Coming off of two straight losses, including losing four of its last five, the University of New Mexico women’s basketball team will travel to Fort Collins, Colorado to take on Colorado State on Saturday at 2 p.m.
The game will be a fun one, as UNM (16-5, 4-4 MW) is ranked atop the totem pole in scoring offense and shooting in the Mountain West, while the Rams are the top defensive team in the conference.
Most recently for the Lobos, was a loss on the road to San Diego State, 97-89, in which senior guard Cherise Beynon put up a career-high, and new school record, 41 points on 17-for-31 from the field; she also made four 3-pointers.
Against SDSU, the Lobos had a lead entering the fourth quarter. But a 17-2 Aztec run in the final frame all but extinguished UNM’s hopes of winning.
CSU (13-7, 5-4 MW), meanwhile, just came off of a dominant win over SDSU on Wednesday, 72-43, in which senior guard Hannah Tvrdy scored a career-high 28 points for the Rams. Early in the game, though, the Rams trailed by as many as five points in the first quarter and, entering the second, were down by two points. They held the Aztecs to just 14 points in the second half, while scoring 37 points en route to their victory.
UNM, who sits at fifth in the conference, still poses a threat on offense. Leading the Mountain West in scoring, the Lobos are averaging 84.1 points per game — almost 12 points more per game than the next best scoring team in the conference in Boise State (72.5).
The Rams average 60.5 points per game—third lowest in the conference—but make up for it with their stout defense. Their defense allows only 54.3 points per game, which can make things interesting come Saturday afternoon, being the Lobos can score from almost anywhere on the floor.
UNM has four players scoring 12-or-more points per game. Beynon leads the team at 17 points per game, while junior post Jaisa Nunn—who’s almost automatic in the paint—is averaging 15.2 points. Senior guards Tesha Buck and Alex Lapeyrolerie are averaging 14.6 and 12.3 points per game, respectively.
Since CSU is more defensive minded, it seems almost inevitable that its holes are within its offense. Only one player on CSU is scoring in double digits in Grace Colaivalu, who’s averaging 10.4 points per contest.
Injury update: According to Ken Sickenger of the Albuquerque Journal, freshman guard Jasmine Smith, who has started the last two games for UNM, will not play against CSU. She fell during a practice on Monday, he said, and is undergoing concussion protocol.
Freshman guard/forward Antonia Anderson is also unlikely to suit up on Saturday. She injured her knee against SDSU last Saturday.
Tip-off for the game is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. 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 contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @matt_narvaiz.