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Lobo Women's Basketball Faces New Mexico State Friday
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  12/19/2007
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

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Dec. 19, 2007

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- New Mexico women's basketball faces in-state rival New Mexico State Friday inside The Pit. The game is part of the Route 66 Casino Hotel Rio Grande Rivalry and is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Friday will be the second meeting between the two programs this season. The Lobos are 7-4 overall, while the Aggies head into the game with an 8-2 mark. The rivalry can be seen via all-access on www.GoLobos.com with live stats through gametracker.

Last Time Out - vs. No. 5/4 Stanford - L, 54-73 ... Stanford's Candice Wiggins scored 18 of her 21 points in the first half, Jayne Appel added 18 points and Kayla Pederson had 13 as No. 5/4 Stanford beat New Mexico 73-54 on Tuesday night. Amy Beggin put in a spirited effort, leading the Lobos with 10 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals, but New Mexico lost its second straight at home. The Lobos could do little as Stanford fired away on the perimeter to beat New Mexico's zone defense. If Flanagan went man-to-man, Stanford took advantage with the 6-foot-4 Appel or 6-4 Pederson getting free underneath the basket. The Lobos made a brief challenge. Reserve center Valerie Kast scored three baskets to help New Mexico cut the margin to 57-44 midway through the second half but Stanford used an 8-0 burst to regain control at 64-44 with 7:30 to go.

About New Mexico State (8-2) ... The Aggies, under the direction of Darin Spence, are currently 8-2 following Tuesday night's 79-66 win over Lamar at the Pan American Center. NMSU's only two losses of the season have been in a home-and-home series against UTEP. Three players are averaging double figures in scoring - Anikia Jawara (12.7), Sherell Neal (12.2), and Madison Spence (10.8). Jawara and Neal lead the squad in rebounds with 8.3 and 8.6 per game, respectively. Spence, the starting point guard, lead the season with 41 assists.

Totally UNOFFICIAL Attendance Rankings ... The University of Wisconsin annually provides a weekly Top 30 national list for attendance in women's basketball. Based on Monday'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.

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 7-2 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 181-36 in The Pit.

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 35 minutes, 13 points and five assists per game. The Maplewood, Minn., native leads the nation in assist-turnover ratio at 4.15 and is ranked in the top 100 in assists per game (25 - 5.4), three-point field goal percentage (59 - .407) and three-point field goals made (98 - 2.2) in this week's NCAA rankings, the only Lobo in the national rankings. She scored a career-high 21 points against Nicholls State on Nov. 23 and has scored in double-figures seven 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.

Love That Defense ... The Lobos are currently ranked 10th in the country in scoring defense, only allowing opponents to score 51.2 points per game. UNM is also among the top 50 in the nation in turnovers per game (16th; 14.3), field goal percentage defense (22nd; .341), assist-turnover ratio (25th; 1.01), rebound margin (33rd; +7.8) and scoring margin (39th; +13.7).

Kast In Stone ... Sophomore center Valerie Kast provided a spark off the bench for the Lobos in the second half of Tuesday night's game against Stanford. Kast scored a season-high nine points, three rebounds and two blocks against the Cardinal in just 11 minutes of action.

Hartill Steps Up ... Junior center Angela Hartill became the Lobos' fourth player to be the leading scorer in a game this season. Hartill reached double figures with 10 points in UNM's 44-36 loss to Arizona on Dec. 15. Dionne Marsh and Amy Beggin lead the way with four games each, followed by Brandi Kimble with two.

Lobos Capture Comcast Lobo Shootout Championship ... New Mexico women's basketball defeated Towson, 76-63, Saturday in the championship game of the Comcast Lobo Shootout. The victory marked the third tournament title this season and UNM has now won nine consecutive tournaments held inside The Pit. During that span, the Lobos were 2-1 in the 2005 pre-season WNIT.

Comcast Lobo Shootout All-Tournament Team ... New Mexico All-America candidate Dionne Marsh was named the Most Valuable Player of the Comcast Lobo Shootout after chipping in 21- and 20-point performances against Norfolk State and Towson. Marsh receives her first MVP award of the season after averaging 20.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. The Flower Mound, Texas native shot 61.1 percent from the field and 82.6 from the charity stripe. Along with Marsh, sophomore Amy Beggin was named to the All-Tournament team. It was the third all-tournament honor of the season for each player.

