Dec. 20, 2012
New Mexico Lobos Women's Basketball - At UTEP
Thursday: UTEP Miners 60, New Mexico Lobos 45
Up Next: Dec. 29 -- Lobos at Colorado -- Boulder, Colo.
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
A few numbers formed in the hostile surroundings of UTEP's Don Haskins Center stand out like a face slap in a hushed church - or maybe like the scream of an official's whistle.
The UTEP Miners shot 29 free throws, made 20, and the New Mexico Lobos shot three and made one.
"There isn't much more to say without getting in trouble," said Lobo Coach Yvonne Sanchez on her postgame radio show. "You're going to get some of that when you go on the road. That's going to happen."
The free-throw numbers help explain the Lobos' 60-45 loss Thursday night in El Paso. However, the Lobos also contributed greatly to their loss by allowing the Miners to outscore UNM 10-2 in the first five minutes of the first half and 12-0 in the first five minutes of the second half.
That 22-2 UTEP edge pushed the Lobos into two holes that they could not climb out of. You take away that Miner 22-2 edge and UNM outscored the Miners 43-38. You take away the free-throw line and UNM wins 44-40.
But those things do count.
"I told the kids, `I'll take this.' It's a 15-point loss, but I'll take it," said Sanchez. "The fight was valiant. It was a tough game and we had to fight through a lot of adversity. We just didn't finish, but I'll take the fight in this team anytime.
"They could have given up; they didn't."
Sanchez dodged comments about the officiating, but she didn't dodge her first technical as a Lobo coach that came in the second half after a Lobo took an elbow, but was called for a foul.
"I had to fight for my team and I did," said Sanchez.
The foul led into a media timeout and as Sanchez walked onto the floor she was whistled for the technical. It wasn't a bad "T." The Lobos went on a 9-0 run and at the 3:18 media break were down 46-42. However, that was as close as the Lobos got.
"Under the conditions we played in, I thought we did the best that we could to give it all we had," said Sanchez. "But there are no excuses. We give up 17 offensive rebounds. That's way too many. We had 20 turnovers. That's way too many."
Sanchez also said the Miners' 12-0 run to open the second half pushed UNM into a 17-point hole that was tough to climb out of against a Miner team aggressive on defense and aggressive on the boards.
"The start of the second half had nothing to do with anything but us," said Sanchez. "You have to start better on the road. You just can't do that. You can't miss assignments. That's on us."
"Under the conditions we played in, I thought we did the best that we could to give it all we had."
Lobo Coach Yvonne Sanchez
The loss dropped the Lobos to 8-4 and pushed UTEP to 10-1. The Lobos got 16 points from Caroline Durbin and nine points and nine boards from Deeva Vaughn. UTEP got 22 points from Kayla Thornton (6-of-8 from the line), 11 points from Irene Gari and 10 from Anete Steinberga (6-of-7 from the line).
The Lobos lost the board battle 42-41 and had 20 turnovers to 14 for UTEP. UNM shot 35.7 percent from the floor, 4-of-15 from 3-point range. UTEP shot 28.1 percent, 8-of-20 from long range.
The Lobo women play next Dec. 29 at Colorado in Boulder.
Second Half: UTEP Miners 34, New Mexico Lobos 24
The Miners hit the Lobos hard and quick in both halves. UTEP went up 10-2 in the first half and turned a 26-21 halftime lead into a 38-21 lead with a 12-0 run. Sanchez burned a timeout at 35-21.
Erskine finally broke the ice for UNM inside and UNM was down 15 points, 38-23. That started a short UNM run. A Durbin trey made it 38-26 and a Sara Halasz layup made it 38-28. UNM was on a 7-0 run and trying to scratch its way out of a huge hole. The Miners got a trey and carried a 41-28 lead into the media break at 11:45.
The Miners drifted up 46-33 on three free throws by Kayla Thornton, two off a technical on the UNM bench. That "T" did seem to fire up the Lobos. They went on a 9-0 run and at the 3:18 media break were down by four - 46-42.
The Miners came out of the huddle with possession and needing to end their scoring drought. Parker did that with two free throws at 2:59: 48-42. The Lobos were fighting both the Miners and the clock and needed to play clean ball down the stretch. The Lobos turned the ball over at the 2:38 mark.
UNM called time and went into a full-court press. UTEP beat it with a long pass and a layup by Kelli Willingham. UTEP was up 50-42 with 2:34 to play. UNM's Vaughn missed back-to-back 3-pointers sandwiched around two Miner free throws and a Miner layup. UTEP was up 54-42 and that iced the Miners' tenth win of the season.
First Half: UTEP Miners 26, New Mexico Lobos 21
The Lobos had three more field goals in the first half and outshot the Miners 40 percent to 26.9 percent. However, UNM was damaged by 14 turnovers and UTEP going 9-of-13 from the line. The Lobos did not reach the line in the first 20 minutes and the Miners had half as many turnovers (7).
The Lobos did a good job on the boards and owned that stat 22-to-14. The Lobos played good defense and intimidated a lot of Miner shots. UTEP's defense led to 12 points off UNM's 14 turnovers.
The Lobos had 10 points off the bench with Deeva Vaughn pacing UNM in the first half with eight points and five boards. UTEP got 10 points from Anete Steinberga. The Miners' bench was 0-of-10 from the field.
The Lobos did not get off to a good start. At the 15:49 media stop, the Lobos had one field goal, five turnovers and Coach Sanchez had burned a timeout. The Miners were up 9-2. At the 11:52 break, UNM had cut the gap to 10-6. So far in the half, the defensive sides on both teams had outshined the offensive sides.
The Miners then drifted up 14-6 on an offensive putback by Anete Steinberga. The Lobos 11th turnover - a steal by Saidah Zuberi Allen - led to Allen going to the line and making both shots to create a 16-6 UTEP lead. UNM got back-to-back buckets from Johnson and Vaughn to help UNM carry a 16-10 deficit into the 7:55 break.
UNM's Durbin got her first points to cut UTEP's lead to 18-12. UTEP's Gari hit a trey to push UTEP up 21-12. Vaughn scored inside: 21-14. At the 3:38 media break, the score was still 21-14. The Lobos were outshooting UTEP 36.8 percent to 28.6 percent, but the Miners, up by seven, had seven free throws to none (0-of-0) for the visitors from New Mexico. The Lobos also had 13 turnovers at that mark to six for UTEP.
An Owens steal led to an Antiesha Brown layup, but a Gari trey made it 24-16 in UTEP's favor. Bryce Owens then hit a trey and UNM was down five at 24-19. UTEP's Steinberga was fouled by Jordyn Peacock and the Miner made two: 26-19. Durbin hit a jumper: 26-21. The Miners went for a final shot, missed it, and the Miners walked into the locker room with their five-point lead.