Nov. 26, 2005
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Jana Francis scored 18 points, Dionne Marsh added 17 and Julie Briody had eight of her 10 points in the second half as No. 25 New Mexico beat feisty Marist 61-54 Friday night.
The Lobos (4-1), holding the Red Foxes (0-4) to 29 percent shooting, advanced to play for the UNM Thanksgiving Tournament championship Saturday against Oklahoma State, which beat Idaho 69-68 in an earlier game.
Marsh scored 10 straight points as New Mexico extended a 32-23 lead just after halftime to 42-32 with 12:40 to play. After Francis got free for a layup, the Lobos led 44-32 and Marist coach Brian Giorgis called a timeout.
Fifi Camara scored to pull Marist to 44-34 but New Mexico's Katie Montgomery made a 3-pointer, Giorgis was whistled for a technical foul for protesting when things turned physical and Julie Briody made both shots to give the Lobos a 49-34 lead with 10:11 to go.
A few minutes later, Briody added a 3-pointer for a 53-38 lead with 7:24 remaining. She scored eight of her 10 points in the second half.
The Red Foxes (0-4) made a late run, cutting New Mexico's advantage to 60-51 after Kristen Vilardi made two 3-pointers and Courtney Kolesar added another. But it wasn't enough - not after Marist missed its first 11 3-point attempts.
Camara, a first-team All-Metro Atlantic performer last season, finished with 18 points on 9-of-17 shooting but she missed her first four shots and had only six points on 3-of-8 shooting in the first half.
The Lobos led 27-19 at halftime despite a messy performance that featured 10 turnovers. But New Mexico held Marist to 29 percent from the floor for both halves, including an 0-for-7 effort from 3-point range to open the contest.
One of the hallmarks for coach Don Flanagan's teams, though, has been defense. The Lobos held Texas to 35 percent shooting during a win in Austin last week, a victory that propelled New Mexico into this week's Top 25.
Vilardi and Sarah Smrdel each scored 10 points for the Red Foxes, who traveled across the country after losses to Connecticut, Villanova and New Hampshire,