Youthfulness may be playing a large role in the team’s struggles late in the game for the New Mexico women’s basketball team.
“I was looking at the roster the other day and I realized that Sara Halasz is the only player who has played in the program for more than two years,” head coach Yvonne Sanchez said. “Not that it means anything, but I probably took for granted or maybe thought we had more experience than we do.”
Many of UNM’s upperclassmen have transferred into the Lobos’ program from other colleges.
The Lobos have really been struggling as of late, especially closing out games with the lead. While UNM (8-14, 3-8 Mountain West) has been able to come back to make the games close after trailing by large margins, it is the late turnovers and missed shots that Sanchez said has her puzzled.
“You know it has been our life story this year. We’ve been trying to wrap our head around it, but just can’t seem to figure it out,” Sanchez said. “They’re playing hard and getting better, but we need to figure this thing out. Lack of experience, maybe. We’ve had a lot of close games.”
After yet another tight game that went awry for the Lobos in their 86-80 overtime loss to Boise State (14-9, 9-3 MW) on Wednesday, Sanchez is looking for any sort of answer to push her team over the hump down the stretch.
Sophomore Alexa Chavez recorded her first career double-double in the tough overtime loss, but said that she would not necessarily attribute the loss to being young but to inconsistency with the team’s play.
“You know we are a young team, but we’ve come a long way and we’ve played together for so long that it might not be youth that’s the factor.” Chavez said. “We do have those times where we don’t have those spurts and we have to work our way out of holes. We just need to get on it from the jump.”
The Lobos look to turn their hardship around in Reno, Nev., as the team takes on Nevada for the first time this season.
Nevada is coming off of a 73-48 loss to Fresno State that snapped a three-game winning streak. The Wolf Pack’s loss dropped their record to 7-5 in the Mountain West. The team has a 12-11 record overall.
UNM and Nevada have only faced each other four times. Both teams have been able to take home two wins in four meetings.
Nevada has three players who average double figures: Danika Sharp (12.7), Terilyn Moe (12.1) and Mimi Mungedi (10.2).
Saturday’s game will take place at 4 p.m. in the Lawlor Events Center in Reno, Nev.