Stevens: Lobos Run Into Two Red-Hot Cowgirls in 63-53 Pit Loss
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  01/08/2011
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Jan. 8, 2011

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Lobo Women's Basketball - In The Pit
Wyoming 63, Lobos 53
Wednesday: Lobos at Colorado State, 8 p.m., Fort Collins

By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

There were a lot of little things that didn't make Lobo coach Don Flanagan happy in The Pit Saturday, but he only needed to focus on two stats to explain why Wyoming won 63-53.

Execution: The Cowgirls dished out 17 assists to only seven for the Lobos.
Shooting: Wyoming gunned with a 51 percent efficiency while the Lobos shot 30.5 percent.

"Their execution was better than ours and their shooting was better than ours. That was the game," said Flanagan, who saw his Lobos drop to 6-7 overall and 0-1 in Mountain West play. "We have to get more from our older players. They need to step up and play at a higher level and defend at a higher level.

"(Wyoming) is very difficult to stop, but they got so many easy interior baskets. We weren't even close inside."

Another key stat was the scoring from within the paint. Wyoming had 26 points in the paint to ten inside for UNM. These short shots were one reason the Cowgirls shot so well. They got those high-percent shots by running a smooth offense most of the afternoon in front of a crowd of 7,760.

"I thought we executed very well," said Wyoming coach Joe Legerski. "This is a very difficult place to play. Our players really stepped up tonight."

The Lobos ran into two red-hot Cowgirls Saturday in Aubrey Vandiver and Hillary Carlson, who fed off that smooth-running Wyoming offense to score 24 and 21 points, respectively. The Lobos got 12 points and seven boards from senior Amanda Best and 12 points from freshman Jasmine Patterson. Porche Torrance had seven rebounds for UNM, but did not score.

The Lobos knew which Cowgirls to defend going into the game, but couldn't do it. "We played with composure," said Vandiver.

Said Flanagan: "One of the weaknesses throughout the game was our defense, but they will make you look bad. I think they are going to give everybody a hard time."

The Cowgirls came out of the half up by five and extended their lead to 34-24 on a trey by Vandiver. Best hit a deep jumper off the dribble to make it 34-26. At the 15:18 break, Wyoming used two Vandiver backdoor layups to take a 39-28 lead.

The Cowgirls were running their offense well early in the second half. They scored twice inside and then Vandiver added a long trey over the UNM zone to form a 46-30 lead. The Lobos were down 16 points going into the 11:55 break.

Wyoming extended its lead to 52-34 before the Lobos got two free throws by Patterson and a trey by Tina Doughty to cut the gap to 52-39. Wyoming called time. The Cowgirls were up 54-39 at the 6:45 media break.

The Lobos continued to hack into the Wyoming lead. A Morgan Toben trey made it 54-42. Erin Boettcher drove to toss in a soft layup: 54-44 at the 4:58 mark. The Lobos were playing better at both ends, but the clock was not in UNM's favor. At the 3:59 break, Wyoming was up 56-44 - 12 points.

The Lobos battled to the end, but Wyoming rode the clock in for the impressive 10-point Pit win.

First Half: Wyoming 29, Lobos 24

Lobo Stat Leaders: Best 6 pts., 6 rebs.; Patterson 6 pts.

The first half was a series of runs with Wyoming rolling out the biggest run, 17-0, to help the Cowgirls fashion their 29-24 lead. That run helped Wyoming pull out of an 11-5 deficit into a 22-11 lead. The Lobos then shook the cobwebs off their offense and bog more aggressive on the defense end.

A Jessica Kielpinski 3-pointer pulled UNM to 25-24, before the Cowgirls scratched out the final four points of the half. The Lobos shot 34.6 percent from the floor in the first 20 minutes with Wyoming scoring at a 44 percent rate. Wyoming went 5-of-9 from behind the line and the Lobos went 4-of-13.

UNM won the board battle, 16-14. Carlson went 4-of-4 for Wyoming in the half and finished with 16 points.

Wyoming jumped up 3-0 before a Kielpinski trey and a short jumper, both on the left baseline, pushed the Lobos up 5-3. Patterson knocked down two more UNM treys up front and UNM carried an 11-5 lead going into the first media break at 15:12.

The Lobos' lead evaporating off a 9-0 Wyoming run. Carlson fueled that run with a trey, a step-away jumper and two free throws. Another Cowgirl, Vandiver,finally joined Carlson on the board to give Wyoming a 14-11 lead going into the second media stop.

Carlson came out the the break and continued to find space on the edge to launch her bombs. She hit two more and Wyoming was up 20-11. The run went to 17-0 and Wyoming was up 22-11 before UNM got buckets from Caroline Durbin and Doughty to make it 22-15. Wyoming hit another trey to take a 25-15 lead into the 7:33 break.

The Lobos continued to get offense and a lot of it came from Best. She scored six straight points to cut Wyoming's lead to 25-21. Wyoming's Landry went to the line looking at three free throws and missed every shot. Kielpinski then got three points for UNM from a single stroke at the top of the key: 25-24. Vandiver got loose under the bucket for a layup: 27-24. Wyoming's Randi Richardson got off a 16-footer just before the halftime buzzer to hand Wyoming a 29-24 lead.