Hurst sets freshman scoring record in 84-80 win over Oklahoma
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – True freshman Ahlise Hurst had perhaps the most memorable game of her life on Wednesday night as the Australian product set a new benchmark for points in a game by a freshman as she scored 39. The University of New Mexico women’s basketball team would need all those points as well as they pulled out a gritty 84-80 victory over Oklahoma in front of a boisterous crowd of 5,152 inside Dreamstyle Arena – The Pit.
In establishing a new single-game scoring record for a freshman at UNM, Hurst passed Yvonne McKinnon’s 1982 record of 35 points against Adams State.
Prior to her record-setting game, Hurst’s single-game scoring high was 11 points (at Houston, 11/24/18). She was also averaging 5.8 points per game while having made just 6-of-24 shots from long range. On Wednesday, Hurst blew all of those out of the water as her 39 points were bolstered by nine makes from 3-point range.
In the first quarter alone, Hurst bested her former scoring high as she had 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the floor (3-of-4, 3-pt range). By the end of the half, Hurst doubled that mark and took 24 points into the locker room. She was also closing in on the most three-pointers in a game as she was 7-of-9 from range through the first 20 minutes.
The last of Hurst’s trifectas in the second quarter gave the Lobos a one-point lead at the break, 41-40.
That one-point lead at halftime swelled to as big as 16 points, 62-46, with 3:17 to go in the third quarter. The dominating play of the Lobos in the period resulted in a 12-point cushion heading into the final quarter.
A significant reason for pulling away from the Sooners in the third quarter was the Lobos defensive pressure. In the third quarter, UNM committed just one foul and forced Oklahoma to turn the ball over 12 times. Those 12 Oklahoma turnovers resulted in 17 points on the other end of the floor for the Lobos.
In the fourth quarter, however, the Sooners staged a comeback that left many on the edge of the seats in the waning moments. After the Lobos grabbed a 14-point lead, 68-54 with 8:02 to go, the Sooners went on a 13-0 run over the next 3:48 of the game to bring the score to a single point, 68-67 with 4:14 to play.
A pair of free throws by Antonia Anderson snapped the run and put the Lobos up by three, 70-67. Jaisa Nunn then followed that up with a fastbreak layup to push the lead to five points. That would be the largest lead for the Lobos the remainder of the game as the Sooners kept the game tight down the stretch.
After Hurst’s ninth three-pointer tickled the twine for another five-point lead with a minute to go, the game then came down to the charity stripe. Over the final 30 seconds of game clock, the Lobos went to the line six times. Half of those would fall, but the final two were as clutch as they come by Aisia Robertson as she sunk a pair to give the Lobos a four-point lead with just nine seconds left. That ended up being the difference in the game as the Sooners could not get one final desperation shot to fall in the waning seconds.
The Lobos will now turn their focus to one of their oldest and fiercest rivals in New Mexico State. The first matchup in the 2018-19 version of the Battle of the Rio Grande will be played at Dreamstyle Arena – The Pit on Saturday, December 1. Tip-off is at 2 p.m. Fans can purchase tickets for that game through the following link: https://unmtickets.com/wbb/