In the team’s first game back in nearly two weeks, the University of New Mexico Lobos dominated the Air Force Falcons 78-57 at Dreamstyle Arena. It was the conference opener for both teams.
The Lobos, at times, struggled on the offensive end (they turned the ball over 19 times). But in the end, it was their defense that pulled them through for the victory.
UNM forced a whopping 29 Air Force turnovers, which in turn, led to 31 fast break points and 22 points off turnovers for the home team. 19 of those 29 turnovers were steals, with Aisia Robertson leading the way with five.
“We spend a lot of time on it in practice,” said Madi Washington “I think that coach recognizes that our offense is a little shaky at times, so we have to use the defense to outweigh that and beat everybody else.”
In points scored, Jayla Everett led the Lobos with 19. From the floor, Everett shot 8-for-15 and also had three rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals.
UNM (11-1, 1-0 MW) got out to a good start, scoring the first points of the game and not letting the Falcons get the advantage at any moment. The closest Air Force got to the Lobos was when they tied the game at 12 apiece in the first quarter, however the Lobos escaped the frame with a four-point advantage.
By halftime, the Lobos garnered a 37-25 lead over the Falcons. It was UNM’s defense that carried them into the locker room with a lead, as they held its opponent to just 28 percent shooting in the second quarter.
In the third quarter, the Lobos continued to hit their shots, as did the Falcons. But in the end, Ahlise Hurst hit a 3-pointer before the buzzer to give her team a 15-point lead.
The Lobos went on to defeat Air Force by 21 points. Robertson scores 15 points and Jaedyn De La Cerda had 11 points off the bench.
UNM outrebounded the Falcons 43-37. In the paint the Lobos outscored Air Force 54-32.
“We attacked the basket well,” UNM head coach Mike Bradbury said. “We didn’t finish as well as we should have, but we rebounded offensively really well, and we needed those.”
Up next for New Mexico is a road game at Nevada on Saturday, Jan. 5 at 3 p.m.
Matthew Narvaiz is a senior sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. He helps cover men’s basketball, however, he also contributes content to other sports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @matt_narvaiz.