UNM women's focus must be on Utah State - Albuquerque Journal

UNM women’s focus must be on Utah State

Looking ahead to next week’s Mountain West tournament might be understandable at this point, but the UNM women’s basketball team is not going there.

The Lobos can hardly afford to think about who their first-round opponent might be come Sunday. Thursday night’s regular-season finale at Utah State has to be first and foremost on their minds.

New Mexico (14-16, 5-12 Mountain West) could still draw any of four opponents, depending on what happens Thursday around the Mountain West. UNM stands in 10th place, one game behind Colorado State and Air Force, who face each other on the Falcons’ home court.

Nevada and San Diego State are vying for the No. 6 seed and also square off Thursday in San Diego. UNM could yet draw Nevada, SDSU, Colorado State or Air Force in the MWC tournament’s first round.

“There’s so many scenarios it makes my head hurt,” Lobo coach Mike Bradbury said. “I don’t even want to think about it yet. We need to just try to win our game and I’m pretty sure someone will tell us when our (tournament) game is and who we’re playing.”

UNM would be well-served to focus on the task at hand. Losers of three straight games, the Lobos need a shot of momentum if they hope to make any sort of run at the conference tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Facing last-place Utah State (7-21, 2-15) would seem like a prime opportunity, but New Mexico’s erratic play seems to make no assumption safe. The Lobos have suffered through at least one bad quarter in each of their last three games. They had two in Monday’s 79-66 loss to Air Force, and Bradbury was not at all happy with his team’s first-half effort.

“We need to play as hard as we can for four quarters,” he said. “If we do that against Utah State, that will be great. I’ll take whatever happens.”

Seniors Aisia Robertson and Jordan Hosey both said their team was not “locked-in” during the first half against Air Force. UNM looked sluggish on both ends of the court and hit just 10 field goals while committing 14 turnovers.

The Lobos played considerably better after halftime, but it was too little, too late. New Mexico must avoid another slow start against deliberate Utah State.

“A faster pace would help us immensely,” Bradbury said. “Utah State will push it occasionally but defense is their strength. They want to play a half-court game.”

UNM’s starting guards, Robertson, Jaedyn De La Cerda and Ahlise Hurst, typically look to create transition opportunities whenever possible. The Lobos can push the pace even more by inserting ultra-quick Corina Carter into the lineup. Carter’s minutes have increased of late and she’s averaged 6.6 points and 3.2 assists over her last five games.

The down side is that adding quickness sometimes costs UNM on the boards. Air Force racked up 16 offensive rebounds Monday, often preventing the Lobos from pushing the pace.

“Rebounding will be a big deal (against Utah State),” Bradbury said, “and that’s another thing that’s all about effort.”

Robertson, who is coming off a career-best 30-point outing against Air Force, is nonetheless ready to put that unpleasant loss behind her.

“You never know what can happen in the tournament,” she said. “We just have to get ourselves right before we get there.”

Home » Sports » College » UNM Lobos » UNM women’s focus must be on Utah State

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
3 is the key: Lobos aim to cool hot-shooting ...
ABQnews Seeker
The Lobos have been good defending ... The Lobos have been good defending 3-pointers this season, but Utah State leads the nation in 3-point percentage.
2
UNM women look to start climbing Mountain West ladder
College
The University of New Mexico women's ... The University of New Mexico women's basketball team has a lot to play for in the second half of its Mountain West schedule — ...
3
It's a slow(er) week, but there's no resting for ...
College
The calendar would tell you the ... The calendar would tell you the workload for the UNM basketball team this week is a light one. ...
4
Last year's No. 2 UNM cross country team receives ...
College
The 2022 national runner-up University of ... The 2022 national runner-up University of New Mexico women’s cross country team included seven runners, all of whom were named all-academic for the 2022 ...
5
Lobo milers, men's 4x400 record highlight NM Team Open
College
The women’s invitational mile competition and ... The women’s invitational mile competition and a school record by the host University of New Mexico highlighted the two-day New Mexico Team Open indoor ...
6
It keeps raining 3s in Utah for Lobo women ...
College
UNM pours in 16 of them ... UNM pours in 16 of them Saturday in a 98-60 victory over Utah State
7
New Mountain West Commissioner Nevarez gives nod to former ...
ABQnews Seeker
New Mountain West Commissioner Gloria Nevarez ... New Mountain West Commissioner Gloria Nevarez discusses her new job in an ever-evolving college athletics landscape.
8
Talking Grammer, Ep. 59: MWC Commissioner Gloria Nevarez
ABQnews Seeker
In Episode 59 of the podcast, ... In Episode 59 of the podcast, we had a conversation with new Mountain West Conference Commissioner Gloria Nevarez.
9
Lobo men's basketball team holds off Air Force
ABQnews Seeker
Jamal Mashburn, Jr., scored 12 of ... Jamal Mashburn, Jr., scored 12 of his game-high 24 points in the final 6 minutes ane the UNM Lobos beat Air Force in the ...