ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- New Mexico senior guard Julie Briody
serves as a role model to her teammates in many ways, especially
when it comes to setting the bar at the free-throw line.
She has made all but two of her 68 attempts this season and hit
nine consecutive free throws Thursday night as the No. 23 Lobos
beat Northern Arizona 62-51. The victory also was the ninth
straight for the Lobos (10-2).
Briody, who finished with 24 points against the Lumberjacks
(7-5), is just one free throw shy of the school record she set last
year when she hit 35 straight.
"I think it's just mental," said fellow guard Brandi Kimble,
who was 5 of 6 from the line. "I just take after Julie. She says
she's going to make it every time she goes to the line."
New Mexico converted 16 straight free throws in the second half
to stave off Northern Arizona, which rallied from a 37-22 deficit
to close within 51-45 with 2:24 remaining on a Megan Porter free
throw and layup.
New Mexico went nearly 5½ minutes between field goals, following
a Briody layup at the 6:20 mark. But during that period, the Lobos
were 8-for-8 from the free-throw line.
Dionne Marsh added 12 points for the Lobos and hit all four of
her free throws, while Angela Hartill scored 10 off the bench and
was 4 of 5 from the line.
Alyssa Wahl had 15 points for the Lumberjacks. Sade Cunningham
New Mexico led 33-20 at halftime, with Briody leading the way
with 12 points. The Lobos outscored the Lumberjacks 10-0 from the
free-throw line in the first half.
Overall, New Mexico was 27 of 30 from the line, while Northern
Arizona was 6-for-10.
While Flanagan was less than pleased with the Lobos' offense
Thursday night, he acknowledged that his team worked hard on
defense and turned more than a week of practice at the free throw
line into points.
"It finally paid off," he said.