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Rio Rancho Grad Muniz Gives UNM, Herself Hard Time

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Air Force’s women’s basketball player Megan Muniz put on an impressive homecoming show Wednesday night at the Pit.

Only problem was, Muniz wasn’t impressed.

The 5-foot-7 sophomore point guard swished four 3-pointers and scored a game-high 16 points in the Falcons’ 64-59 loss to UNM. The Rio Rancho native added three assists and a pair of steals, playing a game-high 37 minutes.

It was all news to Muniz after the game.
“I don’t pay attention to my numbers,” the soft-spoken guard said. “I just want to win.”

Instead of enjoying a strong performance in front of numerous blue-clad family members and friends, Muniz was focused on a late turnover — a bounce pass stolen by UNM’s Amanda Best — that helped seal Wednesday’s outcome.

“I could’ve not turned it over at the end,” she said, shaking her head.

Lobo coach Don Flanagan saw the other side of Muniz’s performance, one that gave Air Force a real chance to win at the Pit for the first time in program history.

“She played really, really well,” Flanagan said. “She’s a player who fits right in with Air Force’s philosophy of out-hustling and outworking the other team. And, she’s a player you really have to guard.”

The Lobos did not guard Muniz effectively for much of Wednesday’s game and she torched them for it. Muniz swished each of her first four 3-point shots, including a pair in the second half that helped the Falcons build a 47-38 lead.

Muniz, who was New Mexico’s Gatorade Player of the Year as a Rio Rancho High senior in 2009, did not play in either of Air Force’s games against UNM last season. She admitted to being eager for another chance to play at the Pit.

“I waited a long time for this,” she said. “It was fun, and it helped being here at home.”

Wednesday’s game was just part of what has thus far been an enjoyable season for the Falcons, who earlier snapped a 40-game Mountain West Conference losing streak that dated back to 2008.

Muniz credits first-year coach Andrea Williams for energizing the program.

“Last year, we were demoralized,” Muniz said. “This year, the attitude of everyone is upbeat. We feel like we can compete with anyone.”

Muniz, who played in just three games and scored 10 points her freshman season, also enjoys the quicker tempo that Williams has installed.
“Everything’s much faster, the offense, everything,” she said. “It’s a lot more fun style to play.”

Still, Muniz felt like she left the Pit with some unfinished business Wednesday night and will be looking forward to her next homecoming trip.

“I don’t think this was a moral victory,” she said. “I knew coming in here we had a chance to win and we could have. It’s just disappointing we let it go at the end.”

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