Nov. 18, 2011
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.--New Mexico women's basketball will host No. 13/14 Oklahoma at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19 in the Lobos' 2011-12 home opener. Saturday's contest is also the First Annual Alumnae Day and is Youth Jersey Day.
The Lobos will be looking to claim their first win of coach Yvonne Sanchez's inaugural season, having dropped their first two games of the season on the road to Texas Tech on Nov. 11 and to North Texas on Nov. 14.
New Mexico has relied heavily on sharp-shooter Caroline Durbin early on in the season. The junior led the Lobo pack in both road games, tallying 17 points against the Red Raiders and a team-high 11 points against the Mean Green.
Jayme Jackson and Porche Torrance have also been big contributors. Jackson had 10 points against North Texas on a 5-of-10 shooting effort. Torrance scored six points and collected four rebounds at TTU, and recorded nine points and seven rebounds against the Mean Green.
New Mexico will be without freshman post Whitney Johnson, who sustained a season-ending ACL tear at North Texas.
The trouble spot for the Lobos--and something they will look to limit against a tough Sooner squad--has been turnovers.
New Mexico had 30 turnovers against the Red Raiders and 23 miscues at North Texas.
Sanchez's squad is looking forward to returning home to The Pit and plans to feed off the energy of the Lobo crowd as they battle with the top-20 team. Saturday's game against the Sooners will kick off an eight-game home stand for the team.
Oklahoma comes to The Pit having won their season opener, 117-55 over Sacramento State on Nov. 13 at home. The Sooners rank No. 13 in the Associated Press poll and No. 14 in the ESPN/USAToday Coaches' poll. Sherri Coale's squad was picked to finish fourth in the Big XII in preseason polls.
Like the Lobos, Oklahoma has had to contend with loss of key personnel due to injury. Senior co-captain Jasmine Hartman and junior co-captain Lyndsey Cloman both suffered ACL tears and, like Johnson and Lobo junior Sara Halasz, will have to lead from the sidelines while rehabbing.
Leading the Sooners' rout of the Sacramento State Hornets was sophomore guard Aaryn Ellenberg with 28 points and 6-foot-1 redshirt junior Whitney Hand, who recorded 18 points and 10 rebounds.
The Lobos will have their work cut out for them contending with Oklahoma's size. The Sooners average 6-foot-1 as a team, with 6-6 sophomore Nicole Griffin being the tallest, and eight of the team's 13 players measuring 6-0 or taller.
Former Lobo greats will be given four tickets to Saturday's game and will be recognized at halftime. Alumnae and their guests/families can also enjoy a reception immediately following the game in the Letterman's Lounge on the VIP level of The Pit. Refreshments will be available and current and former Lobos will have the opportunity to talk hoops.
In honor of Youth Jersey Day, all fans aged 2-18 sporting their youth team's jersey to the Oklahoma game will get a $2 ticket valid in all bench seating.
There will also be a moment of silence prior to the national anthem in honor of Oklahoma State's assistant women's basketball coach and former Lobo Miranda Serna. Serna was killed tragically in a plane crash on Nov. 17.
For more information, or to purchase tickets call 925-LOBO or 1-800-955-HOWL.
Women's basketball practice will be open to the media 3-3:20 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 18 with coach Sanchez and select players available following the conclusion of practice.