Dec. 1, 2009
Wednesday: Lobos at Aggies, 7 p.m., Las Cruces
On The Air: Aggie Vision (Comcast 77); 610-AM KNML
Online: GameTracker, results, on GoLobos.com
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
When Lobos and Aggies war, it's always a pride thing, a geography thing. Of course, there are always a few things you can stir into that emotional stew in order to juice things up.
For the Aggies, there are some numbers that Coach Darin Spence can throw in the faces of his New Mexico State Aggies. He can point out that in the past 26 games with their up-state rivals, the Lobos have humbled Aggies 25 times. That has to hurt. That has to get some juices of pride flowing.
For the Lobos, all Don Flanagan has to do is force his Lobos to watch the second half film of their 62-56 loss to Toledo in The Pit. That has to hurt, too.
"Toledo was a step back," said Flanagan. "I thought they had a better effort than we did and that's inexcusable at your home.
"It's inexcusable anywhere, really. But at home in particular, with 7,000 people cheering for you, you should not give the second-best effort."
Effort will be a key Wednesday night in the Las Cruces' Pan American Center. But likely both teams won't have any problems in that area simply because of what it always means when Aggies and Lobos war.
Lobo senior Amy Beggin said she doesn't expect that 25-of-26 stat to be a factor at NMSU when it comes to Lobos overlooking Aggies.
3 Eileen Weissmann
10 Amy Beggin
11 Lauren Taylor
12 Nikki Nelson
14 Jourdan Erskine
20 Sara Halasz
22 Georonika Jackson
23 Porche Torrance
24 Caroline Durbin
32 Amanda Best
34 Valerie Kast
35 Chinyere Nnaji
42 Jordan Unverzagt
43 Emily Stark
52 Jessica Kielpinski
"Two years ago, we lost to them," she said. "That's still in the back of our minds. We had to fight and claw our way back last year. They are always going to be gunning for us."
Beggin's status for Wednesday's game is slightly up in the air from the ankle down. The gutsy Lobo is fighting a sprain. From the neck up, and in her heart, Beggin is full-go ready.
"When it's game time, I'll be ready," said Beggin.
Beggin played 40 minutes in Saturday's loss to Toledo in the championship of UNM's Thanksgiving Tournament. Flanagan said it probably was a mistake not to rest Beggin's ankle in that loss. Beggin was nursing that sore spot again earlier this week
"We plan on playing her," said Flanagan. "We don't have anybody as effective (at the point), but we have some people capable of bringing the ball up. They'll do just fine."
The Aggies beat UNM 58-42 in the Pan American Center in 2007. NMSU brings a 4-2 mark into Wednesday game which matches UNM's 4-2 record. The Aggies are coming off a 72-67 win over Michigan in Cruces.
"They aren't bad," said Flanagan. "They just beat Michigan, so that's pretty good. They play good defense and now they have a lot more offensive weapons. It's going to be a tough road trip."
The Lobos' tough road trip doesn't end at NMSU. The Lobos visit Texas Tech at 2 p.m. on Saturday and play at Arizona on Wednesday (Dec. 9).
Flanagan said the Aggies beefed up their lineup with a transfer from Texas, a JC transfer and they still have Madison Spence, a mobile guard with both a scoring and passing touch.
Danisha Corbett leads NMSU with a 13.2 average followed by Spence at 12.5. Tabytha Wampler tops the Aggie rebounding stats with an 8.5 average and Jasmine Lowe just scored 24 on Michigan.
"If you watch them on tape, you can see that they give a great effort," said Flanagan. "They play tough, hard-nosed defense and they have the ability to score. They won't give an inch. Hopefully, we can match their effort."
Said Lobo Sara Halasz: "New Mexico State is a very well-rounded team. They can shoot the jumper. They can shoot the three. They can drive. They can do everything."
Beggin leads UNM in scoring with a 16.0 average. Sophomore Lauren Taylor, in her first starting role as a Lobo, is second on the team at 10.2 points per game. Junior Amanda Best is the team's leading rebounder with a 5.3 average.