Dec. 11, 2007
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- New Mexico women's basketball hosts Arizona Saturday at 7 p.m. inside the Pit. The Lobos are 7-2 overall and have won four of their last five games. UNM has four non-conference games left on the schedule including the Wildcats. Arizona heads into the week with a 4-4 mark and plays Boise State Wednesday before traveling to Albuquerque. The game will be available through all-access and gametracker on www.GoLobos.com.
Last Time Out - vs. Towson - W, 76-63 ... Senior Dionne Marsh scored 20 points in the championship game of the Comcast Lobo Shootout to highlight the Lobos 76-63 victory over Towson University on Saturday night. The Tigers took an early 19-9 lead, before UNM senior Brandi Kimble hit a three in the corner to start a 15-4 Lobo run. The 24-23 lead with 6:59 left in the first half was the Lobos first lead of the game. The Lobos ended the half on a 10-0 run during the final 2:19 of the first half. UNM managed take a 37-30 halftime lead. Towson battled for much of the second half but were held to 33 second-half points. TU's Holly Mahan hit a 3-pointer with a 1:04 remaining in the game to pull the Tigers within seven, 69-62. That was the closest they would get. Sophomores Amy Beggin and Eileen Weissmann made key free throws down the stretch to put the game out of reach. UNM held on to win, 76-63 and remain undefeated at home this season.
About Arizona (4-4, going into Wednesday's home game with Boise State) ... The Wildcats, under the direction of Joan Bonvicini, are currently 4-4 going into this week. U of A is on a two-game winning streak, following wins against Northern Arizona and at Long Beach State. Three players are averaging double figures in scoring for the Wildcats, senior Ashley Whisonant (15.0 ppg), freshman Ify Ibekwe (11.5 ppg), and junior Amina Njonkou (10.3 ppg). Ibekwe also leads the team in rebounds with 7.4 per game and is shooting 62.9 percent from the field. Whisonant leads the team in assists (48) and steals (16).
Totally UNOFFICIAL Attendance Rankings ... The University of Wisconsin annually provides a weekly Top 30 national list for attendance in women's basketball. This week's ranking, released on Monday, has New Mexico ranked sixth overall at 7,809 fans per game at The Pit, just behind Tennessee, Connecticut, Iowa State, Oklahoma and Purdue. The 8,042 that watched the Lobos take on Dayton on Nov. 10 ranks 22nd in single-game attendance so far in 2007-08.
Pit, Sweet Pit ... One of the great home court advantages in all of college basketball, The Pit begins year No. 30 as the home of Lobo women's basketball. The Lobos are currently 7-0 at home in 2007-08. UNM was 13-2 at home in 2006-07 and won its last six home conference matches. Since Don Flanagan took over the coaching duties in 1995-96, the Lobos have a record of 181-34 in The Pit.
Lobos Capture Comcast Lobo Shootout Championship ... New Mexico women's basketball defeated Towson, 76-63, Saturday in the championship game of the Comcast Lobo Shootout. The victory marked the third tournament title this season and UNM has now won nine consecutive tournaments held inside The Pit. During that span, the Lobos were 2-1 in the 2005 pre-season WNIT.
Comcast Lobo Shootout All-Tournament Team ... New Mexico All-America candidate Dionne Marsh was named the Most Valuable Player of the Comcast Lobo Shootout after chipping in 21- and 20-point performances against Norfolk State and Towson. Marsh receives her first MVP award of the season after averaging 20.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. The Flower Mound, Texas native shot 61.1 percent from the field and 82.6 from the charity stripe. Along with Marsh, sophomore Amy Beggin was named to the All-Tournament team. It was the third all-tournament honor of the season for each player.
Most Valuable Players ... Three different Lobos picked up Most Valuable Player honors in the three tournaments New Mexico participated in during the non-conference season. Senior Brandi Kimble picked up the honor in the first weekend of the season at the Women's Sports Foundation Challenge. Sophomore Amy Beggin earned the honor Thanksgiving weekend in the Holiday Inn and Suites Express Albuquerque Midtown Tournament, while senior Dionne Marsh picked up the honor this past weekend in the Comcast Lobo Shootout.
Titletown, Southwestern Style ... To go along with all of their recent post-season championships, the Lobos have started the 2007-08 season with three non-conference tournament titles. The Lobos have won nine consecutive non-conference tournament titles at home in The Pit since the 2004-05 season. Also during that stretch, the Lobos were 2-1 at home in the Preseason WNIT in 2005-06. The last season that UNM won three tournaments at home was 2002-03.
