Stevens: It's Deja Vu For Lobos in One-Point Win Over New Mexico State
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  12/30/2011
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Dec. 30, 2011

Final Stats

New Mexico Lobos Women's Basketball - at New Mexico State

Friday: New Mexico Lobos 59, NMSU Aggies 58
Up Next: 7 p.m., Jan. 2 -- Houston at Lobos

By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

The site was different. The score was different. But not much else changed as the New Mexico Lobos and the New Mexico State Aggies battled to the wire with the Lobos winning in a Friday night photo finish: 59-58 in the Aggies' Pan American Center. UNM won 54-53 in The Pit.

UNM's Porche Torrance took a pass from Deeva Vaughn and sweetly scored off the glass with eight seconds to play to pull UNM out of a 58-57 deficit. NMSU's Tabytha Wampler had just missed a free throw at the other end which would have put the Aggies up by two points.

The Lobos came out of the half down by eight points and took to the Pan American Center with a different energy and raced from a 36-28 halftime hole and into a 43-39 lead. After that, it was pretty much a run to the wire as both teams came up with big buckets and big turnovers leading to UNM's one-point nail-biter.

""It doesn't get any better than that," said Lobo Coach Yvonne Sanchez. "Once we caught up, it was typical Lobos and Aggies and went back and forth, back and forth. It was a great victory.

"We had to work our tails off. I'm so proud of our kids in how they chipped away and came back."

The Aggies won the board battle, 39-34 and UNM won the turnover battle giving away 15 and taking back 19. The Lobos were led in scoring by Caroline Durbin with 15, Deeva Vaughn with 13 points, Torrance with 11 and Lauren Taylor with 10 points. Torrance hauled down 15 boards and Vaughn added nine rebounds.

UNM shot 33.9 percent from the floor and NMSU shot 41.2 percent. Tabytha Wampler led the Aggies with 14 points and seven rebounds. She also had seven turnovers. UNM was 16-of-18 from the free-throw line and NMSU was 13-of-17.

The Lobos closed the first half allowing NMSU to throw out a 20-7 run. UNM opened the second half with a 15-3 run.

"We told them, defensively, we weren't playing well," said Sanchez of her halftime speech. "They were getting shooters open. We were getting killed on the rebounds and we were shooting poorly.

"I couldn't be prouder of how the girls came back. We were fortunate to get this win, but fortunate things happen when you never give up."

Second Half: New Mexico Lobos 31, New Mexico State 22

The Lobos came out of the halftime break down by eight points, 36-28, and starting cutting into that hole with improved energy at both ends of the court. A 15-3 UNM roll put the Lobos up 43-39, before NMSU responded to produce a 43-43 tie. The Lobos' intentions for the second half were obviously. The Aggies had yet to respond with the same level of intensity.

At the 11:40 mark, a 17-7 UNM run had the Lobos up 45-43. The Lobos had just about matched the run (20-7) that NMSU used to close out the first half. The Aggies came out of the break and got a bucket inside by Rutledge: 45-all. Rutledge again: 47-45. At the 8:59 break, NMSU was up 49-47 and the energy levels from the two teams were close to even.

UNM came out of their huddle and got a 15-foot jumper on the baseline by Durbin to knot the score at 49-all. UNM grabbed the lead back a few seconds later when Taylor dropped in two free throws: 51-49. Wampler then scored inside and was fouled. She converted the free shot and NMSU was back up, 52-51.

Aggie Kelsie Rozendaal scored off an NMSU air ball: 54-51. At the 4:02 mark, Kaitlyn Soto fouled out trying to push Torrance off a rebound. Torrance made both ends of the one-and-one and the Lobos were down by a point, 54-53.

At the 3:45 mark, Wampler went to the line and missed her front end of a one-and-one. UNM took advantage of that miss with a bucket by Vaughn with a single second on the shot clock. The Lobos were up 55-54. Wampler scored inside over Vaughn: 56-55.

