10:00 PM ET, December 8, 2006
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- No. 23 New Mexico will be well rested for UCLA.The Lobos substituted freely and frequently Friday night in a 77-41 win over Sam Houston State in the first round of the Southwest Airlines Shootout.New Mexico (7-2) will play UCLA (6-4) in the championship game Saturday. The Bruins beat Delaware State 64-54."They're talented and they're tall," New Mexico coach Don Flanagan said of the Bruins. "It will be more of a traditional game."The New Mexico-Sam Houston mismatch was not.Julie Briody scored 15 points and the Lobos used a 14-0 first half run to put away the overmatched Bearkats.Sam Houston State (3-5) hit just four field goals in the first as only three players scored in the opening 20 minutes. New Mexico led 42-12 at halftime.The Bearkats ran their offense better in the second half, but the Lobo lead was too much to overcome. The Lobos conceded it was tough to keep their intensity level going after the lopsided first half."It was hard to stay focused," said New Mexico guard Katie Montgomery. "They (Bearkats) have been down 30, 40 points before, so we knew they were going to come out hard in the second half."The Bearkats have played a tough early season schedule that included losses to SMU (84-50), Texas (84-56), Rice (91-48) and Baylor (117-50).Sam Houston State struggled in every facet of the game in the first 20 minutes. The Bearkats trailed 13-5 when Lobo center Dionne Marsh hit a turnaround jumper in the lane to kick off the 14-0 run.Briody, who had a pair of 3-pointers in the game's first four minutes, hit another 3 and a baseline jumpshot and Marsh added a layup and a free throw during the Lobos' burst.Sam Houston State's shots either didn't fall or were tipped by the Lobos, who finished with eight blocks. Adah Wells scored eight points for the Bearkats, and Erica Parker and Morgan Collom had seven apiece.New Mexico outrebounded the Bearkats 48-29.Flanagan played reserves over the final 3 minutes of the first half, but that didn't prevent the lead from growing. Ten Lobos scored in the opening 20 minutes, compared to three Bearkats.Kendall Homesley, one of only two seniors on Sam Houston's squad, hit a 3-pointer in the opening minute of the first half, but New Mexico countered with a basket by Marsh and back-to-back baskets by Brandi Kimble.Marsh had 13 points and Kimble 12. Kimble and Briody each had 8 rebounds.
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