Stevens: Ice Cold Lobos Fall 50-44 to Very Chilly Aztecs
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  02/15/2011
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Feb. 15, 2011

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Lobo Women's Basketball - In The Pit
San Diego State 50, Lobos 44
Saturday:Lobos at Utah, Salt Lake City

By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer / GoLobos.com

Bad shooting sometimes happens. It happened to the Lobos Tuesday night in The Pit in their 50-44 Mountain West Conference loss to San Diego State.

The Lobos shot 22.6 percent from the field. Lobo coach Don Flanagan wasn't happy with that number, but it happens.

He was a lot less happy with the fight in his Lobos. "When you let someone come into your building and play harder than you do, you probably are going to get beat," said Flanagan.

"I thought the team that was the more aggressive won the game. When you are an aggressive team, you even go to the free-throw line more. They (SDSU) seem to have put it together. That's the hardest I've seen them play."

The Aztecs needed to play hard, especially in the first half when they were turning the ball over faster than they could put points on the board - or take shots. The Aztecs did stumble into a nice run and took a 27-19 lead at the half.

The Lobos did a good job of recovering from the Aztecs' first-half run and first-half lead of 27-19. New Mexico pulled to 37-36 on a jumper by senior Jessica Kielpinski with 8:33 to play before the Aztecs rolled out a 10-point run to go up 47-36. The run was fueled by back-to-back layups by SDSU's Jessika Bradley. The Lobos never recovered from that deficit.

"I didn't like that we couldn't stop them inside," said Flanagan.

Said Kielpinski: "We're just up and down. We just didn't show up and we weren't playing to the best of our ability. We were playing tough (only) half the time. They posted up harder than we did. Their inside game was awesome and our inside game was lacking."

New Mexico dropped to 9-14 on the season and 3-8 in Mountain West play. San Diego State bumped its mark to 11-13 overall and 5-7 in league games. The Lobos were hurt by poor shooting - 22.6 percent for the game. It was the first time in six games that UNM shot under 30 percent. SDSU wasn't much better hitting at a 29.8 percent clip.

UNM got a career-high five blocks from junior Porche Torrance, who also had three steals and 11 boards to go with her eight points. UNM's leading scorer was Jasmine Patterson with 10 points. The freshman also had seven boards. Senior Amanda Best had 14 boards and seven points.

"One thing I thought we did poorly was shoot," said Lobo coach Don Flanagan. "That's disappointing. We aren't getting enough (scoring) inside and that's where your highest percentage is."

The Aztecs had no players in double figures, but had eight players score four or more points. Bradley had eight points and 12 boards for SDSU. The teams played fairly even most of the game, but the Aztecs threw out the two scoring runs to grab the win. The Aztecs won the board battle 52-46.

"I wanted to get ten shoes in the paint when the ball went inside," said Flanagan. "I just couldn't get them to do it. When we offensive rebound, we kick it back out. When they offensive rebound, they get a layup.

"I thought they took us out of our offense with their switching. Their bigs were quick enough to switch on our littles and do a pretty good job. Their length, their athleticism, their jumping ability and their size bothered us on the inside.

"On the plus side, we battled and we didn't give up. I like that about this group." The Lobos next play Saturday at Utah.

Second Half: Lobos 25, San Diego State 23

The Lobos needed to come out of the locker room with more energy and more points, down 27-19. The Lobos quickly outhustled SDSU for an offensive board and Patterson hit a baseline trey: 27-22. Torrance threw a quick spin move inside and kissed a shot off the glass to make it 24-27. SDSU called time one minute and one second into the second half at the 18:59 mark.

The Aztecs got two buckets inside followed by a Best bucket inside and at the 15:29 break SDSU was up 31-26. The Lobos had cut their halftime deficit by three points. At the 11:47 break, the Aztecs were up 35-28.

The Lobos used back-to-back treys from Toben and Best to cut the Aztecs' lead to 36-34. Toben got her trey near the top of the key dribbling around a screen. UNM's Best popped in her bomb off a pass from Torrance out of the paint. SDSU called time.

At the 7:52 mark, Best called time after getting trapped in the lane. SDSU was up a point, 37-36. UNM's Toben missed a long trey and SDSU worked the inside for a layup: 39-36. At the 6:16 break, SDSU was up 41-36 and had ball possession.

