After a two-game road skid, a conference game at home was a welcome sight for the University of New Mexico women’s basketball team.
On Saturday, after 10 days since their last win when they defeated Boise State, the Lobos hosted Fresno State at Dreamstyle Arena — a game UNM won, 88-75, behind an offensive resurgence, in which the Lobos nailed nine 3-pointers (9-for-21) after making only 3-of-16 just one game ago.
UNM (16-3, 4-2 MW) made 44.3 percent of its attempts, behind Jaisa Nunn (20 points, 10 rebounds) and Cherise Beynon’s (20 points, 10 assists) double-double outings.
“I thought, on offense, the right person took the shot,” head coach Mike Bradbury said after UNM’s win. “We had a lot of balance, and I thought we kept the ball moving well. The open person would shoot, and we didn't really force many shots today, so I think that led to some really good offense compared to the last few games.”
Bradbury’s sentiment rang true, even from the very start. In the opening moments of the game, the Lobos found themselves leading 7-0, after Nunn hit a layup and a couple of free throws and Alex Lapeyrolerie hit a 3-pointer. By the end of the first quarter, UNM garnered a double-digit lead, 24-12
For most of the second quarter, the Lobos maintained some distance. Deep in the quarter, the Bulldogs (8-9, 3-3 MW) managed to diminish UNM’s lead to three points with 2:34 left in the half. But Nunn, Beynon and Lapeyrolerie — who landed a 3-pointer at the last second — helped their team grow its lead back to double digits at the end of the half, as they entered the locker room with a 46-35 lead.
In the first minute of the third quarter, Fresno State got on the board first with a layup from Candice White, but N’Dea Flye quickly followed up with a 3-pointer for the Lobos.
Again the Bulldogs trimmed UNM’s lead to just four points near the end of the third quarter, but UNM used the final moments to build up a nine-point lead, 67-58, by the end of the frame.
The fourth quarter was all UNM from the start. Fresno State never got within 10 points, and by the end of the game, the Lobos found themselves winning, 88-75.
Tesha Buck finished third in scoring for the Lobos with 18 points on a 4-for-10 night from beyond the arc. Lapeyrolerie had 14 points and went 4-for-8 from 3, as both she and Buck combined for eight of UNM’s nine 3s.
“I think what really made us hit shots is that we had those extra passes,” Nunn said in the post-game press conference. “We really moved the ball well, and we got a lot of open shots that allowed us to make them.”
UNM won the rebounding battle, too, behind Nunn’s game-high 10 boards. They also made 17-of-18 free throws.
Up next for the Lobos is another home game on Wednesday, Jan. 17 against UNLV.
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.