The University of New Mexico Lobos, behind the scoring of freshman guard Madi Washington, cruised to an easy 107-66 victory over Northern New Mexico Wednesday evening, marking a new program record for most points scored in a game.
The former record of 106 points dates back to 1979 when the Lobos played Northern Arizona, but it is also the first time the Lobos have had a 100-point regular season game since 2005 when they played Morgan State.
Washington, who came off the bench but saw 20 minutes of play, scored a game high 27 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field, with five of those made shots coming from beyond the arc.
“She was aggressive,” head coach Mike Bradbury said of Washington’s performance. “And that’s good. But we’ve been working and talking and tinkering with her a little bit. She’s really talented, but we just haven’t gotten enough out of her (this season), and that’s a lot my fault, a little bit her fault.”
He said he didn’t have a perfect answer, but acknowledged that Washington is too talented to keep off the floor. And after Wednesday’s performance, she may be well on her way to seeing more action.
All 13 active Lobos (3-0) saw playing time, though Jaisa Nunn — who started — only logged in 10 minutes. The junior forward logged 34 minutes in the previous game, putting the team on her back on the way to a 39-point performance.
Nunn ended Wednesday’s game with just two points, but almost everyone chipped in to help the cause. Junior center Erica Moore was the only Lobo player that didn’t register points in the box score — though she was tied with a game-high two blocks.
The start of the first quarter for New Mexico wasn’t pretty, as the team let the Eagles (2-5) tie the game up at eight points apiece nearly halfway through the period. But the Lobos went on a 6-0 run to go up 14-8 before Northern New Mexico was able to answer.
Toward the end of the quarter, freshman guard Jaedyn De La Cerda managed to get a steal, make a layup in transition, all while getting fouled. And she completed the three-point play by knocking down the free throw.
Interestingly, all five New Mexico starters logged in only three minutes total in the first quarter, while all 13 active players saw playing time in the frame.
In the second quarter, the Lobos stepped on the gas pedal. The team opened up the quarter with senior guard Alex Lapeyrolerie scoring the first three points, spurring another 6-0 run in the first two minutes of the frame.
From there, a steady stream of hard-nosed defense and scoring from Washington, who had seven points in the quarter, helped the Lobos get out to a 50-26 lead by halftime.
Nearly half of the Lobos’ first half points came off of turnovers, with the team scoring 22 points off 16 Northern New Mexico mishaps.
The Eagles opened the second half with another turnover, which turned into a transition layup from freshman guard N’Dea Flye.
Shortly thereafter, New Mexico rallied off three straight 3-pointers, putting the team up by 33 points a little over halfway through the quarter.
Leading into the fourth quarter, though, it seemed as if Northern New Mexico caught its second wind, as it scored the first four points of the frame. But the Lobos kept pace, with Washington scoring seemingly at will — she had 12 points in the final period.
Junior guard Emily Lines also made her presence known in the fourth quarter. In the frame, she made two 3-pointers, eventually helping the Lobos to a 41-point margin of victory.
Washington headlined a quartet of Lobos who scored in the double digits for New Mexico. Senior guards Cherise Beynon and Laneah Bryan had 11 and 13 points, respectively, while Lines finished with 10.
As a team, New Mexico shot 42.4 percent from the field and 39.3 percent from range. Conversely, the Eagles shot 37.5 percent from the field.
The difference? Turnovers.
The Lobos forced 30 Northern New Mexico turnovers which they took full advantage of, capitalizing with 43 points off of the errors.
With a 3-0 start under its belt, UNM will shift its focus to an upcoming rivalry game against New Mexico State on Saturday, Nov. 18 at home. The game is set for a 2 p.m. start time and will be broadcast 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 contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @matt_narvaiz.