Jan. 12, 2011
By Chelsea Einerwold, Writer/GoLobos.com
Despite senior Amanda Best's 14 points and eight rebounds, the University of New Mexico women's basketball team fell to Colorado State 71-60 in Mountain West Conference play Wednesday night at Moby Arena in Fort Collins, Colo.
The loss puts the Lobos to 6-8 overall and 0-2 in the conference while the Rams improved to 8-7 overall and 1-1 in league play.
New Mexico shot 34.6 percent from the field, making 18-of-52 attempts while CSU connected on 26 of their 61 attempts for a slight edge with 42.6 percent. The Rams held the advantage on the boards as well, pulling down 38 rebounds (including 16 offensive boards) compared to the Lobos' 32.
"One thing I can say is that we're shooting our free throws well," said New Mexico head coach Don Flanagan in a post-game interview with 610 AM The Sports Animal. "We are getting to the free throw line more often."
The Lobos shined at the free throw line, making their trips to the stripe count. New Mexico hit 19-of-21 attempts for a whopping 90.5 percent, topping their season free throw average of 70.2 percent.
"We were a little impatient in our offense and we weren't getting much," said Flanagan. He added that the anxiety on offense led to some hurried three-point basket attempts, which in turn, resulted in 5-of-26 on treys. The Lobos also committed 17 turnovers to just 11 by CSU.
Jasmine Patterson and Best were the only two Lobos to reach double figures. Patterson recorded 11 points, seven of which came off a perfect evening at the free throw line.
CSU had four players in double figures. Kim Mestdagh led all scorers with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Chatil Van Grinsven added 14, Haley Thompson had 13 and Sam Martin scored 12 points for the Rams.
New Mexico made it on the scoreboard first off a Best free throw 20 seconds into the game, but CSU quickly answered with a Sam Martin jumper and never looked back. The Rams led 34-24 at halftime and held that comfortable lead for the first eight minutes of the second half until a three-point play by Kielpinski sparked a 7-0 run by New Mexico to bring the Lobos within two points of CSU, 44-42, with 10:32 remaining.
The Lobos hovered close to matching the Rams for another two possessions, with the score back to within two points again (46-44) with 9:55 left in regulation.
CSU was able to pull away from New Mexico, back up to a 10 point lead with just under six minutes remaining, but another Kielpinski-ignited run drew the Lobos to within three points with just 3:44 to go.
The Rams pulled away after that, hitting 7-of-9 free throws in the final 1:19 for a final score of 71-60.
"We had good effort in the last ten minutes," said Flanagan. "In the first ten minutes, our effort wasn't good enough. We seem to start slow, let them get a lead on us and then try to catch up. I like our effort late, but we have to give that effort for 40 minutes. We've got to go back and figure out how to get something out of our offense."
The Lobos look for their first conference win this Saturday as they travel to San Diego State. New Mexico and the Aztecs tipoff at 2 p.m.