Dec. 18, 2008
What: Lobos at New Mexico State
When/Where: 2:05 p.m. Saturday, Pan American Center, Las Cruces
On TV: Aggie Vision: Comcast 77 (Albq), Comcast 21 (Santa Fe), Comcast 66 (Gallup), Comcast 4 (Las Cruces).
On Radio: 770 KKOB-AM
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
Is The Pit worth 32 points? The New Mexico State Aggies have to be hoping one of the top gyms in women's basketball was a major reason the Aggies were pounded 80-48 on Dec. 4 by the New Mexico Lobos.
Aggie coach Darrin Spence left The Pit muttering that the Lobos were not 32 points better than his Aggies. Spence gets a shot to prove that at 2 p.m. in Las Cruces when the Lobos visit the Aggies.
Lobo Amy Beggin is quick to point out that another reason for that lopsided score is that the Aggies were not having a good game and the Lobos got on an unstoppable roll.
"I don't think they can play worse than how they played here," said Beggin. "They are a better team than that and they'll be gunning for us. I'm sure they are a little (angry)."
The Lobo/Aggie battle in The Pit showed some heat on the court, but that intensity never carried over to the scoreboard for the Aggies.
"When we played them here," said senior Amanda Adamson, "they were talking a lot on the court. It seemed like it was a big deal to them. I think it was just a game we wanted to win, so we played hard.
"I think (the 32-point loss) will be motivation for them. You don't want to lose like that to your state rival and then maybe lose again at home, so we expect them to be coming out strong."
The Lobos take a 10-1 mark to the Pan American Center. UNM is 10-0 in The Pit and 0-1 on the road. Flanagan says the visit to New Mexico State and the Dec. 30 trip to Texas A&M will help his Lobos learn how to play on the road prior to the Mountain West Conference season.
"We've been home a lot," he said. "You get comfortable at home. You get confident at home. We need to bring that show on the road and play with confidence and play comfortably."
Said Beggin: "It's good for us to go on the road. We have to learn how to play on the road and I think we are a better team than we were at Stanford. We need to face the adversity knowing that we don't have all our fans behind us."
Said Adamson: "We need a game on the road and we need a win on the road. I love our schedule and playing here in front of all our fans. How great is that? But you need to get the experience of playing on other courts, so that's something we need."
The Lobos have enjoyed the comfort of The Pit to roll to an impressive 10-1 mark. The Aggies have to be looking forward to the Pan Am Center after dropping a 59-50 decision at Northern Colorado. NMSU is 4-5 on the season and in need of a signature win. Any win over UNM looks good on the Aggies' resume. UNM has won 24 of the past 25 games vs. NMSU.
The Lobos are looking to get back on the winning track in Cruces. NMSU snapped a 22-game losing streak to the Lobos with a 58-42 romp over UNM on Dec. 2, 2007 in Cruces. UNM shot 20.8 percent from the floor in that game. The Aggies shot 32.1 percent in their 32-point loss in The Pit.
"They beat us down there last year, so that makes it a big game for us," said Beggin.
Aggie Madison Spence tops NMSU in scoring with a 15.2 average. She is the coach's daughter and considered one of the top young point guards in the Southwest. She has the ability to shoot off the dribble and is a threat from behind the 3-point line. She only got off nine shots and scored seven points with Beggin shadowing her around The Pit.
"A win probably means a lot to them, but it means a lot to us, too," said Beggin.
Said Flanagan: "I don't think we have to motivate our players to play them. It's just natural. They (Aggies) are always motivated to play us. If you don't play motivated, you can get beat. It will be a tough game."
Said UNM freshman Sara Halasz: "We're just going to go in playing like we did the first time we met them; just all intensity and hard work."