Feb. 25, 2009
FORT WORTH -- The New Mexico Lobos' quest to grab one of the top three seeds for the Mountain West Conference Tournament took a hit at TCU as the Horned Frogs held off the Lobos 41-38 in a heartbreaking and pivotal league loss for UNM.
The Lobos staged a dramatic rally in the final minutes and steals by Lauren Taylor and Sara Halasz gave the Lobos a shot at victory. TCU's Helena Sverrisdottir hit two free throws with 20 seconds to go to push the Frogs up 41-38, but UNM had a final shot to tie the game.
Lobo coach Don Flanagan called a timeout with 16 seconds to play, but UNM turned the ball over on a Eileen Weissmann charge with 13 seconds to go. The Lobos then forced a jump ball and got possession with four seconds to go, but a desperation bomb by junior Amy Beggin failed at the buzzer.
The Horned Frogs jumped to a 22-15 halftime lead and held off the cold-shooting Lobos in the second half behind an active zone defense that the Lobos never could master. The tough thing about this loss for the Lobos was that TCU was even colder from the floor. UNM shot 28 percent from the floor, but TCU shot 24 percent.
What really hurt the Lobos was going 5-of-23 from 3-point range and turning the ball over 19 times. TCU went 4-of-16 from long range and had 13 turnovers, several key ones in the game's final minutes. The Frogs went 11-of-17 from the line and UNM went 5-of-8. The line made the difference on the scoreboard for TCU.
The loss dropped UNM to 18-8 on the year and 7-6 in MWC play. TCU pulled further ahead of UNM at 11-3 in league games and the Frogs bumped their overall mark to 19-8.
"I didn't think we got the ball inside enough," said Flanagan. "They did a nice job on Amy (Beggin) and we couldn't get the ball inside."