Stevens: Lobos Use Second-Half Surge to Bury Houston Baptist
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  12/18/2011
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Dec. 18, 2011

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New Mexico Lobos Women's Basketball - at Houston Baptist

Sunday: Lobos 65, Houston Baptist 38

By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

It was a mismatch early, and then it wasn't, and then it was a mismatch in a big way. The New Mexico Lobos broke out of a seven-point halftime lead to bury the winless Houston Baptist Huskies 65-38 Sunday in Houston.

The game appeared to be a mismatch early as UNM went up 15-2 before Houston Baptist steadied itself and trailed only 31-24 at the half. The Lobos never allowed the Huskies to find their feet in the second half as the Lobos were smooth and relentless at both ends of the court.

"We got off to a great start," said Lobo coach Yvonne Sanchez. "We got off to a great start in the second half, too, but the different was we let them get too many easy shots in the first half. We played better defense in the second half. It was a great effort by everyone."

The Huskies scored their first field goal of the second half at the 19:32 mark and didn't score a field goal again until there was 8:51 to play. At that point, the Huskies cut a 27-point UNM lead to 54-29.

Game over.

The Lobos were led in scoring by Caroline Durbin with 17 points. Senior Lauren Taylor added 15 points and Porche Torrance reached double figures with 12 points.

"I thought Porche was fantastic," said Sanchez. "She played like a senior and she started the spark for us in the second half at both ends of the court. Porche was unreal in the first five minutes of the second half. I was really proud of her."

Torrance and Jourdan Erskine each had eight rebounds. UNM won the board battle, 40-21.

The Huskies, now 0-11, shot only 30 percent in front of the small crowd of 178.

The Lobos came out fast in the first half and did the same thing to open the second half to extend their seven-point halftime lead. UNM used a Taylor trey and an Erskine bucket inside to power to a 42-27 lead. Houston Baptist called a timeout, down 15 points.

At the 13:44 media break, a Chinyere Nnaji bucket had the Lobos up 44-27. UNM was beginning to drift away. The Lobos had added ten points to their seven-point halftime lead. It got worse for Houston Baptist and the visitors from Albuquerque were up 48-27 at the 11:52 timeout.

UNM doubled Houston Baptist's score to form a 52-27 lead before the Huskies hit their second field goal of the half to cut UNM's lead to 25 points. The Lobos next play at Arizona on Wednesday (Dec. 21).

"We are heading straight to Tucson," said Sanchez. "We felt that getting there would be better than going home. It's a very good Arizona team. They are very athletic and they love to run. We want one more win before we head on Christmas break."

First Half: Lobos 31, Houston Baptist 24

The Lobos hadn't been shooting the ball all that well coming into Houston, but that changed big time against the winless Huskies of Houston Baptist. UNM shot 54 percent in the first half to 36 percent for the Huskies.

The Lobos came out hot and rolled to a quick 11-2 lead. The final three points in that count came off a Taylor trey which prompted Houston Baptist to burn a timeout.

UNM went up 15-2 before the Huskies managed to put a little life into their listless offense. The Huskies still had trouble stopping the Lobos at the other end. UNM rolled to a leads of 19-9 and 23-14.

UNM's Ashley Rhoades, a UNM volleyball All-American, saw her first action with UNM up 23-16. The Huskies used a trey to cut UNM's lead to 23-19. The home team was on a 17-8 run that helped cut UNM's biggest lead of 13 down to four points.

Rhoades' first career rebound as a Lobo led to a Durbin three that extended UNM's lead to 26-19. "She has really given us a spark," Sanchez said of Rhoades. "I was so proud of all the subs that went in."

The Huskies came back to trail 26-22, but UNM went up 31-22 after a 3-pointer by Erskine. UNM carried a 31-24 lead into the break.

The Lobos were paced in the first half by Durbin with 11 points. She was the only player on the court to slip into double figures. Taylor had seven points for UNM and Torrance and Rhoades each had four boards. UNM ruled the boards 18 to 11.