5:00 PM ET, February 12, 2006
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Solid from 3-point range and sensational at the foul line, No. 20 New Mexico had no trouble extending its four-year-long homecourt winning streak in Mountain West Conference games.The Lobos, with Abbie Letz and Katie Montgomery hitting four 3-pointers apiece, hit a season-high 11 and made 28 of 30 free throws Sunday in an 87-63 win over TCU.Letz finished with 22 points and Montgomery had 12 to help New Mexico (18-6, 8-3 Mountain West) run its homecourt winning streak in conference games to 33. The Lobos haven't lost in The Pit since Jan. 6, 2002, when UNLV beat New Mexico. The win Sunday also avenged a 76-67 loss to the Lady Frogs in Fort Worth, Texas, last month."I don't know where it (shooting) came," said Letz of her highest scoring game in more than a month. "My shooting in practice this week was horrendous."Sophomore Adrianne Ross, a former prep star from Hobbs, N.M., and Lorie Butler-Rayford each scored 16 to lead TCU (12-9, 6-4).Lobos reserve guard Julie Briody scored 12 of her 14 points in the first half and sparked a 16-3 run late in the opening period and through the first 1½ minutes of the second that broke it open.New Mexico went with five guards for much of the last 10 minutes of the first half. The smaller but quicker lineup got the Lobos' offense rolling and staked New Mexico to a 36-28 halftime lead."It wasn't something I planned to do," New Mexico coach Don Flanagan said. "Both our post players got in foul trouble trying to stop their penetration drives. The same thing happened at Fort Worth. This time I felt like, 'Let's go with all guards' and hopefully we could just hang in there until halftime. I didn't think we'd get an eight-point lead."Briody scored five points -- including a pair of free throws off a technical on TCU coach Jeff Mittie with 2:51 left in the first half. Letz hit two free throws, then added a turnaround jumper in the final minute.Letz, who has been nursing a bad back, opened the second half with a layup and a 3. Ross momentarily slowed the Lobos' run with a 3, but New Mexico followed with a 10-0 burst on 3s by Jana Francis and Montgomery, two free throws by Dionne Marsh and a jumper by Brandi Kimble."I felt going into the half, we were OK," Mittie said. "The first five minutes (of the second half) were critical. We got opportunities, but things didn't go and it snowballed from there."Marsh scored two points while playing just six minutes in the first half after picking up two early fouls. She finished with 12 points.TCU, which was 8-for-17 on 3s in the win last month over the Lobos, was just 3-for-13 this time. New Mexico was 11-of-22."They were the aggressors in the second half," Mittie said. "They deserved the baskets they were making."TCU had plenty of scoring chances as the Lady Frogs had 22 offensive rebounds and a 42-36 edge overall. But TCU hit just 19 of 66 shots (28.8 percent). Second chances were all the Lobos gave the Lady Frogs."Normally, that is what would really hurt us," Flanagan said of TCU's offensive rebounds. "But we got back in transition and didn't give them too many easy opportunities."
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Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||19-62 (.306)||24-52 (.462)|
|3P Made-Attempted||3-13 (.231)||11-23 (.478)|
|FT Made-Attempted||22-30 (.733)||28-30 (.933)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||24 (0/0)||23 (0/0)|