Open Announce

Lobos Open Week at Home with Wildcats Wednesday

by Allison Weiss

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—The Lobos continue their homestand with two games this week, starting with Abilene Christian on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Tickets are still available, but for those unable to attend, the game will be streamed on the Mountain West Network with live stats and radio available.

It is just the second meeting between UNM and ACU, with the last game occurring in 1985 in Albuquerque.

ACU enters the game 4-3 on the season and is led in scoring by Maleeah Langstaff (13.9), one of two Wildcats to average 10-plus points per game. Madi Miller is averaging 11.9 ppg and leads the team with 15 three-pointers. Bella Earle leads in rebounds (7.3 per game) and assists (2.7 per game). Langstaff, Miller, Earle and Addison Martin have started all seven games for ACU this season.

The Lobos enter the game 4-4 on the season and 19th in the NCAA in steals per game (12.4) and 10th in the NCAA in blocks per game (5.9), leading the MW in the category. Shaiquel McGruder is sixth in the NCAA in blocks and eighth in blocks per game (2.9), leading the MW in both categories.

Last week, LaTascya Duff averaged 15.0 points per game with eight three-pointers, and was one of four Lobos to average double figures. Paula Reus, McGruder and Amaya Brown all averaged 10.5 ppg. On the week, McGruder averaged 11.5 rebounds per game, 10.5 points per game and 3.0 blocks per game. The Lobos were even on the week, scoring 132 points while giving up 132 points, outscoring their opponents in the first (32-29) and third (38-29) quarters.

Both ACU and UNM are prone to shooting three-pointers, with the Lobos attempting 26.5 three-pointers per game and the Wildcats 27.6 per game. ACU is 17th in the NCAA in three-point attempts per game and UNM 24th. ACU is shooting 25.9% (50-193) from three-point range with 45.5% of its shots from behind the arc, while UNM is shooting 28.8% (61-212) with 40.6% of its shots coming from behind the arc. The Lobos make 7.6 three-pointers per game compared to the Wildcats’ 7.1 per game.

UNM has had a different leading scorer in six games this season in LaTascya Duff, Amaya Brown, LaTora Duff, Vianè Cumber, Shaiquel McGruder and Paula Reus. The game at Nicholls was the first time that there was a repeat leading scorer, with LaTascya scoring a game-high 20 points at Southern Utah and at Nicholls. Reus has also led the team in scoring twice, with 18 at Texas A&M-Commerce and against Arizona.

McGruder has reached double digits in seven games this season, with McGruder scoring 13, 11, 11, 24, 14, 10 and 15 and LaTora scoring double figures in five with 13, 14, 13, 13 and 15. LaTascya Duff has scored in double figures in five games, twice reaching 20 points (20, 10, 16, 20, 10) and Brown has reached double figures in four games (16, 11, 10, 15).

McGruder (13.0), LaTascya (12.6) and LaTora (12.1) are all averaging double-digit points per game.

5 FOR 5 FOR NO. 5
LaTora Duff has finished with five rebounds six times this season, including in the last four games. Duff has recorded five boards in all but the New Mexico State game.

Duff also had a career-high five steals in the game at Nicholls.

At the 9:18 mark of the 3rd quarter in Saturday’s game against Houston, Shaiquel McGruder grabbed an offensive rebound, took a dribble to create space and banked in a shot. In doing so, she scored her 1001th-career point and became the 18th Lobo in program history to achieve 1000 points and 500 rebounds and the 25th Lobo to score 1000-career points.

She currently has 1086 points and 690 rebounds, ranking her 17th all-time in points and 34 away from 16th. When it comes to rebounds, McGruder is 11th in program history and is 11 away from 10th.

During her career, McGruder is shooting .603 from the floor and scored 73 points as a freshman, 215 points as a sophomore, 182 as a junior and 512 points last season. She’s scored 104 points through the eight games this season.

Among MW players, McGruder is in the top 10 in scoring (tied for sixth), rebounds (fourth) and steals (eighth) and leads the conference in field-goal percentage (.613) and blocks (23, 2.9 per game).

Abilene Christian enters the game 4-3, but 0-2 on the road. The Wildcats have alternated W-L in all seven games this season, with wins against Howard Payne (89-37), Southwest (NM) (77-36), Montana State (66-61) and Alabama State (78-67). Their losses have come against Rice (85-69), UTSA (76-70) and Louisiana (54-38).

The Wildcats are led in scoring by Maleeah Langstaff (13.9 ppg), one of two players in double figures (Madi Miller is at 11.9 ppg). Miller has led the team in scoring in the last three games with 20, 15 and 17 points. Bella Earle leads on the boards with 7.3 rebounds per game and in assists with 2.7 per game, while Langstaff leads in steals per game (1.3). Addison Martin leads with 1.3 blocks per game.

Langstaff, Miller, Martin and Earle have started all seven games for ACU with Zoe Jackson starting four and Aspen Thornton starting three.

As a team, the Wildcats are averaging 69.6 points per game, 7.1 made three-pointers per game, 7.0 steals per game and 3.9 blocks per game. ACU is 17th in the NCAA in three-point attempts per game at 27.6 with 45.5% of its shot attempts three-pointers and is shooting 25.9% from three (50-193).

Out of the WAC, ACU shares three opponents with UNM in New Mexico State, Southern Utah and Nicholls.

Following Wednesday’s game, the Lobos remain at home to host New Mexico State on Dec. 11 with tip at 2 p.m. The game is a planned Cherry Out with a pom-pom giveaway.