McGruder and LaTora Duff Record Double-Doubles as Lobos Fall in Overtime to Arizona State
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— For the second time this week, the Lobo women’s basketball team faced overtime, this time against Pac-12 opponent Arizona State on Sunday with UNM coming up short in the 83-77 final.
Shaiquel McGruder led the Lobos with 24 points, 20 of which came in the third and fourth quarters, and recorded a double-double with 10 rebounds while also having two steals, three blocks and two assists.
McGruder was one of three UNM players to finish in double figures as LaTora Duff found her shot in the second half as well, finishing with 13 points and three, three-pointers to go with 10 assists for a double-double and three steals. LaTascya Duff carried the Lobos to the break, tallying 11 points in the first two quarters with three, three-pointers and ultimately finishing with 16 points.
Viané Cumber produced some big minutes for New Mexico, playing 34:47 and finished with eight points, and career highs of seven rebounds and three steals.
Arizona State scored the first five points to open the game, building a 10-point lead of 15-5 a little less than four minutes into the game. However, the Lobos chipped away and closed the quarter with Nia Johnson layup off of a Cumber defensive rebound, a free throw by Johnson after a Cumber steal and a layup from Paula Reus to cut the margin to four (24-20) at the end of the quarter.
The defense held the Sun Devils to without a point in the final 2:49 of the quarter, with Cumber accounting for two steals and LaTascya scoring eight points in the first 10 minutes.
ASU started the second quarter with a 7-0 run for the 31-20 lead, although the Lobos answered back with a back-to-back three-pointers from Cumber and Reus to get back within distance. A LaTascya three-pointer off of a Reus block with 4:26 remaining in the quarter made it a four-point game at 33-26, and again the Lobo defense held the Sun Devils without a point in the final 2:05 of the frame as the offense closed the gap.
A Cumber layup with 1:49 left made it 36-31 and a Johnson steal and fast-break layup provided the final points of the quarter while making it a one-possession game.
Trailing 44-37 a little under two minutes into the third quarter, the Lobos found some momentum, with a LaTora layup, a McGruder layup and a LaTora three-pointer off of a McGruder offensive rebound tying the game at 44 with 5:35 left in the third. A Johnson free throw gave UNM its first lead of the game with 4:19 on the clock and another LaTora three-pointer extended the lead to four at 48-44 in what amounted to an 11-0 run in 4:44.
The Sun Devils tied the game at 48 at the line with 2:07, but LaTascya restored the lead for the Lobos with a fast-break three-pointer, drawing the foul in the process and completing the four-point play at the line with exactly 2:00 left. ASU got two points back at the line before LaTora closed the quarter with a final three-pointer for the 55-50 score.
UNM made four three-pointers in the quarter with LaTora 3-for-3 from beyond the arc and 4-for-5 from the floor for 11 points.
McGruder helped the Lobos maintain their lead in the fourth quarter, answering each time ASU scored to make it a one-possession game. Two McGruder free throws with 2:37 left in the quarter put UNM up 69-64, but the Sun Devils answered with two free throws and a three-pointer to tie the game at 69 with 1:14 left. A McGruder fast-break layup put UNM back in front with 1:08 left, to which ASU matched it on the other end. LaTora made a driving layup with 28 seconds left to give UNM back the lead, but Arizona State scored to tie it back up. The Lobos couldn’t get their final shot to fall sending the game to overtime.
There were three times but no lead changes in the final quarter. McGruder scored 14 points alone in the fourth quarter, going 5-for-7 from the floor and 4-for-6 from the line, while pulling down four rebounds and blocking two shots.
After McGruder won the tip to start overtime, Amaya Brown drew a foul and split a pair of free throws to break the tie. There were two more ties at 75 (on a LaTascya free throw) and 77 on a Brown layup with 2:43 remaining before ASU closed on a 6-0 run in the final 1:41 for the win.
The Lobos (1-3) return to the court on Tuesday, Nov. 22 to face Western New Mexico at 7 p.m. before a two-game road trip.