Recent tournament titles at The Pit
2007-08: Women's Sports Foundation Challenge (Nov. 9-11), Holiday Inn and Suites Express Albuquerque Midtown (Nov. 23-24), and Comcast Lobo Shootout (Dec. 7-8)
2006-07: Amerisuites Midtown Thanksgiving (Nov. 24-25), Southwest Airlines Lobo Shootout (Dec. 8-9)
2005-06: Thanksgiving Tournament (Nov. 25-26), Southwest Airlines Lobo Shootout (Dec. 9-10)
2004-05: Airport University Inn Thanksgiving Tournament (Nov. 26-27), Southwest Airlines Lobo Shootout (Dec. 10-11)
Super Sophomore Beggin ... Sophomore Amy Beggin has emerged as one of the top performers for New Mexico this season. Beggin, who has started every game at point, is averaging over 34 minutes, 13.6 points and 5.3 assists per game. The Maplewood, Minn., native is ranked second in the country in assist-turnover ratio at 3.69 and is ranked in the top 70 in assists per game (26 - 5.3), three-point field goal percentage (29 - .457), free throw percentage (68 - .852) and three-point field goals made (70 - 2.3) in this week's NCAA rankings, the only Lobo in the national rankings. She scored a career-high 21 points against Nicholls State on Nov. 23 and has scored in double-figures six times this season, including five consecutive. In the final game of the Holiday Inn and Suites Express Albuquerque Midtown tournament against Oregon, Beggin chipped in 17 and was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. She has matched her career-high for assists in a game twice this season with eight against Dayton and Towson.
Love That Defense ... The Lobos are currently ranked 15th in the country in scoring defense, only allowing opponents to score 52.0 points per game. UNM is also among the top 30 in the nation in turnovers per game (11th; 14.2), field goal percentage defense (21st; .339), rebound margin (21st; +9.8), assist-turnover ratio (24th; 1.04), and scoring margin (27th; +16.1).
Career Night at The Pit ... Several Lobos had set career marks against Norfolk State on Dec. 7. Sophomore Christian Shelter came off the bench to score a career-high 11 points and was a perfect 5 of 5 from the field, including 1 of 1 from three-point range in a career-high 14 minutes of action. Freshman Kelsey Ansley also came off the bench for 15 minutes and scored a career-high eight points, grabbed a career-high four rebounds and had career-highs with three assists, two steals and two blocks. Freshman Amanda Best had a career-high seven points. Freshman Porche Torrance recorded a career-high in points with three and rebounds with five. Freshman Jessica Kielpinski matched her career-high in points with 10, while sophomore Georonika Jackson matched her career-high in assists with three in just 10 minutes of action.
Windex Winners ... Sophomore Eileen Weissmann became the fourth Lobo this season to lead the team in rebounding when she grabbed a career-high nine boards against Towson on Dec. 8. Senior Brandi Kimble leads the team in number of games as the rebound leader with four, including a career-high 20 against Western Michigan to start the season on Nov. 9. Senior Dionne Marsh has come on lately as a rebounding leader, solely in three games, and sharing with Jessica Kielpinski against Oregon on Nov. 24.
Five-Game Homestand ... The Lobos are in the middle of a five-game homestand that began with two wins in the Comcast Lobo Shootout over Norfolk State and Towson. Up next, New Mexico hosts two Pac-10 schools, Arizona on Dec. 15, and nationally-ranked Stanford on Dec. 18. The women's basketball portion of the Route 66 Casino Hotel Rio Grande Rivalry wraps up on Dec. 21 against New Mexico State. The game against Stanford will be aired on The Mtn.
No. 400 On The Horizon for Flanagan ... Already the winningest basketball coach in New Mexico history, Don Flanagan is closing in on another coaching milestone, his 400th collegiate game. It will happen on Feb. 17, 2008 at TCU.
Kielpinski Providing Bench Power ... Freshman Jessica Kielpinski has quickly become a familiar face on the court for the Lobos. As one of the first players off the bench for Don Flanagan, Kielpinski is averaging 6.2 points and 4.0 rebounds so far this season. In the Comcast Lobo Shootout, the Mandan, N.D., native combined for 18 points and nine rebounds, while shooting 50.0 percent from the field.
Lobos Against Nationally-Ranked Opponents ... New Mexico will face at least two more nationally-ranked opponents this season when No. 21/23 Wyoming plays a home-and-home MWC series and No. 6/5 Stanford comes to The Pit on Dec. 18. The Lobos are 11-23 all-time against nationally-ranked opponents under head coach Don Flanagan. The last victory for UNM over a ranked team was on Nov. 17, 2006 against Texas. The Lobos downed the Longhorns, 63-60, inside The Pit. The last road victory over a Top 25 team was on Nov. 18, 2005 at No. 12 Texas, 76-68.