In a game that was never really close the Lady Lobos showed why they are still top dog in the Mountain West Conference, by ripping Utah 59 to 42.
#31 Brandi Kimble
Lead by Brandi Kimble with 16, Dionne Marsh with 15 and Katie Montgomery with 14 points respectfully the Lobos cruised to victory behind great team defense and knocking down the shots tonight.
In the first half the Lobos came right out of the gate, and about half way through the first half the Lobos have held the Utes to 8 points and while building themselves a ten point lead, with good defense. Coach Flanagan was pleased with the start "The start was very important, getting them out of their rhythm with the half court offense is extremely important." A few times in a row the Lobos held the Utes to shot clock violations. "It comes from good effort and I think effort comes form leadership on the team, they really wanted to win this game and the effort was outstanding," stated coach Flanagan. In games that UNM and Utah have played they have been typically close and low scoring. The first half for the Lobos was great they were shooting great and playing on both sides of the court to perfection. After the first half was over the lobos were well in control up 31 to 17.
Don't Mess With Dionne!
The second half started as the first half ended as the Lobos went on a eight to zero run to start the half, to take a 22 point lead. The Lobos built the lead up to 26, lead in the second half behind the brilliant play of Brandi Kimble "The thing about Brandi is if you leave her alone, she has a lot of good instincts, she can score, when she is just relaxed, she is tough to defend," says Coach Flanagan. Utah no slouch in their own right were able to crawl within 14 points with 7 minutes and change left but, the Lobos put the clamps down and Utah was never able to get any closer. The balanced team effort led the Lobos over Utah for the 6th straight time 59 to 42
Katie Montgomery being Katie Montgomery!
To Prove how good the Lobos "D" was tonight the Lobos held the top to players for Utah and 2 players that were pre-season first team in the MWC and pre-season ALL American Candidates Shona Thorburn and Kim smith to 11 points combined. "I did not expect to hold (Shona) Thorburn an (Kim) Smith in single figures, that was just outstanding, great job by our defense." stated coach Flanagan after the game
After the game I was able to sit down with Brandi Kimble Sophomore guard.
What does it mean to come out with a win like this to start the MWC?
It is great for us and it will impress other teams that play tonight. We just got to continue it and play hard like we did in the first half and make a statement, in every game.
What does it mean to hold to First team all MWC players in single digits?
It is huge I think it was the difference, our help defense, was really great, so we just shut them down.
With the injuries and the loss to Oklahoma last week what were your expectations going into this game?
Well, we just wanted to beat the odds. We knew we lost two great players, but we knew we had a great team just go out there and prove everyone wrong!
What are your thoughts about the upcoming Colorado State game?
It will be an up tempo game, we need to play twice as hard, and be prepared for the referees to not give you the calls.
A big win for the UNM basketball team as they hold home court and prepare for a trip up to Fort Collins this weekend.
Photos courtesy of NewMexicoSportsNews.com