Stevens: Sanchez Doesn't Expect Her Lobos To Be Trapped By Huskies

Nov. 17, 2012

New Mexico Lobos Women's Basketball - In The Pit

Sunday: 1 p.m., Houston Baptist at New Mexico
On The Air: 610-AM KNML with Joe Behrend & Nikki Heckroth

By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/

The New Mexico Lobos vs. Houston Baptist has all the makings of a trap game, but not for Lobo Coach Yvonne Sanchez.

"I don't believe in trap games," said the second-year Lobo coach.

To simplify, a trap game is a game against an opponent you probably should stomp, but because it comes after a big game or before a big game, maybe your team isn't properly motivated or focused.

So, you step into a trap.

The Lobos are coming of a huge 65-61 Pit win over a Texas Tech program that has pretty much pounded the Lobos over the years.

And here comes a Houston Baptist team that UNM whipped by 27 a year ago in Houston.

Sanchez doesn't believe trap games should happen for a couple of reason.

1. A true competitor should relish the next opportunity to play well and win. 2. The Pit crowd that embraces the Lobo women at a high level of passion deserves honest effort from the Lobos.

So, that's what Sanchez expects at 1 p.m., Sunday in The Pit.

"You should be ready to play the next game," said Sanchez. "Houston Baptist only lost by nine at UTEP and they are a different team. They had injures last year and players sitting out.

"We are going to get their best and we have to be prepared for it.

The Huskies had a year with a number of similarities to the season UNM had in 2011-12. They lost some players. They were hit by injuries. They are supposed to be better in 2012-13.

They return a proven go-to player in Shanice Steenholdt from Roswell, N.M.

Steenholdt had her second double-double of the season in a 67-58 loss at UTEP. It wasn't a bad loss to a UTEP team that went 29-4 a year ago.

The Huskies were hurt by 28.6 percent shooting in the second half and giving up 12 offensive boards in the second 20 minutes after giving up only one O-board in the first half.

Steenholdt paces the Huskies in scoring and rebounding with 13.7 points per game and 9.3 boards. Taylor Jefferson gives Houston Baptist some firepower on the edge with an 11.3 average and Erin McGarrachan helps inside with a 9.7 scoring average while pulling down 8.7 boards per game.

McGarrachan had her first career double-double (12 points, 16 boards) in the Huskies' 73-46 win over Schreiner on Nov. 12.

"Last year we could key on (Steenholdt)," said Sanchez. "This year she has help. She has help from the guard positions, kids who can shoot the three. She has other posts, who can drive and help her inside."

The Huskies like to get the ball inside, but Sanchez says they won't turn down a fast-break opportunity.

"They will try to score in transition and transition always scares you," said the UNM coach. " On film, they look pretty impressive. We need to take them seriously and we will. We have to be prepared and we have to execute."

The Lobos need to make sure they back up a great win over Tech with, well, simply a win. Sanchez says her team showed a lot of chemistry and poise in the win over Tech.

"I love the way they are coming together and it was special the way they didn't fold under the pressure to Tech," said Sanchez. " I liked our composure and I like the physicality we played with.

"We got a bucket when we needed a bucket and we got a stop when we needed a stop. I'm enjoying watching the returning players having fun and winning games. That's special to me."

Come Sunday, Sanchez will be looking for something else special to her - a win.