The University of New Mexico Women's Basketball team still has a bitter taste in its mouth, from the lose at New Mexico State last year as the Aggie ended a 11 year 22 game winning streak. The Lobos were able to split last year with NMSU winning in the Pit in comeback fashion. Lobos at 6-1 and Aggies come up North with a record of 3-3 looking to get back in the Rio Grand Rivalry as they are down 7.5 to 3.
The Lobos came into the game after a big win against a Big 12 foe in Nebraska especially playing great in the 2nd half as they ran away with the win. The Lobos were looking for their first complete game, of the year as they have had moments of greatness and other not so good times. But from start to finish this was the game New Mexico was looking for, a complete one. As the Lobos ran past the Aggies 80-48.
"I think we improved for a full game. We played a great second half against Nebraska and a poor first half. Tonight we played two outstanding halves. We were patient and poised and we haven't been to date. We have been a little nervous, a little anxious. We had some young kids and it affects them that way." Coach Flanagan told the press after the big win.
Two Players on the inside made this game go from start to finish, Angela Hartill and Valerie Kast. To start the game Hartill scored the first seven points and 11of 14 of UNM points to jump start the Lobos on offence. The rest of the fist half the Lobos never look back as the Lobos built a 36-17 lead at the half.
But the nights belong to one Lobo, a fan favorite from Estonia via Gallup, NM, Valerie Kast. "I am so proud of Val (Kast). She totally deserves this night. She has been working her tail off for the past few years and it definitely paid off today. She played really well." Said Hartill. Maybe it was the Aggies or it was because the game was on national TV, Valerie shinned like a star tonight, scoring 18 and blocking 6 shots. On the great night Kast ended the first half with 6 straight points to pad the Lobos lead.
"You know what I like that she did, she didn't play just good offense, she played good defense. She kept her hands up. She helped out from time to time. She bothered the low post player. She blocked a lot of shots. She is starting to understand what we need for her. If Val comes around we have another low post player, which gives us more weapons. I just want to keep improving with this team" Said Flanagan.
NMSU should be gunning for the Lobos as they will meet up on the 29th on December at the Pan American Center. "It feels pretty good, but in the back of your mind you know (NMSU) will be gunning for us when we go down there. It feels good but we know we have one more chance at them." Said Hartill
Freshmen updatesNot to be out done two freshmen are finding their roles on this year's team. After spraining her ankle a few games ago Lauren Taylor, has been on playing great scoring in double figures already twice this season and showing that she is a pure shooter and can hit the three. Sara Halasz who creaked the starting line up at he being of year, as shown she is worth for and plays better coming off the bench. Sara has been helping the Lobos pushing the ball in transition and finishing on the fast break. Also, she is able to sit back and hit the three at times as well.