Jan. 4, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The New Mexico women's basketball team opens Mountain West Conference action Wednesday against San Diego State in The Pit. The Lobos (8-4) and Aztecs (8-4) tip at 7 p.m. MT live on My50 locally in Albuquerque. The game can be seen on channel 12 for Comcast subscribers. Scott Stiegler and former Lobo Abbie Letz will call the action. The game will also be available on 610 AM The Sports Animal and online via video streaming with gametracker on GoLobos.com.
The Series -
Wednesday will be the 41st all-time meeting between SDSU and New Mexico. The Lobos lead the all-time series 25-15 but the Aztecs won both games last season. San Diego State snapped a 19-game losing streak to New Mexico on Jan. 21, 2009 with a 57-52 upset in The Pit. The Lobos are 11-6 all-time against SDSU at home.
Lobo Review -
New Mexico has won three of its last four games but is coming off an 84-69 loss against No. 10 Texas A&M on Dec. 30. The Lobos are 6-3 this season at home and are averaging 7,289 fans per contest. UNM had a season-high 8,522 fans in The Pit for the nationally-ranked Aggies.
Lobo senior Amy Beggin has been the star for New Mexico this season with 15.7 points per game. Beggin, who is an All-America and MWC Player of the Year candidate, is fourth in the league is scoring, 11th in assists with 3.3 per game and second in assist/turnover ratio with a 2.7 mark. Beggin has hit 35 3-pointers this season and is shooting 43.8 percent from the field. She ranks among the best to every play at New Mexico.
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Sophomore Lauren Taylor is second on the team in scoring with 12.2 points per game. Taylor, who only averaged 2.8 points per game last year, is a much improved player and ranks 14th in the conference in scoring.
Sophomore Sara Halasz is one of the most explosive players on the New Mexico roster and is third on the team in scoring with 10.6 points per contest. Halasz has great speed and quickness but still working on finishing around the basket. This season, Halasz is second on the team in rebounding with over five rebounds per game. Halasz ranks 22nd in the MWC in scoring.
Junior Amanda Best has continued to perform at a high level for the Lobos. Best is the teams leading rebounder with 5.6 rebounds per game and ranks 16th in the conference. Best is fourth on the team in scoring with 6.7 points per game. The key against San Diego State could be how well UNM controls the pressure defense and how well New Mexico handles the post player for the Aztecs. SDSU is averaging 8.9 steals per game and scored 40 points in the paint against Auburn in its last outing. The quickness of Jene Morris and Quenese Davis combined with the post play of Paris Johnson and Allison Duffy makes SDSU a very difficult battle.
Similarities Between SDSU and Texas A&M -
The SDSU game could be very similar to the Texas A&M contest because the matchup has the same dynamics. UNM was close at the half with TAMU but mistakes allowed the Aggies to pull away. The Lobos turned the ball over and lack of rebounding down the stretch proved fatal.
Lobos Last Outing Against No. 10 Texas A&M -
In New Mexico last outing against Texas A&M, the Lobos battled against a really tough opponent. UNM matched the intensity for the first 20 minutes and were competing with the 10th-ranked team in the country. New Mexico only trailed by one at 32-31 heading into half time. The second half was all Texas A&M as they scored 52 points in the final 20 minutes. UNM was outrebounded by the Aggies and allowed 40 points in the paint. Danielle Adams scored all of her 19 points in the second half and led the way for TAMU. The Aggies had five players reach double figures. Amy Beggin had 18 points for New Mexico and hit four 3-pointers. Senior Georonika Jackson had 12 points in her second start of the season while sophomore Lauren Taylor had 11 off the bench.
Lobos Last Victory Over San Diego State -
The last win for New Mexico over San Diego State was in the championship game of the 2008 Mountain West Conference Championship. The Lobos beat SDSU, 62-59, to win the MWC Tournament and earn the automatic NCAA bid. The Lobos trailed 35-29 at the half but rallied to clinch the victory. Seniors Brandi Kimble and Dionne Marsch willed New Mexico to the championship. Kimble had 22 points and hit four 3-pointers while Marsh had 21 points and 10 rebounds. Although both were deserving of the MVP award, Marsh claimed the honor for the third time in her career. Allison Duffy had a team-high 15 points for SDSU while Quenese Davis had 12 and Jene Morris had 10.
Last Outing vs. the Aztecs -
New Mexico will try to get back on the winning track Wednesday against SDSU. The last time UNM and the Aztecs played was on Feb. 21, 2009. San Diego State pulled out a 75-64 victory in Cox Arena. Quenese Davis scored 25 points and pulled down nine rebounds to help SDSU to the victory. Davis was one of three Aztecs to reach double figures with Jene Morris scoring 17 and Paris Johnson adding 11. Angela Hartill led New Mexico with 23 points while Amy Beggin had 20. Hartill and Beggin were the only Lobos who hit double digits.
Last Meeting in The Pit vs. SDSU -
The last game played in The Pit between SDSU and UNM was a close one. The Aztecs pulled out the 57-52 upset and snapped a 19-game skid against New Mexico. SDSU head coach Beth Burns sprinted up the legendary ramp after the upset in high heels to celebrate with her team. In that game on Jan. 21, 2009, Johnson had 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead the way. Davis had 11 but UNM held everyone else under double figures. New Mexico only shot 34.5 percent from the field and hit only 2-11 from long range. Amanda Best had 11 points and Amy Beggin had 13.
Scouting San Diego State -
San Diego State was the preseason favorite to win the MWC. Quenese Davis, Jene Morris and Paris Johnson are leading the Aztecs this season. Morris and Johnson were on the Preseason All-Conference team while Morris was named the MWC Preseason Player of the Year.
The Aztecs are 8-4 on the year and have won four straight. SDSU beat Auburn in its last outing 66-55 in the San Diego Surf 'N Slam. The Aztecs opened the tournament with a 63-62 victory over Wake Forest.
Davis is leading the team in scoring with 14.1 points per game and is third on the team in rebounding with 5.4 boards per contest. Senior Jene Morris is averaging 13.4 points per game and has been a Lobo killer. Morris is averaging 15.0 points per game against New Mexico during her career and has reached double figures in four of five games. Her quickness and experience makes her one of the most dangerous players in the conference.
In the post for SDSU, Paris Johnson is back along with Allison Duffy. Johnson is third on the team in scoring with 11.3 points while Duffy is chipping in 9.1 points per game. Johnson is averaging 9.0 points per game during her career against New Mexico and had a double-double last time in The Pit with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Duffy was a force her freshman year but missed most of last season.
All-Time In Conference Openers -
New Mexico is 12-19 all-time in conference openers and 9-5 all-time in openers with Don Flanagan as the head coach. Flanagan and the Lobos are 6-4 in Mountain West Conference openers. UNM has only opened conference play against San Diego State once back in the 1998-99 season. New Mexico beat SDSU, 66-53, on the road. The Lobos are 16-15 all-time in home conference openers. UNM has twice opened the home conference schedule against San Diego State and have won both games.
On The Horizon -
New Mexico will hit the road after Wednesday's game for back-to-back away games. The Lobos will play at UNLV Saturday at 4 p.m. MT before traveling to Salt Lake City Tuesday to battle Utah. The Utah game will be broadcast live on the MountainWest Sports Network at 8 p.m. MT. The next home game for UNM will be Jan. 16 against Wyoming at 2 p.m. MT.