It doesn't matter the sport, it doesn't matter the gender whenever the University of Utah rolls around Lobo fans really want their Lobos to beat them every time. In the case of women's hoops there is usually a conference title at stake. Year in and year out UNM and Utah have been the class of the Mountain West, between the two programs they have 2 sweet sixteen's and an elite 8 appearances. Tonight marks the first MWC home game for the Lobos, after a tough conference opener with a 54 to 51 loss at Wyoming.
For a Sunday afternoon game during NFL playoffs the crowd on hand was pretty good and really excited. The Lobos started the game on a 10 to 0 run behind Timi E-Nunu's 4 points and sharp shooting by Katie Montgomery. For most of the first half the Lobos lead the game form any were form 6 to 13 points. With some costly turnovers and bad shot selection Utah was able to go on a run to close out the half and be down only 34 to 30 at the half. Utah ended the half on a 13 to 3 run. The Lobos were lead by all-MWC performer Julie Briody with 13 points in the first half.
The second half seemed like it would start like the first half well it did in a way. The Lobos opened up with a 3 from Dionne Marsh and Julie Briody that really set the Lobo crowd on fire. Unfortunately, the Lobos couldn't capitalize as UNM went scoreless for seven plus minutes until Dionne Marsh made a nice move inside to score the bucket and break the drought. To make the score 42 to 36 with 11:25 left in the game. For the next five minutes both teams looked like they were playing in the piles of snow and ice outside the Pit from last week's snowstorm as both teams went ice cold from the field only scoring 2 more points in 5 minutes of play. Coming down the stretch the game was going back and forth with the lead changing a few times and with Utah holding a 1 point lead in a horrible shooting half for both teams, with UNM shooting a chilly 16% from the field in the second half.
As cold as the shooting was, the game was hot as women kept hitting the floor for loose balls and rebounds. The game went back and fourth with the lead changing hands many times in the final minutes! With the score 49 to 48 in Utah's favor, UNM's Brandi Kimble stole the ball away to give UNM the final shot. The Lobos in bounded the ball, and with :08 on the clock Brandi Kimble had a lane from the baseline, she drove to the basket and got a great look but could not just missed the lay-up! She had a 2nd chance as he secured her own rebound and missed the hoop again and Utah escapes with a 49 to 48 victory ending UNM's 35 game home MWC winning streak.
Lobo bench gets excited as Kimble drives the lane!
Reaction to the miss
Not a great weekend for Lobo hoops fans as both the men and women were beat. The good news is the conference is young and both teams still have an excellent opportunity to jump back into the race.
Photos courtesy of NewMexicoSportsNews.com