sports 3 days ago

UNM women have best start in program history

Albuquerque Journal, N.M. — Ken Sickenger Albuquerque Journal, N.M.

Dec. 07--It won't go down as a perfect performance but No. 10 was still one for the books.

The red-hot University of New Mexico women's basketball team improved to 10-0 for the first time in program history Wednesday night by blowing out longtime nemesis Texas Tech at Dreamstyle Arena. Jaisa Nunn racked up her sixth double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds) of the season and the Lobos forced 20 Tech turnovers in a 90-56 romp.

Final score aside, this one was not about offense or hot shooting. The Lobos shot just 37 percent from the field over the first three quarters and were a chilly 4 for 18 from 3-point range until Emily Lines came off the bench to drain two in the closing minutes.

On this night, UNM won by attacking the Lady Raiders (3-5) and then attacking the basket. New Mexico finished with a 28-2 advantage in points off turnovers and scored 30 fastbreak points -- to the delight of a season-best announced crowd of 5,663.

"Defensively, our kids were really locked into the plan," Lobo coach Mike Bradbury said. "We hadn't used our press a lot but we felt like we could use our quickness to offset their height advantage. We got a few turnovers and run-outs with it and it kind of got the players and the fans excited."

UNM's defense effectively frustrated the visiting Lady Raiders all night, particularly star point guard Receé Caldwell, who scored just eight points on 4-of-20 shooting.

"We did a really good job playing team defense," said Lobo senior Tesha Buck, who finished with 20 points. "We all knew we had to pick up (Caldwell) and make it tough for her. Everybody helped out tonight."

Texas Tech, which has three players 6-foot-4 or taller on its front line, won the rebound battle but only by a 44-43 margin. UNM scored 12 second-chance points to the Raiders' 10. In Bradbury's mind, those stats amounted to a win.

"We really wanted to compete on the boards," he said. "(The Lady Raiders) just kill people with rebounding and we couldn't let them just shoot 'til they scored and kill us. To only be down by one rebound against that team, that's huge."

It was by far UNM's largest margin of victory against Texas Tech, which leads the all-time series 15-4 and has blown out the Lobos on more than one occasion. This time, however, New Mexico looked like the more composed team, even when most of its shots weren't falling.

After scorching the nets from 3-point range (15 for 22) in a 101-93 win at New Mexico State on Saturday, UNM was just 2 for 11 from long range in Wednesday's first half. In the third quarter, the Lobos began attacking the basket and drawing fouls. They went 11 of 11 from the line and extended a 37-27 halftime lead to 61-39.

"We've had nights where our shots are not falling," Buck said, "and nights where we can't miss. I just think we're so versatile, we'll find ways to score. Tonight we had to attack the basket and get to the (foul) line."

The Lobos began to dominate in the fourth quarter, bringing the fans to their feet more than once. Jasmine Smith converted a fastbreak on a no-look pass from Cherise Beynon, then Beynon scored on a back-door bounce pass from Smith on UNM's next possession.

Alex Lapeyrolerie later pulled up to drain a transition 3-pointer to give the Lobos a 78-50 lead, and Bradbury pumped his fist as the Raiders called timeout.

"You could see them getting frustrated when we forced turnovers," Nunn said. "(Bradbury) just told us to keep pushing the momentum and we did."

Beynon shrugged off an ice-cold first half to lead the Lobos with 21 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals. Brielle Blaire led Texas Tech with 10 points and seven boards.

Sunday

Navy at UNM

1 p.m., 610 AM/95.9 FM

LOBOS 90,

LADY RAIDERS 56

Texas Tech FG FT Reb

Min M-A M-A O-T A F Pts

Blaire 24 4-10 0-0 1-7 1 5 10

Caldwell 37 4-20 0-0 1-2 5 2 8

Bright 25 1-4 0-0 0-3 3 4 2

Terry 18 3-3 3-4 2-5 0 1 9

Olabode 17 2-8 0-0 2-7 0 5 4

Degrate 10 4-4 0-0 2-5 0 1 8

Whilby 22 2-7 0-0 0-2 0 0 5

Brewer 14 3-6 0-0 1-2 1 2 6

Hayden 8 0-0 0-0 0-2 1 0 0

Snders 20 2-4 0-2 3-4 1 0 4

McKnzie 5 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0

Totals 200 25-66 3-6 13-44 12 20 56

Percentages: FG .379, FT .500.

3-Point Goals: 3-20, .150 (Blaire 2-3, Caldwell 0-6, Bright 0-2, Oladobe 0-4, Whilby 1-5).

Team Rebounds: 4 (1 0ffensive).

Blocked Shots: 4 (Blaire, Terry, Oladobe, Degrate).

Turnovers: 20.

Steals: 2 (Blaire 2).

Technical Fouls: None.

UNM FG FT Reb

Min M-A M-A O-T A F Pts

Beynon 34 10-29 1-1 2-7 6 1 21

Buck 34 6-12 6-6 0-7 1 1 20

Flye 29 1-5 3-3 2-3 2 3 5

Lpyrlrie 32 3-9 0-0 0-3 0 1 8

Nunn 26 4-8 7-8 6-10 0 2 15

Smith 10 3-4 1-2 0-0 2 1 7

Lines 2 2-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 6

Burleson 3 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0

Bryan 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 2 0 0

Andrsn 14 2-3 0-0 1-3 0 0 4

Wshngtn 14 2-4 0-1 0-0 1 0 4

Totals 200 33-76 18-21 14-43 14 9 90

Percentages: FG .434, FT .857.

3-Point Goals: 6-20, .300 (Beynon 0-5, Buck 2-5, Flye 0-1, Lapeyrolerie 2-6, Lines 2-2, Washington 1-1).

Team Rebounds: 9 (3 offensive).

Blocked Shots: 2 (Nunn, Anderson).

Turnovers: 7.

Steals: 12 Beynon 4, Buck, Lapeyrolerie 2, Nunn, Smith 2, Anderson 2).

Technical Fouls: None.

Texas Tech 12 15 12 17--56

New Mexico 14 23 24 29--90

A--5,663.

___

(c)2017 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.)

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