Lobos Head to Logan to Face Utah State Saturday
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— The Lobos travel to Logan, Utah to face the Utah State Aggies for the first time this season on Saturday. Tip is set for 2 p.m. MT on the Mountain West Network.
UNM enters the game 12-9 (4-4 MW) and on a two-game winning streak after defeating Boise State and Colorado State at home. Utah State enters the game 4-16 (1-8 MW) and on a three-game losing streak after falling to Wyoming on Thursday night. The Aggies are 0-5 at home in conference games and 2-8 on the season.
Both teams have two players averaging double figures in MW play, with the Lobos led by Shaiquel McGruder (15.6 ppg) and LaTascya Duff (10.4 ppg).
The Lobos are 13-3 all-time in Logan and have won their last seven games played at USU. UNM has made double-digit three-pointers in the last three meetings at Utah State (21, 15, 14) and have scored 90-plus points in the last four games against the Aggies (93, 98, 97, 93), three of which were in Logan.
SOPHOMORES STEPPING UP
Vianè Cumber has stepped into being a reliable three-point shooter and has finished with double figures in eight games with a game with 22 points, 17 against Mississippi State, 16 against South Carolina State, three games with 15 and 12 at UNLV and against Colorado State. In the win against the Rams, Cumber went a career-best 4-4 at the free-throw line including two clutch free throws to make it 63-59 with 15 seconds remaining and played a career-high 37 minutes. The Lobo sophomore is averaging 17.4 minutes per game and 7.9 points per game, shooting 43.9% overall and 40.4% from three-point range. Cumber is second on the team in made three-pointers with 38 and has had 12 games with multiple three-pointers. The New Mexico native is tied for third in the MW in three-pointers per game (1.9) and eighth in conference games in three-pointers made per game (1.8).
Aniyah Augmon has stepped into a larger role this season as well, and has finished with three assists in five games with a career-high five assists against Old Dominion, which she matched at Wyoming. In the last game against CSU, Augmon made the go-ahead basket with 30 seconds remaining and tallied a team-high 10 rebounds in the win. She finished with a then-career-high nine points at Colorado State, which she surpassed in the next game against Nevada, scoring 11 on 4-5 shooting. She tallied a new career high at UNLV with 18 points and tied her career high in rebounds with a season-high 10 for her first career double-double. The guard is averaging 19.4 minutes per game, 5.8 points per game, 3.7 rebounds per game and 1.8 assists per game. She was a perfect 3-3 from three against UNLV and 1-1 at SDSU and is shooting 45.2% from the floor and 34.8% from three-point range. She went a perfect 6-6 at the free-throw line against Boise State in the last game and finished with 10 points, her third time scoring double figures in the last five games.
Paula Reus has stepped into a starting role this season, starting in 20 games this season, and is averaging 8.2 points per game, 5.0 rebounds per game, 2.1 assists per game and 0.8 steals per game in an average of 27.4 minutes per game. Reus has scored in double figures in nine games this season, including three of the last four she’s played in (she missed the CSU game) and finished with double-digit rebounds in two games. Reus led the team in rebounds in five games. She recorded her first career double-double against NMSU with 11 points and 10 rebounds (a career high) and matched her career high of 10 rebounds at Colorado State. Reus is third on the team in rebounds (99) and assists (42) and fourth in three-pointers (22).
FINDING OTHER WAYS TO SCORE
While UNM has had eight games with 10-plus three-pointers, the Lobos are actually 3-5 in those games. The Lobos are 4-2 when making exactly nine and won against Houston when only making two three-pointers, and against Boise State and Colorado State when making only four.
The Lobos are shooting 42.5 percent from the floor this season and 50.1% (373-744) when excluding three-point attempts. The Lobos are 8-4 when shooting .400 or better and have shot .400 or better, with a season-high 54.8% in the game against South Carolina State. UNM shot 54.5% in its game against Nevada for its second-highest percentage of the season.
The Lobos have shot better than 50.0% in four games this season.
UNM has had seven different leading scorers this season in LaTascya Duff, Amaya Brown, LaTora Duff, Vianè Cumber, Shaiquel McGruder, Paula Reus and most recently, Aniyah Augmon.
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. Duff also led the scoring at SDSU with 16 points. Reus led the team in scoring twice, with 18 at Texas A&M-Commerce and 14 against Arizona. Cumber has led the team in scoring twice with 22 against Western New Mexico and 17 against Mississippi State. Following the game at CSU, Brown has now led the team in scoring twice (16 against Houston, career-high 18 at Colorado State). Augmon led the team in scoring at UNLV with a career-high 18 points.
McGruder has led the Lobos in scoring nine times, scoring 25 against Boise State, 24 against Arizona State, 23 against Abilene Christian, South Carolina State and Colorado State, 22 at Wyoming, 21 against Air Force and 16 against NMSU and Old Dominion.
Further, of the players that have appeared in more than half of the games this season, six are shooting 40.0% or better from the floor.
KNOW YOUR OPPONENT
Utah State enters the game 4-16 on the season, 1-8 in conference play with a win over Fresno State (68-58).
The Aggies are led in scoring by Maria Carvalho at 10.5 ppg, while as a team, USU is averaging 60.1 points per game. In MW games, the Aggies are led by Prima Chellis with 11.3 ppg, followed by Carvalho at 10.1 ppg. The Aggies are averaging 59.1 points per game against conference opponents.
Ashya Klopfensteinis the only USU player to start all nine conference games, but has only started in 11 of the 14 games she’s played in on the season. Only five players have played in all nine conference games (Chellis, Klopfenstein, Tamiah Robinson, Olivia Wikstrom and Natalie Fraley).
The Lobos return home to face UNLV on Feb. 2 and San Diego State on Feb. 4.