March 2, 2013
By Greg Archuleta
UNM Assistant Director of Communications
LARAMIE, Wyo. - Sustainability is the biggest challenge for the University of New Mexico women's basketball team.
The Lobos had their moments against Wyoming on Saturday afternoon at the Arena Auditorium; there just weren't enough of them. The more aggressive Cowboys used a series of scoring runs to gradually pull away for a 72-50 victory on Saturday afternoon.
Wyoming (22-6, 11-4 Mountain West) used a 12-2 run at the end of the first half and runs of 10-0 and 16-5 in the second half to thwart any hopes UNM (14-13, 6-8) had of duplicating its 60-57 upset of the Cowgirls here last season.
At times, the Lobos showed they could make a game of it. They led 22-21 at the final media timeout of the first half and still trailed by only eight at 46-38 with 12:12 left in the game.
The Cowgirls then attacked the rim and scored seven consecutive free throws as the Wyoming lead ballooned to 53-38. Two free throws by Audry Boehme capped the 16-5 run that pushed the advantage to 62-43 with 6:17 left in the game.
The spurt was part of a 27-11 foul disparity against UNM. At one point during the game, the Lobos had been whistled for 20 fouls while the Cowboys committed four.
The Cowgirls were 24-of-34 from the free-throw line; the Lobos were 6-of-11.
"We were very, very timid," coach Yvonne Sanchez said. "The foul count had nothing to do with the officials. We just don't have a lot of players right now that can take the ball hard to the basket and get fouled."
Wyoming also outrebounded UNM 46-29, including a 22-13 edge in the final 20 minutes. The home team had a 19-2 advantage in second-chance points.
"Wyoming's the aggressor, and we don't box out," Sanchez said, "and that's the ballgame right there."
Caroline Durbin scored 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting to lead the Lobos. Deeva Vaughn added 14 points but struggled from 3-point range, going just 1-for-9. She did score nine of the Lobos' first 19 points in the second half.
As a team, UNM shot 35.7 percent (20-of-56) from the floor and just 19 percent from beyond the arc (4-of-21). The Lobos missed 12 of their last 13 3s, contributing to their inability to stay with striking distance of Wyoming.
Ashley Sickles scored 18 points for the Cowgirls, and she pulled down eight rebounds. Chandra Sewell added 14 points and a game-high nine rebounds, and Kaitlyn Mileto added 12 points.
Wyoming had just two more field goals in the game than New Mexico, shooting 40 percent from the floor (22-of-55). It was 33 percent from 3-point territory (4-of-12).
"Number one, we don't knock free throws down; number two, we don't know how to get to the line, yet," Sanchez said. "(But) we're getting better. We've got some kids - our youth is going to be what our future is. I sent (freshman) Brea Mitchell in; I thought she did a nice job. (Freshman) Jordyn Peacock went in there; she did a nice job."
Durbin scored to open the second half, and UNM got baskets from Jourdan Erskine and Vaughn as UNM trailed 35-30 less than two minutes into the second half.
"Deeva Vaughn, I thought she played her heart out," Sanchez said. "Jourdan played her heart out. Jourdan is hurting in every inch of her body, and she goes out and gives everything that she has. So I don't have any complaints with that.
"But right now, our players are still learning. We just weren't aggressive; we settled for jump shots."
The Cowboys led 33-24 at the half, thanks to their strong start and strong finish to the first 20 minutes. Mileto scored seven of her nine first-half points in the first 5 ½ minutes to push Wyoming to a 13-7 lead.
The home team then used its 12-2 run in the final 3:42 to erase a 22-21 Lobo lead. Sickles scored eight of her 13 first-half points to give the Cowboys some breathing room.
"The last minute and 30 seconds, we're right in there," Sanchez said, "and we failed to rotate on defense three or four times in a row and gave them eight points. That opened the door for them to build a big lead at halftime."
Scrappy defense and Durbin's offense kept New Mexico in the game early. Durbin scored 10 points in the opening half, and the Lobos forced the Cowboys into a 2-for-14 stretch from the floor during an 11-minute span.
Durbin hit a pair of 3s and added a bank shot to turn a 19-14 UNM deficit into a 22-21 Lobo lead with 3:53 left.
Durbin was 4-of-7 from the floor in the first half, but her teammates were just a combined 5-of-23 as the Lobos shot 30 percent (9 of 30). They were 3-of-13 from the 3-point line and 3-of-4 from the free-throw stripe.
The Cowboys shot 42.9 percent from the floor in the first half (12-of-28). They were 2-of-8 from long range and 7-of-12 from the free-throw line.
Big discrepancies in rebounds and fouls favored Wyoming in the half. The Cowboys had a 24-16 lead on the boards and committed just four fouls to UNM's 13. Both Antiesha Brown and Jordan Erskine committed three fouls before halftime.
The Lobos did a much better job with turnovers in the first half vs. Wyoming, committing only five. UNM turned over the ball 29 times in its loss to MW-leading San Diego State on Wednesday night. The visitors finished with 13 total turnovers for the game.