Jan. 6, 2008
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- New Mexico women's basketball opens Mountain West Conference action Wednesday against nationally-ranked Wyoming inside The Pit at 8 p.m. The Lobos are 8-5 overall and are coming off a 10 break dating back to Dec. 30. UNM has won 14 of its last 16 at home. The Cowgirls are ranked 22nd heading into the game and have a 12-1 overall record. The Lobos lead the all-time series with Wyoming inside The Pit, 21-4. The game will be televised live on CSTV and available via radio on 610 The Sports Animal.
This Week In Lobo Women's Basketball
Game #14 vs. #22/22 Wyoming Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2008 8 p.m.
The Pit/Bob King Court Albuquerque, N.M.
Sponsored by Farmers Insurance and 99.5 Magic FM
Live Stats, Audio and Video: www.GoLobos.com, All-Access
Radio: 610 AM (The Sports Animal) - Joe Behrend and Hazel Tull-Leach will call the action.
Television: CSTV - Carter Blackburn and Tammy Blackburn will call the action.
Against Wyoming: This will be the 53rd meeting between the Lobos and Cowgirls. Last season, UNM led the three-game series, 2-1, picking up the deciding win in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference Tournament. The Lobos are 19-3 in the last 22 meetings and are 21-4 in the series when they are in The Pit.
Up Next: The Lobos continue MWC action on the road at San Diego State on Saturday, Jan. 12. Game time in San Diego is set for 3 p.m. MST.
Team Photo Card Giveaway: 3,000 New Mexico women's basketball team photo cards will be given away Wednesday prior to the 2008 Mountain West Conference opener against Wyoming at 8 p.m.
Crowd Factor ... Lobo women's basketball crowds at The Pit have ranked in the NCAA Top Five in average attendance for the past seven years. The Lobos cracked the 8,000 average mark for the first time this season following the Dec. 18 crowd of 8,711 against Stanford. UNM is averaging 8,098 fans over the first 10 home games of the season and have had three consecutive games of 8,700+ in attendance.
Home Court Advantage ... The Lobos are currently 8-2 at The Pit this season. They won 14 of the last 16 games on their home court, dating back to Jan. 18, 2007 against Air Force. Since the 1995-96 season, the Lobos are 182-36 (.835) in The Pit. Against MWC competition, New Mexico is 52-6 at The Pit, including a 35-0 run from Jan. 17, 2002-March 4, 2006.
Mountain West Conference Season Openers ... The Lobos are 5-3 in MWC season openers.
Last Time Out - at UTEP - L, 53-57 ... A late second-half surge by New Mexico was not enough to catch UTEP, as the Lobos lost, 57-53, in the Don Haskins Center on Dec. 30. Junior Angela Hartill led the Lobos in scoring with a career-high 13 points from her post position. Seniors Brandi Kimble and Dionne Marsh contributed with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Kimble just missed her second double-double of the season with nine rebounds. Sophomore Amy Beggin led the team in rebounding with a career-high 10 boards. The majority of Kimble's points, eight of her 11, came in the final minute of the game as she hit two three-pointers and two free throws to cut the UTEP lead from 56-45 to the final 57-53. The 11-point UTEP lead was the largest of the game with the Miners taking the lead early in the first half and never giving it up. With rebounding and turnovers relatively even between the two teams, it was poor shooting from the field by the guards that did in the Lobos. Post players Hartill, Marsh, Jessica Kielpinski and Valerie Kast were a combined 12 of 25 from the field while the remainder of the team was 5 of 39. Freshman Amanda Best submitted one of her best performances of the season with five points, three rebounds, and three assists in 15 minutes of action. Best was a career-high 3 of 4 from the free throw line.
About #22/22 Wyoming (12-1) ... The Cowgirls, under the direction of Joe Legerski, are currently 12-1 on the season following a Jan. 3 last-second 53-51 win at San Francisco. Wyoming's only loss of the season was at Big XII opponent Colorado. The defending WNIT champions are on a 6-0 win streak coming into The Pit on Jan. 9. Three players average double figure scoring - Hanna Zavecz (14.8), Justyna Podziemska (12.6), and Aubrey Vandiver (12.3). Vandiver, who averages 25 minutes off the bench, is the team's leading rebounder with 7.2 boards per game.
Totally UNOFFICIAL Attendance Rankings ... The University of Wisconsin annually provides a weekly Top 30 national list for attendance in women's basketball. Based on Dec. 17's rankings, New Mexico is ranked sixth overall at 7,934 fans per game at The Pit, just behind Tennessee, Connecticut, Iowa State, Oklahoma and Purdue. The 8,813 at The Pit against Arizona ranks 24th, while the 8,042 that watched the Lobos take on Dayton on Nov. 10 ranks 26th in single-game attendance so far in 2007-08. Updated rankings will be available after the New Year.
Pit, Sweet Pit ... One of the great home court advantages in all of college basketball, The Pit is serving year No. 30 as the home of Lobo women's basketball. The Lobos are currently 8-2 at home in 2007-08. UNM was 13-2 at home in 2006-07 and won its last six home conference matches. Since Don Flanagan took over the coaching duties in 1995-96, the Lobos have a record of 182-36 in The Pit.
Extreme Makeover At The Pit ... Major renovations to The Pit could start as early as the summer of 2008. The cost of the project could range from $50-60 million. The University of New Mexico Board of Regents recently gave preliminary approval for a $20-25 million bond. The rest of the funding will come from the state and private sources. Gov. Bill Richardson pledged funding for Pit renovations in January 2006. The venerable arena opened Dec. 1, 1966. All renovations in the past 40 years have been limited to locker rooms and offices. Although specific details are being finalized, the scope of work is expected to include the following:
new entrances, ticket office and novelty store
new men's and women's locker rooms
expanded north, east and west concourses to allow for the construction of new restrooms and concession stands
suites on the mezzanine level of the east and west sides
connect the Davalos Center to The Pit
and possibly a third-floor restaurant on the north end.
Super Sophomore Beggin Now No. 1 ... Sophomore Amy Beggin has emerged as one of the top performers for New Mexico this season. Beggin, who has started every game at point, is averaging 36 minutes, 13 points and five assists per game. The Maplewood, Minn., native is third in the nation in assist-turnover ratio at 3.10 and is ranked in the top 50 in assists per game (39 - 5.0) in the Jan. 3 NCAA rankings, the only Lobo in the national rankings. She picked off a career-high 10 rebounds at UTEP on Dec. 30. Beggin scored a career-high 22 points against New Mexico State on Dec. 21 and has scored in double-figures eight times this season, including five consecutive from Nov. 23-Dec. 8. In the final game of the Holiday Inn and Suites Express Albuquerque Midtown tournament against Oregon, Beggin chipped in 17 and was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. She has matched her career-high for assists in a game twice this season with eight against Dayton and Towson.