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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Women's Basketball: Lobos drop the ball vs. Fresno

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By Aaron Sweet / New Mexico Daily Lobo

UNM forward Khadijah Shumpert runs the ball up court during the home game against Fresno State on Saturday at the Pit. Boise State will host the Lobos tonight at 7 p.m.

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Excessive turnovers and foul trouble have been plaguing the New Mexico women’s basketball team, as the squad looks to minimize careless errors.

The 19 turnovers committed by the Lobos on Saturday played a major role in a heartbreaking 75-73 loss at home against Fresno State (11-6, 5-1 Mountain West). The loss against the Bulldogs ended a four-game home winning streak for UNM. The Bulldogs currently share first place in the Mountain West with Colorado State.

“Nineteen turnovers is just way too many,” head coach Yvonne Sanchez said. “We had some great performances … we just need to clean some things up.”

Sanchez said she was pleased with the performance against Fresno State, but the mistakes her team made against the Bulldogs were the difference.

The Lobos are averaging 17.8 turnovers in conference play this year, and have recorded at least 14 turnovers each game.
Redshirt junior guard Antiesha Brown said there are going to be mistakes in every game, but the team needs to work on the errors or it will continue to defeat itself.

“We are kind of shooting ourselves in the foot,” Brown said. “Just slowing down the pace and being more methodical with what we are doing … We just have to do a better job.”

Between UNM’s two latest losses, the Lobos have thrown the ball away 41 times, an issue that’s been drawing attention all season long.

Sanchez and Brown emphasized the need to play cleaner defense and crack down on the prominent mental errors that were evident in the last two games.

“Basketball is a game of mistakes,” Brown said. “All you can really do is try to limit them.”

Today the Lobos will look to cut down on the turnovers as they travel to Boise State (8-8, 3-2 MW). UNM is also seeking its first road win of the season.

The Lobos have not fared well away from The Pit, going 1-5 in games away from home. The only game that the Lobos (7-9, 2-3 MW) have won away from home was on a neutral site when they beat Western Carolina 56-37 in the Miami Hurricane Holiday Tournament.

“Boise State is a very good team, very well coached,” Sanchez said. “We need to get our first conference road win … It won’t be easy.”

Sanchez is still very optimistic about how the MW standings will look by the end of the season. However, Sanchez stated that the time to start winning in the wide-open conference needs to begin now.

UNM is currently in eighth place, while Boise State is fourth in the MW.

“We’ve got to get back on a roll,” Sanchez said. “There’s really no surprises in our league; everybody can beat anybody.”

The Broncos will host the Lobos tonight at 7 p.m., riding a two-game win streak. UNM is 3-2 against Boise State since the Broncos merged into the conference in 2012 and have won three straight overall.