Rio Grande Rivalry Continues Saturday in Las Cruces
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  12/18/2008
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Dec. 18, 2008

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- New Mexico women's basketball will continue the Rio Grande Rivalry Saturday in Las Cruces against the Aggies of New Mexico State. Tip is slated for 2:05 p.m. MT in the Pan-Am Center and the game will be broadcast live on Aggie Vision. Kyle Doperalski will be calling the action for Aggie Vision. The game can be seen on Comcast 77 (Albuquerque), Comcast 21 (Santa Fe), Comcast 66 (Gallup) and Comcast 4 (Las Cruces). UNM rolls into the contest with a 10-1 record while NMSU is 4-5 on the season. The Lobos lead the all-time series 37-22 and have won 24 of the last 25 games.

SCOUTING THE AGGIES - New Mexico State is coming off a 59-50 loss at Northern Colorado and enters the Rio Grande Rivalry with a 4-5 overall record. The Aggies were 23-9 last year but have struggled to start the 2008-09 season. NMSU is led by Madison Spence who is averaging 15.2 points per game. The Aggies have two players averaging in double figures but have dropped two of their last three games.

LAST GAME IN LAS CRUCES - New Mexico State won the last meeting in Las Cruces, 58-42, on Dec. 2, 2007. The Aggies had four players score in double figures but New Mexico shot only 20.8 percent from the field. The Lobos shooting woes snapped a 22-game winning streak against the Aggies. Amy Beggin led UNM in scoring last year in Las Cruces with 16 points.

LOBOS BEAT AGGIES EARLIER THIS SEASON - The 2008-09 Rio Grande Rivalry series opened on Dec. 4 inside The Pit. The Lobos cruised to an easy 80-48 victory live on the Mountain West Sports Network. UNM had four players score in double figures including 18 points from junior Valerie Kast. Kast highlighted the game with career-highs in points and blocks. Kast recorded five blocks against the Aggies and helped UNM extend its home winning streak against NMSU to 13 games. The Lobos bench outscored the NMSU bench, 51-13, in the game.

NMSU FALLS TO NORTHERN COLORADO - Northern Colorado proved to be to much for New Mexico State Tuesday night in Greeley, Colo. The Bears pulled out a 59-50 victory over the Aggies and had three players score in double figures. Areyal LeDeatte was the only NMSU player to reach double figures with 11 points. Despite the loss, the Aggies outshot Northern Colorado, 38.2 percent to 35.8 percent.

SERIES INFORMATION - Saturday marks the 60th meeting between New Mexico and New Mexico State. The Lobos lead the Rio Grande Rivalry, 37-22, and have won 24 of the last 25 meetings. UNM defeated the Aggies, 80-48, earlier this season in Albuquerque.

AGAINST THE WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE - Lobo women's basketball is 63-34 all-time against the Western Athletic Conference. New Mexico State is the only WAC school on the schedule.

UNDEFEATED INSIDE THE PIT - The Lobos are 10-1 on the season and undefeated inside The Pit this season at 10-0. UNM has the 15th longest home winning streak going in the country. New Mexico has won two tournaments at home this season and picked up wins over DePaul, Nebraska, New Mexico, Texas Tech and UTEP. The Blue Demons and Cornhuskers were both receiving votes prior to UNM knocking them off. The latest victory inside The Pit was Tuesday against UTEP.

LAST OUTING - LOBOS CRUISE PAST UTEP - Senior Angela Hartill tied a career-high with 20 points to lead New Mexico to a comfortable 66-43 victory over UTEP in front of 8,451 fans at The Pit. UNM is 10-1 for the third time in head coach Don Flanagan's 14 seasons. His 1996-97 and 2004-05 teams also began 10-1. The Lobos have won seven in a row and are 10-0 at home this season.

UTEP (5-5) was held to its lowest scoring total of the season. Thanks to some torrid shooting to start the game, the Lobos led 18-3, then 26-7 following a jumper by freshman Sara Halasz with nine minutes left before halftime. UNM connected on its first five shots from the floor, four of those coming from 3-point range. New Mexico shot 59% (13-22) in the first half and 51% for the game. The Lobos also connected on 9 of 17 shots from 3-point.

UTEP crept back into the game, trailing 34-22 at halftime but was never able to get the deficit under double digits in the second half. The Miners out-rebounded UNM 36-35, however, UTEP shot just 27% (17-64) from the field. Junior Amy Beggin added 12 points for New Mexico, making four 3-pointers. Beggin nailed her first three treys tonight and has converted 14 of 22 (64%) from long range over the past four games and 46.7% (28-60) for the season.

THE DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES - Many people wondered just how good this New Mexico women's basketball team was going to be with the loss of Dionne Marsh and Brandi Kimble. Despite all the questions, this Lobo team is proving to be much better than the squad from a year ago. The following is a breakdown comparison between the two seasons through the first 11 games.

08-09 07-08

Records 10-1 7-4

Scoring 70.8 63.9

Scoring Def. 55.9 53.2

FG % 40.9 38.9

3-pt. % 36.4 31.1

FT % 76.5 68.7

Rebs. 43.2 39.9

HARTILL MAKING MOST OF SENIOR SEASON - Senior Angela Hartill is coming off a 20-point performance against UTEP Tuesday and tied her career-high for points. Hartill has scored 20 points twice this season and had her first career double-double Saturday against Texas Tech. This season, Hartill has reached double figures in eight of 11 games. The Deer Park, Wash., native is averaging 13.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.

STREAKING LOBOS - The Lobos are riding a seven-game winning streaking into Saturday's game at New Mexico State. The streak ranks among one of the longest in school history. The longest winning streak in school history is 11 games set in 2003-04 and in 1977-78.

GREAT START - New Mexico will have a chance to start the season 11-1 for the first time in school history Saturday. The Lobos have started 10-1 three times under head coach Don Flanagan.

HOLIDAY BREAK BEFORE TRAVELING TO No. 3/4 TEXAS A&M - The New Mexico women's basketball team will take next week off before facing No. 3/4 Texas A&M in College State, Texas on Dec. 30. The Lobos break for the Holiday season and will get back to practice on Dec. 26 as they prepare for the first ever meeting with the Aggies.

BEGGIN REACHES MILESTONES - Junior Amy Beggin hit her 200th career field goal Tuesday against UTEP and nailed her 100 career three-pointer in the same game. Beggin, who is two-year starter, moved into eighth place on the UNM all-time three-point career list. Beggin has drained 103 shots from behind the arc and needs two to pass Julie Briody for seventh on the list.