RENO, Nev. – The University of New Mexico women’s basketball team got a much-needed shot in the arm Saturday, coming from behind to earn a 69-66 road victory over Nevada.
The Lobos (11-9, 3-4 Mountain West) trailed by as many as nine points in the second half but had several players step up down the stretch. Caroline Durbin scored a game-high 17 points to pace four players in double figures for New Mexico. Sara Halasz added 15 points and three steals, including a key one in the final minute.
“I’m just really proud of my players,” Lobo coach Yvonne Sanchez said in a postgame phone interview. “We lost two tough games at home, and this one had a chance to get away. Nevada came at us hard, but our kids kept believing and kept fighting until they got it done.”
New Mexico at Air Force, 7 p.m.; 610 AM
Nevada (6-14, 1-6) led 46-37 midway through the second half and 61-56 on Arielle Wideman’s jumper with 4:26 left. UNM scored the next eight points to take a three-point advantage, but it didn’t last long.
Durbin fouled the Wolf Pack’s Danika Sharp on a made 3-pointer. Sharp’s ensuing free throw gave Nevada a 65-64 lead with 1:08 to play.
Deeva Vaughn’s put-back put New Mexico back in front, then Halasz came up with a steal with 30 seconds left. Durbin followed with two free throws and the Lobos held on to snap their two-game losing streak.
Nevada’s Chanelle Brennan attempted a long 3-point shot at the buzzer, but the bank shot was off the mark.
UNM got off to a fast start, leading 12-4 on a Durbin layup and holding the upper hand most of the first half. But a turnover-filled five-minute span allowed Nevada to come back. Sharp’s jumper gave the Wolf Pack its first lead at 22-21.
Durbin scored 11 points before intermission but missed a 3-pointer for the lead as time expired. The score was 28-28 at halftime.
Nevada threatened to pull away in the second half. Amber Smith scored four of her team-high 13 points during a 10-1 Wolf Pack run to make it 46-37.
But Halasz and Khadijah Shumpert scored nine points during a 19-7 surge that brought New Mexico back.
Whitney Johnson scored 11 points for the Lobos, and Shumpert chipped in 10 – her first double-digit outing since UNM’s season-opener. Bryce Owens finished with eight points, eight assists and two steals. Vaughn had 7 points and a career-best five blocks.
— This article appeared on page D2 of the Albuquerque Journal