New Mexico Lobos Women’s Mountain West Basketball – In The Pit
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (MT); UNLV (10-14, 7-5 MW) at New Mexico (8-15, 3-8)
Ticket Special: $2 for any fan wearing pink
On The Air: 610-AM KNML; Mountain West Network Live Stream
GoLobos.com: Game Story, Complete Stats; LoboTV, Quotes
By Richard Stevens – Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
If you look at the way the fates of basketball have taken shots at Yvonne Sanchez’s Lobos over the past few weeks, maybe the Lobos have no choice but to take to the court with a new strategy, a new attitude.
“Right now, our approach is 'Let’s play angry,'” said New Mexico’s Khadijah Shumpert. “Let’s go out there with a fight.”
Adds senior Sara Halasz: “We have to come out and like Khadijah said, play angry. Play for something bigger than us. That comes with our Play For Kay game and that comes with playing for New Mexico on the front of the jersey.”
The Lobos have lost eight of their past nine games and have lost seven by six or fewer points. The key play in their 75-73 loss at Nevada was Deeva Vaughn being called for a blocking out foul in the closing seconds.
That's something to get angry about. So is the possible scenario the Lobos are facing Wednesday night in The Pit: The Lady Rebels celebrating their fifth straight Pit win.
Time to light the fires.
“I credit our kids. They stay up. They stay focused. They stay resilient,” said Sanchez. “They took the Nevada lost hard. We all did. The biggest thing I preached to them in the locker room is I’m just tired of them not getting a break.
“You can play the what-if scenario, but it’s not easy for any of us. We have to keep working hard.”
The game with the Rebels is New Mexico’s annual “Pink Game,” to promote awareness of breast cancer and to raise money for the UNM Cancer Center and the Kay Yow Foundation. Fans wearing pink can get $2 tickets and will be given strawberry milk as they exit after the game. The Lobos will wear special white jerseys with pink numbers and trim for the “Play For Kay” game.
The jerseys will be auctioned off during the game with all proceeds going to the UNM Cancer Center. Breast cancer survivors from throughout the state of New Mexico will be honored at halftime.
The national goal this season is for each women’s basketball program to raise $2,014 for the Play 4Kay Foundation. UNM already has raised more than $1,300 this season and raised more than $3,500 last year. Donation boxes will be dispersed throughout The Pit for the Play 4Kay Foundation.
The Lobos’ 3-9 Mountain West record has them out of the regular-season race and destined to play a Monday game in the MW Tournament in Vegas. However, UNM is looking to gain some momentum and confidence to take to the Vegas’ Thomas & Mack Center.
The Rebels are not an easy challenge and have won four straight on The Bob King Floor in The Pit and beat the Lobos 78-56 in Vegas – UNM’s worst loss in MW play this season. A Vegas win would give the Lady Rebels a sweep over UNM for the third straight year.
Now, that’s something to get angry about.
“UNLV is probably the game we’ve had the most trouble with so far,” said Sanchez. “But I think our team is playing much better.
“We need to start closing games. What we have to do at the end of the game is attack and get to the line. I think this team is ready to battle what UNLV has. I know we are playing better.”
The Lobos played without Shumpert at Vegas and that hurt the Lobos inside. UNM also was hurt by 22 turnovers (17 steals) that turned into 22 UNLV points off turnovers. The Lobos’ leading scorer, Antiesha Brown, scored only two points in the UNLV Cox Pivilion.
“I’m really excited for the game,” said Shumpert. “I wasn’t there for the first one and it kind of gives them a different look.”
The Lady Rebels are athletic, aggressive, rebound well and apply a lot of defensive pressure. When they shoot well, they are very good. UNLV has nice depth with Alana Cesarz as the top scorer with a 13.8 average. UNLV’s Danielle Miller averages 12.0 points and Mia Bell has an 11.1 average.
The Lobo average 63.7 points and allow 67.7 and UNLV scores at a 65.3 clip and give up 68.3 points per game. UNM shoots 39.6 percent from the floor and Vegas counters at 39.2 percent. If UNM does a better job handling the Vegas pressure, it should be another photo finish.
“Vegas is a very scrappy team, very athletic,” said Halasz. “We just have to attack more, not back off, but attack. Play the way they play. Play aggressive. Play hard. Have fun with it.”
Sanchez also sees another key to the finish. “We’ve struggled getting stops without fouling," she said.
Editor's Note: Richard Stevens is a former award-winning Sports Columnist and Associate Sports Editor at The Albuquerque Tribune. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Mexico Lobos Women's 2013-14 Season Roster
|Hometown (Prev School)|
|1||Brooke Allemand||G||5-4||Fr.||HS||Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas (Boerne-Samuel V. Champion HS)|
|3||Josie Greenwood||F||5-11||Fr.||HS||Hobart, Australia (Rosny College)|
|4||Alex Lapeyrolerie||G||5-11||Fr.||HS||Highland Village, Texas (Edward S. Marcus HS)|
|11||Alexa Chavez||F||6-0||So.||1L||Santa Fe, N.M. (St. Michael's HS)|
|12||Bryce Owens||G||5-4||So.||1L||DeSoto, Texas (DeSoto HS)|
|13||Khadijah Shumpert||F||6-0||So.||1L||Minneapolis, Minn. (Benilde St. Margaret's HS)|
|15||Antiesha Brown||G||5-10||RJr.||1L||Clovis, N.M. (Texas Tech)|
|20||Sara Halasz||G||5-11||RSr.||3L||Ohatchee, Ala. (Lakes (Wash.) HS)|
|21||Marissa Perry||G||5-4||Fr.||HS||Albuquerque, N.M. (Hope Christian HS)|
|25||Brea Mitchell||G||5-10||So.||1L||Plano, Texas (Plano West HS)|
|30||Lauren Newman||F||6-1||Fr.||HS||El Paso, Texas (El Dorado HS)|
|32||Kianna Keller||F||6-4||Fr.||HS||Waukesha, Wisc. (Waukesha West HS)|
|33||Maddie Muraida||C||6-2||Jr.||2L||Albuquerque, N.M. (Albuquerque Academy)|
|34||Whitney Johnson||C||6-2||RSo.||1L||Highland, Utah (Lone Peak HS)|
|42||Ebony Walker||C||6-2||RJr.||RS||Albuquerque, N.M. (Texas Tech)|
|44||Deeva Vaughn||F||6-0||RSr.||1L||Albuquerque, N.M. (Northern Oklahoma - Enid)|