Dec. 18, 2011
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The New Mexico women's basketball team takes to the road once again to battle the Huskies of Houston Baptist on Sunday, Dec. 18. It is the first of three straight road games that the Lobos will have to close out 2011.
New Mexico is coming off two consecutive losses to UTEP (53-43) and, most recently, the Bears of Northern Colorado (61-54) on Thursday, Dec. 15. Thursday's game closed out an eight-game home stand for New Mexico, as they take to Houston in attempt to extend HBU's 10-game losing streak.
The Lobos continue to be paced offensively by junior Caroline Durbin with 14.6 points per game. Durbin also adds 4.6 rebounds per game while Porche Torrance follows with 10.6 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. Both players are currently ranked within the top 10 in the Mountain West in several categories. Durbin is No. 1 in the conference with a three-point field goal percentage of .531, while Torrance takes the top spot in blocked shots with an average of 2.8 per game.
Sunday's meeting will mark the first ever between the two programs, but a victory would be seriously significant for the winless Huskies who are 0-10 on the season, 0-3 on their home court. Most recently HBU went down to Houston, 60-83, on the road. Houston marks a commonality between the Lobos and the Huskies, as UNM will host Houston on Jan. 2.
HBU is led in scoring by Shanice Steenholdt with 16.5 points per game. Steenholdt also leads the team with 9.7 rebounds per game. A trio of players have started all 10 games for the Huskies. Steenholdt is a regular starter, as is Devyn Weymouth and Tayler Jefferson.
New Mexico is still battling the injury bug, but has a recently deepened bench to select from for fresh legs on the court. Sanchez has recently added two mid-season walk-ons to her roster in Lobo volleyball standout Ashley Rhoades and in Albuquerque native and freshman, Jamie Parker.
Rhoades has yet to make an appearance on the court in a Lobo uniform, but Coach Sanchez feels that Parker has brought energy and effort to the floor in her first two outings.
"I think going on the road is going to help, they don't have school, they don't have finals, we just need to be thinking about these two games before Christmas," Sanchez said. "We can go get two wins on the road, and then they can go home for Christmas for four days off. Then we can come back and work on the next opponent."
The Lobos will take on Arizona in Tucson on Dec. 21 just prior to the Christmas holidays at 5 p.m. mountain time.