The Aztecs got back-to-back buckets by Jessika Bradley to pull ahead 45-36. Flanagan called time at 4:26 with the Aztecs' Kalena Tutt at the line. Tutt made two: 47-36 - 11 point SDSU lead.

UNM missed and the Aztecs controlled the rebound. SDSU was working it well inside, but decided to launch a trey. The Aztecs missed and UNM got an inside bucket from Torrance: 47-38. At the 2:59 break, it was still 47-38 with UNM in possession coming out of the huddle.

UNM worked a weave to get Toben open for a baseline trey. She hit it: 47-41. The Aztecs lost the ball on a shot-clock violation. UNM's Kielpinski threw up an air ball on a quick turnaround shot and SDSU lost it back on a traveling violation. Best beat her defender on a drive and gave the Lobos a chance with two free throws at the 1:41 mark. UNM was down 47-43. SDSU's Bradley turned the ball over on a charge at 1:20.

UNM had the ball and Flanagan called time at 1:01, down 47-43. Toben missed a too-quick trey and SDSU got the board. UNM fouled Sajoyia Griffin at :46, shooting a one-and-one. The Aztec made both: 49-43. Best got blocked on a drive. SDSU came up with the loose ball and used the free-throw line to seal the 50-44 Mountain West final.

First Half: San Diego State 27, Lobos 19
Lobo Stat Leaders: Patterson 5 pts.; Torrance 4 blocks, 4 rebs., 3 steals.

Early in the first half, it looked like the two teams might combine for more turnovers than points. Unfortunately for UNM, the Aztecs cut down their miscues late in the half and warmed up from the field to take the eight-point lead into the locker room.

The two teams did combine for more turnovers (24) than field goals made (15). The Aztecs had 13 turnovers to three assists.

SDSU ended up shooting 30 percent from the floor to 22.2 percent for the Lobos. SDSU dominated the boards 30-19, to make up for their wayward passing.

Going into the first media break at 15:46, the two teams combined for seven turnovers against three field goals. The score was tied at 5-all. The Aztecs came out of the huddle and quickly added three turnovers and no points to their total. When the Aztecs finally got off a shot, Paris Johnson made a layup and SDSU was up 7-5.

The game went through a stretch where both teams were either missing shots or missing passes to teammates. Torrance finally launched from long range to hand the Lobos their first lead of the game at 8-7. SDSU came down and - what else - turned the ball over. Best did the same thing at the other end for UNM. No worry, the Aztecs gave it right back.

Patterson made the Aztecs pay for a miscue by going to the free-throw line and making two of three free throws. UNM was up 10-7. The hands-of-stone-Aztecs turned the ball over again. At the 11:18 break, the Aztecs had 10 turnovers to UNM's seven. SDSU was shooting 20 percent from the floor and UNM was shooting 27.3 percent. The teams had combined for 17 turnovers and 17 points.

The Aztecs came out of the huddle and - what else? - turned over the ball. Best turned it back over for UNM. At the 7:50 mark, the scoreboard had moved a point in San Diego State's favor. It was 10-9, UNM's lead. The Aztecs had 11 turnovers and UNM had nine.

SDSU grabbed a short-lived 13-12 lead when UNM's Jourdan Erskine beat her defender on the baseline and scored a 6-footer to put UNM up 14-13. The Aztecs went inside for another layup: 15-14 and then added a baseline jumper for a 17-14 lead.

SDSU carried that lead into the 3:34 media stop. The turnover problem had slowed down a bit. SDSU had 12 to UNM's nine. The Aztecs had warmed up to 25 percent shooting and UNM had faded to 18.2 percent.

The Aztecs came out of the break and threw out a little run. Back-to-back SDSU layups forced Flanagan to call a timeout with 1:42 to play, down 25-14.

The Lobos came out of their huddle to get a nice drive and layup from Patterson: 25-16. Johnson countered at the line with 1:15 to play: 27-16. Morgan Toben hit a deep trey from near the top of the key to slide the Lobos to 27-19. SDSU called time with 31.3 ticks to go, but the scoreboard stayed frozen at 27-19.