Stevens: Lobos Hammer Houston 70-44; Prepare For MW Wars
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  01/02/2012
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Jan. 2, 2012

New Mexico Lobos Women's Basketball - At The Pit

Monday: New Mexico Lobos 70, Houston 44
Up Next: Jan. 11, Lobos at Boise State -- By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

Bring on the Broncos! It's time to climb the Mountain! .

The New Mexico Lobos tuned up for the upcoming Mountain West wars by defanging the Houston Cougars 70-44 Monday night in The Pit. .

The win handed the Lobos a two-game win streak going into a much-needed break prior to opening the MW race Jan. 11 at Boise State . The 6-8 Lobos, who have battled through a trying period of injury and illness, now have a week plus to prepare for their trip to Boise, Idaho.

The women's side of the Mountain hasn't really had any teams distinguish themselves, like UNLV, San Diego State and UNM have on the men's side. That might be good news for the Lobos, who appear to be playing better basketball as they approach the MW race.

The UNLV women carried a 10-4 mark into this week's action and SDSU was at 8-4 followed by Boise State at 8-6. TCU is the only other MWC team with a winning mark (7-6) as UNM, Wyoming, Air Force and Colorado State are all under .500. Boise State is 7-3 at home. UNM's next MW game is Jan. 14 in The Pit vs. a struggling Wyoming team.

The Lobos' shooting touch definitely looked ready for the conference challenge based on the delicate touch New Mexico displayed in their romp over Houston. The Lobos went 7-of-9 from 3-point range in the first half and ended the game shooting 9-of-16 from long range.

The Lobos were lead by Nikki Nelson with a career-high 16 points. She was 5-of-5 from the field. The feisty UNM point guard also had four assists to one turnover.

Porche Torrance, this week's Mountain West Player of The Week, threw out another complete game scoring 11 points while adding nine rebounds, four blocks, five assists and two steals. Deeva Vaughn scored 14 points and Lauren Taylor added 10 points off the bench.

The biteless Cougars fell to 1-11 on the season with their only win coming over hapless Houston Baptist, the team UNM rolled 65-38 in Houston.

The game probably was over at halftime when UNM pulled in with a fat 41-22 lead. The obvious key was for the Lobos to not come out of their locker room with no energy or passion for the finish. The Lobos answered that question quickly by opening the second half with two treys, one by Nelson and one by Durbin. UNM was up 47-22. .

UNM's Deeva Vaughn scored three straight buckets to push UNM up 53-22. Nelson then made a steal and led a break that led to her taking a 15-footer - swish, and the Lobos were up 55-22. .

First Half: Lobos 41, Houston 22

The Lobos came out in the first half and threw the perfect one-two combination at the struggling Cougars: Good offense, good defense.

The Lobos were sizzling from 3-point range going 7-of-9 (77.8 percent) and not shooting bad in close either at 50 percent. The Lobos backed that with a tough man-to-man defense that held Houston to 27.6 percent shooting in the first 20 minutes.

The Lobos were paced in scoring by Nikki Nelson, who scored nine points, going 3-of-3 from long range. Lauren Taylor went 2-of-3 from behind the line and had eight points. Porche Torrance had five rebounds and four assists. The Lobos had 12 assists to two for Houston.

The Lobos ran out of a 2-2 tie to a quick 14-2 lead and at the 11:20 mark sat on a fat 19-6 lead. At that mark, UNM was shooting 57 percent from the floor and 75 percent (3-of-4) from behind the line. The Lobos came out of the break and Taylor banged in UNM's fourth trey. The Lobos were up 22-6.

Jaime Parker came off the bench to knock down the Lobos' sixth trey and followed her bomb with two free throws. UNM was up 27-6 when Taylor hit another trey and the Lobos were cruising at 30-6. The Lobos pulled in for the 41-22 halftime bulge.