Nov. 25, 2011
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- Junior Caroline Durbin fueled the Lobo offense once again, notching her fifth-straight double-figure scoring game and first 20-point effort of the year as New Mexico rolled Morehead State Friday night, 69-52.
The win will serve to pit the Lobos against Pepperdine in Saturday's championship at 7 p.m.
Durbin finished the game with 22 points to pace the Lobos in scoring and chipped in with five rebounds. Fellow junior Jourdan Erskine crashed the boards for nine rebounds and added nine points, while senior Porche Torrance also scored in double figures for New Mexico with 13 points.
New Mexico shot over 50 percent in every category, while holding the Eagles to under 30 percent from the floor. The Lobos also dominated in the paint, scoring 40 points down low to Morehead's 14.
The Lobos came out of the gates hot, starting with a 21-5 run over the first 10 minutes of play, holding Morehead scoreless over the first three and a half minutes of the game. Torrance scored four of the first six points of the half as the Lobos put on a 10-0 run until the 16:26 mark.
Morehead's Ashar Harris put the first point on the board for the Eagles with a free throw, which stood as the only point for Morehead until just over eight minutes remained in the half. MSU did not score a field goal until just over 10 minutes remained in the half -- a layup by Linda Dixon, which set the score at 19-5 in favor of the Lobos.
New Mexico climbed to a lead as large as 20 points (25-5) with nine minutes to go, and the Eagles were unable to cut the lead to less than 12 over the course of the half. The Lobos headed into the locker room at the half with a comfortable 15-point lead, 36-21. Six Lobos combined for the 36 first-half points, with Torrance finishing the first 20 minutes with seven and Durbin adding eight points.
New Mexico continued with tenacity in the second half, fueled once again by Durbin with 14 points. Courtney Lumpkin's three at 16:57 cut the Lobo lead to nine, but that would be the closest that Morehead State would get.
Although New Mexico turned the ball over 16 times to MSU's 11, the sharp-shooting Lobos were unstoppable with a 53.8 percent performance from the floor, holding Morehead to a 27.4 percent effort on the game. Every Lobo saw floor time, with nine players logging double-digit minutes. Erskine finished with nine points and nine boards, while senior point guard Nikki Nelson notched eight points and seven assists. Freshman walk-on Maddie Muraida played two minutes and scored her first two career points as a Lobo.
Lumpkin finished the game with 11 points, while Dixon notched 12 for the Eagles and Natalie Greenwell scored 15 to pace Morehead.
New Mexico will take on the Pepperdine Waves in the championship match on Saturday, slated for 7 p.m. Idaho and Morehead will play in the consolation game at 5 p.m.