Strong defensive effort lifts Lobos to 85-53 win against Sacramento State
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Expecting a high-octane shootout to breakout on Wednesday night between the University of New Mexico and Sacramento State, it was actually defense that shined brightest as the Lobos held the Hornets to 32.8 points below their season average en route to UNM securing an 85-53 win inside Dreamstyle Arena – The Pit.
The 53 points scored by the Hornets (3-4) against the Lobos (9-1) is the lowest scoring output by Sacramento State this season, and it was the lowest since they were held to 50 points against Montana State on January 13, 2018.
In limiting the potent offense of the Hornets, UNM held Sacramento State to just 23.9% shooting overall (16-of-67) and 23.4% from long range (11-of-47) for the game. Additionally, the Lobos forced the Hornets to turn the ball over a season-high 23 times, with four of those being shot clock violations.
After the Hornets scored 19 points in the first quarter, each subsequent quarter saw their point total dwindle down to just eight points scored in the fourth quarter.
A key cog in the Lobos’ overall defensive effort against the Hornets was the play of senior transfer Nike McClure. The Tenino, Wash. native had eight total rebounds, five blocks and three steals on the night. It was the sixth game this season that McClure has had multiple blocks in a game and the third time with five or more.
While her defense was a bright spot, McClure was also able to contribute offensively as she scored a season-high eight points on 4-of-10 shooting against the Hornets.
Similarly, while the Lobos’ defense stole headlines, the offense was right on track with where it has been all season long. Against Sacramento State, UNM scored 85 points and shot 41% overall from the floor (31-of-76).
It was the sixth time this season that the Lobos have scored over 80 points, and it’s the seventh time that they have shot at least 40% from the field. In all instances, the Lobos have come away with a win.
As a team, the Lobos did not trail at any point in the game, but Sacramento State was able to tie score on three occasions. Individually, the Lobos had three players in double figures with Jayla Everett leading the way with a game-high 19 points. Aisia Robertson was next with 16 points followed by Jaisa Nunn with 10. Nunn and Robertson nearly registered double-doubles in their respective fashions as Nunn fell rebound shy and Robertson one assist shy.
The Lobos will now have a quick turnaround as they are set to take on Stephen F. Austin for the championship of the Lobo Invitational on Thursday, December 20. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.