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New Mexico Lobos Women’s Basketball – In The Pit

Saturday: New Mexico 69, Loyola Marymount 65

By Richard Stevens – Senior Writer/ 

Color this Lobo win Brown – as in Antiesha Brown.  

The smooth and talented Lobo placed the Lobos on her shoulders for most of the game, shot 13-of-17 from the field, scored 28 points, and was joined by an intense UNM defense at the end to help produce a dramatic, come-from-behind 69-65 win over Loyola Marymount.

“Wow. That’s my opening statement,” said Lobo Coach Yvonne Sanchez. “Antiesha was an absolute beast, especially in the second half.  That’s what she does and that’s why we have her on this basketball team.”

Brown’s stat line was impressive: 28 points, 11 rebounds, four steals and three assists in 31 minutes.   Her points and her boards were career highs.  “Those are the things you look at, not just her scoring,” Sanchez said of Brown’s other contributions to the stat page.

The Lions led most of the game, but a zone thrown out by New Mexico near the midway mark of the second half took the spark out of the Loyola attack and allowed the Lobos to scratch their way back into the game.

“I kept battling in my mind (about switching to a zone),” said Sanchez.

Said Brown:  “We slowed them down a lot especially when we went to the zone.  They really didn’t know how to handle that so I think that slowed them all the way down and threw them off their game plan.”

The New Mexico zone forced Loyola Marymount to call a timeout at 11:45, still up 51-43.  The Lions really had no solution to that defensive look – couldn’t hit an outside shot. The Lion were guarding a 60-54 lead with 4:58 to play, but their buckets were coming off hustle and not outside shooting.

The Lobos kept chipping away.  UNM got seven straight points from Ebony Walker, who finished with 13 points, and the Lobos pulled ahead 63-60.  The Lobos never looked back.

“We had a low start, but in the second half our heart showed and the fight came out of us,” said Halasz, who had 13 points going 5-of-7 from the line. “Tiesh had a big game and Ebony came in and had a big game.”

Brown and Walker combined to go 18-of-26 from the field.  The rest of the Lobo team went 8-of-38 shooting.  UNM ended the game shooting 40.6 percent to 34.7 percent for the Lions.

“It wasn’t pretty and there were a lot of things that didn’t go well,” said Sanchez. “They (Lobos) found a way to fight.  I was really proud of their intensity and their effort.”

The Lobos came out of the locker room down by six points and the Lions quickly upped it to ten points 41-31.

 “We didn’t play very well in the first half,” said Sanchez. “We didn’t play as hard as they did. We didn’t play as smart as they did.  We just didn’t match their intensity. We got down by 10 in the second half, but we still found a way.”

Said Brown:  “That’s when the heart came out.  Whenever the second half came around, it got real.  We are not losing in The Pit. That’s one of our goals. We’re not losing in The Pit. That’s one of our goals this year and it’s a challenge.

 We were not losing today and I think that’s what we showed out there.”

The Lobos cut their gap to 47-39 at the 14:44 break.  UNM was shooting 83.3 percent in the half at that point (5-of-6), but were hurt by turnovers and getting beat on the defensive end.

The Lions called time at 11:45, up 51-43.  The Lobos had gone to a zone and Loyola was trying to bust it from the outside, with marginal results.  The Lions came out in a soft, full-court press.  The Lobos stayed in the zone.

UNM got two buckets from Brown to cut their hole to 51-47.  A bucket by Walker made it 53-51 and The Pit got into it for the first time in the second half.  Loyola finally hit a jumper over the UNM zone to pull ahead 55-51.  That count carried into the 6:59 break.  Brown now had 23 points and was 11-of-15 from the floor.  UNM was up on the board count 39-37.

Brown scored inside and later added a free throw to pull the Lobos to 55-54.  The Lions got a garbage bucket inside and a Bryce Owens turnover led to a Ramirez layup: 59-54.  Shumpert got called for a technical at the 4:58 mark and Ramirez used the line to form a 60-54 Loyola lead.  The Lions also got the ball.

UNM went into the 3:57 break down 60-55 off a single free throw by Halasz.  Walker went under her defender with a post move, scored and added a free throw: 60-58.  The Pit got rowdy.  The Lobos had hung around and now they were rallying.

UNM got the lead at 61-60 on a Walker layup and got a stop at the other end.  Sanchez called time at 1:45.  UNM had the ball.  UNM’s Allemand shot down the lane, but missed her layup.  Walker got the follow and UNM was up 63-60.

The Lions missed and Brown scored on a drive: 65-60.  The Lions hit a trey and called time, down 65-63.   Vaughn got fouled at the 16.5 mark looking at a one-and-one.   She hit the first – and the second: 67-63.  Ramirez missed long and Allemand got the board at 9.4 and was fouled.  UNM was still up by four, but the Lobo freshman iced the win with two more from the line: 69-63.  Ramirez hit a bucket in the final second for the 69-65 final.

“It’s nice (to win),  but we have other games to look forward to,” said Brown

“That was a good start for us,” said Halasz.  “We had to own the second half. “

First Half:  Loyola Marymount 35, New Mexico 29

Both teams made 12 field goals in the first half, but the Lions had two more treys and went 8-of-10 from the free-throw line to 4-of-10 for the Lobos.  Loyola won the board battle 28-23. UNM had six steals to two for Loyola and the Lobos had five blocked shots vs. one for the Lions.

The Lobos got 13 first-half points from Brown, who went 6-of-8 from the field, but only got off one shot in the final 7:18 of the half.  The rest of the Lobos went 6-of-26 from the floor with Shumpert, Vaughn and Owens combining to go 3-of-16.  Shumpert and Brown had seven boards. Ebony Walker got into foul trouble and played only four minutes in the first 20 minutes.

Ramirez led Loyola with nine points aided by a 6-of-6 effort from the free-throw line. She went 1-of-7 from the field.  UNM shot 35.3 percent in the half and Loyola shot 33.3 percent.  The Lobos got two points and no field goals off their bench and Loyola found 14 bench points.  The Lions played 13 players and UNM played nine.

The Lions went up 3-0 on a trey before Halasz hit a 15-footer and Shumpert powered inside for a layup.  UNM led 4-3 at the 15:58 break. Both teams were playing tough, in-your-face defense.  Loyola was shooting 1-of-5 at that mark and UNM was 2-of-9. Vaughn had two blocked shots for UNM.

The Lions came out of the huddle and ran to an 11-8 lead at the 13:07 mark that convinced Sanchez to call a timeout.  Loyola extended that lead to 13-8 going into the media break at 11:31. The Lobos were shooting 4-of-18 at that point – 22 percent.  The Lions were 6-of-16 with a single trey.

The pace continued to be quick, but a few more baskets starting dropping for the Lobos. Brown scored UNM’s final three field goals going into the 7:18 break and UNM was down 21-18. UNM’s shooting had warmed to 30.8 percent behind Brown, who was 5-of-7 from the floor. The rest of the Lobos were 3-of-19.

The Lobos grabbed the lead back at 23-22 on an old-fashion trey by Halasz, who drove the lane, kissed one off the backboard and was fouled.  That lead dissolved quickly when Loyola’s Ramirez hit a trey from in front of the UNM bench: 25-23. UNM got a 25-25 tie off two free throws from Kianna Keller.

At the 4:22 mark, the Lions were up 28-25. UNM was shooting 35.7 percent and Loyola had dipped to 34.5 percent.  Brown had 13 points for the home team.  UNM cut Loyola’s lead to 29-27 and 31-29, but the Lions scored the last four points of the half to carry their 35-29 lead into the half.


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