Jan. 3, 2006
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico will open defense of their Mountain West Conference crown on Thursday night, when they play host to the University of Utah Utes. The two teams have shared the regular season title the last two years and have met in the MWC Tournament Championship the last two seasons as well. The Lobos are 10-3 on the season, while the Utes are 9-2. Tip-off at The Pit is set for 7:05 p.m. Thursday night and will be aired live on College Sports Television.
TONIGHT'S GAME: Tonight's game features the No. 20/21 Lobos of the University of New Mexico playing host to the No. 22/22 Utes of the University of Utah in the Mountain West conference opener.
SCOUTING THE LOBOS: UNM is 10-3 on the season with a 69-52 victory over Oral Roberts in the first round of the preseason WNIT, a 55-46 win over Cal in the second round, a 74-63 loss to No. 22 Oklahoma in the WNIT semifinals, a 76-68 win at No. 12 Texas, a 61-54 victory over Marist, a 56-52 win over Oklahoma State, a 62-44 victory over No. 10 Minnesota, a 73-61 loss to No. 12 Arizona State, a 70-57 win over Louisiana Monroe, a 75-59 victory over North Dakota State, a 79-77 win in triple-overtime at New Mexico State, a second loss to Oklahoma 83-70 and a victory over New Mexico State 55-42. New Mexico is led in scoring by sophomore Dionne Marsh at 15.3 ppg. Senior Abbie Letz leads the team in rebounding at 8.0 rpg., while junior Katie Montgomery leads UNM in assists at 3.9 apg.
SCOUTING THE UTES: Utah is currently 9-2 on the season with wins over Jacksonville State (83-46), at Arizona (66-63), Oregon State (62-53), Loyola Marymount (63-47), Weber State (65-38), Gonzaga (73-62), No. 23 North Carolina State (73-62), at Eastern Michigan (72-67) and Southern Utah (79-47), while losing at Washington (63-56) and to No. 13 Notre Dame (68-55). The Utes are led in scoring and rebounding by Kim Smith at 19.3 ppg. and 7.3 rpg. Leading Utah in assists is Shona Thorburn at 6.5 apg.