Nov. 28, 2009
Saturday: Toledo 62, Lobos 56
By Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
The Lobos ran into unfamiliar territory Saturday night in The Pit -- a loss. New Mexico ran to a 26-21 first-half lead, but allowed the Toledo Rockets to grab the lead down the stretch as the Rockets held on for a 62-56 Pit shocker.
The Lobos were down 58-56 with 43 seconds to go after an Amy Beggin trey. But Toledo's Naama Shafir did enough damage at the free-throw line to pull the Rockets to the championship of the Holiday Inn & Suites Express Midtown Thanksgiving Tournament. North Carolina A&T beat Yale in the consolation game.
The Lobos had won their Thanksgiving tourney five straight times until the loss to Toledo.
Lobo coach Don Flanagan did not make any excuses for his team's unexpected loss in the title game.
"Toledo deserved it," he said. "They were the better team tonight. I didn't realize how hard they would play. Their effort was better than our effort.
"I think determination and effort was the key to their win tonight. They played very smart. They controlled the ball with their point guard. Their post players posted up real hard and they hit big shots."
The loss dropped UNM to 4-2 on the season. Beggin led the Lobos with 18 points, but only one other Lobo, Sara Halasz, slipped into double figures with 11. Lauren Taylor scored nine points and Georonika Jackson had eight. Beggin led UNM on the boards with eight and Taylor had six rebounds.
The Rockets had four players in double figures: Shafir with 13 (6-of-8 from line), Jessica Williams with 14 (4-of-9 treys), Tanika Mays with 10 and Melissa Goodall with ten.
The Rockets came out of the half down by five, 26-21. UNM's Amanda Best banged in a trey to push the Lobos up 29-21. The Rockets then went on an 8-0 run to tie the game at 29-all. UNM's Taylor hit a trey and Toledo came back with a trey: 32-all.
UNM then went up 34-32 on a hoop by Porche Torrance and 37-34 on Beggin's first trey of the game. Toledo called timeout at 13:23. Toledo's Williams threw in a trey to produce a 37-37 tie. Halasz and Beggin then hit from long range and UNM carried a 43-39 lead into a media break at 11:21.
The next media break at 6:58 saw Toledo on top. The Lobos went into the huddle with a single field goal from Taylor on a drive. The Rockets got three field goals, one a 3-pointer by Williams. Toledo was up 47-46.
Toledo got a free throw from Shafir to go up 57-53 and UNM called a time with 2:27 to play, down four.
Beggin fed Kielpinski inside and the Lobo post ended up at the line shooting two. She missed both shots. Toledo missed inside and UNM turned the ball back on a shot-clock violation; it was still 57-53.
New Mexico pressed and quickly fouled to put Toledo at the line shooting a one-and-one. Shafir made the front end only: 58-53. Beggin then tossed in a long trey: 58-56 and UNM called a quick timeout with 43 seconds to play.
Halasz fouled Shafir with 37 seconds to play. Another one-and-one. Shafir made the front and the back: 60-56. Jackson missed at the other end and with 10 seconds to play, Shafir was back on line. The Lobos called time. Shafir made the front, made the back: 62-56. The scoreboard froze at that score.
Toledo beat UNM on the boards 43-35, including 12 offensive boards. UNM was 9-of-33 from 3-point range (27.3 percent) and went 3-of-7 from the line. Toledo went 13-of-16 from the charity line.
"If you only hit three free throws and they get 13 points from the free-throw line, they are being more aggressive than you are," said Flanagan.
The Lobos play Wednesday at New Mexico State. "This might help us in our game against New Mexico State," said Flanagan. "I know one thing that we should not get beat in effort again this year."
First Half -- Lobos 26, Toledo 21
Toledo hit the game's first basket, a trey, to grab a quick 3-0 lead. The Rockets led 10-3 at the first media timeout at 15:57.
Toledo doubled UNM's score with at 14-7. UNM's Halasz banged in a trey to make it 14-10. Toledo's Tanika Mays hit a trey at 10:08 to push the Rockets back up by seven, 17-10.
UNM got a basket from Jackson and two free throws from Beggin to pull closer at 17-14. Beggin then slipped behind the Toledo defense and got a lead pass from Taylor to make it 17-16. The score stayed there at the 7:49 break.
UNM got a short jumper from Jackson to take its first lead, 18-17. Mays dropped in two free throws to produce an 19-18 Toledo lead. UNM's Jackson and Taylor scored in close to hand UNM's its biggest lead so far at 22-19.
Halasz scored in transition off a Taylor pass to make it 24-19. Jackson hit a jumper off the wing to push the Lobos up 26-19. UNM was on an 8-0 run. Toledo's early seven-point lead had turned into a seven-point hole. The Rockets hit a bucket just short of the buzzer to give UNM a 26-21 halftime lead.
The Lobos shot 34.4 percent in the first half, not exactly sizzling, but Toledo went 23.3 percent from the floor. Jackson led UNM with eight points in the first half and Halasz had seven. Mays led Toledo with seven points.