Freshman Ahlise Hurst was this week’s Mountain West Player of the Week. She is the third straight player from the New Mexico women’s basketball team to receive this honor. The previous week it was Aisia Robertson. The week before that it was Jaisa Nunn.
Hurst hit nine three-pointers and recorded a total of 39 points, the most points scored by a freshman in Lobo history, during New Mexico’s 84-80 win over Oklahoma on Nov. 28.
Tonight is essentially the third out of four rivalry games this season—OK, NMSU, and now UTEP. While UTEP is currently 2-5 for the season, they have ample motivation coming into this game. Last season the Lobo went to El Paso and soundly beat a UTEP team that had high hopes for the season, 59-35. The Miners were proud of being a tough, physical team led by their senior center, Tamar Seda. Seda got her double-double with 11 & 13, but the Lobos held the rest of the team to 6 for 32 shooting. After the game UTEP coach Kevin Baker had some angry words about how the Lobos were thugs and constantly manhandled Seda (who the Miner offence was built around).
Seda (graduated) and most the players are gone now, including their second leading scorer and best 3-pt shooter, Naj Howell—who just happens to sit on the UNM bench now as a RS. Only four players return for UTEP, but the events of last season’s game will be clearly told to the team—with an appropriate UTEP spin of course. The rest of the team roster has four freshmen and four JUCO transfers.Continue reading “Preview: UTEP at the Pit Tonight”→
I was getting into a pattern this season: watch the game, get stressed, watch my blood pressure rise from the tip-off to the closing seconds. Auburn, Houston, Oklahoma. Not the best for my health, but great entertainment. With NMSU coming to town, and as tight as the rivalry games had been running, I was expecting more. Fifteen seconds in JUCO transfer and 6’2” post Adenike Aderinto sets a pick, rolls to the basket for an easy basket and a 2-0 NMSU lead. A minute later, same play, another easy basket and the Aggies are up 4-2. After Aisia ties it, Gia Pack hit a three to give NMSU their third lead of the game. Tension slowly starts to rise with memories of last season’s 101-93 game in Las Cruse last year.
Sixteen seconds later, Ahlise hits her first of three triples for the game. Tied. Less than a minute later, Jaisa is trailing the break, spots up at the top of the arc, and hits a three. Next possession, same result—Jaisa three pointer and Lobos are up six. Brooke salas, NMSU’s leading scorer, makes a jumper to stop the run momentarily, but for the last five minutes of the quarter the Lobos rip the Aggie defense for 15 more points making it a 24-5 run to end the quarter with a 28-12 lead. They shot 52% from the field and harassed NMSU into 3 of 16 shooting after the initial two Continue reading “Lobos outrun NMSU at the Pit, 83-58, behind a team effort (and Aisia’s 23 points)”→
Saturday’s game against NMSU will be very different from the first five games the Lobos have played. First, the opponent is a known commodity, with three starters and eight players returning from the two UNM-NMSU matches last season.
Second, NMSU is relying on defense so far, unlike most the Lobos recent opponents. They are among the NCAA leaders in fewest points allowed (53.2 ppg) and opponent shooting percentage (32%, only 28% from three-point range). The opposition may be suspect, but the 17 ppg scoring margin does make one notice regardless of the opponents.
Last season, UNM went to Oklahoma and got destroyed, 105-63, and arguably the game was not that close. Typically, that would put a revenge factor on Wednesday’s rematch in the Pit, except hardly anyone who played a significant role in that game will be playing in this one. Whether it is graduation, transfer, or injury, these two teams are both completely overhauled. Continue reading “UNM-Oklahoma Preview, Wednesday at the Pit, 7 PM”→
Aisia Roberston was named Mountain West Player of the Week. She had a triple-double against Houston with 28 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. The Lobos ended up winning that game 89-84 in double overtime.
When you're one of only six players in the NCAA with a triple-double this season 💅
Prologue: When I got home after the Hartford game last weekend I sat down intending to write a recap of the Lobos 72-65 win. It was—I thought—a relatively straight forward story. The Lobos dominated on the boards (a 45-27 advantage), and the Hawks had no answer for Jaisa (11 for 18 shooting, 32 points and 11 rebounds), or Nike (8 offensive boards, 11 total, and the most energy on a bad ankle I have seen in many years). UNM started slowly, turning the ball over too often against Hartford’s 1-2-2 pressing zone (similar to Auburn’s, but with more aggression and slightly lesser athleticism), and then opened up a 22 point lead in the third quarter when they started taking care of the ball better. Just to keep things interesting—and the coaches agitated—they reverted to the high-turnover version of play in the last six minutes and let Hartford cut the lead back down to single digits, but it never felt like the Lobos would lose.
Since others have synopsized that in more detail already, I put that story aside and dwelled for a while on “What is this team, really?” So relying upon what I saw, what others have pointed out, and a little biased fan perspective, I thought I would wait to see a road game against an athletic Houston team, and then do an updated version of “What I think I learned yesterday”, subject to revision as the season evolves. So Part I of this story is the Houston game summary, and Part II will be (tomorrow I hope) the “What do we think we know now” part.
Senior Jaisa Nunn earned the Mountain West player of the week honor with a double-double (32 points and 11 rebounds) that helped the Lobos pick up a 72-65 win over Hartford on Sunday. This was the 21st double-double of her career and the fourth time she has scored 30 points or more.
This is the second time Nunn, a center, has received this honor during her college career.