It’s not a secret anymore: the University of New Mexico women’s basketball team is here to compete.
Fresh off of an upset over No. 16 ranked Marquette on Monday, the Lobos (2-0) will host NAIA competitor Northern New Mexico (2-4) on Wednesday evening at Dreamstyle Arena.
New Mexico’s victory on Monday night marked many monumental achievements for the program— including most points scored by a player in a game, the first time the Lobos defeated a ranked team since 2010 and the first time the Lobos beat a top-20 team since 2006.
In that victory, though, it was clear that junior forward Jaisa Nunn was the best player on the floor, even with a ranked opponent sharing the court with the Lobos. Nunn, who set the new single game scoring record, had 39 points on 14-of-15 shooting, while also sinking 11-of-12 free throws.
The Lobos, on Monday night, also saw tremendous play from freshman guard Jasmine Smith, who had 17 points, while also attempting a team high 18 field goals — she made eight of those attempts.
Despite struggling early on, the Lobos kept pace with Marquette entering halftime, only trailing by four points, 46-42.
It was in the third quarter, though, that New Mexico grabbed its first lead of the game, on a layup courtesy of freshman guard N’Dea Flye, to go up 65-54 with under a minute.
The game against Marquette eventually came down to the wire, with Nunn making a shot on a foul call with a little over a second left in the game, in which she sunk her free throw attempt, to give the Lobos the win.
Meanwhile, the Eagles of Northern New Mexico are six games into their season, while posting a 2-4 record in NAIA play.
So far this season, freshman guard Kyanne Kowatch leads the Eagles in scoring, averaging 16 points per game. Northern New Mexico will present two other potent scorers in senior guard Ashley John (13.7) and freshman forward Jade Hill (12.8).
As a team, Northern New Mexico is averaging 73.17 points per game on 39.5 percent shooting.
The Lobos, however, are shooting a 48.1 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from long range. Nunn, who leads the team in scoring, has had an 18 point game and a 39 point outburst to average 28.5 points per contest so far.
Senior guards Cherise Beynon and Tesha Buck follow in scoring per game, averaging 18.5 and 14.5 per game, respectively, while Smith and Flye are averaging 8.5 points per game.
Just a season ago, the Lobos hosted Northern New Mexico in January, beating the Eagles by a 40-point margin, 87-47.
In that matchup, Nunn suffered a season-ending ACL injury. But with the UNM forward back healthy, the Lobos will likely be expected to duplicate last year's performance and win big.
Tip-off for the game is set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at Dreamstyle Arena. The game will be streamed live on the Mountain West Network.
Matthew Narvaiz is a senior sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers men’s and women’s basketball, and baseball. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @matt_narvaiz.