Jaisa Nunn wanted to show out one final time in front of the Pit crowd, and she did just that on her Senior Night.
"It was very emotional for me at first because it's Senior Night," Nunn said. "I knew I had to show out and I had to do if for the fans especially and I was glad that I got the results that I did. I played hard, and so did the team."
Nunn finished with 26 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks to lead the Lobos to a 57-50 victory over the Wyoming Cowgirls that secured the two seed at next week's Mountain West Tournament in Las Vegas. UNM will play the winner of a matchup between San Diego State and Air Force. On the night, Nunn also became the seventh Lobo ever to record 1500 points.
The Lobos struggled offensively for much of the night, finishing nearly 20 points below their scoring average, but excelled defensively, holding Wyoming's leading scorer Marta Gomez to only four points, thanks in part to three early fouls on the senior, which helped limit her to 17 minutes of action.
"I thought defensively we were good and in the first half Wyoming missed some shots that they normally make," head coach Mike Bradbury said. "You always expect this kind of game against Wyoming. They're so well coached and they never beat themselves, they do everything right."
An injury to starting point guard Aisia Robertson in the third quarter put a damper on the day, as she went to the ground hard after a block attempt and had to be carried of the floor with a knee injury. The extent is not yet known, but she was not putting any weight on it when she exited the floor up the Pit ramp. She did not return to the game.
Jayla Everett, who struggled to hang on to the ball in the first half, recording six turnovers, stepped up in Robertson's absence as the point guard, and thanks to a good performance on the defensive end and some clean passes. Nunn credited her with helping them lock down the win.
The Lobos lead for the majority of the game, but never were able to pull away. Their largest lead of the night came with less than four minutes left in the game at 10 points. The lead changed eight times, all of them early in the game.
UNM was able to dominate in the paint, recording 40 points down low compared to 26 for Wyoming, thanks primarily to Nunn. The next leading scorer for the Lobos was Antonia Anderson, who finished with eight points off the bench, as well as four rebounds, three blocks and one steal.
Wyoming struggled to get shots off over the Lobo defenders as UNM blocked ten shots total, with Anderson and Everett leading the way with three each.
The Lobos 24 wins this season are the most in regular season history for the program, and three more wins in the postseason would give the team the winningest season in program history. She finishes her final regular season with 1,520 points and 921 rebounds, the only player in program history to accomplish that feat.
UNM returns to action on Monday at 7 p.m. in the 2019 Mountain West Women's Basketball Championships from Las Vegas.
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.