The University of New Mexico women’s basketball team has started out a perfect 9-0, tying a school record for consecutive wins to begin a season without a loss.
These Lobos can set a new benchmark for others to follow, if they are able to notch a 10th consecutive win on Wednesday as they face Texas Tech at Dreamstyle Arena.
The Red Raiders have gotten off to a shaky 3-4 record to start to the season, and have dropped three games in a row.
Although Texas Tech has frequented the loss column as of late, it still poses a lot of scoring threats. The Red Raiders boast four players that have averaged double figures in points per game.
Sophomore forward Brittany Brewer, who stands a firm 6-5, leads Texas Tech in that category at 14.1 points per contest. But she isn’t one-dimensional—the forward has also brought down a team-high 6.9 rebounds per game.
Brewer is followed in scoring by senior center Jada Terry (11.4 ppg), senior forward Brielle Blaire (11.3 ppg) and junior guard Reece’ Caldwell (11.1 ppg).
The Lobos are coming off of a south bound road trip, where they started by visiting UTEP in their first away game of the season—which they won 59-35—and finished up by beating New Mexico State in Las Cruces, New Mexico. That matchup was a high-scoring affair, that saw the Lobos outlast the Aggies 101-93 on Saturday.
UNM held the Miners to a minimal offensive output thanks in large part to playing smothering defense. The Lobos turned in a strong effort, forcing 25 turnovers in the game.
Though the game against NMSU was played at an entirely different pace. The Lobos blew a big first quarter lead and trailed for several stretches in the game. But despite giving up 93 points, the team also scored 21 points off 14 New Mexico State turnovers en route to getting its program-tying ninth win to start the regular season.
New Mexico is no stranger to putting up big numbers on offense though, as the Lobos’ unblemished record has been achieved thanks to a myriad of players that can score the basket too.
UNM is led by senior guard Cherise Beynon, who won Mountain West Player of the Week in week one, as she leads the team at 17.3 points per contest.
Senior guard Tesha Buck has been a threat, too—especially from range—averaging 15.1 points per game. Buck’s scoring comes mostly from beyond the arc, hitting 31-of-64 to lead the Lobos from 3-point land.
Junior post Jaisa Nunn (14.3 ppg) and senior guard Alex Lapeyrolerie (10.0 ppg) have been getting things done, too. Lapeyrolerie has also shot 3-pointers at a high rate, hitting 19 of her 25 made shots from deep. While Nunn has averaged a team-high 10.4 rebounds per game to average a double-double.
UNM has shot 42.2 percent from the field as a team, scoring a little over 82 points per game to outscore its opponents by an average margin of 18 points.
Texas Tech hasn’t been as prolific on offense, putting up 70 points per game to edge out opponents for a 1.6 point margin of victory. The Red Raiders scored 75 points in their most recent loss to Houston.
One thing the Red Raiders are doing well is rebounding the basketball. They have pulled down 44.1 boards per game as a squad, outworking their opponents on the glass by an average of 10 rebounds.
The Lobos aren’t far behind with 41.9 rebounds per matchup and whichever team is able to win the rebounding battle could have the inside track to victory.
Texas Tech has won the last three meetings between the schools, but New Mexico has home court advantage and the pursuit of history this time around. The Lobos will be looking to end their losing skid to the Red Raiders by continuing to add to the current winning streak.
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 6. The game can be viewed 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.