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New Mexico Lobos Women’s Thanksgiving Tournament – In The Pit

Saturday’s Championship Game:  Arkansas 72, Binghamton 23

Saturday’s Third-Place Game: New Mexico  73, SE Missouri 55

Friday:  Binghamton 58, New Mexico 53; Arkansas 88, SE Missouri 37

Up Next:  7 p.m., Saturday – New Mexico State at New Mexico – The Pit

By Richard Stevens – Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

With the New Mexico State Aggies on the way, it’s fair to say the Lobos’ 73-55 win over SE Missouri Saturday in The Pit was huge and maybe even critical.

The Lobos needed a confidence boost after falling 58-53 to Binghamton and the Lobos got it.  New Mexico ran to a 20-point halftime lead, shot 51.1 percent from the floor, and powered to a win that maybe wasn’t quite as easy as the scoreboard suggested.

“They made a little bit of a run,” said Lobo Coach Yvonne Sanchez of SE Missouri.

The Redhawks cut UNM’s 37-17 halftime led to 54-45, but the Lobos did not back down from the challenge. The Lobos got another confidence boost by upping their intensity down the stretch and pulling away for the 18-point win. UNM made seven of their final 10 shots from the field.

“I’m proud of the team.  After last night (loss to Binghamton), it was tough emotionally,” said Sanchez. “We still have to work on some things with defense.  That game could have easily got away with the emotional letdown we had.  But this team came back and said we're not going to let that happen.”

The championship of UNM’s Thanksgiving Tournament went to Arkansas which demolished Binghamton 72-23 earlier on Saturday.   SE Missouri lost to Arkansas 88-37.  The Razorbacks won their two games by 49 and 51 points.

The Razorbacks’ Jhasmin Bowen, the tourney Most Valuable Player, had 15 points vs. Binghamton.  The Razorbacks held the Bearcats to a single digit on the board – nine – in the first half and the Bearcats shot 17 percent (8-of-46) on the night.  The Razorbacks ran to a quick 15-2 lead, led 45-9 in the second half and kept pulling away for the 49-point win.  

The Redhawks came out of the locker room down by 20 points to the Lobos and tried to make a game of it.  The visitors scratched into a 54-42 deficit with 8:20 to go.  SE Missouri had used a full-court press to help them crawl back on the scoreboard. A Redhawk trey cut UNM’s lead to 54-45 going into the game’s final eight minutes.  At the 7:11 break, UNM was up 56-45.

The 20-point halftime hole proved to be too deep for the Redhawks to fly out of.   And the Lobos played well down the stretch run.

 The Lobos’ Brooke Allemand hit a trey to push UNM up 63-47. That 16-point cushion was huge.  At the 3:58 media stop, UNM was up 63-49 and the Redhawks were running out of time.   A Shumpert bucket at 2:45 made it 66-49 in UNM’s favor.  That pretty much ended it.

The Lobos had three players in double figures: Khadijah Shumpert with 20, Antiesha Brown with 15 and Sara Halasz with 14.  Brown and Halasz made the All-Tournament team.

The Lobos were aggressive most of the night attacking the basket and scored 38 points in the paint. That aggression also helped the Lobos get to the free-throw line where they shot 23-of-32.  The Redhawks went 11-of-16 from the line.

The Lobos were dominant on the glass with a  42-to-29 edge.  Freshman Kianna Keller led the board work with 10 rebounds and Halasz added nine.  Shumpert had four blocked shots and Bryce Owens had four assists.  Alexa Chavez led UNM’s bench production with seven points and four rebounds.

“Everything that could possibly go wrong last night we corrected for tonight,” said Sanchez. “We told them we had to get to the line.   We’re getting better.   We’ll fight on because we have players who want to fight.”

The Lobos shot 47 field goals but only six from 3-point range where they made two.  SE Missouri shot 32.3 percent and had three players in double figures.

“I want to thank the fans that came out the last two games,” said Sanchez. “They were awesome and we appreciate them very much.

“Now we have a week to work on us. It has to be about us.  New Mexico State will come in hungry and wanting to win. We have to be very, very prepared for them.”

First Half:  New Mexico 37, SE Missouri 17

The Lobos, like Arkansas a night earlier, ended this game in the first 20 minutes.  The Lobos got 11 points from Antiesha Brown and 10 points from Sarah Halasz to power to a 20-point bulge.  UNM also got eight points from Khadijah Shumpert.  Halasz had seven boards as UNM dominated the glass 22-to-13.

UNM shot 50 percent from the floor in the first half and held the Redhawks of Missouri to 25.9 percent shooting.  The Lobos attacked the basket and went 10-of-14 from the line while SE Missouri went 1-of-2.  The Lobos scored 22 points in the paint.


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