More drama for Lobo women: Everett leaves, team loses big at home - Albuquerque Journal

More drama for Lobo women: Everett leaves, team loses big at home

Lobo Aisia Robertson walks the Pit floor in dejection after committing another turnover against UNLV Saturday afternoon at the Pit. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

All in all, it was a rough Saturday for the University of New Mexico women’s basketball team.

In the morning, UNM coach Mike Bradbury released a statement announcing that sophomore guard Jayla Everett is transferring out of the program.

In the afternoon, the short-handed, cold-shooting Lobos were roughed up by UNLV, 68-51, at Dreamstyle Arena before an announced turnout of 5,326. The taller, more physical Rebels outrebounded UNM by a 58-28 landslide.

The game result, however, seemed secondary as New Mexico parted ways with Everett, last season’s Mountain West freshman of the year. She became the third player to leave since the 2019-20 season started. Senior transfers Bride Kennedy-Hopoate and Najala Howell quit the team in early December.

By mid-Saturday afternoon, about the time her former teammates were in action, Everett tweeted thanks to UNM and Bradbury “for believing in a kid from STL” and later, “UNM and (its) fans will forever hold a place in my heart. With all that being said, it is time for me to see what God has planned for me.”

By Saturday evening on UNM’s athletics website, the roster was whittled to 11 players, and the preseason team photo that also included Everett, Kennedy-Hopoate and Howell had been removed.

UNM has provided no explanation for the first two players’ departures, and Bradbury gave few details Saturday about Everett’s early exit. But friction between Everett and UNM’s coaching staff appeared to be building in recent weeks and it apparently came to a head Friday.

Everett, who started 17 of UNM’s first 19 games and averaged 11.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists, spent most of Friday’s practice working with UNM’s scout team and engaged in an extended argument with Bradbury late in the session.

“We had prepared to play without Jayla,” Bradbury said Saturday. “We were off Thursday and she practiced with the scout team (Friday).”

Everett also argued with game officials during UNM’s Jan. 11 game at Air Force and complained when Bradbury substituted for her in the third quarter of Wednesday’s home win over Colorado State. Everett played just 13 minutes in that contest, did not score and heard from fans when she passed up several open shots.

Bradbury conceded things had been simmering between Everett and the coaching staff, but he said she ultimately parted on good terms.

“We had a good talk after (Friday’s) practice,” he said, “and we both thought it might be best for both sides to part ways. Jayla and I are fine. I hope she goes somewhere and is the best player ever. It just won’t be here.”

Everett came to UNM highly recruited from St. Louis and set a program record for points by a freshman (417) last season. Her play was inconsistent this season. She had back-to-back outstanding performances against Providence (21 points) and Loyola Marymount (34) in December but had struggled since, shooting 21.8% (12 for 55) over her last five games combined. At times her frustration became apparent.

“Jayla’s a fiery competitor,” Bradbury said. “It’s what makes her good. Sometimes it’s what makes her bad.”

The drama from the basketball floor spilled over into social media Saturday — including a critical tweet from former Lobo Jayda Bovero, whom Bradbury removed from the team after his first UNM season in 2016-17. Bovero suggested that 20 players and staff members have left the program in three years since Bradbury’s arrival, an unconfirmed total.

But a reply to Bovero from Everett’s Twitter account later said, “Don’t include me i left for personal reasons nothing to do with the coaching staff !!” And one of Aisia Robertson’s tweets included, “Misery loves company please don’t entertain this nonsense.”

Robertson, Jaedyn De La Cerda and Jordan Hosey took to Twitter to defend Bradbury and his staff.

Lobo Jaedyn De La Cerda, front, beats UNLV’s LaTecia Smith for a loose ball. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Despite shooting dreadfully (3 for 26 from 3-point range and 26.7% overall), UNM twice managed to trim a 21-point deficit to 11 in the second half. But the home team could not overcome UNLV’s rebounding dominance and uncharacteristically hot (8 for 16) 3-point shooting.

Bradbury conceded that Everett’s departure might have been a distraction but praised his team’s effort.

“We actually won the second half against a team that got every rebound,” he said, “on a day when we missed every shot. It’s difficult to keep playing hard on a day like that but this team did. I’m proud of their fight and effort.”

Box score: UNLV 68, UNM 51

Wednesday

UNM at San Jose State

Noon, themw.com, 610 AM/95.9 FM

Home » Sports » College » UNM Lobos » More drama for Lobo women: Everett leaves, team loses big at home

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories




Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages

 

Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
1
Emptying the Notebook: Lobos losing 3-point battle every night ...
ABQnews Seeker
Some extra notes, quotes and analysis ... Some extra notes, quotes and analysis from Tuesday night's UNM Lobos loss to the Nevada Wolf Pack in the Pit.
2
New Mexico basketball: Five Alford and Nevada takeaways from ...
College
New Mexico fell to Nevada in ... New Mexico fell to Nevada in a 77-76 men's basketball heartbreaker on Tuesday night, thanks to last-second heroics from Kenan Blackshear.  With the win, ...
3
Alford, Nevada break Lobo hearts yet again
ABQnews Seeker
Kenan Blackshear's final-second shot pushed Nevada ... Kenan Blackshear's final-second shot pushed Nevada past the UNM Lobos and continued Steve Alford's dominance over his former team.
4
See Nevada's game-winning shot to beat New Mexico
ABQnews Seeker
Kenan Blackshear's last-second jumper rolled around ... Kenan Blackshear's last-second jumper rolled around the rim and eventually went in, giving Nevada a 77-76 win over New Mexico.
5
To Lobo basketball fans, Alford remains a provocative figure
College
After a hearty chorus of boos, ... After a hearty chorus of boos, cheers and whatever comes in between, the crowd finally hushed in anticipation of 'The Star-Spangled Banner.' A voice ...
6
It's not just about Steve; Lobos vs Wolf Pack ...
ABQnews Seeker
It isn't Steve Alford's first time ... It isn't Steve Alford's first time back in the Pit as an opposing coach, but it is the first time back with so much ...
7
How to watch New Mexico-Nevada tonight
ABQnews Seeker
New Mexico guard Donovan Dent (2) ... New Mexico guard Donovan Dent (2) drives past Nevada guard Jarod Lucas (2) during the second half of the Lobos' loss to Nevada on ...
8
Talking Grammer, Ep. 60: Nevada coach Steve Alford
ABQnews Seeker
In Episode 60 we catch up ... In Episode 60 we catch up with former UNM and current Nevada coach Steve Alford ahead of Tuesday's showdown in the Pit.
9
New Mexico women change the ending, make it happier ...
College
One might say the University of ... One might say the University of New Mexico women's basketball team learned its lesson. After watching a hard-earned lead slip away against in their ...