Career Nights for McGruder and Duff Leads Lobos in Win Against Panthers
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— Behind career nights from Shaiquel McGruder and LaTora Duff, the New Mexico Lobos defeated Prairie View A&M on Tuesday night at The Pit to move to 3-0 on the season.
The duo was nearly unstoppable with Duff two rebounds short of a triple-double with a career-high 17 points, a career-high 12 assists and a career-high eight rebounds, while also registering a career-high four blocks. It was however Duff’s first double-double as a Lobo. McGruder was the beneficiary of eight of those assists with Duff distributing to McGruder who finished at the rim. The senior forward finished with a career-high 30 points on a career-high 13-for-18 shooting, while adding seven rebounds and four steals to her stat sheet.
Duff and McGruder were two of four Lobos who finished in double figures, joined by Antonia Anderson’s 19 points, with the senior finishing one rebound shy of a double-double, and Jaedyn De La Cerda’s 13 points, with nine of those points coming from behind the arc. De La Cerda also had seven rebounds and three assists.
The scoring started early for McGruder, with the Lobo winning the tip and immediately making a layup 14 seconds in. While the Panthers hung around to keep it close in the early stages of the first quarter, a 6-0 run that included a McGruder steal and fast-break layup created the necessary distance for the Lobos. UNM continued to extend the lead, reaching 14 points at 28-14 at the end of the first quarter on a Duff free throw.
McGruder already reached double digits in the first quarter with 10 points and accounted for three of UNM’s five steals. Of UNM’s 28 points, 16 came from fast-break opportunities.
Steals leading to fast-break layups continued to be the trend in the second quarter, with a Kath van Bennekom steal that led to an Anderson fast-break layup stretching the lead to 16 at 31-15. A McGruder steal that transpired into a fast-break layup pushed the Lobos lead to 23 at 48-25 with 2:06 remaining in the quarter. A McGruder defensive rebound led to another McGruder fast-break layup and a LaTora assist for the final UNM points of the half with the Lobos leading 50-29 at the break.
McGruder had already matched her career high in the first 20 minutes of the game with 18 points, and Anderson had also reached double figures with 10 points.
After a McGruder layup on a Duff assist opened the third quarter, the Panthers answered with a 8-0 run to cut the lead to 15, to which Anderson went on a 5-0 personal run to push the lead back to 20. A Panther three-pointer as time expired in the third closed the quarter with the Lobos ahead by 15 at 68-53.
Anderson added seven points, three rebounds, an assist and two blocks in the third quarter, while Duff added four assists in the third.
A De La Cerda three off of an Anderson steal and LaTascya Duff assist made it 78-62 with a little over five minutes remaining in the game, but the Panthers chipped away to get the margin down to 10 twice, to which the Lobos answered to keep it from getting down to single digits. It was again the dangerous duo of McGruder and Duff, with Duff grabbing the defensive rebound and finding McGruder for the fast-break layup in the first instance, and Aniyah Augmon grabbing the rebound, Duff pushing the ball up the court and again finding McGruder for the layup.
Prairie View A&M played the fouling game late, fouling four times in seven seconds to put the Lobos on the line for the final 1:12. Duff, De La Cerda and McGruder made all six free throws for the 88-71 final score.
Up next for the Lobos: UNM heads on the road for the first time this season, traveling to play Houston on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 3 p.m. MT.
- This was the first ever meeting between New Mexico and Prairie View A&M.
- The series is now 1-0 in favor of the Lobos.
- This is the Lobos’ fifth consecutive 3-0 start to their season.
- New Mexico scored the first points of the game and the second half. They have scored first in every half (all six) that they have played in this season.
- The Lobos held the Panthers scoreless for the first 2:16 of the game.
- The Lobos took the lead with 6:17 to go in the first quarter and did not trail for the rest of the game.
- McGruder was the first Lobo to double-figure scoring in the game with 0:36 remaining in the first quarter.
- New Mexico doubled Prairie View A&M in scoring in the first quarter (28-14).
- The Lobos forced eight Panther turnovers in the first quarter.
- McGruder had three steals in the first quarter, all leading to fast-break layups by her (and one in the second quarter).
- The Lobos only had four turnovers in the first half compared to the Panthers’ 13.
- New Mexico’s perfect shooting:
- One Lobo shot perfect from the floor in the first quarter: Cumber (1-1, three points).
- Shooting contrast:
- First half: Lobos shot 47.5% (with five made three-pointers), Panthers shot 30.0% (with zero made three-pointers).
- Game: Lobos shot 47.1%, Panthers shot 31.0%.
- New Mexico had four double-digit scorers: McGruder (30 points), Anderson (19 points), LaTora Duff (17 points), De La Cerda (13 points)
- McGruder matched her career-high for scoring in a game in the first half (18 points) and went on to set a new career-high with 30 points.
- LaTora Duff set career highs for points in a game with 17, assists in a game with 12, for rebounds in a game with eight, and for blocks in a game with four. She also had her first career double-double (17 points and 12 assists).