Jan. 23, 2008
The New Mexico women's basketball team came close to starting the league road season undefeated, but watched a 14-point lead disappear as Utah beat the Lobos, 60-57. Sophomore Amy Beggin, playing her 10th complete game of the season, scored a team-high 16 points for the Lobos.
The Lobos jumped out to a 9-2 lead on a three-pointer by freshman Jessica Kielpinski, who made her second start of the season. Utah cut the lead to 9-7, but junior Angela Hartill came off the bench to hit back-to-back three-pointers to keep the Lobos ahead, 15-9. Hartill finished the game with a career-high four three-pointers.
New Mexico built to a 23-13 lead, the largest of the first half, on a three-pointer by sophomore Eileen Weissmann. The Lobos kept the Utes at bay, taking a 31-23 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The second half started much the same way with the Lobos holding off Utah, never allowing the Utes closer than five early in the half.
Senior Brandi Kimble sandwiched two three-pointers around a Dionne Marsh jumper to build the Lobo lead to 14, 52-38, with 7:53 left in the game. But one minute and 34 seconds later, Kimble picked up her fifth foul of the game and Utah took advantage.
"The turning point of the game was Brandi's disqualification," said Lobo head coach Don Flanagan. "It hurt us a bunch and allowed their players to free up."
Utah went on an 18-0 run and New Mexico's shooting went stone cold, as the Utes took their first lead of the game, 54-52, on a jumper by Kaylee Whipple with 52 second left in the game. Leilani Mitchell added two free throws to put the lead at 56-52.
Beggin finally ended the Lobo drought with a basket at 26.4 seconds to cut the score to 56-54. Mitchell hit two more free throws to make the score 58-54, before Beggin hit a three with 10 seconds left to cut the Ute lead to one, 58-57. But the Lobos could not translate missed Utah free throws into points in the last three seconds of the game.
"The good things we can take from our last two games is that we are gaining confidence with each game and are shooting the three very well," continued Flanagan. "Amy did a great job defending Leilani Mitchell. We need to be at our best in this later part of the season and be more consistent."
Marsh led the Lobos with a career-high five assists to go along with nine points and seven rebounds. Beggin played a complete 40-minute game for the sixth time in the last seven games.
The Lobos continue to improve their long distance shooting, hitting 11 three-pointers at a 57.9 percent clip against Utah. It was the 154th consecutive game that the Lobos have made a three-point shot.
New Mexico, now 10-8 overall and 2-3 in the Mountain West, will host BYU on Saturday, Jan. 26. Game time at The Pit is set for 2 p.m. Joe Behrend and Hazel Tull-Leach will call the action courtside for 610 AM The Sports Animal. The first 2,500 fans will get a Lobo Howl Towel at the game, sponsored by Pepsi.