Lobo women not in panic mode yet

It's safe to say that heading into Mountain West Conference basketball play, head coach Yvonne Sanchez hoped her UNM women's team would be 0-2 after a pair of MWC games. It was not a stretch to think the Lobos (6-10), despite injuries and inconsistencies in the pre-conference schedule, would accomplish that. The opening road loss to Boise State was not unexpected. But a home loss to Wyoming was.

Still in the aftermath of that disappointing loss, Sanchez said she and her team are not ready to let desperation come into their locker room.

"Yeah you know you're 0-2… it's not panic time by any means," she said as New Mexico heads into a road game Wednesday. But it'd be nice to go and get a road win."
The Lobo women meet up with San Diego State Wednesday in San Diego, a sure test as the Lady Aztecs are 2-0 in the league after an overtime win at UNLV Saturday night.

"San Diego State is leading the conference right now," said Sanchez in her weekly press conference Monday. "They had a great win (Saturday) against UNLV at UNLV. They beat TCU, I believe that game was at home. They're playing the best basketball right now that I've seen on film. Not that they're unbeatable. We're going to go in there with the mind-set of trying to beat San Diego State."

The Lady Aztecs are led by post player Courtney Clements, who is averaging 16.3 points per game and 4.p rebounds per game. Guard Chelsea Hopkins averages 10.5 ppg and 5.8 assists per game.

"(We expect) a lot pressure," said Sanchez. "Pressure on the ball, pressure on the wings, Denial. Transition. And then they run a million sets. (SDSU head coach Beth Berns) has that thing going a little bit. So she's got the post and the guard and both positions are playing really, really well.

"Courtney Clements, 54, we've to limit her touches and Chelsea Hopkins, their point guard, (we have to) limit her transition baskets and keep her off the rebound," said Sanchez.

Injuries are still dogging the Lobos with Deeva Vaughn and Jourdan Erskine both out for this week. Vaughn suffered he third concussion of the recently while Erskine was diagnosed with a stress fracture in her foot at the end of the non-conference play.

"Jourdan will get another X-ray next Monday so unfortunately she'll be out of this week's games," said Sanchez. "Deeva has her testing on Wednesday. But even if she passes everything I don't know that they'll let her just go and play right away being it her third one. I haven't gotten a definitive answer on Deeva. Obviously if she doesn't pass it's back to square one. But if she does, when they're going to get her out there."

Sanchez said that with both players, getting healthy was the number one thing at this point. Vaughn has begun seeing a neurologist, said Sanchez and getting neuropsych testing.

 "The MRI was good. It didn't show any abnormalities, which really relieved me," said Sanchez.

New Mexico hosts UNLV (13-5, 1-1) Saturday afternoon in The Pit.

I think for us... Winning is important to all of us. But I think for us it's just to get better. Because if continue to improve we are going to win games. So the important part for us is to box out better. We gave up 17 and 20 offensive rebounds the last two games. So against a team like San Diego State if we give up eight to ten then you get better. And you look at those little things. And by the time you look up, the score's your way. The Lady Rebels travel to TCU Wednesday night. The Lady Frogs have been struggling this season and stand at 8-9 and 1-1 in conference having lost to SDSU in the MWC opener last Wednesday and beaten Colorado State last Saturday.

Sanchez said getting better is the key to everything at this point of the season.

"So I think the most important thing is not to put lot of pressure on ‘We have to win. We have to win," she said. "We have to get better. We have to get better on boxing out. We have to run our sets better. And if you improve on those things, the wins will come."


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