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Lobos Outscore Aggies 28-10 in Fourth Quarter to Complete Comeback, Season Sweep

LAS CRUCES, N.M.— Never count out the Lobos.

Trailing by 14 points at the beginning of the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game at New Mexico State, a LaTascya Duff three-pointer (her first made three-pointer of the game) cut the gap down to 10 and started an eventual 15-2 run to tie the game at 63 with 3:55 remaining and a Shaiquel McGruder layup completed the comeback, putting the Lobos in front 65-64.

After NMSU scored at the 5:22 mark of the fourth quarter, the Aggies didn’t score again until the 3:04 mark on a free throw, to unbreak the 63-all tie before McGruder’s layup gave the Lobos the lead for good. From there UNM closed on a 10-2 run that included a McGruder three-pointer, just her second made three-pointer all season, a Duff jumper and three free-throws closed the game in the 73-66 Lobo win.

UNM outscored NMSU 28-10 in the fourth quarter in the victory, the eighth-straight win for the Lobos in the series. Further, no Lobo on the roster has lost a game to NMSU, with Antonia Anderson and Jaedyn De La Cerda a part of every one of those Lobo eight consecutive wins.

The Lobos were led offensively by LaTora Duff, who finished with a career-high 24 points and 5-for-8 shooting from three-point range, while also adding five assists, four rebounds and two steals. Anderson recorded her first double-double of the season with 16 points and a team-high 12 rebounds, pulling down eight offensive rebounds, and added two assists and three steals. McGruder went 8-for-12 from the floor and hit her only three-pointer of the game when it mattered the most to finish with 17 points to go along with six rebounds and a steal.

LaTascya was 2-for-5 from three and finished with nine points in the game, and Paula Reus played the entire fourth quarter for the Lobos to finish with six points and six rebounds.

Unlike Friday’s game between the two teams, the game was close early on with the Lobos taking their first and only lead of the quarter on an Anderson layup that made it 11-9. However, the Aggies led 19-13 through the first 10 minutes, closing the quarter with the final five points. Anderson tallied four rebounds and went 3-for-5 from the floor for six points to lead UNM, with LaTora adding five on a perfect 2-for-2 shooting that included a three-pointer.

A LaTora three midway through the second quarter pulled the Lobos within five at 24-19, but the Aggies scored consecutive three-pointers to extend the gap to double digits. While the Lobos closed down the stretch to score the final three points on an Anderson layup and LaTora free-throw, NMSU led at the break, 39-32.

LaTora scored nine points in the second quarter to lead all scorers, making both of UNM’s three-pointers, to finish with 14 points at the half.

Once again, the Lobos closed within five on a McGruder jumper in the third quarter, but the Aggies answered to push the lead to 14 with 2:33 remaining in the quarter at 54-40. A McGruder layup and LaTora three-pointer in the final two minutes kept the deficit from growing any larger, as the Lobos trailed 56-45 through the third.

A NMSU three-pointer opened the scoring in the fourth quarter to stretch the margin to 14 before the aforementioned rally began. After struggling from distance through the first three quarters, the Lobos got hot in the fourth, hitting five of their seven attempts, while conversely the Aggies made just one of their nine attempts. UNM made nine of its final 10 field-goal attempts, while NMSU went just 1-for-11.

Playing all 10 minutes in the fourth, McGruder, Anderson, both Duffs and Reus held the Aggies in check, scoring seven points off of four Aggie turnovers and eight points on fast-break opportunities with all five Lobos contributing in the scoring compared to just two scorers for the Aggies.

With the win, the Lobos improve to 8-3 on the season and will have a full week between games with the next game scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 12 at Arizona.