The University of New Mexico women’s basketball team (12-1) travels to the United States Air Force Academy Thursday to take on the Air Force Falcons (0-11) at Clune Arena in the first game of conference play.
The Lobos are riding high following a 90-58 win over Lamar in the team’s final non-conference tuneup. Tesha Buck led the way for the Lobos in that performance, scoring a school record 40 points behind a conference record of 10 three-pointers. She also added seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block. The Lobos’ only loss this season came on the road against Oklahoma, but the rebound performance against Lamar got UNM back on the right track.
Air Force is 0-11 on the year and is one of the worst offensive teams in Division I, averaging 56 points per game, which ranks 319th out of 345 teams. The Falcons haven’t reached the 70 point mark yet this season, a mark the Lobos have reached in 11 of their 13 games. However, AFA is a strong defensive team that plays a slowdown style of basketball which allows them to hold opponents to 67.4 points per game.
All-time, New Mexico holds a 39-2 series advantage over Air Force, including 16-2 at Clune Arena. The last win for the Falcons in this series came in 2012, and New Mexico has won eight straight since, including an 81-64 victory last season.
The Falcons are led by Kaelin Immel, who is averaging 12.8 points per game in addition to shooting 30 percent from beyond the arc. Courtney Porter is 17th in the country in steals with 3.27 per game. Only three players on the team average more than nine points per game in Immel, Porter and Emily Conroe.
The game begins at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast live on the Mountain West Network, with a stream available through golobos.com.
Cameron Goeldner is a freelance sports reporter and photographer for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers men’s soccer but also contributes content for baseball, basketball, football and track and field. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @goeldfinger.