UNM claims Lobo Invitational title thanks to stifling defense against SFA
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A night after putting together one of their top overall defensive efforts this season against a high-scoring Sacramento State team, the University of New Mexico women’s basketball team took their defense to an even better level on Thursday night against Stephen F. Austin in the championship game of the Lobo Invitational.
In the game, the Lobos (10-1) held the Ladyjacks (8-3) to just 33 points and 19% shooting overall (11-of-57) as the Lobos cruised to a 74-33 victory to claim the championship of the 2018 Lobo Invitational in front of a boisterous 4,702 fans inside Dreamstyle Arena – The Pit.
The win for the Lobos also marked the 50th win as head coach at UNM for Mike Bradbury. His current coaching record with the Lobos is 50-27 (.649).
The remarkable defensive effort began from the opening tip of the game as the Ladyjacks were held scoreless until the 1:04 mark of the first quarter. Even then, SFA was only able to register two points in the opening period as they were 1-of-12 overall from the field and 0-of-3 from three-point range while also turning the ball over six times.
— New Mexico Lobos (@UNMLOBOS) December 21, 2018
While the Lobo defense was in lockdown mode, the offense built a 15-2 lead after the first quarter thanks to a balanced scoring effort. In that quarter, UNM had three players with four or more points and were led at that time by Antonia Anderson with five points.
In the second quarter, SFA was still unable to solve the UNM defense as they were held to single digits in scoring once more with seven points. The nine total points surrendered by the Lobos in the first half was the lowest under Coach Bradbury. The previous low was 18 points allowed in the first half against Utah State last season.
By the end of the half, the Lobos has built a 26-point lead and led 35-9 at the break.
In the third, it was more of the same for the Lobos with great defense and solid offense as they continued to grow their lead. Over the final two minutes of the quarter, the Lobo lead was in the 30-point range and reached an apex of 34 on a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Lobo Invitational Tournament MVP Aisia Robertson.
The sizable lead heading into the fourth quarter allowed the Lobos to gain valuable minutes and experience for the reserves as all 13 players dressed for the game saw at least three minutes. Additionally, all 13 players would score. Among that, senior Erica Moore notched her first field goal of the season as she made a contested layup that drew a foul. In the process, Moore’s bucket solicited a large eruption of cheers from the bench and fans alike inside Dreamstyle Arena.
The Lobos will now a little over a week break before returning to the hardwood. Their next game will be on the road at Long Beach State on Saturday, December 29. Tip-off for the game is scheduled for 3 p.m. (MT).