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Anderson's 33 Points Propels Lobos Past Rams

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— After making eight three-pointers and scoring 30 points in the first meeting with Colorado State back on Jan. 15, Antonia Anderson once again delivered against the Rams on Wednesday night, making seven three-pointers and besting her point total with a game- and career-high 33 on 11-for-22 shooting.

In addition, Anderson led the Lobos with eight rebounds, had three assists, three blocks and two steals in the contest as the Lobos moved to 10-1 in conference and 19-5 overall with an 81-73 victory.

Shaiquel McGruder was equally as dominant, scoring 17 points on 6-for-8 shooting and tied Anderson with three blocks. McGruder entered the game leading the conference in blocks in conference play with 23 and recorded her third multiple block game in the last four games.

Jaedyn De La Cerda finished with 15 points, a team-high seven assists and LaTora Duff scored six points with seven rebounds, six assists and two steals.

As a team, the Lobos shot 50.8 percent from the field and 40.6 percent from beyond the arc with 13 three-pointers, led by Anderson’s seven and three from De La Cerda.

The two teams traded baskets early before the Rams took an early 7-2 lead. However, New Mexico answered right back with a 6-0 run on baskets by McGruder, Anderson and De La Cerda to take its first lead of the game. Both teams exchanged three-pointers on consecutive possessions for the 11-10 Lobo lead and the Lobos extended the lead to four on an Anderson free throw and layup. Twice CSU got within one, but Paula Reus ended the first quarter with an offensive rebound and putback before time expired for an 18-15 Lobo lead.

Anderson’s impact started early with eight points in the first quarter with four rebounds and a steal, while the Lobos relied on points in the paint with 14 of the 18 points coming in the paint and shot 50 percent from the floor.

CSU opened up the second with a layup to make it a one-point game, but McGruder made a corner three to keep the Lobos in front. UNM stretched the lead to seven on a Reus three-pointer, ultimately going ahead 31-23 with 5:18 left in the quarter on an Anderson three that pushed the Lobo into double figures. CSU closed within six with 2:09 left before UNM closed on a 9-0 run behind two Anderson three-pointers and a De La Cerda three to lead 47-32 at the break.

The Lobos outscored the Rams 29-17 in the second quarter with Anderson accounting for nine points on a perfect 3-for-3 shooting from distance, and McGruder added seven points on 3-for-4 shooting while credited with two blocks in the quarter. LaTascya Duff made a three-pointer in the second to extend her streak to 26 games to go along with three assists and a steal in the second.

UNM shot 68.8 percent from the floor in the second quarter and went 7-for-10 from three-point range in quarter, while also outscoring the Rams 10-0 in points off of turnovers.

By halftime, Anderson already had 17 points with McGruder at 11 points and were also making a difference on the defensive end with five rebounds, two steals and a block for Anderson and two blocks for McGruder.

The Lobos opened up the lead to 21 points at the start of the third quarter following a 9-3 run that made it 56-35, but the Rams chipped away at the lead as the quarter unfolded, getting it down to 12 points at the media timeout with 2:26 remaining. UNM’s lead was nine as the quarter came to a close with the Lobos in front 62-53.

Colorado State continued to close in on the Lobos at the start of the fourth quarter with back-to-back three-pointers that brought the game to within three points less than two minutes into the quarter, but Anderson kept the Lobos in front with a three-pointer and De La Cerda pushed the lead back to nine on a three of her own with 6:34 to play. Again, CSU tried to make a comeback with a 5-0 run, but again, Anderson had the answer with a three-pointer. The Rams got the margin to within four three more times in the quarter, and each time the Lobos kept their composure and answered on the offensive end, first with two Anderson free throws, then with a De La Cerda jumper and with a LaTora layup. LaTora put the Lobos up by eight with 54 seconds remaining on another layup and after CSU scored on a layup with 41 seconds left, McGruder closed the game with two free throws for the final points of the game.

Anderson completed her night with eight more points in the fourth quarter with two made three-pointers and the Lobos closed at the free-throw line with a perfect 4-for-4 stat line.

The Lobos led for 35:06 of Wednesday’s game and made 30 baskets on 23 assists.

As mentioned, the Lobos improve to 10-1 in conference, 19-5 overall, 12-0 at home, and remain at home for their next game against Wyoming on Saturday.