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De La Cerda Leads Lobos to Win at San José State

SAN JOSE, Calif.— The Lobo women’s basketball team closed the regular season with a 22-point win over San José State, winning 80-58 on Friday night, behind Jaedyn De Cerda’s game-high 24 points, game-high seven assists and two steals. The Lobo also had six rebounds.

It is the ninth time in conference play that the Lobos have scored 80 or more points, with the Lobos 9-0 in those instances. It is also the 21st time that a Lobo has scored 20 or more points in a game, the 13th time in a conference game, as well as the fourth game of 20-plus points for De La Cerda, including the third time in the last four games.

New Mexico had three players finish in double figures, with De La Cerda joined by LaTora Duff with 16 and LaTascya Duff’s 12. LaTora was a perfect 7-for-7 from the free-throw line, with the Lobos 16-for-18 (88.9 percent) on the night. It is the fifth time in the last six games that the Lobos have shot 80 percent or better from the line and third time in that span that the Lobos have attempted 18 or more free throws.

Shaiquel McGruder nearly had a double-double with nine points and a game-high nine rebounds, while also blocking two shots.

The Lobos scored the first four points of the game with De La Cerda opening the scoring 17 seconds in on a layup and a LaTascya layup. New Mexico continued to control the game through the first three minutes, getting out to a 10-2 lead off of LaTora three-pointer following a De La Cerda offensive rebound that provided an extra possession. SJSU closed within four, but the Lobos answered on the next possession with an Aniyah Augmon fast-break layup for the 22-16 lead with a little more than two minutes remaining, which were the last points scored in the quarter by either team.

De La Cerda scored 10 points in the first quarter on 5-for-9 shooting, and in doing so, moved into ninth place all-time in program history in scoring. The New Mexico native also added four assists, with Antonia Anderson contributing two assists and three rebounds.

Of UNM’s 22 points, 14 came from in the paint and five came from second-chance opportunities, with the Lobos outscoring the Spartans 14-4 and 5-0 in the categories, respectively.

The Lobos continued to pull away from the Spartans in the second quarter, leading by double digits for most of the quarter, and closed on a 10-1 run in the last 4:27 to take a 44-26 lead into the break. LaTora accounted for five of those points in the run, with De La Cerda hitting a three and Anderson adding a layup off of a steal.

LaTora finished with seven points in the second quarter on 2-for-2 shooting from the floor and 3-for-3 from the free-throw line, giving her 10 in the game through the first 20 minutes, with De La Cerda adding five more points to lead all scorers with 15 at the half.

UNM outscored SJSU 22-10 in the second quarter, with the Lobos shooting 69.2 percent in the quarter  and 59.4 percent in the first two quarters.

A 10-0 run that spanned 1:30 in the third quarter stretched the lead to 24, and a McGruder layup off of a De La Cerda assist with 4:55 remaining created the largest lead of the game at 56-30. UNM led 65-42 at the end of the third following three made free-throws by LaTascya.

De La Cerda again led the Lobos in scoring with nine points in the third quarter, with LaTascya nearly matching her with eight points.

UNM again shot over 50 percent in the quarter, shooting 54.5 percent from the floor.

The margin hovered around the 20-point mark for the entirety of the fourth quarter, with the Lobo lead building back up to 25 on three separate occasions before the Spartans made the final basket of the game, a three-pointer, to conclude the game with an 80-58 score.

New Mexico wraps up its regular season schedule at 23-8, 14-4 in conference and await the other MW teams to wrap up conference play to finalize seeding and matchups.