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Bradbury laments his team’s poor execution

Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal

Sunday’s script went out the window early for the UNM women’s basketball team.

It didn’t matter on the scoreboard as the Lobos rolled to a 91-43 exhibition win over Eastern New Mexico at Dreamstyle Arena, but UNM coach Mike Bradbury was far from satisfied with his team’s performance.

“A very disappointing day,” Bradbury said.

There were bright spots for the Lobos and an announced crowd of 4,275.

Freshman Jayla Everett, who failed to score in New Mexico’s exhibition win over Lubbock Christian on Tuesday, poured in 20 points and hit 3-of-4 from 3-point range. UNM was a respectable 8-for-23 from behind the arc (35 percent) overall.

Point guard Aisia Robertson also posted a double-double with 15 points and 12 assists and collected three of her team’s 16 steals. But Robertson also had five turnovers and, like Bradbury, expected more.

“Our execution could’ve been better,” she said. “I’ve got to focus on not turning the ball over.”

The Lobos scored the last 10 points of the first quarter to grab a 19-9 lead and were never seriously threatened by the game-but-overmatched Greyhounds. UNM’s combination of depth, length and athleticism was simply too much for ENMU to handle.

But Bradbury speaks often about “following the plan,” and his team failed to do that Sunday. The Lobos had 15 turnovers, many of them unforced, and too often simply freelanced in their half-court sets.

“Honestly, I think it was terrible,” Everett said when asked about UNM’s offensive execution. “We didn’t run anything we were supposed to run, and we didn’t execute anything the correct way. That has to get a lot better.”

Bradbury’s script for player combinations was thrown off, too, when starting post Jaisa Nunn picked up two fouls in the game’s opening minute. Nunn went to the bench, did not score in the first half, and UNM appeared out of sync through most of the first quarter despite its 10-point lead.

New Mexico’s shooters warmed up in the second quarter. Ahlise Hurst hit back-to-back 3-pointers and both Everett and Robertson converted from long range as the home team opened a 44-22 halftime advantage.

“I was much more relaxed shooting,” said Everett, who went 0-for-6 from 3-point range against LCU.

Nunn made up for lost time in the third quarter, scoring eight of her 15 points during a 15-2 UNM surge to start the second half. It gave the Lobos a cozy 59-24 advantage, but the game’s final 15 minutes did nothing to improve Bradbury’s mood.

Some lazy passes and empty possessions prompted him to change substitution patterns and even call a late timeout with the Lobos comfortably ahead.

“Our preparation was poor and our execution was poor, which is what usually happens,” Bradbury said. “Our offense was pathetic. We’ve got a lot of work today before (Friday’s regular-season opener against Texas State).”

Jaedyn De La Cerda started and finished with 11 points for UNM. All 12 players in uniform saw action and 11 scored. The lone exception was starting post Nike McClure, who contributed five rebounds and five blocks.

“She was our best player today,” Bradbury said of McClure.

Tilasha Okey finished with eight points for ENMU, which used all 15 of its players in the contest.

LINES OUT: UNM senior Emily Lines was not in uniform Sunday after suffering a broken finger on her right (shooting) hand during practice last week. Lines will likely miss at least two weeks, Bradbury said.