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Lobos Upset UNLV

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Torrance Scores 20, Nabs 11 Rebounds

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – It may not have been a perfect 10, but it was close.

The University of New Mexico women’s basketball team earned its 10th win of the season in stunning fashion Wednesday night, upsetting host UNLV in Round 1 of the Mountain West Conference tournament.

The seventh-seeded Lobos trailed by nine points with 8:07 remaining but outscored the second-seeded Rebels 16-4 down the stretch in a 61-58 victory at the Thomas & Mack Center. UNM (10-19) had lost both games against UNLV (22-9) this season.

FRIDAY
UNM vs. CSU/BSU 3:30 p.m.
TV: The Mtn.
RADIO: KNML-AM 610

“What an incredible run at the end,” Lobo coach Yvonne Sanchez said in a phone interview. “Our seniors just stepped up and wouldn’t be denied. Our crowd was awesome. That was a lot of fun.”

UNM seniors Porche Torrance, Nikki Nelson and Lauren Taylor, who combined for 46 points and extended their careers by at least one game.

Torrance was dominant throughout, amassing 20 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks and three assists in 39 minutes played. Nelson also had one of her best games as a Lobo, scoring 14 points and hitting 4-of-6 from 3-point range.

Taylor, playing her first game after missing three with a concussion, chipped in 12 points and five assists off the bench.

The lead changed hands eight times early in the second half, but the Rebels began to gain the upper hand by having guards Mia Bell and Kelli Thompson attack the basket. The Lobos went more than five minutes without a field goal and seemed on the ropes during a 14-4 UNLV run.

Bell’s long 3-pointer with 8:07 left gave the Rebels their largest lead, 54-45, but that’s when UNM suddenly caught fire. Caroline Durbin and Nelson netted two 3-pointers apiece and suddenly the Lobos had a 57-55 lead.

“When we were down nine, I told the players it’s just three possessions,” Sanchez said. “Sure enough, Caroline and Nikki hit three 3s and we’re tied. Then Caroline hits another one.”

The Lobos missed a chance to seal the win when Taylor missed the front of a one-and-one with 21 seconds left.

Durbin finished with 12 points for UNM, which got 58 of its 61 points from four players.
no. 7 new mexico 61,no. 2 UNLV 58 FG FT RebUNM Min M-A M-A O-T A F PtsTorrance 39 8-12 4-5 5-11 3 2 20Durbin 36 5-15 0-0 4-8 2 1 12Nelson 33 5-10 0-0 0-2 3 3 14Erskine 26 1-3 0-0 2-4 0 3 2Nnaji 19 0-2 0-0 0-2 1 1 0Taylor 34 2-7 6-8 2-5 5 1 12Jackson 12 0-3 1-2 0-0 0 3 1Rhoades 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0Totals 200 21-52 11-15 13-32 14 14 61Percentages: FG .404, FT .733.3-Point Goals: 8-14, .571 (Nelson 4-6, Durbin 2-4, Taylor 2-4).Team Rebounds: 1. Team Turnovers: 1.Blocked Shots: 7 (Torrance 4, Durbin, Erskine, Nnaji).Turnovers: 12 (Torrance 3, Nelson 2, Taylor 2, Jackson 2, Durbin, Erskine, Nnaji).Steals: 3 (Nnaji 2, Erskine FG FT RebUNLV Min M-A M-A O-T A F PtsSmith 35 0-6 0-0 3-9 0 1 0Sanford 31 5-10 1-2 3-5 1 2 11Nzeukou 31 5-7 1-2 2-5 0 3 11Bell 36 5-12 1-3 1-4 3 1 12Thompson 35 5-11 5-7 0-5 4 4 16Styles 12 2-6 0-0 2-3 0 2 4Haynes 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 2 1 0Cesarz 6 0-1 0-0 1-1 0 2 0Charles 0+ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0Miller 10 1-2 2-2 1-1 1 2 4Totals 200 23-55 10-16 13-33 11 18 58Percentages: FG .418, FT .625.3-Point Goals: 2-12, .167 (Bell 1-3, Thompson 1-5, Smith 0-4).Team Rebounds: 3. Team Turnovers: 2.Blocked Shots: 3 (Sanford 2, Smith).Turnovers: 9 (Bell 3, Miller 2, Sanford 2, Thompson, Styles).Steals: 5 (Sanford 2, Thompson 2, Styles).New Mexico 31 30-61UNLV 28 30-58T-2:14.

WOMEN: UNM 61, UNLV 58
— This article appeared on page D8 of the Albuquerque Journal

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