Lobos Clinch Second with 57-50 Senior Night Win
Box Score | Season Statistics
(3/7/2019) Women’s Basketball vs WyomingALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In a game where points were at a premium, Jaisa Nunn proved exactly what a premium player she is. Nunn racked up 26 points, including a couple of three-pointers, 13 rebounds, and seemingly made every big shot when it was needed as the Lobos clinched the most wins ever in the regular season, and the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Air Force Reserve Mountain West Championships with a 57-50 win over Wyoming.
The win pushed the Lobos to 24-5 overall and 14-4 in the Mountain West, and UNM ended up all alone in the second place. For Wyoming, they dropped to 20-7 overall and 13-5, the third straight year the Cowgirls attained that exact record in Mountain West play. UNM earned the 6 p.m. Pacific/7 p.m. Mountain Time game on Monday night against the winner of the game between No. 7 seed San Diego State and No. 10 seed Air Force.
The game was a defensive affair throughout, as UNM held Wyoming to just 29.4% from the field for the game. By comparison, UNM’s 46.0% output was atmospheric, especially when looking at just a 3-for-14 night from three. The Lobos however, were spot on inside the arc, shooting a robust 20-for-36 (55.6%).
The star of the show was Nunn, who topped the 1,500-point mark for her career in the first quarter, becoming just the seventh Lobo to accomplish the feat. The lead went back-and-forth early, but trailing 15-14 in the final minute, Jaedyn De La Cerda did what she does, nailing a key three to give UNM the 17-15 lead at the break.
Then the second quarter happened, one of UNM’s best defensively. The Cowgirls, who missed their final two shots of the first quarter, were absolutely stifled by UNM’s suffocating defense. The Cowgirls missed two more shots, then hit an offensive putback plus a free throw, and then went cold. They would miss 11 straight shots until hitting a tough runner with just 23 seconds left. UNM held the Cowgirls scoreless for nearly eight minutes.
Lobo senior night! https://t.co/ofvwhTQuEJ
— Lobo Women’s Basketball (@UNMLoboWBB) March 8, 2019
The problem was UNM didn’t do enough offensively to put the game way, scoring just eight points of its own, meaning at the break it was 25-20. The third quarter was even throughout with UNM never trailing and owning a 43-38 lead after three.
It took a while, but the offense kicked into high gear, and a after Ahlise Hurst hit a short jumper and Nunn laid one in with 3:48 to go, UNM had its biggest lead at 52-42. Wyoming made one more push however as Sladjana Rakovic scored on three straight possessions to cut it down to 52-48 with 2:08 to go.
Enter Nunn for the biggest shot of the night. After basically pick-n-rolling Wyoming to death, she picked and popped, and drained a straight away three with the clock winding down for the last of her 26 points, and it was 55-48. The two teams each hit a basket from there.
For head coach Mike Bradbury, who basically sewed up a postseason berth with the win, had nothing but praise for Nunn, his seniors, and the fans who showed up strong with a season-high 8,152.
“Jaisa is Jaisa. She gets 26 (points) and 13 (rebounds), hit every big shot. That kid is the best post player as I’ve ever had, ever, in 28 years,” said Bradbury. “Our fans are what they are, and I say it every single time. There are not better ones in the country. You can’t say enough about our four seniors. I could go on and on about all of them.”