It keeps raining 3s in Utah for Lobo women in third straight victory - Albuquerque Journal

It keeps raining 3s in Utah for Lobo women in third straight victory

Since spending a week there in 2021, the University of New Mexico women’s basketball team has made itself quite comfortable in Logan, Utah.

The Lobos set a program record by hitting 21 3-pointers at Logan’s Dee Glen Smith Spectrum last season, and they poured in 16 more Saturday in a 98-60 victory over Utah State.

LaTascya Duff was especially torrid for UNM (13-9, 5-4 Mountain West), going 8-for-12 from 3-point range and finishing with a season-high 30 points. Viané Cumber added five 3s and 17 points for the visitors, who were 16-for-32 from long range overall. Duff’s eight 3-pointers were a career high.

“We moved the ball well, got some open shots early,” Lobos coach Mike Bradbury said in a postgame phone interview, “and we saw a bunch of them go in. Tay (Duff) hit a few of those and got her confidence going, then she hit some ridiculous shots from way out, contested, you name it.”

It was the third straight win for UNM but its first on the road in conference play. Five players scored in double figures for the Lobos, who emptied their bench in the fourth quarter with a comfortable lead over the struggling Aggies (4-17, 1-9).

Aniyah Augmon racked up a double-double with 12 points and a career-best 13 rebounds off the bench. The 5-foot-8 sophomore guard has posted three double-digit rebound games in her last five outings.

“Aniyah just continues to really play well,” Bradbury said. “She and V (Cumber) have worked so hard to improve their games, and you can see it paying off for them.”

Cumber made her second straight start in place of Paula Reus, who missed Thursday’s 64-59 win over Colorado State with an ankle injury. Reus returned to action Saturday, scoring 10 points in 19 minutes off the bench.

But UNM’s starting five wasted no time setting the tone for Saturday’s game. Duff hit an early 3-pointer and converted a three-point play, Cumber swished a pair of 3s and the Lobos led 12-0 with 7:46 left in the first quarter.

Any thoughts of a Utah State comeback were effectively erased by the quarter’s end. UNM scored 33 points, hit six 3-pointers and led 33-14.

New Mexico’s pace cooled in the second quarter but only slightly. Cumber buried a long 3-pointer off a transition feed to beat the buzzer and give UNM a 56-32 halftime lead. Utah State never got closer than a 21-point margin in the second half.

“That play right before halftime was well-executed and Aniyah made it happen,” Bradbury said. “She penetrated, stopped and kicked it back out to V in perfect rhythm – and of course V hit the shot.”

LaTora Duff had 13 points and nine assists for the Lobos, while Shaiquel McGruder had a relatively quiet afternoon (eight points in 25 minutes) after playing 40 minutes against Colorado State.

UNM returns home to face MWC-leading UNLV (20-2, 10-0) on Thursday and hosts second-place San Diego State (18-5, 8-2) on Saturday.

The Lobos departed Logan almost immediately after Saturday’s game, spending fewer than 24 hours there on the road trip. Their lengthier stay in 2021 came after two members of the team’s traveling party tested positive for COVID-19.

“Nothng against Logan,” Bradbury said, “but we’ve spent enough time here.”

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