March 23, 2010
Tuesday: Oregon 93, Lobos 67
By Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer/GoLobo.com
EUGENE, Ore. -- The New Mexico Lobos closed their 2010 season one win shy of 20 wins and one win shy of the Women's National Invitation Tournament's third round. The Lobos fell 93-67 Tuesday night at Oregon as the Ducks' frenzied pace and their bug-quick point guard Taylor Lilley were too much for UNM.
The Lobos got 18 points from Amanda Best, but Oregon's 5-foot-6 Lilley countered with a career-high 38 points for the hot-shooting Ducks.
"I didn't like to end this way," said Lobo coach Don Flanagan. "They are very, very good here. They play a style that is unique, a very fast style and they just don't let up. They played very well today."
UNM ended the season 19-13. Oregon, of the Pac-10, raised its mark to 18-15. This season is the first in ten years that UNM did not post at least 20 wins.
The pace was as promised: up temp, run-and-gun and full-court pressure. The Lobos' edge in this affair supposedly was that the Ducks are more concerned with offense than defense. They throw out nice runs. They give up nice runs. They win or lose based on which way those runs lean.
The runs leaned toward the Ducks Tuesday night in a big way, and handed them only their second win in their past nine games.
"They are a very unusual type of team, pressing and running for 40 minutes but we didn't always do a good job with that pressure," said Flanagan. "They shot the ball extremely well in the second half and extremely well from the 3-point line and that little point guard just killed us."
The Ducks shot 46.3 percent in the second half. UNM shot 37.1 percent for the game. Oregon went 12-of-33 from 3-point range and UNM went 6-of-17. The Ducks won the board battle, 50-39.
The loss gave UNM a 0-1 WNIT road record as the game was the first road venture ever for the Lobos in the WNIT. UNM advanced to the second round with a 66-51 Pit win over Southern Methodist. This was UNM's fifth appearance in the WNIT.
Second Half -- Oregon 52, Lobos 31
The second 20 minutes did not start good for the Lobos. UNM cut Oregon's halftime lead to 41-38 and then the Ducks rolled out another impressive run. Back to back buckets by Lilley and Kenyon convinced Flanagan to call a time looking at a 52-40 scoreboard.
The Ducks then ran away again. Nia Jackson got a layup off a Lilley blocked shot, and Oregon was up 57-48. A trey by Oregon's Amanda Johnson pushed the Ducks up 60-50. Oregon then went up 65-51 and then 67-53 off a Lilley layup. The Lobos were in big trouble halfway into the second half when two treys by Victoria Kenyon put the Ducks up by 20 points.
It only got worse for the Lobos as the Ducks continued to run well and shoot well. At the final media break of the game, Oregon was up 89-60 and Lilley had her career-high 38 points. The Ducks came out of the huddle to push it to 91-60. Oregon cruised in for the easy 93-67 win.
Oregon 41, Lobos 36
In the first half, the runs leaned toward the Ducks thanks to 24 first-half points by the 5-6 Lilley, Oregon's leading scorer.
The Lobos were in good shape early and had control of the scoreboard 26-17 off a basket by Taylor and two hoops by Nikki Nelson. Then the Ducks threw out a run and cut UNM's lead to 26-32. Kast scored inside for the Lobos to make it 28-23.
"I thought we did a good job in the first half breaking the press," said Flanagan. "We wanted to go at them in transition and show patience in the half-court set."
The Ducks got their running game going again and cut UNM's lead to 26-23. Kast scored inside and UNM was up 28-23. Lilley then scored back-to-back buckets to make it 28-all. UNM's Best banged in a 3-pointer to push the Lobos up 31-28. UNM got a hoop inside from Jordan Unverzagt to go up 33-30.
The Ducks then threw out an 11-3 run to close the half and take the 41-36 lead. Lilley started the rally by knocking down three free throws.