Women's Basketball Opens Road Trip Saturday at UNLV
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  01/07/2010
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Jan. 7, 2010

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The New Mexico women's basketball team opens a two-game road trip Saturday at UNLV. The Lobos (8-5, 0-1 MWC) will try to rebound after a disappointing loss to San Diego State Wednesday in the conference opener. UNM faces a Rebel (6-8, 0-1 MWC) squad that has lost three straight and is 2-6 at home. Tip is set for 4 p.m. MT inside the Cox Pavilion. The game will be available via gametracker on GoLobos.com with live radio on 610 AM The Sports Animal.

Saturday will be the first game of a two game swing that ends at Utah on Tuesday at 8 p.m. MT. The Utah game will be broadcast live on the MountainWest Sports Network.

New Mexico is 16-22 all-time against UNLV and has won four of the last five games. The Rebels however won the last meeting 57-51 in the Cox Pavilion last year. Don Flanagan is 14-12 all-time against UNLV. UNM is 3-17 all-time when playing the Rebels in Las Vegas.

Saturday matches head coaches Don Flanagan and Kathy Olivier against each other. Flanagan is in his 15th year as a head coach while Olivier is in her 18th. Olivier is in her second season at UNLV.

New Mexico is 8-5 to start the season for the first time since the 2007-08 season. The Lobos have started 8-5 four times under Don Flanagan. UNM is coming off back-to-back big losses and will face two tough road games. The Lobos are 2-1 on the road this season with wins at New Mexico State and Arizona.

Senior Amy Beggin is third in the Mountain West Conference in scoring after averaging 15.1 points per game in 13 games. Beggin is shooting 43.5 percent from the field and has hit 36 3-pointers this season. Sophomores Lauren Taylor and Sara Halasz are having outstanding seasons. Taylor is second on the team in scoring with 11.8 while Halasz is third with 10.2. Junior Amanda Best is the team's leading rebounder with 5.5 boards per game.

The Lobos are a 75.6 percent free throw shooting team and is led by senior Georonika Jackson. Jackson is leading the MWC with a .897 percent from the charity stripe. UNM has five different players shooting over 80 percent from the free throw line.

New Mexico is coming off a 61-39 loss to SDSU Wednesday in The Pit. The Lobos did not have a single player score in double figures. UNM shot 26.8 percent from the field and only hit two 3-pointers. San Diego State shot 49 percent and had three players score in double figures. Jene Morris led the way with 25 while Jessika Bradley had 12 rebounds.

UNLV is playing its ninth home game Saturday and is looking for its first win since a 67-54 victory over Hawai'i on Jan. 20. The Rebels have two players averaging double figures not including MWC Freshman of the Year Jamie Smith. Erica Helms leads the way with 13.8 points per game while Kelli Thompson is averaging 13.1. Smith is chipping in 8.1 and has started every game.

The Rebels opened conference play against BYU and lost 71-61 in Las Vegas. Helms led the way for UNLV with 18 points while Smith and Markiell Styles had 10 each. The game was pretty even for the most part but BYU hit eight 3-pointers and five more shots from the field to clinch the MWC opener.

The last time UNM and UNLV battled on the hardwood was Feb. 7, 2009 in Las Vegas. The Lobos were coming off back-to-back tough losses at Utah and Wyoming and the skid continued against the Rebels. UNLV led by senior Shamela Hampton proved too much for the Lobos. Hampton had 17 points and 10 rebounds while freshman Jamie Smith added 10 points and 17 rebounds. Amy Beggin had 15 points for New Mexico and Sara Halasz had 10 but 30 percent shooting proved fatal.

For more information about Lobo basketball visit www.GoLobos.com.