New Mexico Lobo Women’s Basketball – In The Pit
Tuesday: New Mexico 72, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 58
Up Next: New Mexico Lobos Thanksgiving Tournament – In The Pit
Friday: 5 p.m., SE Missouri vs. Arkansas; 7 p.m., Binghamton at New Mexico
Saturday: 5 p.m., Third Place Game; 7 p.m., Championship Game
By– Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
Sometimes the formula for victory is simple. For Yvonne Sanchez’s New Mexico Lobos there were a handful of second-half basics that led them to a 72-58 victory over Wisconsin-Milwaukee Tuesday night in The Pit.
The Lobos attacked inside. The Lobos played better defense. The Lobos took Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s smooth point guard, Angela Rodriquez, out of the game.
The Lobos did all of those things in the second half. UNM came out of the locker room down 33-32 and totally changed the dynamics of the game.
“I told them it was about the first four minutes because we were down one,” said Coach Sanchez. “We kind of put the foot on the gas and we didn’t let up.”
Rodriquez was the straw the stirred the Panthers’ offense in the first half. She scored 14 going 6-of-9 from the floor. She ended with 21 points, but did most of her damage on the board after UNM had taken control of the game and the tempo.
“We told our team how good that point guard is and I don’t think they believed us,” said Sanchez. “She’s a heck of a player. The second half we trapped her off ball screens.”
The Lobos also went inside in the second 20 minutes – a lot. “This was about getting it to the post so we can get it back to the guards,” said Shumpert. “But they stayed on the guards and didn’t double down (inside).”
Actually, the Panthers did double down a lot out of their zone, but once the Lobos got position, they aggressively attacked. Shumpert took advantage of the open space she created inside. She had a career-high 21 points and a career-high 12 boards. “Really, that’s what Khadijah does,” said Sanchez.
UNM also got a double-double from Sara Halasz with 11 points and 11 boards. Antiesha Brown had 14 points and Bryce Owens had seven points, five boards, six assists and three steals in 35 minutes. Deeva Vaughn had eight points and five assists.
UNM put Halasz on Panther Rodriquez in the second half. “Sara made it a personal mission,” said Sanchez.
Said Halasz: “I just went in there focused and ready to play. We did really good in the second half to contain her more.”
Shumpert had to attend a family funeral and missed UNM’s last game vs. Colorado. She seemed to enjoy her time back on the court. “I feel brand new,” she said. “That’s what tonight was for me. I think that this game was a really big win for our team.”
UNM shot 41.9 percent in the first half, but was down a point. The Lobos shot 34.2 percent in the second half, but outscored the Panthers by 15 points. UNM won the board battle 48-36 and the turnover battle 16-to-9. The Panthers shot 45.8 percent in the first half and 28 percent in the second half. They were 0-for-12 from 3-point range in the second half and finished 3-of-22. Rodriguez was 0-of-4 from long range in the second half.
UNM had 15 assists to six for W-M. “We were finding each other,” said Sanchez.
The win snapped a three-game skid by UNM; losses to Texas Tech, Texas and Colorado. The Lobos play Friday and Saturday in The Pit in their Thanksgiving Tournament that features Binghamton, SE Missouri and Arkansas.
“We haven’t won this tournament in a long time,” said Sanchez. “It would be a good time to get two more wins.”
SECOND HALF: New Mexico Lobos 40, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 25
The Lobos did three things well quickly in the second half. They attacked the paint. They played better defense. They controlled Panther Angela Rodriguez, who had 14 first-half points. That combination helped UNM quickly reclaim the top spot on the scoreboard.
UNM went up 38-35 on two free shots by Halasz off a flagrant foul. A basket by Vaughn inside at 17:52 pushed UNM up 41-35 and convinced the Panthers to burn a timeout. The Lobos had put Halasz on the Panthers’ Rodriguez.
Rodriguez had not scored at the 17:52 mark and UNM was controlling the middle. At the 15:30 media stop, UNM was still up 41-35 as both teams had stalled on offense. The Lobos took a 47-37 lead off an Owens’ 3-pointer and a 51-40 lead off a steal and a layup by Shumpert. At the 7:34 break, UNM was up 55-43, shooting only 25.9 percent from the floor in that half. But UNM had two players with a double-double at that mark: Shumpert with 17 points and 12 boards and Halasz with 11 points and 10 boards.
The Lobos continued to pull away. It was 68-51 with 4:06 to go.
FIRST HALF: Wisconsin-Milwaukee 33, New Mexico Lobos 32
The first half went back and forth. It was almost fitting that the team with the last (good) shot left Bob King Floor with the lead. That was Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Their smooth point guard, Angela Rodriguez, busted a 3-pointer to hand the visitors from Wisconsin a one-point cushion. “I wasn’t real happy then,” said Coach Sanchez.
Rodriguez went 6-of-9 from the floor in the half to pace all scorers with 14 points. Panther Ashley Green was the No. 2 scorer in the half with nine points – 5-of-9 from the free-throw line.
UNM got eight points from Khadijah Shumpert and six from both Sara Halasz and Alexa Chavez, off the bench. UNM won the glass battle 20-15 with five boards from Halasz. Rodriguez paced W-M with five rebounds. Both teams played a clean floor game with four turnovers each. The Panthers, going against a man-to-man defense, were more aggressive off the dribble and went to the line to shoot 8-of-13. The Lobos faced a zone, shooting 4-of-4 from the line.
UNM shot 41.9 percent in the first half, cooling off down the stretch. The Panthers shot 45.8 percent.
At a timeout at the 12:00 mark, UNM was up 15-13 shooting a hot 54.5 percent from the floor. The Panthers were gunning at a 40 percent rate. UNM held a 7-5 edge on the boards. At the 7:09 break, UNM was up 24-20 off a Shumpert follow of her own miss. UNM was still shooting well: 52.6 percent. The Panthers were at 46.7 percent off 4-of-5 shooting from Rodriguez. UNM was up 16-11 on the glass.
The teams stayed snug on the scoreboard. At 3:25, UNM ran to its huddle up 26-24. A nice spin move in the paint by Owens pulled UNM out of a 30-28 hole into a 30-all tie. The Panthers finally went to the locker room up 33-32.