Nov. 9, 2008
Sunday: Lobos 60, Alaska-Anchorage 49
By Richard Stevens
A three-word summation by coach Don Flanagan of his Lobos' 60-49 exhibition win Sunday in The Pit over the Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves summed it up pretty well. "It wasn't pretty," said the University of New Mexico coach.
Mostly, what wasn't pretty for the Lobos were the shots that came off their hands. UNM shot 25.8 percent from the floor and 19 percent from the 3-point line. UNM went 4-of-21 from behind the line.
"Some of our shots were turnovers, but they don't count those," said Flanagan, referring to some really ugly Lobo shots. "We shot poorly. We played hard. We missed so many shots that we've been hitting in practice. I think we'll come around. I think we'll shoot better than that."
The Lobos' 11-point win actually was more of a nail biter than the final score suggested. The Seawolves led going into the final 10 minutes of the game before UNM tied it at 47-all with 4:22 to play. The Lobos won the game at the end by getting the ball into the hands of junior Amy Beggin.
"I wanted it at the end," said Beggin. "We did a good job of finishing the game off. (Alaska-Anchorage) could beat a lot of Division I teams. This was a good game for us."
Said Flanagan: "I like the ball in Amy's hands."
One key to the UNM's win was senior Angela Hartill holding Seawolves' Rebecca Kielspinski, the older sister of UNM's Jessica Kielpinski, to three points. And actually those three points were scored when sister went at sister and the Lobo fouled the Seawolve on a follow-up layup that sent the Seawolve to the line to convert the old-fashioned 3-point play.
Hartill said playing against Jessica in practice helped Hartill prepare for the older sister. "They are both very similar," said Hartill.
Alaska-Anchorage goes into the season considered to be a top 10 D-II team. The Seawolves made it to the Final Four last season. They were a good test for the Lobos. "It was a very physical game. It was competitive," said Flanagan. "It's nice to play someone of that caliber early in the year."
Hartill led all scorers with 19 points and Beggin chipped in 18. The two returning starters took over the game for UNM in the final three minutes of play.
The Lobos trailed 28-25 at the half before they scratched their way out of their 3-point halftime deficit to take a 32-30 lead into the first media timeout of the second half. Beggin tied the game 30-all after hitting a trey set up by a nice save by Hartill on an Eileen Weissmann shot that was going out of bounds. Weissmann produced the 32-30 lead scoring a layup on an inbounds play. The Seawolves were 1-of-6 from the floor at that point.
At the 13:28 media timeout, the Lobos hadn't yet shaken Alaska. It was 36-35. Both teams were shooting 33.3 percent from the floor at that point.
The lead had changed hands at the 11:25 timeout. Alaska's Dasha Basova hit a trey at 11:38 to give her team a 38-36 lead. The Lobos were 1-of-5 from behind the line at that mark.
The two teams went at each other hard for about four more minutes with no big change on the board. At the 7:45 time out, it was 42-41 Wolves. Alaska's Kielpinski got her first points of the game, ironically on a follow-up shot in which she was fouled by her Lobo sister. The Wolve Kielpinski made the free throw.
UNM's Flanagan called a timeout with 4:22 to play. UNM had nudged closer, 47-all. The tie was produced by a 10-foot jumper by Hartill on the baseline. Alaska called timeout at 2:29 trailing 52-49. UNM's lead was produced at the free throw line behind four charity tosses by Beggin and one by Adamson.
The Seawolves came out of the break and kicked the ball inside to their All-American. Kielpinski turned it over. That led to a Beggin drive at 1:55. The layup pushed UNM up 54-49. Alaska bricked a trey and Flanagan called a timeout with 1:14 to play.
Georonika Jackson was fouled on a baseline drive at 1:05. She hit them both to push UNM up 56-49. Halasz came back with a steal, missed her layup, but Hartill followed and was fouled. Hartill iced the game with two free throws. UNM was up 58-48 with 46 ticks to go. Hartill hit two more at 10.3 to make it 60-49. It stayed that way.
Lobos went into the locker room at halftime trailing 28-25. The Lobos shot 25 percent from the floor in the first half, 21.4 percent from behind the line. The Seawolves shot 37.5 percent and 28.6 percent from trey range. Beggin led UNM in scoring with seven point in the half and Kielpinski had four rebounds in only five minutes of play.
Kielpinski's sister did not score in the first half for Alaska and did not take a shot. She had five rebounds and three turnovers. Alaska-Anchorage outrebounded UNM 25-18. The Seawolves hurt themselves with ten turnovers to four for the Lobos.
The Lobos jumped to a quick 6-3 lead at the game's first media timeout at 15:36 behind 3-pointers by Beggin and Hartill. It wasn't a pretty opening for either team. UNM was 2-of-10 from the field with two air balls and a missed layup by Amanda Adamson. The Seawolves were 1-of-4 with three turnovers and an air ball.
The Seawolves cut UNM's lead to 12-11 with 11:54 to play. UNM was shooting 4-of-14 at that point and Alaska-A was 4-of-10. The Seawolves big edge at that mark was 11 rebounds to six for the Lobos. UNM still did not have a turnover at that point and both teams were 2-of-7 from behind the line.
The Lobos distanced themselves a bit at the 7:51 timeout, going into that break off a layup by Adamson that pushed UNM up 18-13. The Lobos now had two turnovers, but Kielpinski had come off the bench to pull down four rebounds and UNM trailed in that category only 15-to-11. The Lobos were shooting 33.3 percent from the floor and Alaska-A was at 26.7 percent.
The Seawolves took the lead for the first time at the 4:23 mark on dribble-drive penetration that produced a layup by Nikki Aden. The Wolves made it 22-19 on two free throws by Hanna Johansson. UNM's Beggin knocked down two free throws at 3:30 and it was 22-21. The Seawolves called a timeout at 2:08 with the score still 22-21. The set play didn't work, but Dasha Basova ended up hitting a trey to give Alaska-A a 25-21 lead. Seawolve Elisha Harris again got a dribble-drive basket plus a free throw to make it 28-22. Hartill came back with a trey to form the 28-25 halftime score.
Editor's note: Richard Stevens is a former Associate Sports Editor and sports columnist for The Albuquerque Tribune. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Previous articles are available at The Richard Stevens Corner