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Lobo Women's Basketball Takes on UTEP in El Paso Sunday
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  12/25/2007
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Dec. 25, 2007

UTEP Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- New Mexico women's basketball travels to El Paso, Texas on Sunday, Dec. 30, at 2 p.m. to face UTEP inside the Don Haskins Center. The Lobos are 8-4 overall and recently defeated New Mexico State before breaking for the Holidays. UTEP is 8-2 overall and undefeated at home. The game is available on the radio in Albuquerque on 610 The Sports Animal and via gametracker on www.GoLobos.com.

Up Next For Lobo Basketball

Game #13 • At UTEP

Sunday, Dec. 30, 2007 • 2 p.m.

Don Haskins Center • El Paso, Texas

Live Stats, Audio and Video: www.GoLobos.com, All-Access

Radio: 610 AM (The Sports Animal) - Joe Behrend will call the action.

Against UTEP: This will be the 42nd meeting between the I-25 rivals. The series began in 1975 with the Lobos leading, 29-12. This will be the first meeting between the two teams since Nov. 23, 2001, a 98-45 UNM win in El Paso. New Mexico is on a six-game win streak in the series.

Having Fun With The Kids: Before the Lobos head to UTEP, the team will practice at the Isleta Recreation Center, on Tribal Road 40 in Isleta, N.M., on Thursday, Dec. 27 at 11 a.m. The Lobos will give skills demonstrations and sign autographs.

Up Next: The Lobos get another break before starting Mountain West Conference action on Wednesday, Jan. 9, against nationally-ranked Wyoming on CSTV. Game time is 8 p.m. at The Pit.

QUICK HITS

Route 66 Rio Grande Rivalry: The women's basketball win on Dec. 21 added to UNM's lead in the Rio Grande RIvalry, 7.5-4.5. The school with the most points accumulated during the season by winning in a variety of sports will receive the Rio Grande Rivalry traveling trophy.

Last Time Out - vs. New Mexico State - W, 62-56 ... Point guard Amy Beggin carried the load down the stretch as the Lobos beat New Mexico State, 62-56, on Dec. 21 at The Pit. UNM came from behind and outscored the Aggies, 36-27, in the second half to pull out the victory in the Route 66 Casino Hotel Rio Grande Rivalry. Beggin scored a career-high 22 points, including 15 of the Lobos' last 19 points in the game. New Mexico went on a 9-0 run in the second half to cut the NMSU lead to 45-43. The Aggies built the lead back up to 50-43, before Beggin started her late-game run at 5:43 with two free throws, 50-45. The points from the charity stripe started a 7-0 with Beggin hitting a three-pointer off of a steal by Angela Hartill to tie the game at 50 at 4:44. Madison Spence hit a jumper for the Aggies at 4:26 to give NMSU its final lead of the game, 52-50. The teams swapped turnovers and missed shots, before Beggin hit a three and was fouled for the plus one at 2:46 to give the Lobos the lead for good, 54-52. Starting with that free throw, Beggin was seven of nine from the charity stripe over the last 2:46 of the game. Freshman Jessica Kielpinski helped Beggin keep the Aggies at bay during the run with a jumper at 1:12, 57-53, after NMSU had closed to within two. Kielpinski finished with eight points on the night. After moving into fourth place on the Lobos all-time career scoring list on Dec. 18 against Stanford, senior Dionne Marsh came up with 10 points in the first half against NMSU to keep the score close as the Aggies took a 29-26 lead into the locker room at halftime. Marsh finished the game with 18 points and three rebounds. Beggin and Kielpinski also led the Lobos with six rebounds each, while Beggin led the team in assists with three.

About UTEP (8-2) ... The Miners, under the direction of Keitha Adams, are currently 8-2 on the season following a Dec. 21 64-56 win at Toledo. UTEP's only two losses of the season were at Big XII opponents Nebraska and Kansas State. The Miners are 5-0 at home in the Don Haskins Center this season. UTEP has an evenly-balanced scoring attack with four players averaging double figures - Jareica Hughes (13.1 ppg), Natasha Lacy (11.3), Kasia Krezel (11.3), and Izabela Piekarska (11.1). Timika Williams, the team's leading rebounder with 7.8 boards per game is close behind with 9.7 points per game. Hughes and Lacy average over four assists per game each and lead the team in steals. Piekarska leads the team with 23 blocked shots. All five players are averaging over 25 minutes 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

• videoboards

• 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 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 the Dec. 17 NCAA rankings, the only Lobo in the national rankings. She 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.

Love That Defense ... The Lobos are currently ranked 10th in the country, according to the Dec. 17 NCAA rankings, 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).

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 6.4 points and 3.8 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.

Kast In Stone ... Sophomore center Valerie Kast provided a spark off the bench for the Lobos in the second half of the Dec. 18 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. Amy Beggin leads the way with five games,followed by Dionne Branch with four games and Brandi Kimble with two.

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 wrapped up a five-game homestand on Dec. 21 against New Mexico State. The Lobos ended the homestand at 3-2, beginning with two wins in the Comcast Lobo Shootout over Norfolk State and Towson. The middle game against Arizona on Dec. 15, was a tough 44-36 loss. Nationally- ranked Stanford evened the homestand record with a 73-54 win over the Lobos on Dec. 18. The Lobos took the lead in the homestand with a spectacular come-from-behind 62-56 win over New Mexico State on Dec. 21.

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.

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.

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.

Hitting The 20 Wins Mark ... New Mexico posted 24 wins in 2006-07, marking the seventh consecutive year that UNM has had 20 wins or more. In head coach Don Flanagan's 12 years, the Lobos have recorded nine 20 win seasons compared to none prior to his arrival. New Mexico has also had 11 consecutive winning seasons under Flanagan.

Hosting, Again ... The Pit will be the site of the NCAA Women's Basketball First and Second Rounds in 2008 and 2009. The dates in 2008 are March 22 and 24. The NCAA women's basketball staff will be on site Tuesday, Dec. 18, for UNM's dress rehearsal game. Every host site of an NCAA basketball round must host the staff for one game during the season leading up to the hosting round. For more information about the tournament, including ticket sales, go to golobos.com.

Wednesday, December 31
3:00 PM - 
Women's Basketball
at Fresno State
Saturday, January 03
2:00 PM - 
Women's Basketball
at Colorado State
Wednesday, January 07
7:00 PM - 
Women's Basketball
vs. San Diego State
Saturday, January 10
2:00 PM - 
Women's Basketball
vs. Utah State
Wednesday, January 14
7:00 PM - 
Women's Basketball
at Air Force
Saturday, January 17
2:00 PM - 
Women's Basketball
at Boise State
Wednesday, January 21
7:00 PM - 
Women's Basketball
vs. UNLV
Saturday, January 24
2:00 PM - 
Women's Basketball
vs. Wyoming
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