Unbeaten UNM basketball women set program record with Wednesday’s 10th straight victory over visiting Texas Tech behind guards Cherise Beynon, Tesha Buck, and center Jaisa Nunn
Lobos win 90-56, but the UNM men drop 75-57 contest in Colorado for sixth setback in nine starts
By ARNIE LESHIN, Santa Fe Today
While the men’s team is struggling, the women’s team is streaking.
That’s the present state of University of New Mexico basketball. The Lobo men’s 75-57 loss at Colorado Wednesday night dropped them to 3-6.
The same night, the undefeated Lobo women won their 10th in a row, 90-56 over Texas Tech, breaking the program record set in the 2007-08 season before a turnout of 5,663 at the Dreamsyle Arena.
Hopefully, there will be more fans when they play at home again Sunday afternoon against the Naval Academy. This was only their fourth win over the Red Raiders in 19 tries, and turning back a Big 12 team is always special.
And this team is special. It can score, it can defend, it can run the floor, and it can provide balance. This time, its aggressive defense forced 20 turnovers, scoring 29 points behind this. The lead was only 37-27 at halftime, but the lead went to 61-39 after a 24-12 run in the third quarter. From there, it just increased, once following a 22-6 run, and it stood at 65-36 on the way to dropping Tech to 3-5 on the season.
Balanced scoring? No problem there, with Cherise Beynon having the game-high 21 points despite 10-for-29 shooting. Right behind with 20 points was Tesha Buck, and post Jaisa Nunn added 15 points, converted 7-of-8 free throws, and brought down 10 rebounds.
From the three-point line, the Lobos made only 6-of-20, but the Red Raiders were no better by tossing in only 3-of-20. They did have an edge in rebounding, 44-43, but overall it was a dominating might for UNM. The guard tandem of Beynon and Buck combined for 41 points and 14 rebounds to go with 15 steals. It was Beynon’s big fourth quarter that brought a 10-0 run behind her back-to-back baskets, and that upped the advantage to 88-52 with 1:28 remaining.
The Lobos trailed only one, 2-0, and after tying the score at 14-14, took off from there on a 13-0 run. With 1:48 left in the half, they were up 37-22. Defensively, they held Tech’s leading scorer, Brittany Brewer scoreless in the first half after she arrived with 14.1 points per game. She finished with six points.
As for the men under new coach Paul Weir, they gave Colorado (7-1) a tough time for awhile, trailing only 35-33 shortly before halftime after trailing by 11 in the first half. The Buffalos had come off their first setback to Colorado State on Saturday.
Once they got into full gear, defense played a huge part as only one Lobo, Anthony Mathis, scored 15 for his team’s only player in double figures. While UNM struggled from the floor, Colorado went on a run to grab a 61-51 lead with 7:29 left.
On the boards, the Buffalos had a huge 58-30 advantage. They play next at Xavier Saturday, while the Lobos are home to state-rival New Mexico State the same night. In their previous meeting, the Aggies prevailed with a big second half.