Nov. 9, 2009
Monday: Lobos 100, Eastern New Mexico 52
Friday: Vs. Northern Colorado, 7 p.m., The Pit (WNIT)
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
You've heard of a "Perfect 10." Lobo Lauren Taylor presents you with a "Perfect 20."
That's how her 20 points were formed Monday night in The Pit during New Mexico's 100-52 exhibition romp over the Eastern New Mexico Zias. Taylor didn't miss a shot.
"It happens sometimes," said Taylor. Said Lobo coach Don Flanagan: "I thought Lauren had good minutes."
Taylor put in 25 minutes in UNM's exhibition roll of the Zias in front of a crowd of 6,604. She went 7-of-7 from the floor, 4-of-4 from 3-point range and 2-of-2 from the free throw line. She also kicked in three assists and four steals.
It's a statistical line Flanagan surely wouldn't mind seeing duplicated Friday when the Lobos play for real in a preseason WNIT Pit game vs. Northern Colorado.
What Flanagan doesn't want to see duplicated is some of the defensive work he saw Monday, especially when the Zias were hanging around at 24-20. Sure, the Lobos won by 48 points, but Flanagan has this thing about defensive basketball.
"I didn't think we played great defense," he said. "I wanted to keep them in the 40s and we didn't."
Said Amanda Best, who had 12 points and 12 rebounds: "We didn't play very good defense tonight and it was kind of evident. It was good we got a little practice game in before we start on Friday."
Flanagan wasn't trying to be negative about his team's roll of Zias in The Pit, but this is the time of year coaches look for flaws and try to iron out the kinks. There are bigger fish for the Lobos to fry down the road.
"They (Zias) are undersized so obviously we had a big mismatch inside," he said. "I thought we could have taken advantage of that a little bit more with Val (Valerie Kast) and Jess (Jessica Kielpinski)."
Kast scored nine points and had three boards. Kielpinski scored nine points and had five boards. The two post players combined to shoot 7-of-19 from the floor against the smaller Zias.
One advantage the Lobos did have over the Zias was in talent, depth and quickness on the perimeter. It's an advantage UNM likely will have to lean on during the 2009-10 season. In that department, the Lobos did pretty well.
Best said the Lobos would try again to reach the 100-point mark, "but coach would rather keep the defensive end at a lower score."
The Zias learned a Pit lesson Monday that many other teams have learned before them. You don't let the Lobos run loose and confident in The Pit.
But stopping the Lobos from getting to that state of mind in University Arena is not an easy thing to accomplish.
The Zias did it for a while, but only for a while. Eastern was down only 24-20 before the Lobos went on a 16-0 run that turned into a 44-25 halftime lead and eventually into the 48-point romp.
The Lobos shot 48.5 percent from the field to 30 percent for Eastern. The Lobos won the battle of the boards 55 to 31 and out shot the Zias from the line 29-for-34 to 4-for-13. Taylor, Best and Beggin combined to go 15-of-19 from the floor.
The Lobos ran to their 44-25 halftime lead and just kept running away from the Zias. The Lobos' first six points of the second half came off treys by Beggin and Taylor. Kielpinski rolled out a post move and rolled in a bucket underneath to make it 52-28. She pushed UNM's lead up by one more with a free throw added to that bucket: 53-28.
Best's rebound total at the half was seven. She was now at nine and UNM was up 29-19 on the board work. The Lobos came out of a break and scored twice quickly on fast-break opportunities. The second bucket, by Taylor, had Eastern asking for a timeout. UNM was up 57-28.
A sky-high bomb by Caroline Durbin made it 62-31. Taylor got loose on an uncontested lay up to make it 64-31. At the 10:53 break, the Lobos were up 69-31. It didn't get any better for the visitors from Portales. At the 7:03 media break, UNM was up 80-39.
First Half (Lobos 44, ENM 25)
The Lobos had a little trouble shaking loose from the Zias early in the game. There was a pattern, of sorts, formed. The Lobos would jump ahead a bit. The Zias would rally a bit.
At the 15:53 break, UNM held a 6-5 lead. UNM got a momentum-type hoop from Beggin at 14:41. Eastern turned the ball over and Beggin broke away from the pack. The UNM senior rolled in a basket off the glass and was fouled. She made the free shot and UNM was up 11-5.
Eastern scratched back to make it 11-10. Beggin got loose on another lay-up to raise UNM into a 15-10 lead. The Lobos got their biggest lead of the game up to that point at 18-11 when Durbin was fouled on a drive, made the shot and made the free throw. Kast then blocked a Zia shot, came down and worked the baseline for a short jumper: 20-11.
But the Zias didn't go away -- yet. A couple of treys helped Eastern pull to 24-20. Taylor got a big basket to push UNM up 27-20. Probably the biggest thing about the hoop was it was UNM's first trey of the game. Eastern then turned the ball over to some solid pressure on defense by the Lobos. Taylor came back and banged in another trey. UNM was up 30-20 and Eastern called a timeout.
Best padded UNM's lead with two free throws and UNM was up 32-20. Nikki Nelson then forced a turnover near midcourt, which led to a fast break and a Taylor score from underneath. Again, Eastern called a timeout. This time down 34-20.
Taylor then struck again from behind the line. It was a transition bucket set up by a Nelson rebound. Taylor was open on the right baseline and hit her third trey to make it 37-20. She had scored 11 of UNM 13 points at that point.
Nelson added her name to the scoring stats with a trey near the top of the key: 40-20. UNM was on a 16-0 run. The Lobos rode that to their 44-25 halftime lead.
The Lobos were paced in the half by Taylor with 13 points on her 3-of-3 shooting from behind the line. Kielpinski had six points and Best had seven boards in the first 20 minutes. Eastern shot 28.1 percent from the floor to 53.3 percent for the Lobos. The Zias were led by Clay with eight points.