UNM had a chance to go up with 1:41 to play when Vaughn was fouled inside and went to the line looking at a one-and-one. Vaughn made both shots and UNM was up 57-56. Wampler quickly turned the ball over at the 1:30 mark with an offensive foul. UNM had a chance to extend their lead going into the final minute of play. Durbin missed and NMSU had the rebound. The Aggies tried to force the ball inside to Wampler and turned it over with 54 ticks to go.

The Aggies came out in a full-court press. The Lobos broke it, but the Aggies stepped in front of a Durbin pass. The Aggies quickly went inside to Wampler, who took the ball to the hole, scored and went to the line on a foul by Vaughn. The 6-1 Aggie missed. The Lobos quickly attacked at the other end and Torrance took a pass from Vaughn and laid it in to hand the Lobos a 59-58 lead with eight seconds to play.

"It was an absolutely terrific play," said Sanchez. "We were fortunate to get the win. This team is going to battle and there aren't going to be many wins that come easy for us."

The Aggies got off a hurried shot at the other end that missed and ended up in Torrance's hands.

First Half: New Mexico State 36, New Mexico Lobos 28

About the only thing the first half suggested was that this game likely would go down to the wire, just like it did in The Pit. The teams went back and forth on the scoreboard with nine lead changes until New Mexico State closed the half on an 20-7 run to grab the eight-point lead.

New Mexico had a 21-18 lead until the Aggies pulled away to take the 36-28 lead. NMSU shot 50 percent in the first half and were 9-for-9 from the line. Caroline Durbin led UNM with seven points in the first half. NMSU got nine points from 6-3 Erica Sanchez.

UNM played without forward Jourdan Erskine, who is out for several weeks with a stress fracture. The Lobos also were without Emily Starks, out with a medical condition.

The Lobos took a quick 3-0 lead off a trey by Nikki Nelson. The teams went back and forth on the scoreboard until Nelson launched in another trey to pull UNM into a 10-6 lead. The Aggies were pressing and getting good results out of that press. At the 14:31 media break, UNM was up 10-8. UNM had five turnovers at that mark and were 2-of-2 from behind the line, both coming from Nelson.

NMSU came out of that break and got a trey from Erica Sanchez to go up 11-10. The Aggies were on a 5-0 run. The Aggies got buckets from Wampler and Sanchez to go up 16-10. Jackson finally snapped that NMSU 10-0 run by scoring inside to make it 16-12. Durbin then hammered in a trey to close UNM to 16-15. NMSU called a quick timeout. UNM was now on a 5-0 run.

Taylor got the Lobos back into a tie and then into a 17-16 lead with two free throws. Wampler struck again for NMSU: 18-17. Durbin grabbed the lead back for UNM with a baseline jumper: 19-18. The Lobos bumped their lead to 21-18 on a Deeva Vaughn jumper, but the Aggies struck back to produce a 21-all tie on 3-point play (layup and foul shot) by Jasmine Rutledge.

The Aggies then drifted ahead 25-21. The Aggies continued to press. Nelson hit Torrance on a post move and she scored while being fouled. She added the free shot to cut the lead to one: 25-24. Those were Torrance's first points of the game.

At the 3:35 break, two free throws by Wampler had the Aggies up 27-24. NMSU was 7-of-7 from the line at that point. Taylor used the free-throw line to make it 27-26. The Aggies' Kaitlyn Soto then used the line to push her team up 29-26.

Aggie Sanchez then got her third trey to extend the Aggies into a 32-26 lead. Taylor hit a bank snot: 32-28 and Rutledge scored on a follow for NMSU: 34-28. Soto drove and scored off the dribble and off the glass: 36-28.

The Aggies won the board battle, 39-34 and UNM won the turnover battle giving away 15 and taking back 19. The Lobos were led in scoring by Caroline Durbin with 15, Deeva Vaughn with 13 points, Torrance with 11 and Lauren Taylor with 10 points. Torrance hauled down 14 boards and Vaughn added nine rebounds.