The University of New Mexico women’s basketball team received a double-dose of good news Wednesday.
Twin sisters and All-Mountain West performers LaTora and LaTascya Duff made it official that they’ll return to the program as super-seniors next season. They announced their intentions via separate highlight videos on Twitter, released just a few minutes apart.
“I just wanted to come back and give the fans what they want, which is winning Mountain West,” LaTora said in a phone interview Wednesday night. “I didn’t accomplish what I wanted this year so we’re coming back to try again.”
— latora duff (@_thatnumber5) April 7, 2022
LaTascya said the twins’ plans for next season have been the topic of endless questions in recent weeks.
“Pretty much after every game of the WNIT and even before that, fans were asking us, ‘Are you guys coming back? Please come back,” LaTascya said. “We’ve been keeping it on the down-low, but it’s nice to finally get the word out. We’re excited.”
— Tascya (@TascyaN) April 7, 2022
Lobos coach Mike Bradbury said even he had not received definitive confirmation of the Duffs’ intentions until Wednesday.
“It was great to hear,” he said. “We’d obviously talked about it and I was optimistic, but I’m glad it’s a done deal. It gives us a lot more experience and talent, and they’re two great kids.”
The Duffs have played key roles in UNM’s success since transferring from Shelton State Community College in Alabama prior to the 2020-21 season. LaTascya was named MWC Sixth Player of the Year as a junior and received all-conference honorable mention last season. LaTora was named All-MWC in 2021-22.
UNM posted a combined 41-15 record over those two seasons and won a regular-season conference title in 2020-21.
The sisters play different roles for UNM with LaTora at point guard and LaTascya at shooting guard. Still, their production has always been remarkably similar. Both players averaged 12.0 points last season, although LaTascya hit a team-high 97 3-pointers while LaTora made 66 and averaged 5.3 assists per game.
Both sisters have battled through a string of injuries during their time at UNM. LaTascya missed the opening game last season after offseason (non-basketball-related) surgery and LaTora played with a protective mask for multiple games after suffering a broken nose.
“Hopefully, we’ll both be healthy next year,” LaTora said. “We’re both about ready for that.”
UNM post Shaiquel McGruder also is eligible to return for a super-senior season but has yet to announce her intentions.