Jan. 30, 2010
Saturday: Lobos 60, TCU 53
By Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Maybe all the Lobos need to bring out their inner toughness, is to hit a tough stretch in the Mountain West Conference race. For the second game in a row, the Lobos slapped the MWC leader with a loss. This time it was a 60-53 MWC win Saturday afternoon in The Pit over the No. 20/21 ranked TCU Horned Frogs.
"It was hard fought. It wasn't pretty," said Lobo coach Don Flanagan, who saw his Lobos improve to 13-7 overall and 5-3 in the MWC race. UNM is only a game back in the loss column from the top spot.
The Lobos broke out of a 37-all tie, scored six straight, and led the rest of the way in. The UNM lead came from a combination of shots: Eileen Weissmann, Jessica Kielpinski and Porche Torrance inside and Amy Beggin, Torrance and Amanda Best from the outside.
The big run for UNM was back-to-back-to-back treys from Beggin that took UNM from a 41-37 lead into a 50-42 lead with 4:16 to play. The Frogs were never able to cut into that lead. The Frogs ended the game with an intentional foul and a technical foul on the TCU bench with ten seconds to go.
The Lobos were led by Beggin with 19 points, Eileen Weissmann with 17. Kielpinski had nine boards and Best had eight points and seven rebounds. TCU got 14 points and 10 rebounds from Helen Sverrisdottir and 12 points from Emily Carter. Frog Starr Crawford had nine points and nine rebounds.
"If we don't shoot well, anybody in the conference can beat (us)," said Flanagan.
UNM shot 46.7 percent in the second half after shooting 20.7 percent in the first half. TCU shot 26.5 percent in the second half and ended the game bombing at a 29.8 percent rate.
"I thought we played real good defense in the second half and then started hitting some shots," said Flanagan. "They (TCU) can all shoot. I thought we did a real good job on Carter. She's a shooter and she usually doesn't drive, so we just tried to go face-to-face with her."
Weissmann's 17 points were a career high. "I don't care that much about stats," said the senior. "I'm just out to do whatever I can to help us win."
Said Flanagan: "She really played well. Seniors just seem to want it more than anyone else. She is physical. She sets screens. Eileen will take whatever role it takes to make the team successful."
Flanagan said the TCU win has to go down as one of the biggest of the season since the Frogs were ranked and were atop the MWC race. "I think they are the best team in the conference, but I don't know that for sure because everyone seems to be able to beat everyone else.
"The two top teams have two losses. It's a much better conference this year. Much more competitive."
Second Half -- Lobos 39, TCU 34
The Horned Frogs came out of halftime down by two points and quickly ran to a 24-21 lead. The Lobos then got buckets from Weissmann and Beggin to cut TCU's lead to a point at 27-26.
The Frogs drifted up 30-26 before Weissmann scored four points underneath to knot the score at 30-all. The teams were locked at 33-all going into the media break at 11:26. "She hit some big shots for us down low," said Beggin of Weissmann. "She had a great game for us."
TCU went up twice by a basket, but Weissmann scored inside followed by Kielpinski scoring on a cut and the teams were again knotted at 35-all and 37-all. At 8:57, Weissmann scored again inside, UNM went up 39-37 and TCU called time with 8:54 to play.
The Frogs came out of the huddle and forced up a bad shot. The Lobos converted on the other end when Kielpinski spotted Torrance sneaking down the baseline behind the Frog zone. Torrance flipped in the open layup which give the Lobos a huge-looking four-point lead and also got The Pit involved.
The Lobos' inside shooting had them hitting at a 40.9 percent rate at that point. TCU was at 35 percent, 3-of-8 from 3-point range.
Beggin came out of the huddle to bang in a long trey and UNM was up 44-37 -- the Lobos' biggest lead of the game. TCU then wedged two free throws and a 3-pointer around a Lobo turnover to cut UNM's lead to 44-42. Beggin answered for UNM with a baseline trey and the Lobos were back up 47-42. UNM went into a timeout with 4:23 to play, still up 47-42.
"We know that Amy will hit shots down the stretch," said Weissmann. "She hit some big ones for us today."
Said Beggin: "If we are hitting bullets, we are tough to guard."
The Lobos got another bullet (trey) from Beggin followed by one from Torrance and UNM was up 53-44. TCU clawed back to 53-47. A jumper by Best put UNM up 55-47. Sverrisdottir cut UNM's lead to 55-49 with two free throws with 1:34 to go.
TCU had only two team fouls and started fouling the Lobos trying to put UNM into a one-and-one situation. The Frogs finally let UNM work the shot clock down to three seconds before grabbing Torrance and sending the Lobo to the line with 1:01 to play. Torrance missed her shot. TCU brought the ball down with 59 seconds to play, down six points.
TCU got two free throws from Crawford at 39.2 and the Frogs were down four points, 55-51. The Frogs sent Best to the line with 33.6 seconds to go. Best missed, but UNM stole the ball from Sverrisdottir near midcourt. Best was back at the line with 24 seconds to play. She made both and UNM was up 57-51. That was pretty much it.
TCU's Sverrisdottir went to the line with 10.7 seconds to play. The Frog made them both to make it 57-53. TCU's Crawford got called for an intentional foul when she slammed Kielpinski to the floor on the inbounds play. The TCU coach argued the call a bit too aggressively and got slapped with a technical.
UNM was now looking at four free throws and possession of the ball. Beggin made two free shots and Kielpinski added one. The Lobos won 60-53.
First Half --- Lobos 21, TCU 19
The Lobos scratched out a 21-19 halftime lead in 20 minutes that couldn't be described as pretty ball. The Lobos shot 20.7 percent from the field, but went 7-of-7 from the line to help them grab the lead. UNM went 2-of-16 from behind the 3-point line and TCU went 2-of-10. The Horned Frogs also went 1-of-6 from the free-throw line. The teams combined for 18 turnovers -- 10 to TCU and eight to UNM. The Lobos won the board battle 20-18.
The tempo favored UNM, but the Lobos had trouble scoring over or under the TCU zone. Weissmann led UNM with six points. TCU was paced by Eboni Mangum with six points. Frog Starr Crawford had seven boards and Kielpinski and Best each had four for the Lobos.
At the 15:53 mark, the Horned Frogs were up 5-4. TCU was shooting 33.3 percent from the floor to 40 percent for UNM. Both teams had three turnovers, none of them really produced by pressure. TCU had five rebounds and UNM had two boards.
The Lobos came out of the first huddle and twice ran to leads of five points. Weissmann hit a 3-pointer from the left wing, set up on a Beggin drive and kickout. That gave UNM a 11-6 lead. Best made it 13-8 on two free throws. The Lobos carried a 13-12 lead into the 11:06 break, giving up points out of transition.
At the third media break, the Frogs had jumped up 17-15. The tempo had increased slightly and the Frogs took advantage of some open-court opportunities. The Lobos' shooting had dropped off to 29.4 percent. TCU was at 43.8 percent.
The Lobos' defense picked it up over the next stretch leading into a timeout at 3:51. The Frogs did not add to their total and UNM tagged on four points -- a Weissmann free throw and a Beggin trey at the 4:07 mark. UNM was up 19-17.
Neither team did much damage on the scoreboard the rest of the way in. Kielpinski hit two free throws to up UNM into a 21-19 lead. That score held up to form the halftime count.