THE PIT — Monday night's matchup against Air Force (8-20, 6-11 MW) marked the UNM women's basketball team's Senior Night, where the Lobos honored its final-year players — namely starters Aisia Robertson and Jordan Hosey.
The first half was hauntingly slow as UNM managed just 22 points. 14 of the team's 21 turnovers came in the first two frames, as the Lobo offense outside of Robertson and Hosey's performances stalled.
Air Force, on the other hand, came out firing on both ends of the floor and dominated the rebounding category, eventually ending the night with a 44-28 advantage.
Heading into the half, it was Hosey who was accountable for keeping UNM within reach, scoring 10 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting performance from the field. Despite her efforts, UNM entered the break down 36-22.
Unfortunately for the Lobos, the second half was more of the same. Air Force maintained a stranglehold on the game's tempo, extending the lead to 21 by the end of the third quarter.
Despite a game-high 8 turnovers, Robertson led a fourth-quarter charge that brought UNM within 10 points. With a 16-point outburst in her final quarter of collegiate basketball in the Pit, Robertson turned in an impressive 30-point outing on 11-of-15 shooting. Despite the late rush, Air Force proved too much for UNM and coasted to a 79-66 victory.
"I'm disappointed in how I played in the first half, so I had to flip the gear," Robertson said. "It was my last game in the Pit, and I didn't want to leave a sour taste in the fans' mouths."
Hosey also left her mark on the game, leading the team with 6 rebounds and adding 13 points in the paint.
"I never thought this day would come," Hosey said, reflecting on her time at UNM. "Freshman year, they say your four years are going to go by fast, but I never thought it would go by this fast."
Both Hosey and Robertson are liberal arts majors who aspire to play overseas after they graduate. For Hosey, if that doesn't happen, she wants to finish school and become a special needs teacher.
With the loss, UNM dropped to 14-16 overall and just 5-12 in conference play, which locked them firmly in 10th place in the Mountain West.
The Lobos will finish the regular season at Utah State on Thursday, Feb. 27 before the Mountain West tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada next month.
Angelina Pompeo is a sports reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @PompeoAngelina