Open Announce

Lobos Travel to Thibodaux to Face Nicholls Tuesday

by Allison Weiss

THIBODAUX, La. – New Mexico concludes its road trip with a game at Nicholls, the first time that the Lobos will face the Colonels in Louisiana.

Prior to Tuesday’s game, UNM has played Nicholls three times, all in Albuquerque, with the last meeting back in 2015 (an 83-43 win). New Mexico has won all three games in the series, with a game in 2007 (a 79-49 win) and in 2000 (an 83-41 win).

Tuesday’s game will tip at 4 p.m. MT/ 5 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on ESPN+ with live stats and radio available.

The Lobos enter the game having won their last two games, the latest a win on the road against Texas A&M-Commerce. For the Colonels, they snapped their four-game losing streak with a win over Mississippi Valley State on Saturday to move to 3-4 and are 2-1 at home.

Both teams have three players averaging double figures, with Kyla Hamilton (12.0 ppg) and Shaiquel McGruder (13.8 ppg) leading each team. McGruder also leads the Lobos in rebounds per game (7.5), steals per game (2.8) and blocks per game (2.8) and has scored double digits in each game this season.

The Lobos had five players finish in double figures last week with Vianè Cumber having a monster week with eight three-pointers, 18.5 ppg and had a team-high six steals. McGruder had nine blocks and five steals and averaged 12.0 ppg.

The Lobos have recorded 10 or more steals in each game this season, recording a total of 82 for an average of 13.7 per game. UNM is 11th in the NCAA in steals per game.

UNM opened the season with 16 at Southern Utah, and followed that up with 10 against Houston, 14 at New Mexico State and 11 in the game against Arizona State. UNM had 19 steals with six players recording multiple steals and seven with at least one steal in the win against WNMU and had 12 in the most recent game.

Shaiquel McGruder leads with 17 steals (2.8 per game) with LaTascya Duff second at 13 (2.6 per game). LaTora Duff and Amaya Brown each have 10 steals on the season, with LaTora averaging 2.0 steals per game and Brown 1.7 per game.

Five Lobos have had multiple steals in multiple games. McGruder has had at least one steal in every game with multiple steals in every game but one, starting with five at SUU, three against Houston, four against Western New Mexico and two each against NMSU and ASU. LaTora Duff has had at least one steal in each game she’s played in, with two in three games and three against ASU, and LaTascya had five in the season opener, three at NMSU, two against Houston and Texas A&M-Commerce and one in the game against ASU. Amaya Brown has had multiple steals in four of the six games, with three games of two and three at NMSU. Vianè Cumber has recorded multiple steals in the last three games with three (Arizona State), four (Western New Mexico) and two (Texas A&M-Commerce).

UNM’s defense has also recorded multiple blocks in each game and has finished with at least six blocks in the last four games. Shaiquel McGruder leads with 17 blocks to date, with five against Western New Mexico, four at Texas A&M-Commerce and three each in the two games prior.

The Lobos have 37 blocks and are 8th in the NCAA in blocks per game (6.2), leading the MW in the category. McGruder is 10th in the NCAA in blocks and 11th in blocks per game (2.8).

UNM built an identity last season as a three-point shooting team, and this year’s team is trying to reclaim that identity. The Lobos have finished with 10-plus three-pointers in three games this season with a season-high 11 in the last game against Texas A&M-Commerce and was close with nine in the win against Western New Mexico.

UNM is averaging 7.8 made three-pointers per game with 41 percent of UNM’s shot attempts three-pointers.

UNM has had a different leading scorer in the six games this season in LaTascya Duff, Amaya Brown, LaTora Duff, Vianè Cumber, Shaiquel McGruder and Paula Reus.

The Lobos had five players finish in double figures in the last game, but prior to that, had three players finish in double figures in the game against Houston and Arizona State and four players finish in double figures in the game at Southern Utah and New Mexico State. Against Texas A&M-Commerce, UNM had four players finish in double figures, led by Reus (18) and 15 each by LaTora and Cumber. Shaiquel McGruder finished with 10 points.

Duff and McGruder have reached double digits in each of the games that they’ve played in this season, with McGruder scoring 13, 11, 11, 24, 14 and 10 and LaTora scoring 13, 14, 13, 13 and 15. LaTascya Duff has scored in double figures in three of the four games she’s played in (20, 10, 16).

McGruder (13.8), LaTora (13.6) and LaTascya (11.6) are all averaging double-digit points per game with Cumber close at 9.0 ppg.

Vianè Cumber found her range of late, making a career-high six three-pointers in Tuesday’s game against Western New Mexico and added two more in the win at Texas A&M-Commerce.

The sophomore has made multiple three-pointers in the last three games and has scored in double figures in the last two with a career-high 22 against WNMU and 15 against the Lions. Cumber is averaging 9.0 points per game.

Cumber has also been a presence on the defensive end with multiple steals in the last three games with three steals against Arizona State, a career-high four against WNMU and two in the last game against Texas A&M-Commerce.

Nicholls enters Tuesday’s game 3-4 on the season after winning its last game, an 84-74 victory over Mississippi Valley State. The Colonels also have wins over Mobile (70-61) and Alabama A&M (60-55), but also had a four-game losing streak with losses to UAB (69-40), Grand Canyon (79-41), Mississippi Valley State (64-49) and Southern Miss (83-68).

Nicholls is led in scoring by Kyla Hamilton (12.0), one of three players averaging double figures (Lexi Alexander at 10.7 ppg and Deonna Brister at 10.6 ppg).

The Colonels have started the same five in all seven games in Hamilton, Brister, Amelia Sandie, Traya Bruce and Kate Manley. Brister leads the team in rebounds per game (7.1), while Hamilton and Brister are tied for the lead in steals per game (1.1). Hamilton leads with 2.7 assists per game (19 on the season) and Alexander leads with nine blocks (1.3 per game).

Nicholls shares similar opponents with New Mexico in Texas A&M-Commerce and Abilene Christian.


Following Tuesday’s game, the Lobos begin a three-game homestand starting with nationally-ranked No. 14 Arizona on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 1 p.m. MT.