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2 guards leaving Lobo women’s basketball program

The University of New Mexico women’s basketball roster has undergone some changes since the 2014-15 season concluded.

Guards Brooke Allemand and Brea Mitchell will not return for next season, Lobos coach Yvonne Sanchez said Thursday, and forward Alexa Chavez, a former walk-on, has been awarded a scholarship for her coming senior campaign.

Those changes, along with the additions of incoming freshmen Jannon Otto, Jaisa Nunn and Emily Lines, and the return of post Whitney Johnson from a Mormon mission, put UNM at the 15-scholarship maximum for 2015-16.

Chavez, a Santa Fe native, started 21 games last season and averaged 5.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists as a junior. The 6-foot forward was placed on scholarship after Johnson’s decision to go on a mission created an opening. The scholarship was promised for only one year, but Sanchez was glad to extend it.

“Alexa knew the situation and never complained,” Sanchez said, “but it’s so rewarding to give a kid a scholarship who truly works her tail off. Alexa deserves it.”

Allemand and Mitchell left the program under different circumstances, Sanchez said, although both saw decreased playing time last season.

Mitchell appeared in 31 of the Lobos’ 34 games last season, averaging 3.5 points and 1.9 rebounds in 9.2 minutes per contest. The 5-10 guard was in the mix for a starting spot prior to her junior season but lost out to freshman Cherise Beynon.

Mitchell had some strong performances off the bench, including an 11-point effort in a Mountain West tournament win over San Diego State, but she was told to leave practices several times during the past two seasons and did not play in UNM’s two postseason WBI games in 2014-15.

“Her scholarship was not renewed, my decision,” Sanchez said, declining to elaborate. “We wish both players well.”

Allemand, a 5-foot-4 point guard, appeared in 17 games as a sophomore with one start. She averaged 1.1 points and 1.1 rebounds with 12 assists and 10 turnovers and was behind starter Bryce Owens and freshman Laneah Bryan on the depth chart.

“Brooke decided to go to school closer to home (in Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas),” Sanchez said. “She’s not sure if she’ll play again or not.”

UNM also will have a new strength and conditioning coach next season because former Lobo Molly McKinnon stepped down after four years with the program. Her replacement has not yet been named. Joaquin Chavez, UNM’s associate director of athletic performance, is working with players in the interim.

“Molly told me she needed to spend more time with her family, and I totally respect that,” Sanchez said. “I really appreciate the job she did.”

CAMPS TIPPING OFF: Sanchez’s annual youth basketball camps will be this month at the Pit and Davalos Center.

Individual camp for players ages 8-17 will be Monday through Thursday, with sessions from 9 a.m. to noon. Elite camp, an advanced skills camp for high school-age players, will be June 18-20.

Cost is $175 per player ($285 for overnight elite camp participants) and includes coaching from Sanchez, her staff, and current and former Lobo players. For more information contact Jourdan Erskine at 505-927-5787 or go to

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