Most Valuable Players ... Three different Lobos picked up Most Valuable Player honors in the three tournaments New Mexico participated in during the non-conference season. Senior Brandi Kimble picked up the honor in the first weekend of the season at the Women's Sports Foundation Challenge. Sophomore Amy Beggin earned the honor Thanksgiving weekend in the Holiday Inn and Suites Express Albuquerque Midtown Tournament, while senior Dionne Marsh picked up the honor this past weekend in the Comcast Lobo Shootout.

Titletown, Southwestern Style ... To go along with all of their recent post-season championships, the Lobos have started the 2007-08 season with three non-conference tournament titles. The Lobos have won nine consecutive non-conference tournament titles at home in The Pit since the 2004-05 season. Also during that stretch, the Lobos were 2-1 at home in the Preseason WNIT in 2005-06. The last season that UNM won three tournaments at home was 2002-03.

Career Night at The Pit ... Several Lobos set career marks against Norfolk State on Dec. 7. Sophomore Christian Shelter came off the bench to score a career-high 11 points and was a perfect 5 of 5 from the field, including 1 of 1 from three-point range in a career-high 14 minutes of action. Freshman Kelsey Ansley also came off the bench for 15 minutes and scored a career-high eight points, grabbed a career-high four rebounds and had career-highs with three assists, two steals and two blocks. Freshman Amanda Best had a career-high seven points. Freshman Porche Torrance recorded a career-high in points with three and rebounds with five. Freshman Jessica Kielpinski matched her career-high in points with 10, while sophomore Georonika Jackson matched her career-high in assists with three in just 10 minutes of action.

Windex Winners ... Sophomore Amy Beggin became the fifth Lobo this season to lead the team in rebounding when she tied a career-high with six boards against Stanford on Dec. 18. Senior Brandi Kimble leads the team in number of games as the rebound leader with five, including a career-high 20 against Western Michigan to start the season on Nov. 9. Senior Dionne Marsh has come on lately as a rebounding leader, solely in three games, and sharing with Jessica Kielpinski against Oregon on Nov. 24. Eileen Weissmann had a career-high nine rebounds against Towson on Dec. 8 to lead the team.

Five-Game Homestand ... The Lobos wrap up a five-game homestand on Friday against New Mexico State. The homestand sits at 2-2, beginning with two wins in the Comcast Lobo Shootout over Norfolk State and Towson. The middle game against Arizona on Saturday, Dec. 15, was a tough 44-36 loss. Nationally- ranked Stanford evened the homestand record with a 73-54 win over the Lobos on Tuesday.

No. 400 On The Horizon for Flanagan ... Already the winningest basketball coach in New Mexico history, Don Flanagan is closing in on another coaching milestone, his 400th collegiate game. It will happen on Feb. 17, 2008 at TCU.

Kielpinski Providing Bench Power ... Freshman Jessica Kielpinski has quickly become a familiar face on the court for the Lobos. As one of the first players off the bench for Don Flanagan, Kielpinski is averaging 6.3 points and 3.6 rebounds so far this season. In the Comcast Lobo Shootout, the Mandan, N.D., native combined for 18 points and nine rebounds, while shooting 50.0 percent from the field.

Early Signings ... The Lobos have announced the signings of guards Sara Halasz and Lauren Taylor for the 2008-09 season. Taylor is a 5-11 shooter from Brownsburg High School in Indiana. She averaged 19.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.8 assists for the Brownsburg Bulldogs in 2006-07. A former UNM camper, Taylor was a member of the Junior All-Star central squad and Indianapolis Star's All-West first team, as well as a Hoosier Crossroads All-conference and Hendricks All-County selection. She currently has a 4.35 cumulative grade point average and plans to major in forensic chemistry. Halasz is a 6-0 guard from Fort Lewis, Washington. She averaged 16.1 points per game as a junior last season and was named the Western Cascade Conference Player of the Year. Halasz is well-travelled, moving around the world with her father, Scott, a colonel in the U.S. Army.

Lobos on Television ... New Mexico will have at least eight games televised this season - three games on CSTV, four on the Mountain Network, and one on Comcast/Aggievision. In 2004-05, UNM had a school record 11 games televised.

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