UNM advances to NIT Sweet 16

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By The Staff

It was an offensive display for the ages, or at least for the Lobo postseason history books. New Mexico blistered and battered a stout Rice squad to the tune of 93 points, a Lobo postseason record, as New Mexico advanced to the Round of 16 in the WNIT for the third time in school history with a 93-73 victory over the Owls.

The win pushed UNM’s win record to 25-10, tying for the third-most wins in school history, and now just one away from tying for the most wins in school history. The Lobos also improved to 19-2 in home games this season.

The Lobos trailed for much of the opening quarter, and after taking a 13-12 lead, found themselves down 14-13 at the 2:39 mark of the first quarter. That, however, was Rice’s last lead, as Madi Washington hit a three-pointer to spark a 14-0 run that put Rice behind the 8-ball. Washington’s three made it 16-14, and then she hit another 39 seconds later.

Jaisa Nunn, who went over the 1,000-point mark in the game, hit a short jumper in the lane in the waning moments to give UNM a 21-14 lead.

They weren’t done. Nunn opened the scoring in the quarter and then Cherise Beynon hit back-to-back baskets and suddenly UNM was up 27-14.

After a three-pointer by Erica Ogwumike, who scored a game-high 31, ended the run, UNM scored the next seven, making it a bone-crushing 21-3 run that put the score at 34-17, and Rice only get the game within 13 just once over the final 24:53 of the game, and that lasted just one possession.

Up 41-25 at the half, the Lobos never let their foot off the gas. Nunn, who led UNM with 28 points, scoring 14 in each half, hit a pair of baskets to open the second, and then everyone got into the act.

Tesha Buck hit three second half three-pointers, giving her an even 100 on the season, Beynon added 10 second half points to go along with the 10 in the first half and Antonia Anderson added eight as UNM ballooned the lead to as much as 25 late before settling for the 20-point win.

“I thought a big difference was our crowd,” said head coach Mike Bradbury. “I thought that was outstanding. Our attendance was double the amount that we got in the first game.”

The Lobos will take on TCU, 86-51 winners over Missouri State on Saturday. TCU sits at 21-12 on the season.