UNM's Duff twins opt out of WNIT - Albuquerque Journal

UNM’s Duff twins opt out of WNIT

LaTora Duff, left, and her twin sister LaTascya Duff, seen during a Senior Day ceremony in 2022, opted out of the UNM women’s basketball team’s postseason WNIT run on Thursday. (Roberto E.Rosales/ Albuquerque Journal)

Twin sisters LaTora and LaTascya Duff decided Thursday to opt out of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament, bringing their careers with the University of New Mexico women’s basketball team to an end.

Lobos coach Mike Bradbury said the Duffs informed him Thursday morning they did not intend to participate in the tournament. UNM hosts Northern Arizona in a first-round WNIT game Thursday night.

Bradbury said sophomores Aniyah Augmon and Paula Reus will start in place of the Duff sisters, who started 31 of UNM’s 32 games this season, missing one game for family reasons.

“Tay and Tora have been great players and great members of this team,” Bradbury said. “We appreciate everything they’ve done for the program. I can’t speak to their decision (to opt out) but we certainly wish them all the best.”

The Journal reached out to the twins via social media for comment but did not receive a reply. LaTascya Duff tweete “Thank you lobo nation” with a series of photos of the twins Thursday.

Bradbury said the Duffs practiced Saturday, the Lobos’ first workout after returning from the Mountain West tournament. The sisters did not practice Monday and let the coaching staff know they were considering opting out of the WNIT. Thursday they made it official.

Bradbury said during Tuesday’s media availability that he intended to “play more people” during UNM’s WNIT run. That intention remains, he said Thursday.

“We’ve got nine (players) who are excited and ready to play,” he said. “We’ll go with the ones we’ve got.”

The Duff twins were standouts in three seasons since transferring to UNM from Alabama’s Shelton State Community College. Both played through injuries as three-year starters, earning All-Mountain West honors and playing integral roles in the Lobos’ 2020-21 MWC regular-season championship.

LaTascya Duff surpassed 1,000 career points this season and leaves as the program’s career leader in the 3-point field goals with 239. She was a first-team All-MWC selection this season.

LaTora Duff was UNM’s primary point guard and scored 923 career points. She ranks sixth on the program’s career assist list with 415.

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