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New Mexico Lobos Women’s Basketball – At Texas Tech

Wednesday: Texas Tech 64, New Mexico 56

Up Next: 7 p.m., Tuesday (Nov. 19), Texas at New Mexico  

By Richard Stevens – Senior Writer/

It might have been a tale of two halves and a tale of two Lobo teams, but there was a constant in both halves.

The Red Raiders knocked down their free throws.

Texas Tech went 24-of-27 from the line outscoring UNM by 19 points from that spot and fought back the Lobos 64-56 Wednesday night in Lubbock’s United Spirit Center.

“You have to play 40 minutes,” said Lobo Coach Yvonne Sanchez, whose Lobos dropped to 1-1 on the young season. “When you score 16 points in a half, that’s not going to get it.  We played from behind the whole game.

“It’s really a disappointing loss because we should beat that team and we had every opportunity to do it.”

The Lobos got 17 points from Antiesha Brown which was neutralized by 17 points by Tech’s Amber Battle, a product of Albuquerque’s Cibola High. Battle also had 17 boards, but the Lobos won that glass battle 48-43. Ebony Walker had 12 points and eight rebounds for UNM and Deeva Vaughn had 10 boards.

The Lobos fell into a 27-16 halftime hole after shooting 17.1 percent from the floor.  UNM warmed up to shoot 30,7 percent for the game – 42 percent in the second half.

“We chipped away and chipped away and fought our way back. But we’re not happy,” said Sanchez. “We have to grow up and start finishing games.”

The finish in Lubbock came from the Red Raiders.

The Lobos had cut a 10-point Tech lead (50-40) to 58-56 on a post move by Ebony Walker.  Tech missed a trey and UNM had a chance for a tie or snatch the lead.  UNM went for the lead with Walker launching from behind the 3-point line.  She missed with 40 seconds to play and the Lobos never scored again.

“She’s open. She’s on balance. She can hit that shot,” Sanchez said of Walker’s shot. “It’s a good shot for her, but we didn’t make threes in general.”

UNM went 5-of-22 (22.7 percent) from long range.  Sanchez said her Lobos played hard, but some of the shooting efforts “weren’t good enough.”  UNM went 5-of-13 (38.5 percent) from the free-throw line.

“You can’t do that,” said Sanchez.  “They shot 27 free throws. They were more aggressive than we were.”

Tech had 28 turnovers to 21 for the Lobos. UNM was whistled for 27 fouls to 20 for Tech. The Lobos had 19 offensive boards out of their 48. 

The Lobos opened the second half playing with more aggression and confidence, shot 5-of-9 from the floor, and quickly cut Tech’s 11-point halftime lead to 31-26. Tech called time at 16:13 looking at a lead that had shriveled to five points.  UNM was on a 10-4 run.

Halasz got an old-fashion 3-point play and UNM was a field goal back at 31-29.  UNM was in a zone.  Brown banked in a trey at 14:05 and the Lobos were a point back at 33-32.  UNM went up 34-33 to claim its first lead since 1-0.   Texas Tech then went on a quick 5-0 run to go up 38-34.  Walker scored inside for UNM and that 38-36 count carried into a timeout at the 11:38 mark.

Tech then put together a 12-4 run that pushed the Red Raiders up 50-40 with 6:56 to play. It was a nice gap to carry into the closing minutes, but the Lobos were still playing at a level higher than what they performed in the first half.

The Lobos came back.  A layup by Walker made it 52-45 and a trey by Halasz and a follow by Vaughn made it 54-50 with 3:33 to play.

The Red Raiders lost Shauntal Nobles to fouls with 3:25 to play. UNM had the ball but Halasz missed a jumper and Battle was fouled with 3:11 to play.  She made one: 55-50. Walker went to the line with 2:30 to play and made one: 55-51. Battle then made a big bucket for Tech: 57-51 and was fouled.  She pushed the Raiders up by seven with the free shot: 58-51.

Brown made the final two minutes interesting with a trey: 58-54. Tech called time with 1:47 to play. Brown stole the in-bounds which led to Walker going to the line at 1:33 to play. Walker missed both, but Vaughn got the second rebound.  Walker scored inside: 58-56 on a pass from Vaughn.

Battle was playing well for Tech, but the Raiders launched a trey and missed.  UNM’s Owens got the board and UNM called time at :58. UNM came out and Walker shot a trey and missed. UNM made a mistake fouling Spears with 21 seconds to go.  Spears made them both: 60-56. Spears scored 16 points for Tech and went 8-of-8 from the free-throw line. 

UNM’s Walker committed a foul on the offensive end with 17 ticks to go. Tech had the ball up by four points and the Lobos quickly fouled Diamond Lockhart.  She made two -- 62-56 – and that ended it.  Tech got two more free throws from Spears with five seconds to go to form the 64-56 final.

First Half:  Texas Tech 27, New Mexico Lobos 16

A cold-shooting first half punched Lobos into a 27-16 deficit. The Lobos shot 17.1 percent from the floor, going 1-of-9 from 3-point range.  Tech got 12 points from Minta Spears and shot 33.3 percent.  Tech was hurt by 14 turnovers. UNM had 10 miscues.

The Lobos had no players in double figures with Owens and Walker each scoring five points.  The 11-point deficit obviously wasn’t good, but the odds said the Lobos would shoot better in the second half.

The Lobos got the first point of the game off a Shumpert free throw.  The Red Raiders then ran off nine straight point to take a 9-1 lead.  New Mexico missed its first eight field goal attempts. The best thing that happened for UNM early was Tech center Shauntal Nobles picking up her second foul at 18:50 and going to the Tech bench.

Tech ran to an 11-1 lead before UNM got a transition bucket from Brown off a steal by Halasz to make it 11-3.  A jumper by Walker pulled the Lobos to 11-5 going into a timeout at the 14:43 mark.

The Red Raiders got a 3-pointer from Minta Spears to go up 18-6 and UNM called time at the 10:56 mark, down 12 points in the United Spirit Center. At the 7:42 break, Shumpert and Owens had scored inside to cut the Lobo hole to 19-10.

Battle went coast-to-coast, rebound-to-layup, to give the Red Raiders a 13-point lead at 23-10.   It went to 25-10 on two free throws by Spears.  At the 3:32 media break, a free throw by Walker made the score 25-11 in Tech’s favor.  A trey by Owens, UNM’s only bomb of the first half, cut Tech’s lead to 27-16.



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