Stevens: Lobos Hold Off Cold-Shooting Aggies for 58-49 Road Win
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  12/01/2010
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Dec. 1, 2010

Box Score

Lobo Women's Basketball - At New Mexico State
Lobos 58, New Mexico State 49
Friday: Arizona State Classic - Lobos vs. Lamar, 8:30 p.m.
Saturday: Arizona State Classic - Lobos vs. Cal Poly/Arizona State, 2/4:30 p.m.

By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

Hot Lobo defense or cold Aggies? Lobo coach Don Flanagan was willing to admit that it probably was a little bit of both as his New Mexico Lobos held the New Mexico State Aggies to 14.8 percent shooting in the second half to race to a convincing 58-49 win.

"I think it was a combination of us defending and they went cold," said Flanagan after his Lobos extended their domination of NMSU. The Lobos have won 28 of the past 29 games and NMSU's coach Darren Spence is 1-14 against Flanagan.

Obviously, that stat was huge as UNM rallied from a tiny 30-29 halftime deficit to pull away from the cold-shooting Aggies in the second half. However, there was another staggering stat that brought the Aggies to their knees Wednesday in their Pan American center.

UNM pounded the athletic Aggies 45-27 on the boards with senior Amanda Best pulling down 15, Porche Torrance adding nine and Jessica Kielpinski chipping in with eight boards.

The Aggies got a nice game out of Danisha Corbett with 22 points on 7-of-17 shooting, but the rest of the NMSU starters combined to go 4-of-26 from the floor. The Aggies shot a respectable 40.7 percent in the first half before crumbling to the in-your-face Lobo defense.

"We earned this loss tonight," said NMSU coach Spence. "We played with no energy and it was a pretty poor performance."

It was a good performance for the Lobos. Lauren Taylor had another solid game with 14 points and Torrance reached double figures with 12 points. Best and Caroline Durbin had nine points each and Kielpinski had eight points with three steals.

The Lobos were harmed by 23 turnovers with Best and Taylor each producing five miscues and Torrance adding four. UNM went 15-of-19 from the free-throw line, but shot only 23.1 percent from 3-point range.

The Aggies were close to the Lobos in turnovers with 20. Tabytha Wampler had six turnovers and shot 3-of-11 from the floor. NMSU shot 15-of-54 from the floor to 20-of-51 for the Lobos.

"This is a pretty darn good New Mexico State team," said Flanagan on the Lobo Radio Network. "They are athletic and they can shoot it.

"We were nervous turning the ball over way too much in the first half. But we were down only one (point), giving them the ball 14 times. We turned it over seven times in the second half, which was much improved, and we shot our free throws very well. Everybody kind of gutted it up."

The Lobos trailed by a point at the half, 30-29. The Lobos ran to an early 11-8 lead off a long trey by Taylor. The Aggies then went on an 8-0 lead to take a 16-11 lead at the 11:03 media break.

The Lobos scratched back to an 18-17 deficit, formed on a Kielpinski trey. NMSU got a layup stealing a Taylor pass to go coast-to-coast, and the Aggies took a 20-17 lead into the 7:24 break of the first half. NMSU could never shake the Lobos and the Aggies had to settle for the one-point lead at the half.

Flanagan said at halftime he talked to his Lobos about blocking out and stopping the Aggies from getting into their transition offense. UNM cutting down on turnovers helped slow down the Aggies' running.

"They run real fast and they go to the glass real hard," said Flanagan. "In the second half, they didn't do that at all."

The Lobos took the lead for good at the 12:31 mark of the second half after Taylor knocked down two free shots to put UNM up 39-38. UNM then got baskets by Jourdan Erskine, Durbin and Kielpinski to go up 46-39 with 11:05 to play.

The Aggies cut UNM's lead to 46-44 at the 10:08 mark, but UNM pulled away to 52-44 going into the 3:23 break. A big bucket for UNM came with 1:32 to play when UNM scored out of transition on a Durbin pass to Torrance for a layup. That pulled UNM into a 56-49 lead with 1:32 to play. The Aggies never challenged again.

"I thought that one was big. Porche finished that one," Flanagan said of Torrance's layup.

Torrance also blocked an Aggie shot with 37 second to play. That led to Best at the line where she made both shots to form the 58-49 final.

The Lobos are on the road Friday at the Arizona State Classic with an 8:30 p.m. (MTP game against Lamar.