AP NEWS

Lobo women beat Colorado State, face showdown for Mountain West’s best

March 3, 2019

So it all comes down to this.

The University of New Mexico women’s basketball team took care of business Saturday, going on the road to rout Colorado State, 79-56, at Moby Arena in Fort Collins, Colo. Four Lobos finished in double figures, led by 17 points apiece by Jaisa Nunn and Jayla Everett.

Coupled with Boise State’s win against UNLV in other action Saturday, it sets up the biggest Mountain West Conference game of the season when the Lobos visit Boise State on Monday night with first place on the line in season’s final week.

UNM (23-4 overall, 13-3 Mountain West) is a game behind the Broncos (23-4, 14-2), and Monday is their only meeting of the regular season. A Lobos win would create a tie, but would give them the tiebreaker for the top seed in the Mountain West Conference Tournament based on the head-to-head result.

New Mexico never trailed in Saturday’s game. Up 18 early in the third quarter, the Lobos went scoreless for four minutes in the third quarter but Colorado State never did score enough to make things all that interesting. The Rams used an 8-0 run over those four minutes to get within 10, then got as close as 53-44 late in the third quarter.

That run seemed to lift UNM’s offense out of the fog. A 15-2 outburst in the fourth quarter put the Lobos up by 24 and allowed head coach Mike Bradbury to empty his bench.

He said the key to Saturday’s game was miscues. The Rams shot the ball reasonably well, hitting 43 percent, but they had 15 turnovers to UNM’s nine. That led directly to 17 points for the Lobos.

“We turned them over,” Bradbury said. “Their [shooting] percentage was high but their possessions were down. I mean, we shot it 10 more times, we shot more free throws, those kind of things.”

Aisia Robertson finished with 15 points and six assists for New Mexico. She, Everett and Ahlise Hurst each had three 3-pointers and combined for 15 of the team’s 23 assists.

Jaedyn De La Cerda was held to a pedestrian six points, just three days after she poured in a career-high 31 in a win over San Jose State. She also had six assists.

Nike McClure had a game-high 11 rebounds for the Lobos.

Needing a win to keep its lead over New Mexico, Boise State beat UNLV, 53-38. Both teams head into Monday’s game firmly entrenched on the NCAA Tournament bubble. The Lobos are No. 51 in the Ratings Percentage Index and the Broncos are No. 56. Wyoming, which beat Air Force 59-56 in overtime, is No. 55.

LOBOS NOTES

Walk-off win: The UNM baseball team is making a habit of these cardiac kids moments.

Down to their final strike in Saturday’s home game against San Jose State at Santa Ana Star Field, Lobos third baseman Tyler Kelly hit what looked like a game-ending grounder to third with the Spartans leading 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth inning. Instead, SJSU third baseman Troy Viola threw the ball over his first baseman’s head, allowing Jared Mang to score the tying run and Tanner Baker to come all the way around from first for the winning run.

It was UNM’s sixth straight win and the Lobos are 8-3 overall and 2-0 in the Mountain West.

The Lobos have won two of their last three games in their final at-bat. They won both times when down to their last strike.

The Lobos go for the series sweep against the Spartans on Sunday. First pitch is at noon.