Fast Start Pushes Lobos Past Mountaineers in First Exhibition
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— The New Mexico Lobos made their first five shots of the game, including three, three-pointers, in Sunday’s exhibition against Western Colorado, cruising to a 94-53 final score at The Pit.
Four Lobos finished in double figures with LaTora Duff and Shaiquel McGruder tallying 16 points, Jaedyn De La Cerda 13, and a perfect 4-for-4 outing from three-point range for freshman Vianè Cumber for 12 points. McGruder was one rebound shy of a double-double, while also accounting for two of UNM’s five blocks in the game.
All 12 available players entered the game throughout the exhibition and found their way on the stat sheet in some capacity.
After getting out to a 13-2 lead in almost two minutes of play, the Lobos continued to control the first quarter, holding the Mountaineers below 10 points while scoring 29 points. The Lobos went 4-for-7 from three and shot 58.8 percent from the floor, while holding Western Colorado to just 21.4 percent shooting from the floor and 0-for-9 from beyond the arc.
It was more of the same in the second quarter, with UNM hitting six of nine attempts from three and WCU going 0-for-3 from distance, and the Lobos hitting at a 71.4 percent rate from the floor to WCU’s 33.3 percent from the floor, ultimately leading 57-22 at the half.
The third quarter was tighter between the two teams with the Mountaineers cutting the lead to 31 at 72-41 at the end of the quarter, but the Lobos answered with the first eight points of the fourth quarter to build the lead to 39. In that stretch, Mackenzie Curtis made her first three as a Lobo, with Aniyah Augmon splitting a pair of free throws and McGruder and De La Cerda adding to their point total with layups.
A Cumber three pushed the lead to 40 and Curtis recorded the final points of the game on a drive to the basket with 24 seconds remaining for the 41-point victory. Curtis led all scoring in the fourth with seven points on 3-for-4 shooting, while Augmon crashed the boards for four rebounds and created two steals to lead all players in the final 10 minutes of play.
UNM has one more exhibition scheduled against Eastern New Mexico on Thursday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m., before opening the season at home on Nov. 9 against Lamar.
- First time in program history the first game of the season was played on Halloween.
- The earliest the Lobos have ever started their season was Oct. 27, 2019 vs University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
- Pre-game featured the 2020-2021 Mountain West Championship ring ceremony.
- Sunday’s game marked the first ever meeting of New Mexico and Western Colorado
IN GAME NOTES:
- Four Lobos finished in double figures: LaTora Duff (16), Shaiquel McGruder (16), Jaedyn De La Cerda (13), Vianè Cumber (12).
- UNM made its first three 3-point attempts from three different players, first from Duff, second from De La Cerda, third from Antonia Anderson.
- Outscored Western Colorado by 20 points in the first quarter.
- LaTora Duff reached double figures by the 5:44 mark of the second quarter.
- Lobos held the lead from the opening tip to the final buzzer off a 3-point jumper by LaTora Duff who went on to score:
- UNM held Western Colorado scoreless from beyond the arc in the first half (0-12) while simultaneously shooting 10-16 (63%) from deep.
- Three Lobos were perfect from the floor through the first half in McGruder (2-for-2 with 8 points), Antonia Anderson (2-for-2 with 6 points), Kath van Bennekom (3-for-3 with 6 points).
- Cumber was perfect from downtown in the first half, going 3-for-3 with nine points and finishing a perfect 4-for-4.
- The Lobos shot a higher field-goal percentage 64.5% than free throw percentage 58.3% in the first half.
- Lobos outscored the Mountaineers by more than double in the first half.