Jan. 15, 2011
By Chelsea Einerwold, Writer/GoLobos.com
The University of New Mexico women's basketball team rallied from a 12-point halftime deficit to come within one point of San Diego State University in the waning minutes of regulation, but it wasn't quite enough and the Lobos dropped a Mountain West Conference game to the Aztecs, 56-53, on Saturday afternoon at Viejas Arena in San Diego, Calif.
The Lobos are now 6-9 on the season and 0-3 in the MWC, while San Diego improved to 8-8 overall and 2-2 in conference play.
New Mexico was led by freshman guard Jasmine Patterson who was 5-of-12 from the floor and tallied 16 points. Senior Amanda Best was also in double digits for the Lobos, scoring 11 points and pulling down three rebounds. Senior Jessica Kielpinski had a career-high 11 rebounds and also chipped in four points.
The Lobos forced the Aztecs to commit 20 turnovers which translated to 29 New Mexico points, while the Lobos limited their miscues to a season-low eight.
As a team, New Mexico shot a frigid 22.2 percent in the first half, connecting on 6-of-27 field goal attempts. The Lobos' shooting improved in the second half as they hit 41.4 percent, but their first-half deficit was too much to overcome.
Jessika Bradley, Coco Davis and Courtney Clements led the Aztec charge offensively with 10 points apiece. The Lobos held SDSU's leading scorer, Paris Johnson, to just four points in Saturday's contest. Johnson is averaging 16.1 on the season.
The Aztecs shot 32.1 percent, hitting 20-of-55 field goal attempts.
Perhaps the most decisive statistic was rebounding. SDSU outrebounded New Mexico by 24, pulling down 50 boards compared to the Lobos' 26.
After this two-game road trip, New Mexico returns to The Pit to take on Utah at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 19.
In the first half
SDSU jumped to an early 11-0 lead with over 3:30 ticking off the clock before the Lobos' Amanda Best grabbed an offensive rebound and hit a jumper to put New Mexico on the scoreboard.
Jessica Kielpinski had a layup off a Best assist with 11:34 remaining in the first half to bring the Lobos to within six points of the Aztecs. From there, however, SDSU steadily increased their lead and the Lobos were plagued by errant shooting.
At halftime it was Aztecs 34, Lobos 22.
In the second half
The Lobos found themselves down by 14 points, 42-28, just less than five minutes into the half. At 15:03 Jasmine Patterson drove hard to the hoop and drew a foul on SDSU's Kalena Tutt. Patterson sank both her free throws to begin a 12-0 Lobo run that lasted over three minutes. With 11:45 to go, it was SDSU 42, Lobos 40.
The Lobos hung within single digits of the Aztecs and came to within two points off a Patterson three-pointer with 1:30 remaining in regulation.
With 43 seconds, junior Lauren Taylor stole the ball, giving New Mexico time to work through their offense. With 30 seconds remaining, SDSU's Kalena Tutt committed the team's ninth foul, sending Porche Torrance to the line for 1-and-1 bonus. Torrance sank her first free throw, but her second rimmed out.
New Mexico had to commit two quick fouls before Coco Davis stepped to the line for 1-and-1. Davis made both of her free throws, putting SDSU up 56-53 with 19 seconds remaining.
The Lobos brought the ball up and called a 30-second timeout to formulate a game plan. New Mexico worked the ball around for 11 seconds before Best was found open just behind the arc on the right wing. The senior got off an uncontested trey, but it came up short, hitting off the front of the rim and landing in the hands of SDSU's Coco Davis.