Stevens: Cold Spell Dooms Lobos 53-48 at SDSU
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  02/22/2014

New Mexico Lobos Women’s Mountain West Basketball – At San Diego State

Saturday:  San Diego State 53, New Mexico 48

By Richard Stevens – Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

The New Mexico Lobos seemed to be storming to another Mountain West road win Saturday afternoon in San Diego.

And then the Lobos quit making baskets...

New Mexico went the final 11:37 without a field goal allowing San Diego State to go on a 16-to-3 run that pulled the Aztecs out of an eight-point hole and into a 53-48 Mountain West win in Viejas Arena.

"That’s not the way that you win,” said Lobo coach Yvonne Sanchez. “This is one of the most disheartening losses I’ve ever been through because of the lack of energy we played with”

“We had no energy.  We had no energy from our leaders and no energy from anybody. We didn’t play hard tonight and I have no idea why.  It’s like we thought we’d just show up and beat this team.”

The Lobos’ last field goal of the second half was an Antiesha Brown layup at 11:37. The only points the Lobos put on the board after that were three free throws by Khadijah Shumpert.  Despite that long UNM drought, the Lobos were down only 49-48 with 59 seconds to play.

The Aztecs got a layup from 6-foot-4 Cierra Warren with 37 seconds to play and two free throws from Danesha Long with 14 ticks left to close the win.  The Lobos kept missing shots. Warren led all scorers with 23 points and Long added 16 points.

“We just let them lob it into their big post player (Warren) and we weren’t tough enough to stop her,” said Sanchez. “We are not a mentally tough team. We got killed on the boards. We had people who just didn’t show up today.”

The Aztecs had a massive 43-to-20 edge on the boards, but SDSU also had 21 turnovers. The Lobos had 14 turnovers, but Sanchez said that was too many against a team that didn’t pressure much and fell back into a zone defense.

SDSU outscored UNM 32-to-16 in the paint. UNM shot 30 percent from the floor and 29 percent from 3-point range. The Lobos got only five field goals from Lobos not named Brown or Deeva Vaughn. The Aztecs scored only 21 points in the second half, but held UNM to 15 points.

“They exploited us,” said Sanchez. “We’re not good shooters and they exploited that.  We had people that just didn’t show up.  I’ll take my share of the blame, but we were prepared.  They (Lobos) have to understand that they have to show up and they have to understand that you have to hit shots.”

The Lobos were led by Brown with 16 points and Vaughn with 14 points (one in the second half). No Lobo had more than three rebounds while SDSU had four players with five boards or more. Scurry had nine rebounds and five assists.  UNM went 3-of-19 from the floor in the second half (15.8 percent) and the Aztecs went 8-of-25 (32 percent).

The Lobos' perimeter defense was decent in the second half, but they could not get the ball to drop and had eight second-half turnovers and two assists. Bryce Owens had four assists and three steals, but went 1-of-9 shooting.  Shumpert went 0-of-2 from the floor with four blocked shots.

“Shooting 29 percent (29.8) is not good enough,” said Sanchez.  “We need to find people who can hit shots.  You can’t score 48 points and beat a team in this league.”

Second Half:  San Diego State 21, New Mexico 15

The Lobos came out of the half up three and raced to a quick 39-32 lead on a 3-pointer by Sara Halasz.  At the 10:44 media break, the Lobos had their biggest lead of the game at 45-37.

The Aztecs then made a charge and at 9:13 had cut UNM’s lead to 45-43 convincing Sanchez to burn a timeout. The Aztecs almost tied the game at 45-all, but the layup was wiped out by SDSU’s 19th turnover of the game.   The Aztecs got the tie at 8:01 on a Warren layup and that count went into the media break at 7:54.

The Aztecs’ run went to 10-0 on a steal and layup that put them up 47-45.  At 3:56, SDSU was up 49-45 and UNM had not scored in more than six minutes – a stretch that saw UNM miss six shots and commit five turnovers.  SDSU had a 38-15 lead on the boards at that point, but were hurting themselves with turnovers.

The Lobos finally chipped the ice off their rim at the 2:21 mark when Shumpert dropped in a single free throw: 49-46.  That point snapped SDSU’s 12-0 run.  Shumpert again went to the line with 59 seconds to play and made two: 49-48.  UNM left Warren alone underneath for a layup and the Lobos were down 51-48.

Vaughn launched a trey looking for the tie, but it was short and Shumpert fouled Long with 14 seconds to play.  Long went to the line looking at a one-and-one and made both to seal the win for SDSU.

First Half:  New Mexico 33, San Diego State 32

The Aztecs went up eight points early and led most of the first 20 minutes, but not at the end. The Lobos’ used an old-fashion 3-point play by Vaughn to grab a 33-32 lead to match UNM’s biggest lead of the half.

Vaughn had a good first half with 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field. UNM shot 39.3 percent in the half and also got eight points from Brown. SDSU got 16 points from the 6-foot-4 Warren, who went 7-of-9 from the field.  The Aztecs won the board battle 18-to-10, but had 11 turnovers to six for the Lobos.  The Aztecs shot 54 percent from the field.  UNM won the points-off-turnovers battle 14 points to three.

UNM slowly cut into SDSU’s eight-point lead, hung around, and took its first lead at 25-24 on a Brea Mitchell trey.  The Aztecs quickly reclaimed the lead, but a Brown trey at 1:56 made it 30-all. Vaughn sored underneath and was fouled and UNM was up 33-32 with 58 seconds to play.  That score and that lead carried into the half.