The fifth-seeded New Mexico Lobos eliminated No. 8 Colorado State with a 67-54 victory in a first round game in the Mountain West Conference women’s tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center on Tuesday.
Sara Halasz had 20 points and six rebounds for New Mexico.
Amy Beggin added 18 points, five rebounds and four assists, but saved her best work for the final minutes.
Colorado State cut a 14-point lead to just two with 6:41 left, but the Lobos scored the final 11 points of the game.
Beggin scored the first seven in that run, but she said she was just filling her role.
“I do like to maybe make something happen when things aren’t going right, but I think that was just a case of my teammates setting me up,” she said.
New Mexico coach Don Flanagan said his team won the game during a 6-0 run to open the second half.
“I thought the key to the game probably was the first four minutes of the second half,“ he said. “We came out very well and took control of the game.”
Chatila Van Grinsven scored 16 points to lead the Rams. Kim Mestdagh added 13. Both players shot just 5 of 14 from the field.
Utah is next for New Mexico
The Lobos have had their troubles with New Mexico, including a loss in the conference tournament last year.
Amy Beggin said the team is not discouraged by its lack of success against the Utes.
“We haven’t beat them in a long time,” she said. “We’re looking forward to this matchup. Hopefully, we can break through that barrier and get a win this time.”
Beggin and her teammates will get that chance tomorrow.
There is an early leader for worst cheer in the conference.
It’s actually among the worst every year, but it has just been the most prevalent early on in the tournament.
Can someone explain why New Mexico cheerleaders, and in turn, fans, chant, “Everyone’s a Lobo. Woof, woof, woof?”
Lobos are wolves, correct?
What wolf barks like a dog? Don’t they howl?
And why is everyone a Lobo? Are the players on the other team also Lobos? The opposing fans?
There are just so many questions.
New Mexico brings a 6-foot-6 center off the bench that has to be well upwards of 250 pounds.
Yes, that is the New Mexico women’s team.
Valerie Kast hails from Estonia and was quite a find by New Mexico coach Don Flanagan.
Kast doesn’t move very well. In fact, she barely moves at all.
There’s no need. She just works her way down near the lane and waits for a teammate to try to get her the ball.
There is very little opposing teams can do if the entry pass is thrown properly because Kast actually has great touch around the rim.
She even made both free throws she attempted in the game.
A reporter from the Daily Lobo, the student newspaper at the University of New Mexico, took the microphone and stepped up to the plate for his big moment during the postgame press conference.
It didn’t go well.
He started out asking a question, paused, and then started a new question that was going absolutely nowhere.
It took about 45 seconds to finally ask New Mexico coach Don Flanagan something about being concerned by playing a somewhat close game while Utah breezed through its first round game.
That seemed like the question, but it’s really anyone’s guess.
The host school finally has its first team in action as the UNLV women’s team hits the floor to play Wyoming the final first-round game.
The Rebels are the No. 7 seed, while the Cowboys are seeded sixth.