Feb. 21, 2009
Saturday: San Diego State 75, Lobos 64
Up Next: Lobos at TCU, Wednesday
SAN DIEGO - The New Mexico Lobos staged a furious rally midway through the second half, but, unfortunately for the Lobos, too many good looks at the basket turned into misses and the UNM rally died down the stretch.
The Lobos cut San Diego State's seven-point halftime lead to 45-44 and 48-47 at the 9:30 mark on back-to-back treys by junior Amy Beggin before the Aztecs ran away to a 75-64 Mountain West Conference win Saturday in Cox Arena.
"I'm not discouraged by this effort," said Lobo coach Don Flanagan. "I think it's one of our best efforts in a while. I thought we did some good things and got after it. We couldn't convert easy shot opportunities, which was disappointing."
The Aztecs shot 66.7 percent in the first half to race to a 37-30 halftime lead. "They were just hitting everything," said Flanagan.
The Lobos cut that lead to a single digit in the second half at 48-47 before SDSU put together a 10-to-1 run to grab a 58-48 lead with 6:36 to play. That run stretched into a 18-to-4 sprint to hand the Aztecs a 66-51 lead with 5:06 left in the game.
New Mexico was paced by senior Angela Hartill with 23 points and six rebounds. "I think maybe she had her best game," said Flanagan. Beggin finished with 20 points, going 4-of-5 from 3-point range. Eileen Weissmann added eight rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots.
Flanagan got only five points on 2-of-10 shooting from his bench and no other starters joined Hartill and Beggin in double figures. "We got to get some more people scoring," said Flanagan. "That's disappointing that nobody else can step up and score points."
The Aztecs got 25 points from guard Quenese Davis and 17 from guard Jene Morris. Paris Johnson had 11 points and six rebounds. Davis also had nine boards and five assists. SDSU ended up shooting 52.9 percent from the field and outrebounded UNM 36-to-30. The Aztecs were 19-of-30 from the line.
"The key was that their quickness got to us and their ability to drive and attack our defense put them on the line," said Flanagan. The loss drops UNM to 18-7 overall and 7-5 in MWC play. The Lobos are at TCU on Wednesday.
"We played hard and we played with determination," said Flanagan. "We just weren't good enough tonight, but I can live with that. We played hard from the beginning of the game to the end of the game. There was no quit in us.
"The first half, their shooting gave them enough cushion where they could win the game."
The question in the MWC the rest of the way in is whether anybody can catch the front-running Utah Utes, who are 11-1. The Lobos' 7-5 mark has them in a position where they are hoping to beat TCU and SDSU for the No. 2 spot.
"I hope they (Lobos) aren't too discouraged by this loss," said Flanagan. "I think San Diego State is the toughest team to beat at home. They may be the best team in the conference when it comes to the conference tournament. They have so many things going for them. They have an inside game. They have an outside game. Then they defend with a lot of determination and they have depth."