Lobos withstand second half surge by Wolfpack for 66-64 win
RENO, Nev. – Playing their first road game in Mountain West play this season, the University of New Mexico women’s basketball team faced a big test on Saturday and had to withstand a furious second half surge by the University of Nevada in order to come away with 66-64 road victory.
In the game, the Lobos (12-1, 2-0 MW) jumped out to a 6-0 lead and held the Wolfpack (4-9, 0-2 MW) scoreless until the 5:50 mark of the opening quarter. After that initial score, Nevada was able to work back into the game as they took advantage of eight turnovers committed by UNM in the period.
At the 2:32 mark, Nevada grabbed their first lead of the game, 9-8, on a painted jumper by Terae Briggs. The Lobos then tied the game with under a minute to go on a split trip to the free throw line by Jaisa Nunn. A Wolfpack layup on the ensuing possession, however gave Nevada a two-point lead heading into the second quarter.
— Lobo Women’s Basketball (@UNMLoboWBB) January 6, 2019
In that second quarter, the Lobos found some rhythm offensively and pushed out to an eight-point lead at the break. Fueling much of the Lobos’ offensive success in the second quarter came from the three-point line. In the opening quarter, UNM was 0-for-2 from deep, but in the second, the Lobos were 4-of-7.
The first three of the trifectas gave the Lobos a lead as the Wolfpack could manage a lead only as large as two points. The initial three was knocked down by Jaedyn De La Cerda at the 9:09 mark. Just about a minute later, Jayla Everett buried a triple with 8:13 to go. With 4:36 left before halftime, Everett cashed in another three-pointer. The final three-pointer in the quarter for the Lobos was knocked down by Aisia Robertson and it gave the Lobos an eight-point lead with 2:49 to go. It was their largest lead of the game up to that point.
The Wolfpack were able to cut the lead down to five points, but a mini 3-0 personal run by Shaiquel McGruder over the final minute gave the Lobos an eight-point advantage once more heading into the locker room.
Just as the Lobos found rhythm offensively in the second quarter, the Wolfpack found theirs in the third quarter. After shooting just 29% (9-of-31) overall in the first half and going 0-for-8 from deep, Nevada shot nearly 70% from the field (9-of-13), and were 2-of-2 from three-point range in the third quarter alone. Comparatively, the Lobos shot 33% (6-of-18) from the field and were 1-of-4 (25%) from distance and 5-of-12 (42%) from the charity stripe.
Those shooting percentages reflected in the Wolfpack being able to stay in the game and even tie it at 44-all with 48 seconds left in the third quarter. Despite that surge, Nevada would not be able to take the lead as a pair of free throws by Everett and a layup by McGruder with the clock waning gave the Lobos a four-point lead through three quarters of the game.
That four-point lead suddenly became a double-digit lead as the Lobos would rip off a 7-0 run over the first two and a half minutes of the period. As they had all game long, the Wolfpack would not let the game get away from them as they pulled as close as seven points with 6:07 to go, but a converted hoop-and-harm by Robertson pushed the lead back out to double digits with 5:21 left on the clock.
From there, the Wolfpack employed another comeback effort and went on a 7-0 run over the next minute to get the score to within three-points, 60-57. Both teams then traded baskets on their next two possessions to up the tempo but keep the lead at three for the Lobos with 3:24 to play.
At the 1:42 mark, Nevada knotted the score at 64-all. With under a minute to play, the Lobos turned over the Wolfpack near half court thanks to a trap double team, and that resulted in a runout layup by Robertson to give the Lobos a 66-64 lead.
After a missed shot by Nevada and a turnover by the Lobos, it was the Wolfpack who would get the game’s final possession. With just six seconds left following the turnover, Nevada called a timeout to advance the ball into the front court and set up a potential game-winning three. The Wolfpack would get a shot off as the clock was expiring, but the deep three fell short of the rim, giving the Lobos the thrilling victory.
The Lobos have now extended their winning streak to 11 games, which ties the program record with three other seasons (2017-18, 2003-04, 1977-78). It is also the second-straight season in which the Lobos have had an 11-game winning streak.
The Lobos will now prepare for another road game in the state of Nevada as they will take on UNLV on Wednesday, January 9. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.