Stevens: Lobos Face Tall & Quick Texas In The Pit
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  11/18/2013

New Mexico Lobo Women’s Basketball – In The Pit

When/Who:  7 p.m., Tuesday, Texas Longhorns (2-0) at New Mexico Lobos (1-1)

On The Air: 610-AM KNML with Joe Behrend and Nikki Heckroth-Lobato

GoLobo.com: Live Stats, Live Video Stream, Quotes, LoboTV, Game Story

By Richard Stevens – Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

If you lean heavily on a stat sheet, the Texas Longhorns had it easier in building a scouting report and devising a way to stop Yvonne Sanchez’s Lobos in The Pit on Tuesday night.

The New Mexico stat sheet is a flashing red arrow pointing at Antiesha Brown.  The Lobos’ mobile wing tops the UNM scoring sheet with an impressive 22.5 average.  She also is the Lobos top boarder averaging 9.0 rebounds a game.

The Lobos also have some obvious targets in looking at what Texas has done in its two wins, but the Longhorns have exposed three scoring weapons in rolling out their 2-0 mark. 

“Texas has everything,” said Coach Sanchez. “It challenges us to be on our A game and go, ‘Ok, we have to guard this and we have to guard this and this is how we’re going to guard this.’”.

The Longhorns are solid inside and out. Chassidy Fussell averages 16 points, Nneka Enemkpali averages 14 points and 11.5 boards and 6-foot-7  Imani McGee-Stafford averages 15.5 points and 9.0 boards.

These weapons make the Longhorns a three-pronged beast on offense.   But like the Lobos, they have some other weapons, too.

“We have to find their shooters,” said Sanchez.  “We have to guard the drive (Enemkpali).  We have to guard the post (6-7 McGee-Stafford). We have to guard the 3-point shots (Fussell). 

The season is too young to lean too much on two-game stat sheet, but Fussell is 5-of-9 from 3-point range.  She also can drive the ball as can four other Longhorn guards.  Texas brings 5-8 Celina Rodrigo off the bench with her 8.5 scoring average.  She scored 15 vs. Texas State.

McGee-Stafford and Enemkpali are aggressive inside and both have been to the free-throw line 10 times this season.  Texas shoots .745 from the line and .433 from long range.

The Longhorns will use their athleticism to run and drive.  They also have a 6-foot-5 freshman, who comes off the bench. They can run in transition or drive and go inside to their big Longhorns in half court. 

“They have everything,” said Sanchez. “We have to stop their transition offense. We have to make sure that we box out every single time.  They have some post players who go after the rebound really, really hard.”

Texas had 58 rebounds vs. Texas State and had 23 second-chance points.  Texas won that paint battle with 46 points inside to 10 for Texas State.  Texas returns all five starters from 2012-13, but two of those starters are listed as subs for the New Mexico game.

The Longhorns like to attack the basket and they like to get to the charity stripe.  They have shot 51 free throws in two games and UNM has shot 38, shooting .553 percent.  The Longhorns are coming off a 54-point spanking of Texas State.  They play host to Stanford on Saturday.

“They are very, very good,” said Sanchez.  “We are bringing in one of the best Big 12 teams in the conference.  The team that they have, you don’t see that in our conference.  This prepares us to play very athletic, very skilled teams.

“This is a great challenge for players.  You have to want to do this stuff.  Regardless of the outcome, our kids really want to play them.”

Brown is the only Lobo starter averaging in double figures.  The 6-2 Ebony Walker comes off the bench with a 12.5 scoring average complemented by 7.0 boards per game.   The Lobos inside game should be challenged by the 6-7 McGee-Stafford and 6-1 Enemkpali.  Texas also has a solid point guard in 5-4 Krystie Henderson, who should be a good test for UNM’s 5-4 Bryce Owens.

Sanchez said her Lobos need to play well and try to be “in a position to win the game at the end.”

“It’s not that you have to go play your perfect game,” she said. “But you have to play a good game.  We’ve done everything as a coaching staff to prepare them to play Texas and I think they are ready.”

Said UNM’s Deeva Vaughn:  “ We’re excited.  As a team, collectively, I think we’re going to do pretty good.  We just have to pick it up on the defensive end.  We know what we have to do to win.”

Fussell is UT’s top scorer and she had paced the Longhorns in scoring in each of the past three seasons.  McGee-Stafford was named to the Big 12 Pre-Season Team.  Texas is the seventh winningest program in NCAA women’s basketball.

New Mexico Lobo Women -- 2013-14 Roster

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)