Nov. 17, 2008
What:Travelers Tip-Off Tournament
Where: University Arena -- The Pit
Monday's Championship: Lobos 68, DePaul 66
Consolation: Idaho State 67, Alcorn State 50
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
In a grind-it-out game, in a grind-it-out moment, you give the ball to a grind-it-out type of player. You give it to Ms. Lobo Dependable.
That's exactly what Don Flanagan did Monday night in The Pit when his Lobos had 11 seconds to weave through the DePaul defense and hope to break a 66-all tie with a buzzer-beating shot.
Yep, inbounds the ball to Amy Beggin and sit back and watch the show. "The one thing you can depend on is Amy Beggin," said Flanagan. "When she broke through on that drive, I knew she was going to make it. She's just that kind of kid."
Beggin took the inbounds feed and raced directly into the heart of a DePaul defense that had stood pretty tough until that last confrontation with Beggin's will and with Beggins layup that tickled the cords with 2.8 seconds to play. New Mexico won 68-66, coming back from a 9-point deficit with 10:42 to play.
"It was kind of a grind-it-out game," said Flanagan, who saw his University of New Mexico women stay undefeated at 3-0 by winning the Basketball Travelers Tip-Off Tournament played Saturday through Monday in The Pit. "I didn't think we ever got comfortable. I didn't see a lot of poise out there with the exception of a couple of players."
Two of those Lobos were Beggin and senior Angela Hartill. Beggin ended the game with 11 points, nine in the second half, and Hartill, the tourney MVP, scored 17 points. No other Lobos made it to double figures. Beggin led UNM with eight rebounds. DePaul had three players in double figures, but the Blue Demon that hurt UNM time and time again was Deirdre Naughton, who finished with 31 points, 6-of-11 from behind the line.
"She's an incredible player," said Beggin.
Said Flanagan: "That kid could knock 'em down. She had a beautiful shot and a quick release."
The Blue Demons were in charge most of the game, but made the mistake of allowing the Lobos to hang around just close enough to make a run and get The Pit energized.
DePaul took its first lead at 5-2 in the first half and didn't give up the lead until there was 4:14 left in the game when UNM's freshman Sarah Halasz banged in a trey from near the base line on the right side. The Lobos stretched their lead to 64-60 on a Beggin layup with 2:52 to play, but Naughton tied the game at 66-all with 2:07 to play on a 3-pointer.
The Lobos had two turnovers in the final 1:07, allowing DePaul a chance to win the game with 32 seconds to play. The Blue Demons turned the ball over on a moving screen handing the ball to UNM -- and Beggin -- with 11 seconds to go.
"I was just focusing on the finish," Beggin said of her winning shot. "You know you have to take it to the hoop."
The Lobos take their unblemished mark to Stanford for an 8 p.m. tip on Thursday. The Cardinal took a No. 2 ranking into this week, before losing at Baylor.
DePaul took over the second half early, but not by much. With 11:53 to play, the Lobos were down 55-46. Naughton had 24 points. Hartill had 15 - a 9-point difference, a 9-point DePaul lead. Then the Lobos made a run.
Naughton hit one free throw at 7:57 to push the Blue Demons up 58-54. The score stayed there going into a UNM timeout at 6:30. The Lobos came out of the timeout and Beggin launched a long trey - swish, her first field goal of the game. It was 58-57 Depaul.
Depaul called a timeout and came out of the break with a set play inside. It worked and DePaul was up 60-57. Hartill came back for UNM with a turnaround 12-footer to make it 60-59. DePaul missed underneath and Halasz hit a trey to give UNM a 62-60 lead. DePaul missed again inside and Beggin drove and rolled in a layup under two defenders. UNM was up 64-60. Naughton came back and hit a huge trey off a pick and it was 64-63.
Halasz hits two free throws to push UNM back up 66-63. Naughton came back with a trey to tie it at 66-all setting the stage for Beggin's final heroics.
DePaul's size and athleticism bothered the Lobos throughout the first half. A key run for UNM came in that half after DePaul went up 36-24 with 4:08 to play. UNM outscored the Blue Demons 13-to-2 to go into the locker room down 38-37. UNM's Eileen Weissmann hit two treys in that run including one near the buzzer. Naughton lead all scorers at the half with 20 points. Hartill had 10 for the Lobos.