Nov. 26, 2011
By Mike Mulcahy
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Give the Lobos credit. They played hard versus Pepperdine without three key players. They outshot Pepperdine from the floor and from the free-throw line. They outrebounded, out-assisted, and out-blocked Pepperdine. They just couldn't outscore them. In a game controlled by New Mexico from tipoff to the end of regulation, overtime ended up being the crux for Coach Yvonne Sanchez's Lobos, as they fell in overtime, 59-56, to Pepperdine University.
"In overtime, we just kind of got a little tired," senior forward Porche Torrance said. "We didn't have a lot of rotation on the floor with Deeva being out."
Playing without junior forward Deeva Vaughn for the entire game, without guard Nikki Nelson the entire second half due to a first-half leg injury, and Lauren Taylor for most of the second half and overtime, the Lobos were playing undermanned.
"It's hard with limited players," Sanchez said. "Deeva was out for the game. Nikki couldn't go the second half and Lauren was limited," Sanchez said. "We wanted to try and win that in regulation and that didn't work."
However, the Lobos still had one shot in the waning second of overtime, as junior guard Caroline Durbin attempted to rattle home a three-pointer for the victory. It fell out, and the Waves played keep away to seal the victory.
"I was farther off the line than I thought, I guess," said Durbin, whose shot was heavily contested and rushed.
Still, the Lobos were paced by a number of career nights, as Torrance notched her fifth career double-double of 16 points (tying a career high) and 15 rebounds (a new career high).
Durbin contributed 16 points and eight rebounds (a new career high), and junior guard Jayme Jackson added 14 points (a new career high), helping the Lobos hold a steady lead throughout the game.
The only reason the Lobos couldn't keep the lead was turnovers. Despite committing their third-lowest turnover total all season, New Mexico's 22 miscues were enough to fuel Pepperdine and their numerous runs. The Waves tallied 18 steals, many of them translating to points.
"They were putting pressure on toward the end of the game, before we went into overtime. I just think we kind of got a little rattled up and lost our focus a little bit," Torrance said.
Pepperdine had three players score in double figures, led by Shay Cooney-Williams' 13. Jazmine Jackson and Lauren Bell both chipped in 12.
Lobo Caroline Durbin was named to the All-Tournament team, posting a two-day total of 38 points and 13 rebounds.
The Lobos face Loyola Marymount at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1 at home in The Pit.
On Sunday, Dec. 4 New Mexico hosts Rio Grande Rival New Mexico State for Pack The Pit. All bench seat tickets are $2. The game tips off at 1 p.m.
For more information, or to purchase tickets to Pack The Pit, please call (505) 925-5858, stop by the Lobo Ticket Office at The Pit (M-F, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.), or purchase tickets at participating Albertson's.
First Half: After trading a pair of opening turnovers, Pepperdine notched the first basket of the game. Caroline Durbin answered with a traditional three-point play, giving the Lobos an early 3-2 lead.
New Mexico then recorded a 9-2 run to force a Waves timeout. Pepperdine finally answered with a three-pointer, but Durbin responded by draining her second trey.
Both teams amped up the defensive pressure, leading to missed shots and turnovers on both accounts. The Lobos were able to work in a handful of close buckets, edging their lead up to seven, 21-14. The Waves started hitting some outside shots and sparked themselves on a 10-3 run to get within two at 24-22.
Unyieldingly, the Lobos hung strong and tightened up their defense over the last five minutes, maintained their lead going into intermission, up 36-28.
Second Half: As in the first half, the Waves scored first, but, unlike the first half, the Lobos had no answer, as Pepperdine posted a 5-0 run in the first four minutes, closing the score to within three points.
Nearly five minutes in, Porche Torrance scored the Lobos first second-half basket on a Lauren Taylor-assisted layup.
Both teams stalled offensively for the next three minutes, with the Lobos recording the only four points scored in that span. Pepperdine answered with the help of some UNM turnovers, scoring seven-consecutive points to make the score 42-40 Lobos.
In response, New Mexico recorded an 8-2 run, pushing the Lobos lead back to six at 50-42. Pepperdine then rolled out a 10-2 run, tying the game and forcing overtime.
Overtime: After winning the extra-period's opening tip, Jayme Jackson stuck first, knocking down a jumper and giving the Lobos a two-point lead.
After a Lobo turnover, Pepperdine evened the score at 54. Jackson again bolstered the Lobos, sinking another long jumper to give the Lobos the lead.
However, a Pepperdine three-pointer with the shot clock expiring gave the Waves their first lead since 2-0 in the first half. The Lobos had a chance to take the lead with 23 second left, but Durbin's three was heavily contested and a bit off mark, and Pepperdine claimed the rebound.
New Mexico fouled, but Pepperdine's Bell made her foul shots and then was then able to steal the Lobos inbound pass and run the clock out to a victory.
Pepperdine - Katie Menton and Lauren Bell (MVP)
New Mexico- Caroline Durbin
Idaho - Alyssa Charlston
Morehead State - Ashar Harris