ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — There will be a postgame celebration following tonight’s University of New Mexico-BYU women’s basketball game at the Pit.
The Lobos just hope the Cougars won’t be involved.
UNM is planning its annual postgame sendoff for seniors Amanda Best and Jessica Kielpinski, who will play their final regular-season home game.
Only problem is, BYU comes in with an opportunity to clinch the Mountain West Conference’s regular-season title. The Cougars (21-7, 13-1) have won 10 consecutive games and would love to make their final Pit appearance as members of the MWC a memorable one.
“You wouldn’t figure them to be overlooking us,” Lobo coach Don Flanagan said. “This is the best team I’ve seen BYU have in quite a few years and they’ll be highly motivated. This game will be a big challenge for us.”
New Mexico (10-16, 4-10) played the Cougars tough last month in Provo, trailing just 66-62 with five minutes remaining. BYU finished with a 10-2 run, however, on its way to compiling an 8-0 home record in MWC play.
The Cougars have made a habit of wearing opponents down with a combination of depth and aggressive defense. That trend held true Saturday when they erased a 16-point deficit and defeated San Diego State 56-52.
The Lobos have improved their play recently, however, and are looking forward to a shot at the first-place Cougars. BYU was in Albuquerque for last season’s UNM senior day and found itself on the short end of a 62-30 rout.
“I don’t see that happening again,” Flanagan said, “but I’m confident we’ll come out and compete.”