Feb. 23, 2011
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Freshman Jasmine Patterson and senior Amanda Best broke career-highs to lead the University of New Mexico women's basketball team to a 68-60 win over UNLV. Patterson had a career-high 24 points, hitting 9-of-19 on the floor to lead all scorers. Best had a career-high 22 points, scoring 19 of her points in the second half.
The Lobos started out with an early lead in the first half, but fouled early to give the Rebels their first five points from the free-throw line. UNLV took the lead with a 3-pointer by Chaney to make it 8-6 with 14:40 remaining in the first half.
UNLV continued its run in the first half and went into intermission with a 30-26 lead.
"We got down early, which is kind of our personality," said Lobos' head coach Don Flanagan. "We battled back and made it close at halftime."
New Mexico started the second half strong, scoring the first four points off of back-to-back field goals by Best and Porche Torrance to tie the game at 30 apiece.
The teams went back and forth trading baskets, until the Lobos went on a 7-1 run to take the lead, 46-42 with 10:07 remaining in the second half.
Patterson started the run with a made free throw with 14:12 remaining. Torrance hit a layup to tie the game at 41-41. Best finished the run with a 3-pointer and two made free throws.
New Mexico never looked back from there, winning the game 68-60. The Lobos shot 44.8 percent and scored 12 more points than the Rebels in the second half.
Torrance nearly had a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds to tie the team-high on the boards. Best dished out a team-high five assist and grabbed nine rebounds to tie the team-high. Junior Lauren Taylor added six points off of two 3-pointers in the first half. Senior Jessica Kielpinski scored four points, while sophomore Caroline Durbin added two to round out the scoring for New Mexico.
"I felt going into the last few games that we can compete," said Flanagan. "At the beginning of the year I thought we would have a hard time competing, and now we're starting to compete and that confidence from the players is much better."
UNLV was led by Kelli Thompson with 17 points. Erica Helms and India Chaney added 11 points each for the Rebels. Sandrine Nzeukou and Jamie Smith had 10 rebounds each to lead UNLV on the boards.
The Lobos improved to 10-15 on the season and 4-9 in the Mountain West Conference. The Rebels fell to 10-18 on the season and 3-11 in conference play.
"It's a good win," said Flanagan. "We have an opportunity now to play two games at home against the two top teams in the conference and we'll see how we measure up."
New Mexico will return home to take on TCU at 2 p.m. on Saturday in The Pit. The game against TCU will be broadcast live on The Mtn. Sports Network. Saturday's game will also be Facebook/Twitter day, all friends or followers of the Official Lobos' Facebook/Twitter page are eligible to purchase $3 tickets at the Lobo Ticket Office when they present a coupon.