Jan. 25, 2004
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - The New Mexico women's basketball team lost its first conference game of the season Sunday afternoon, falling to Utah, 52-43, at the Huntsman Center. The Lobos now stand at 10-6 (2-1 Mountain West) for the season, while the Utes improve to 14-4 (4-0 MWC).
In a game featuring the conference's top two defenses, both teams struggled shooting. The Lobos limited the Utes to a 32 percent field-goal percentage, but only shot 38 percent from the floor themselves. The difference was 3-point shooting, as Utah canned seven 3's, including three each from Kim Smith and Julie Wood. Smith finished with a game-high 18 points and nine rebounds, while Wood contributed 16 points, including a span of three straight 3's in the first half. UNM only shot 3-for-12 beyond the arc.
Freshman guard Fatima Maddox came off the bench to score nine points on 4-of-6 shooting for the Lobos, while junior guard Mandi Moore also had nine points. Jenny Shetters scored eight points and Julie Briody poured in seven.
The Lobos looked impressive early, building an eight-point lead (9-1) in the first nine minutes of the game while limiting the Utes to just one made free throw and no field goals. But Wood changed the momentum of the game off the bench, hitting three consecutive treys in the midst of a 16-3 Utah run, giving the Utes a 17-12 lead. New Mexico cut the lead to 23-20 at halftime.
UNM couldn't get any closer, however, as Utah started the half on an 8-0 run to build an 11-point lead. The Lobos sliced the margin to six points on three occasions, but Utah went back up by 10 with 4:45 remaining.
Maddox trimmed the lead to five (48-43) on a driving layup with 30 seconds remaining, but once again, the Lobos couldn't come up with a defensive stop, and Utah hit four free throws in the closing seconds to seal the victory.
New Mexico returns to action Jan. 29 for a game against San Diego State at The Pit.
* Senior forward Melissa Forest did not play. She sat out the game with the flu.
* Junior forward Lindsey Arndt was held scoreless for the first time this season
* Utah extended its home-court winning streak to 24 games, which is the second longest current streak in the nation
* The game was nationally-televised by ESPN 2