Jan. 30, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- New Mexico (16-3, 5-1 MWC) hosts conference rival Utah (13-6, 6-0 MWC) Sunday at 12 p.m. MT inside The Pit. The game features the conference leader Utah against the Lobos who are currently in second place in the league standings. Lobo head coach Don Flanagan will be going for collegiate win No. 300 Sunday against the Utes live on CBS College Sports. Tickets are currently available online at www.GoLobos.com and at the UNM ticket office.
MEDIA SPONSOR: KHFM & Wild 97.7 FM
WHAT: Utah at New Mexico
WHEN: Sunday, Feb. 1
TIME: 12 p.m. MT
WHERE: The Pit / Albuquerque, N.M.
TV MEDIA: CBS College Sports - Matt McConnell (PxP), Tammy Blackburn (Color)
RADIO MEDIA: 610 AM The Sports Animal - Joe Behrend (PxP), Nikki Heckroth-Labato (Color)
ONLINE SERVICES: Gametracker / Live Video Streaming
Flanagan enters Sunday's game with a collegiate career record of 299-129 in 14 years on the sideline. During his tenure, UNM has reached the NCAA Tournament eight times including seven consecutive. The Lobos have made the postseason in 11 of the last 13 seasons under Flanagan. He has guided UNM to 20 or more wins in 10 of the last 11 seasons and is only four wins from adding another year.
UNM is 16-3 overall this year and off to its best start since the 2004-05 season. The Lobos started 19-3 during the 2004-05 season and eventually went 26-5 overall. New Mexico is only four wins shy of the 20-win mark and still has 10 games remaining on the schedule including Sunday's game with Utah.
The Utes lead the all-time series with New Mexico, 18-44, and have won four of the last five meetings. Utah swept both games last year despite two thrillers. The Utes pulled out a 57-53 victory inside The Pit last year. The last win for New Mexico over Utah was on Feb. 8, 2007 in Salt Lake City, 73-65. UNM's last home win over the Utes was on Jan. 5, 2006, 59-42.
Sunday will feature two legendary coaches battle for position in the MWC standings. Elaine Elliott is in her 26th year at Utah and has an overall record of 549-218. The Utes have gone to the NCAA Tournament 14 times under Elliotts guidance and reached the postseason the last four years. Elliott is 29-16 all-time against New Mexico. Flanagan is 13-16 against Utah.
The game features two of the top programs nationally. The Utes are ranked seventh nationally in field-goal percentage (45.8), third in free throw percentage (80.6), 11th in field-goal percentage defense (34.6), 19th in rebound margin (+7.7) and 22nd in three-point field-goal percentage (36.9). The Lobos rank 13th nationally in field-goal percentage defense (34.7), 16th in free throw percentage (75.3) and 21st in assist-turnover ratio (0.99). Individually, Utah senior Morgan Warburton ranks 23rd nationally in points per game (18.7) and fourth in free throw percentage (91.8). UNM's Amy Beggin is seventh in free throw percentage (89.7).
Utah has the top two scorers in the MWC this season. Warburton is averaging 18.7 points per game and a game-high 17 points against BYU Wednesday. Junior Kalee Whipple is second in the league in scoring with 16.7 points and is tied for the most three-pointers made this season with 44. The Utes have won nine straight and 12 of their last 14 games.
New Mexico is riding a two-game winning streak into Sunday but has won five of its last six games. The Lobos continue to be led by Beggin who is currently third in the conference in scoring with 15.7 points per game. Beggin ranks seventh nationally in free throw percentage after hitting 89.7 percent of her shots. Senior Angela Hartill is second on the team in scoring with 11.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. Senior Amanda Adamson leads the team in rebounds with 6.6 boards per contest.
The Lobos are 12-1 inside The Pit this season and recently defeated TCU, 75-63, at home on Jan. 25. UNM has ranked among the nations best in home attendance and this year is no different. The Lobos are averaging 7,790 fans through 13 games this season. The season high for attendance is 9,544 against TCU.