FINAL: New Mexico-81 New Mexico Highlands-48 (Exhibition)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Saturday afternoon’s New Mexico women’s basketball exhibition opener offered the team a chance to play against an opponent for the first time this season. The Lobos took care of business against the New Mexico Highlands Cowgirls by a score of 81-48. Redshirt junior Antiesha Brown led all scorers with 23 points on an efficient 11-18 shooting performance. Brown was supported by fellow double-digit scorers Khadijah Shumpert (twelve points) and Sara Halasz (eleven points). Brown and Halasz both flirted with double-doubles as they finished with eight and nine rebounds respectively.
"Like Coach Sanchez and Antiesha said, it's always a little bit of a hectic pace in exhibitions. I thought we handled things well in the first half and let it get a little too up-and-down at times in the second half. I thought it was a good jumping off point for us this season," said senior Sara Halasz.
The Lobos took control of the game early courtesy of a 21-4 run in the middle of the half and never looked back. UNM’s 18-point halftime lead was pushed to as many as 35 points during the second half as New Mexico led by 30 points or more over the course of the final 13 minutes of the game.
Six different Lobos saw their first action in a New Mexico uniform. They included freshman Brooke Allemand who finished with six points, four rebounds, five assists and three steals. Allemand was one of five freshmen who saw action against the Cowgirls.
"I thought Brooke (Allemand) for being a freshman played pretty well, and we talked about that last shot that she took with one second left. Sometimes freshman just don’t know that and understand the unwritten rules that some sports have but that is a shot she won’t be taking in the future... She also had five assists and one turnover and that’s a real good assist to turn over ratio for a point guard," said Head Coach Yvonne Sanchez.
Coach Sanchez and the Lobos forced 24 Cowgirl turnovers and converted tem into 33 points off turnovers. The Cherry & Silver also out-rebounded New Mexico Highlands by twelve . New Mexico held an advantage in shooting at 29-63 (46.0%) to Highlands’ 15-61 (24.6%), which was fueled by the Lobos’ 16 fast break points. UNM saw eleven different players score a point and register an assist.
FIRST HALF: New Mexico-38 New Mexico Highlands-20
The game began, and was interrupted frequently, with the referees’ whistles. The Lobos drew seven team fouls within the game’s first two minutes as New Mexico Highlands was whistled for 17 fouls in the first half.
The Cowgirls never led in the game, but they stayed with UNM for the first seven and a half minutes. With 13:26 remaining in the half, the two teams were tied at ten. New Mexico took control of the game by 20 points as they held NMHU to just one made field goal over the course of a six-and-a-half-minute span.
The Lobos shared the ball in the early going of the game as they recorded six assists on their first seven made baskets of the game. Sophomore point guard Bryce Owens recorded four of her six assists on the night in the first half. Many of Owens’ assists set-up Antiesha Brown as she finished the first half with 15 points on seven of eleven shooting.
SECOND HALF: New Mexico-43 New Mexico Highlands-28
New Mexico Highlands scored the first basket of the second half just ten seconds in. The Lobo defense shut down NMHU for the next four minutes. The game took on a bit of a back-and-forth pace as UNM’s lead hovered around 30 points for the entire half.
After scoring just three points in the first half, Sara Halasz was the home team’s leading scorer in the second half with eight points, which included a pair of corner three-pointers against zone defense.
The Lobos improved their shooting in the second half with a mark of 51.7% on 15-29 shooting. They also improved their shooting at the charity stripe as well. New Mexico shot 10-14 (71.4%) at the free throw line after shooting 9-16 (56.3%) in the first half.
However, New Mexico struggled with turnovers in the end of the game. Their eleven second-half turnovers pushed their total to 21 for the game.