross-court pass. The Lobos then made a run and a Weissmann layup followed by a Beggin trey pushed UNM up 48-44. Adamson broke the middle of the North Texas full-court press and fed Valerie Kast under the basket for a layup that kept UNM up 50-48.

North Texas took the lead 61-58 at 2:58 on a follow up shot by Jackson. UNM turned the ball over on a walk by Weissmann and North Texas' Jackson drove the lane to toss up a layup to put her team up 63-58 with 1:59 to play. Weissmann hit a free throw and then North Texas had the turnovers and Adamson and Halasz came up with the layups to tie the game.

The Lobos had slipped into a 32-30 halftime hole. UNM's 11-of-31 shooting (35.5 percent) didn't help much, but the Lobos also were damaged by 10 first-half turnovers and seven North Texas steals. The Lobos outscored the Mean Green from the floor, but the Green went 10-of-10 from the free-throw line to form their two-point halftime lead.

UNM also was hurt by senior Angela Hartill picking up two quick fouls and playing only six minutes of the half. Hartill finished with four points. Beggin was UNM's top scorer at the break with seven points. North Texas got 12 points and eight rebounds from Jackson.

The Lobos opened the game with a 9-to-2 run capped by Beggin breaking long behind the NorthTexas defense and hauling in a nice pass from Adamson. Beggin's layup convinced North Texas coach Shanice Stephens to call a timeout at the 17-minute mark.

The Mean Green ran to their first-half lead behind a poor shooting stretch by UNM and some timely North Texas steals. The Green used the free-throw line to go up 25-21 and held on to the lead going into intermission, up 32-30.

The Lobos' next game is at 6 p.m. Saturday against Texas Tech in The Pit. The game will be televised live on Mountain West Sports Network.