Jaisa Nunn earns second MW POW honor

New Mexico’s senior Center Jaisa Nunn earned her second Mountain West Player of the Week honor of the season this week.

Nunn earned it after leading the Lobos with double-double of 23 points and 13 rebounds during New Mexico’s 82-73 win over Fresno State on Saturday. This was the Lobos’ 18 win this season as they currently hold an 18-2 overall record and are 8-1 in the conference.

Her first conference POW honor this season was back in November. She also earned that one with a double-double (32 points and 11 rebounds), which helped the Lobos pick up a 72-65 win over Hartford.

Nunn currently leads the Lobos in scoring with an average of 15.7 point per game. 

Lobos Face Another Challenging Game As They Reach the Half Way Point

After playing three close games against some of the top teams in the conference, Fresno St (6-2 in the MWC, 13-6 overall), in the Pit this afternoon at 2 PM.  Fresno enters in third place, one game behind UNM and Boise.  Unlike some of the Lobo’s recent opponents who want to play at a slower pace, Fresno want to speed it up, as UNM does.  Both are scoring over 70 per game in conference.

Fresno is led by three starters who average over 30 min per game and dominate the Bulldog stat sheet.  Senior guard Candice White (#10), a clear all-conference player, leads them with 19.3 ppg, and over 20 in the last five.  She shoots from close in and far out, making her shots at a 47% rate, is 2nd in rebounds, 3rd in steals, and 4th in assists.  Sophomore Maddi Utti (#11) was a surprise as a freshman and has grown from there.  She is second in scoring (11.5, shooting better than 55%, mostly close in) and leads the team in rebounds with almost 7 per game, 3rd in steals and 4th in assists.  The third member of their trio is another soph, Aly Gamez (#22) who leads in assists and steal while scoring at a 10.6 rate.

The Australian connection that was prevalent with Utah State is alive and well on the Fresno roster, with two players from down under, and a third from New Zeeland as well.

For the Lobos, freshmen Jayla Everett and Ahlise Hurst are leading the team in minutes.  Jayla also leads in scoring in conference and is coming off a MWC player of the week honor.fffffffffffff

Of Beating UNLV, Close Games, and Underclassmen

Jaisa Nunn scores 26, grabs 12 rebounds as Lobos defeat UNLV 80-77 in OT

Two games into the brutal four games stretch, it has started well.  The ladies broke losing streaks to Wyoming and UNLV, both in heart-stressing fashion.  There were two things that piqued my curiosity.

First, the 78-75 and 80-77 wins brought UNM’s record to 5-1 in games decided by six points or less—two possessions or less.  It seemed that last season we lost most the very close games we played, and I started looking through past seasons to see how this 5-1 mark compared.

The second thought—which I have had multiple times—is how this team is

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TLL Interview With Shai McGruder

Freshman Shai MaGruder, from Dayton Ohio

Shai Interview 2018

Watching Shai McGruder–whether in practice or a game—I keep getting the feeling in the back of my mind that the gym is too small to contain her.  She will get a rebound under the basket at one end of the floor, pass it to a guard, and then beat everyone down court to the offensive basket. She will dive on the floor to try and make a steal, and a few moments later sky upwards to effortlessly scrape the rim.  The Lobo roster this season is filled with a lot of athletic players, but Shai is arguably the most physically talented post the team has had in a long time.

As with many freshmen, big numbers in HS (25+ points and 9+ rebound per game her senior season) do not always translate into immediate playing time.  In the first six games this season she averaged about six minutes and two points per game, the bulk of that in one game vs Texas Southern.. But as the speed has become more focused in the team structure, the time on court has grown quickly.  In the next six games that increased to twelve minutes a game, with scoring and rebounding numbers increasing substantially. Among the bench players she is also second on the team in steals and blocks.

But the most notable thing Shai contributes to each game when she get in, is energy.  Something exciting is always going to happen, and more often it has been good than bad for the Lobos.  This has earned her her most minutes in the most recent two games, 19 against Air Force (9 points, 9 rebounds, two blocks, 2 steals), and 18 at Nevada (9 points 4 rebounds, 2 steals).

The following interview was done before Christmas break, but a few personal issues (on my part) delayed that until now.

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