With a week off since its last game, Wednesday’s matchup for the University of New Mexico women’s basketball team is not going to be easy.
Instead, the Lobos will host Wyoming—who’s tied for first in the Mountain West alongside UNLV.
UNM has already faced the Cowgirls once this season, when they lost on the road, 66-55, on Jan. 10.
In that matchup, senior guard Cherise Beynon exploded for 28 points on 11-of-20 from the field. She also had two of the Lobos’ three 3-pointers that game, and was the only UNM player outside of N’Dea Flye (10) to score in double figures for the team that game.
Though the Lobos made things interesting in that fourth quarter at Wyoming, they weren’t able to close the game out. UNM was cold most of the night, and by the end of the game finished shooting 35.4 percent from the field. On the other hand, the Cowgirls made 43.6 of their attempts behind senior guard Liv Roberts’ 19 points.
Since those two met, UNM has gone 5-4, while Wyoming has gone 8-2.
The Lobos recently lost senior guard Alex Lapeyrolerie to an ACL tear, which will keep her out the rest of the season, so making up for her presence as far as spreading the floor out can be an adjustment UNM is still working through.
But UNM still has scoring from all angles. Leading the team is junior post Jaisa Nunn at 16.5 points per game, while Beynon follows at 16.3 points. Senior guard Tesha Buck—a sharpshooter from 3–is averaging 14.2 points, while also leading the team with 81 made 3’s.
Nunn is averaging 10 rebounds, which averages her out to a double-double per game. She has 14 so far this season.
For Wyoming, Roberts is averaging 14.2 points per game to lead the team, while also averaging six rebounds. Sophomore forward Taylor Rusk follows at 9.1 points per game.
As a team, Wyoming is shooting 41.5 percent from the field while UNM is shooting 43.1 percent.
UNM is outscoring opponents this season by nearly 12 points per game this season, and they’re averaging 82.4 points. Wyoming is averaging 60.8 points per game.
The pace of Wyoming’s offense is much slower, so it relies heavily on playing solid defense. The Cowgirls have given up an average of 54.8 points per game.
The Lobos are averaging 40.7 rebounds per contest, while the Cowgirls bring down an average of 33.6.
Wyoming and UNM have met 75 times prior to this matchup with the Lobos leading 39-35 all-time, and a 25-9 record at the Pit.
Tip-off for the contest is at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at Dreamstyle Arena. 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 reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @matt_narvaiz.