The defensive miscues are finally taking a toll on the New Mexico women’s basketball team.
Wednesday night’s 75-69 loss to Utah State pushed UNM’s losing streak to five games, and the Lobos have allowed teams to shoot 43.3 percent from the field during the slide.
Head Coach Yvonne Sanchez pointed out how her team has failed to execute it’s defensive scheme.
“They’ve got to get better at doing the things that we ask them to do,” head coach Yvonne Sanchez said. “Or it’s going to be the same thing all year in the locker room.”
Sanchez said she is going to be receiving the brunt of the criticism because of the lapse in translation between the coaches and the players.
Sophomore guard Bryce Owens said she does not know why the mishaps are occurring during the game because the team focuses on the same issues in practice.
“Every day we practice defensive drills,” she said. “It’s like we get into the games and we lose it all. I don’t know where it goes but it’s something we definitely have to fix.”
Redshirt senior guard Sara Halasz also reiterated that there is a problem transitioning from practice to the game.
“What we learn from practice, (we have to) carry it over and do it in the game,” she said. “We don’t have a loss of confidence, but we’re trying to get back on track.”
During the Lobos’ five-game losing streak, three of those games have been decided by six points or fewer.
Owens said the team is not losing confidence but is feeling the weight of the skid.
“The fact that we keep losing is very disappointing. It’s upsetting. It’s frustrating. It’s all the above,” Owens said. “We try to pick it back up and it’s too late… It kind of just slips out of our hands.”
The Lobos need to have a sense of urgency to correct the squandered leads and miscommunications that have burdened them late in tense games, Sanchez said.
“We have ten games left, plus the conference tournament,” she said. “These (tight games) get to you a little bit because we are a good team.”
UNM (7-12, 2-6 Mountain West) must have a short term memory as it travels to San Jose State (8-12, 2-7 MW), seeking its first road win of the season.
The Lobos beat the Spartans at home 80-68 in the team’s last meeting. That win on Jan. 11 was the last one before UNM’s current five-game losing skid.