Feb. 6, 2013
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The University of New Mexico Lobos came into Wednesday night's match-up at the United State Air Force Academy (2-19, 1-7 MW) looking to push their conference mark to an even 4-4. New Mexico (12-9, 4-4 MW) did just that with the 72-67 victory in Colorado Springs. The Cherry & Silver just did hang on at the Air Force Academy as a ten-point lead with under two minutes left was reduced to as few as three points in the final moments.
"Obviously Antiesha had the best game I've seen her play, but that was one of the few positives tonight. We were up ten points with under two minutes to play, and we only won by five points. I thought we were lucky to win after a poor performance from our group as whole," said Head Coach Yvonne Sanchez in her post-game radio interview.
One thing did seem to come easy Wednesday night in Clune Arena - points for Lobo Antiesha Brown. The talented Lobo came off UNM's bench to score a point a minute in New Mexico's 72-67 Mountain West win.
Brown played 26 minutes. Brown scored a career-high 26 points, going 10-of-15 from the floor, adding six boards and plucking the Falcons with five steals. It definitely was a breakout game for the transfer from Texas Tech. Her 26-point erruption was the most points scored by a Lobo in over a year.
The Lobos ran to a 36-32 halftime lead and they had to hold off the Falcons down the stretch. UNM shot 48.1 percent for the game and sizzled from the 3-point line going 7-of-13. The Lobos also got 11 points from Sara Halasz, who went 7-of-9 from the free-throw line, and 10 points from Caroline Durbin. The Lobos were led on the boards by Bryce Owens with six.
Brown's point total was aided by her 5-of-7 shooting from 3-point range. Air Force was led by Alicia Leipprandt with 19 points. Dymond James had 13 points and 14 boards, but also had six turnovers as did Falcon Katie Hilbig.
The Lobos had too many turnovers with 20, but did get the Falcons to turn the ball over 25 times. Air Force won the board battle 40-30. UNM went 13-of-21 from the line and Air Force went 15-of-26.
"We forced 25 turnovers, but we gave it back to them 20 times. That's not a good tradeoff... We just have a lot of work to do still. We got great kids who want to work, and that's what we have to do; go back to work," observed Coach Sanchez.
The Lobos will play host to UNLV Saturday in The Pit looking to avenge their loss in Las Vegas. The Lobos are now 12-9 on the year and even in the MW race at 4-4. Saturday afternoon's game will the New Mexico's Play4Kay/Think Pink game.
New Mexico came out in the second half and increased their four point lead thanks to a string of baskets. Whitney Johnson scored the team's first six points of the half, which was followed by six-straight points from Sara Halasz. It would take 14 minutes for the Lobos to push their lead into double digits.
Air Force kept the game in single digits for a vast majority of the second half. It was Antiesha Brown who continued to pace the Lobos in the second half with twelve of her 26 points. The Falcons made a final push in the final 1:23 as they cut a ten-point to three points in the final moments of the half.
New Mexico was able to put the brakes on Air Force's leading scorer, Alicia Leipprandt, in the second half. After scoring 14 points in the first half, Alicia Leipprandt was slowed down in the second half. She scored five points on 1-6 shooting. Her scoring slack was picked up by Cherae Medina who scored eleven points in the second half.
The Lobo offense got off to a slow start as they converted only two of their first seven shots of the field. They picked it up by converting eight of their next 13 attempts as the Lobos pushed their lead to double digits for the first time at 28-18 with over six minutes left until halftime.
Air Force had a response to keep from the game from getting out of hand as they compiled a 12-2 run in less than five minutes to tie the game at 30-30 with 1:58 remaining in the first half. The Lobos took the momentum back with a Antiesha Brown steal and breakaway bucket to push the halftime lead to four points at 36-32. It was the first time New Mexico had scored at least 30 points in the first half in nine games.
Antiesha Brown scored an impressive 14 points in ten minutes of play in the first half on six of nine shooting from the field. It was just two points fewer than her career high of 16 points.
Alicia Leipprandt paced Air Force. She scored 14 of the team's 32 points in the half. She shot 5-10 (50.0%) from the field while the rest of the team combined to shoot 7-20 (35.0%)