ACL tears are nobody’s best friend, but another one hit the University of New Mexico women's basketball team again, ending the season for a key player.
Freshman guard Mykiel Burleson – who had started 22 of the 24 games the Lobos played in this season – suffered an ACL tear last Wednesday when the Lobos took on Air Force at WisePies Arena.
Head coach Mike Bradbury gave the news
“I mean, it hurts,” Bradbury said. “We've now lost three of our top eight, two of our top four. So yeah, it hurts.”
Prior to Burleson’s injury, she was averaging 9.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game on the season.
Junior guard Cheris Beynon prepares to shoot a free throw during the Lobos game against Air Force Academy Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017 at WisePies Arena.
Burleson’s ACL tear marked the third such injury since the start of 2017, joining sophomores Jaisa Nunn and Emily Lines, who suffered the same fate in January.
The injury reportedly occurred on a fastbreak, according to Ken Sickenger of the Albuquerque Journal.
The trainers apparently didn't believe it was an ACL
“It was a little bit of a shock,” Bradbury said. “Just
Bradbury plans to start junior guard Laneah Bryan in place of Burleson, with junior guard Jayda Bovero still coming off of the bench.
He also made it clear that he doesn't plan on playing more than seven of his eight available players in the Lobos’ next game against Boise State on Wednesday.
Despite the setback in injuries, Bradbury is looking forward to the next game with a general game plan on how to contain Boise State from running rampant.
“We got to be able to keep them out of transition,” Bradbury said. “If we can make them play five on five, then clearly that gives us the better chance.”
Boise State’s Brooke Pahukoa leads the charge for her team with 13.3 points per game. She's followed by two other players who are averaging double digits in scoring in Shalen Shaw (10.6) and Marijke Vanderschaaf (10.0).
For the Lobos, junior guard Cherise Beynon and senior Richelle van der Keijl have combined to account for 30.1 of the Lobos’ 69.1 points per game scoring average.
Tip-off is set for Wednesday, Feb. 15 at Boise State. The game will be streamed live at 7 p.m. on the Mountain West Network.
Matthew Narvaiz is a sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers women's basketball and baseball. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @matt_narvaiz