Lobos Ride Into Texas For Showdown With The No. 12 Longhorns
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  11/17/2005
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Nov. 17, 2005

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Tonight's game features the Lobos of the University of New Mexico against the Longhorns of the University of Texas in a non-conference match-up.

UNM is 2-1 on the season with a 69-52 victory over Oral Roberts in the first round of the preseason WNIT, a 55-46 win over Cal in the second round and a 74-63 loss to No. 22 Oklahoma in the WNIT semifinals. The Lobos were 2-0 in the exhibition season with a 75-48 win over Fort Lewis College and a 77-50 victory over Metro State College. New Mexico is led in scoring by sophomore Dionne Marsh at 14.7 ppg. Senior Abbie Letz leads the team in rebounding at 9.3 rpg., while junior Katie Montgomery leads UNM in assists at 3.7 apg.

Texas opens the regular season against New Mexico. UT played a tough exhibition schedule and went 0-2 with a 68-60 loss to Everyone's Internet and a 77-73 loss to the Houston Jaguars. The Longhorns return eight letterwinners and two starters, including preseason All-American candidate Tiffany Jackson. Jackson last season averaged 18.3 ppg and 8.7 rpg, while Nina Norman returns as the leader in assists at 3.5 apg. in 2004-05.

UNM is led by head coach Don Flanagan who in his 11th season at New Mexico. Flanagan is 219-94 at UNM. Texas is under the direction of head coach Jody Conradt begins her 30th season at UT and 37th overall. Conradt is 752-216 as a Longhorn and 869-278 overall.

This will be the fifth meeting between New Mexico and Texas with the Longhorns owning a 3-1 advantage. The Lobos are 0-2 in Austin and the two teams split in Albuquerque. The last meeting in Austin was January 3, 2004, when UT won 97-74. In the two games played in Austin the Longhorns have outscored UNM 163-105.

New Mexico allowed Oklahoma to shoot 53.7 percent (29-54) from the field including a 63.6 clip in the second half and also gave up a season-high 74 points. Prior to the OU game, UNM was allowing opponents to shoot just 33 percent and score just 49 points per game. The last time a Lobo opponent shot better than 53.7 percent was March 2, 1998, when Tulsa shot 54 percent (17-37) at the WAC Tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada, a game New Mexico won 64-54.

The Lobos opened the season going 24-of-27 from the charity stripe for 88.9 percent, since then UNM is only 16-of-28 for 57.1 percent. On the season New Mexico is 72.7 percent from the foul line.

After scoring a career-low one point on 0-of-11 shooting, Marsh rebounded to the tune of a season-high 23 points on 8-of-21 shooting against Oklahoma. Marsh has scored 20 or more points twice this season, but only reached that mark five times last season.

UNM in their first two games turned the ball over 20 times against Oral Roberts and 17 times against Cal. In the Oklahoma game though the Lobos only turned it over nine times.

One of the great home court advantages in all of college basketball, The Pit is in year No. 28 as the home of Lobo basketball. UNM was on a 16-game home winning streak that began last season with a win over Bowling Green and ended on 11/16/05 against Oklahoma 74-63. The Lobos are 2-1 this season and was 16-1 at home in 2004-05. Since Don Flanagan took over the coaching duties in 1995-96, the Lobos have a record of 147-31 (82.6%).

UNM had a 24-game home winning strak going between 1998-99. The Lobos started the streak on Jan. 11, 1998 by defeating Wyoming, 72-45. The streak ended when the Lobos lost to Drake in the postseason WNIT by a score of 73-60. In 2003-04 the Lobos had a nine-game winning streak at home.

The Lobos are 9-19 all-time against ranked opponents. New Mexico is 0-1 this season and 1-2 last season against teams in the top-25 with the lone win coming at home against No. 23 Arizona State. New Mexico the last four plus seasons is 6-9 against ranked foes.

Junior Katie Montgomery made her 28th start against Oklahoma but only her fourth career start at point guard. Montgomery's other starts at point were against Cal, Oral Roberts and last year against Air Force. Montgomery takes over the point guard spot left by Mandi Moore who was the first player in UNM history with 1,000 points 500 rebounds and 500 assists. Montgomery in her starts at point is averaging 13.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.3 steals and playing 39.3 minutes a game.

After senior Abbie Letz recorded her first double-double of the year against Cal with 11 points and 11 rebounds, she followed up with another good performance with nine points and nine rebounds against Oklahoma. The double-double against Cal was only the second career of her career, with her first one coming last year against Air Force with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Last season UNM had eight double-doubles.

The Lobos have outrebounded two of their three opponents this season. UNM dominated the rebounding category against Oral Roberts as they outrebounded ORU 51-34, including a 20-10 edge on the offensive boards that led to 16 second chance points. Against Cal, New Mexico had a one rebound advantage 37-36, while Oklahoma took advantage of their size to outrebound the Lobos 43-32. On the season UNM is led on the boards by senior Abbie Letz at 9.3 rpg.

New Mexico continues a tradition under Flanagan of sharing the ball. This season UNM has 50 assists on 64 made field goals, good for an assists on 78.1 percent of their field goals. Last season the Lobos hit 709 field goals and 493 of those baskets came from assists by a teammate. UNM got an assists on 69.5 percent of their field goals made. New Mexico averaged 15.9 apg to 22.9 field goals made per game.

The Lobos have won 48 of their last 50 games when scoring 59 points or more. UNM won 12 consecutive games until the 63-74 loss against Oklahoma (11/16/05) and New Mexico had a 36 consecutive game streak before a 63-60 loss at UNLV (1/27/05). In 2004-05 New Mexico was 17-1 when scoring at least 59 points and were 17-0 in 2003-04.

New Mexico opened the season at home for the sixth time under Don Flanagan. It was also the third time under Flanagan that the season has opened with the WNIT. With the 69-52 win over Oral Roberts, UNM is 5-1 in home openers, including a 3-0 record in the WNIT games. Overall the Lobos have opened at home 17 times with a record of 11-6. In regular season openers New Mexico is 17-11 and 8-3 under Flanagan.

The Lobos played in their third preseason WNIT in 2005 and advanced to the semifinals for the first time in school history. UNM defeated Oral Roberts 69-52, Cal 55-46 and lost to Oklahoma 74-63. UNM is 4-3 in the preseason WNIT, 6-3 in the postseason WNIT and 10-6 overall with all 16 games in Albuquerque.