An ice cold shooting afternoon was too much for the Lobos to overcome in a school day matinee game against the San Diego State Aztecs, as UNM fell for the third time this season, 61-59.
UNM failed to record a field goal in the final 3:49 of the game, which was a microcosm of the issues that plagued them all night. Apart from Jaisa Nunn, who had another terrific performance, scoring 27 points and adding 11 rebounds for her third straight double-double. She shot 10-17 from the field, while the rest of her teammates were a combined 12-52, good for a 31 percent shooting percentage, the team’s worst of the season.
“We put ourselves in a bad position with silly fouls, missed a ton of open shots and didn’t execute on the last play,” head coach Mike Bradbury said in the Albuquerque Journal. “This team’s been focused and resilient all year, but this was not a good performance.”
Jayla Everett was second on the team with nine points, but got there on 2-of-11 shooting from the field, and Aisia Robertson was close behind with 8 points.
Things went much better for the Aztecs from the field, as they shot 41 percent. Sophia Ramos lead the way for SDSU with 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting. The Lobos were able to stay in the game thanks to 19 Aztec turnovers, including four in the fourth quarter as UNM attempted to pull even.
The loss temporarily moves the Lobos out of their tie for first with Boise State, pending the result of the Broncos game Wednesday night with UNLV. Boise State was leading by nine at halftime as of this writing. A BSU win would give them a game lead over the Lobos and sole possession of first once again.
Despite all of their woes, the Lobos had their chances late to take the lead, both thanks to clutch moments from Nunn and mistakes from the Aztecs, especially in the final minutes. With seconds left, the Aztecs had the ball and a fresh 30 second shot clock and a four point lead. Essentially, it served as an opportunity to ice the game, but SDSU settled for a shot early in the shot clock and Nunn pulled down the rebound and was fouled in the process, she sunk both free throws to cut the lead to two.
The Lobos had three fouls to give to try and force a turnover, and they got such an opportunity with 14 seconds to go courtesy of Jaedyn De La Cerda. After a UNM timeout, Everett missed a shot to tie at the buzzer.
The Lobos will return home on Saturday, Feb. 9 to take on Nevada at 1 p.m..
Cameron Goeldner is a senior reporter and photographer for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers men’s soccer, women’s basketball, softball and the Albuquerque Isotopes, but also contributes content for all other sports. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @Goeldfinger.