Tuesday, December 4, 2007
UNM Rests After Loss to Ags
By Ken Sickenger
Journal Staff Writer
Monday was rest-and-recovery day for the University of New Mexico women's basketball team.
Coach Don Flanagan gave his players a day off after the 58-42 pounding they absorbed against rival New Mexico State on Sunday in Las Cruces.
The resounding loss was a shot to the pride of the Lobos (5-2), who saw their program's 22-game winning streak against NMSU abruptly halted.
"Taking (Monday) off will give them 48 hours to recover," Flanagan said. "Then we get to work and try to fix what went wrong."
Sophomore point guard Amy Beggin will need more time to bounce back. She'll be held out of today's practice and is considered "day-to-day" after that, Flanagan said.
Beggin suffered a whiplash type injury when she was knocked to the floor during Sunday's first half. She later left the game with a headache and dizziness.
Flanagan said Beggin felt much better Monday but saw a doctor and will do so again before she returns to action.
"Amy's a tough kid," Flanagan said, "and if today's any indication, I think she'll recover quickly. But we don't want her to even ride the (stationary) bike or have any kind of physical intensity until she's ready."
Beggin's teammates undoubtedly are more than ready to put Sunday's performance in their collective rear-view. A quick, highly motivated Aggies team effectively flattened UNM after halftime.
While New Mexico's overall play wasn't up to its usual standards, the offense was woeful. The visitors hit just 4-of-27 field-goal attempts in the second half, 0-for-8 from 3-point range.
Flanagan credited New Mexico State's quickness for disrupting the Lobo shooters, but senior Brandi Kimble (who was 1-for-9 from the floor) said it was simply a frigid shooting effort.
"We just were not knocking them down," Kimble said. "We were getting good looks, the shots just weren't falling."
UNM's offense certainly has performed better in its five home wins, but the point well has dried up alarmingly on the road. The Lobos have averaged just 43 points in losses at Cal and New Mexico State.
Aggies coach Darin Spence wrote off Kimble's three-point outing as simply an off day. However, he felt the Aggies' defensive game plan and hustle deserved much of the credit for stifling the Lobos.
"I thought our defense had 90 percent to do with it," Spence said. "It's no secret we wanted to make (UNM post Dionne) Marsh work, so we doubled her a lot. And when we did, I thought (posts Angela Hartill and Jessica Kielpinski) were tentative to take open shots."
For the Lobos to succeed against top-flight opponents, Beggin and Marsh will need more scoring help. The duo combined for 29 points Sunday, while their teammates were 4-for-36 from the floor and managed just 13 points.
Even Marsh wasn't always assertive enough.
"Dionne only took eight shots," Flanagan noted. "She needs to shoot more than that."
UNM got less production from other positions. Starters Hartill and Eileen Weissman were a combined 0-for-10 from the field and did not score in 35 minutes played.
Flanagan has an opportunity to retool his offense this week. The Lobos return to action Friday against Norfolk State and will face either Towson or Southern on Saturday in the Comcast Lobo Shootout at the Pit. Then the schedule gets tougher.
"We have to be better prepared and play better," Marsh said. "We have to, it's pretty much as simple as that."