Lobos Head to Houston for First Road Trip of Season
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.– The Lobo women’s basketball team faces their first road test of the season on Saturday against the Houston Cougars, with tip set for 3 p.m. MT/ 4 p.m. CT on ESPN+.
Both teams enter the game having played during the midweek, with the Lobos defeating Prairie View A&M at home on Tuesday and Houston dropping a close game in overtime to UT Arlington 69-66 on the road on Wednesday. Saturday’s game will be just the second home game of the season for Houston, having won its season opener against Howard.
The Lobos have found several key contributors in Antonia Anderson, Shaiquel McGruder, and Vianè Cumber, with each leading the scoring in a game this season. The scoring has also been balanced for the Lobos, with four finishing in double figures in each of the three games. Of the three games, McGruder is the only Lobo who has reached double figures in all three. LaTora Duff has been fantastic at the point this season with 26 assists, with one double-double and nearly having another in the season opener. McGruder leads the team in both points and steals, while Anderson leads the team in rebounds and is tied for the team high in blocked shots.
Five Lobos are currently averaging 10-plus points per game in McGruder (19.0), Anderson (14.0), De La Cerda (12.0), Curtis (12.0), and Duff (11.3). Also of note, New Mexico has scored the first points of the game and the third quarter in every game that they have played in this season. UNM is outscoring its opponents 255-165, with the largest point total and margin in the first quarter (70-43).
On the national level, Duff leads the NCAA in assist/turnover ratio, is fifth in total assists and sixth in assists per game, with McGruder 13th in field-goal percentage and 18th in field-goals made.
In the MW, UNM leads the conference in scoring offense, scoring margin, field-goal percentage, field-goal percentage defense, rebounding margin and assists per game. They are second in steals per game and three-pointers made per game.
On the other side of the court, Houston enters the game having lost its last two games after winning its season opener against Howard (80-48). Against Stephen F. Austin (a team the Lobos will face next week), the Cougars lost 73-52 and the Cougars lost their last game on Wednesday in overtime, 69-66. Laila Blair and Tatyana Hill lead the Cougars with 29 points and 9.7 points per game, with Hill leading with 33 rebounds and 11.0 rebounds per game. Blair leads the team with six assists, but also has a team-high 15 turnovers, and seven steals. Kamryn Jones has a team-high four blocks.
The Cougars have used the same starting lineup all three games with Hill, Bria Patterson, Dymond Gladney, Britney Onyeje and Julia Blackshell-Fair. As a team, the Cougars are scoring 66.0 points per game, while their opponents are scoring 63.3 points per game and are outshooting Houston 38.4% to 37.2%. Houston is making 14 free-throws a game, shooting 70.0% (42-60). Although, opponents are going to the free-throw line just as frequently, attempting 61 free throws. Houston was picked to finish third in the American Conference Preseason Poll behind South Florida and UCF, with Laila Blair selected to the Preseason All-Conference Second Team.
Following Saturday’s game, the Lobos will return home to face Houston Baptist on Tuesday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. Season tickets are still available for purchase, starting as low as $110, as well as single-game tickets and three different mini plans to chose from. Fans can purchase tickets online at GoLobos.com/tickets or in person at the University Arena Ticket Office.