Jan. 22, 2011
By Chelsea Einerwold, Writer/GoLobos.com
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.-- Despite a career-high 12 points by sophomore Caroline Durbin, the University of New Mexico women's basketball team dropped a Mountain West Conference game, 59 -51, to UNLV at home in The Pit.
The Lobos are now 6-11 overall and 0-5 in the MWC. The Rebels improved to 9-11 on the season and 2-4 in league play.
Senior Amanda Best was the only other Lobo in double digits, adding 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Pitching in eight points apiece were Porche Torrance, Jessica Kielpinski and Jasmine Patterson.
New Mexico trailed by as much as 14 points in the first half, due to wayward shooting (14.3 percent) and UNLV finished the first half in the lead, 31-23.
In the second half, Porche Torrance got things rolling for the Lobos with a jumper from free throw range. New Mexico out-scored the Rebels 10-5 in the first four minutes of the second half, cutting UNLV's lead to three points, 36-33.
With 12:28 to go in regulation, a Durbin three-pointer put New Mexico within two points of the Rebels. The score was stuck at 40-38 for two and a half minutes until UNLV's Kelli Thompson hit a pair of free throws to put the Rebels back up by four points.
The Rebels' lead hovered between five and eight points for the rest of the half until they pulled ahead by ten points in the final seconds. A buzzer-beater by Best made the final score 59-51 in favor of UNLV.
New Mexico's defense created some problems for UNLV, causing 20 turnovers for the Rebels compared to just 10 by the Lobos.
New Mexico shot 23.5 percent from the floor, hitting only 16-of-68 field goals. UNLV capitalized on 18-of-55 attempts for a 32.7 field-goal percentage.
The Rebels had a slight advantage on the boards--54 to the Lobos' 43. Both teams had 23 offensive rebounds apiece, however, UNLV scored 17 second-chance points compared to a mere five by New Mexico.
"Those are the two things that are giving us the most trouble," Lobo Head Coach Don Flanagan said. "We're not shooting well and we're not rebounding either. If we could shoot 35 percent, we could probably win five or six more games. I don't know where to go with the players. I think I just have to rotate them a little bit more and give them as much experience as I can."
New Mexico has a pair of conference games on the road next week.
The Lobos face TCU on Wednesday, Jan. 26. As of Saturday, the Horned Frogs are at the top of the MWC with an overall record of 13-6 and 5-0 in league play. Tipoff for Wednesday night's game in Fort Worth, Texas is 5:30 p.m.
New Mexico then travels to Provo, Utah to play BYU at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29.