Lobos beat Fresno State, 82-73 in front of over 8,000 in The Pit
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – It had been three weeks since the University of New Mexico women’s basketball team played at home on a Saturday, and the great Lobo basketball fans came out in full force to the tune of 8,068 strong inside Dreamstyle Arena – The Pit as UNM took on Fresno State. The largest Pit crowd for a women’s basketball game since 2015 provided a tremendous push for the Lobos as they worked past a good Fresno State team by a score of 82-73.
With the win, the Lobos have extended their winning streak to six games and are now 18-2 overall and 8-1 in Mountain West play. UNM is currently tied at the top of the conference standings with Boise State, who is also 8-1 in league play.
Saturday’s matchup between the Lobos (18-2, 8-1 MW) and Bulldogs (13-7, 6-3 MW) was the marquee game of the league slate and it lived up to the billing throughout.
Through the early portions of the game, the two teams traded blows as there were five lead changes through the first five minutes of action. The Bulldogs claimed the last of those early lead changes on a three-pointer by Bree Delaney to make it an 8-6 game with 5:24 to go in the first quarter. A layup by Jaisa Nunn followed on the other end to tie the game at 8-all, but another Bulldog three-pointer came on the ensuing possession and gave Fresno their largest lead of the game, three points, 11-8, with 4:54 to go.
Over the next four minutes, the Lobos, bolstered by a boisterous crowd went on a game-changing 15-0 run as they suddenly claimed a double-digit lead. Freshman Ahlise Hurst sparked the run as she answered the Fresno three-pointer with one of her own. That run also featured trifectas from Antonia Anderson and Madi Washington.
The Bulldogs would not let the game any further out of hand as they opened the second quarter up on a 6-0 run to make it a five-point game, 25-20, with 7:21 to go. Hurst broke the run and scored the first points of the quarter for the Lobos on a painted jumper at the 7:06 mark. The Bulldogs continued their charge, however and eventually pulled to within two points, 29-27, with 5:40 remaining on the clock.
That was a close the Bulldogs could get in the first half as the Lobos withstood the surge and went to the locker room with a six-point lead.
That lead quickly doubled in the third quarter as the Lobos opened up on a 7-0 run, giving them their largest lead of the game at 13 points, 47-34. As they did in the first half, however, Fresno State would mount a comeback effort and got the score as close as a single point with 3:12 left in the period as Delaney cashed in another three-pointer.
The Lobos would not relinquish their lead as consecutive baskets in the paint by Jaisa Nunn and Anderson kept UNM in front. Those two buckets were a part of a larger 11-2 run to close out the third quarter and give the Lobos a 10-point lead heading into the fourth.
In the fourth, Fresno State refused to go away and battled back to within a single possession on a pair of occasions. The first time they pulled to within three points came after a pair of free throws from the Mountain West’s leading scorer, Candice White, with 3:08 on the clock.
The second instance came at the 2:22 mark and followed Nike McClure’s seventh made field goal of the game. On the Lobos’ ensuing possession following the Bulldogs cutting the deficit back down to three, current Mountain West Player of the Week, Jayla Everett, who was clutch last week showed through again knocking down a huge three-pointer to double the Lobos lead to six points with just under two minutes to play.
The Lobos then salted the game away at the free throw line as they made all six attempts from the charity stripe the rest of the way out. Everett, Nunn, and Aisia Robertson all contributed to that success as each made a pair of free throws. The Bulldogs would get a last-second three-pointer to fall that only changed the final score to 82-73 in favor of the Lobos.
The Lobos will now prepare for a mid-week matinee contest on the road at San Diego State on Wednesday. Tip-off is scheduled for Noon (MT).