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Women's basketball: Lobos play tough against UNLV

The University of New Mexico’s women's basketball team lost to the University of Nevada Las Vegas 62-56 on Saturday, Feb 3. 

Both teams were on winning streaks, UNLV improved to four straight wins and ended UNM’s five-game winning streak. UNM fell to 16-7 overall and 7-3 in conference play – putting them in third place in the standings past the halfway mark of the season.

The Lobos played well but fell a couple shots short of sweeping the back-to-back conference champs. Going back to the 2022-23 season, the Rebels are 30-1 against Mountain West opponents, including the conference tournament with their one loss coming from the Lobos a few weeks ago.

Likely to go up against each other in the conference tournament as the top two seeds, Nyah Wilson said the team will be ready for anyone.

“I'm not backing down from any challenge just knowing that we are a good team. I love how we can compete and just stay together,” Wilson said.

UNM shot poorly from the three-point line, going 4-19 and went 4-12 on free throws. Their defense kept the game close. They forced 14 turnovers and held the Rebels to 40% overall, shooting on 58 shots.

The Lobos had three players in double-digit scoring. Wilson led the team with a career high 25 points. Aniyah Augmon had 15 points, four rebounds and four steals. Vianè Cumber scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds.

Desi-Rae Young dominated the game for the Rebels; she had 27 points and 10 rebounds. Nneka Obiazor was the other Rebel in double-digit scoring with 11 points.

Wilson scored the first points of the game with a drive to the basket for a layup but it led to a 10-0 run from the Rebels. Ashley Scoggin hit on a three-pointer in transition to force a timeout by UNM. Wilson ended the near five minute Lobo scoring drought with a layup. UNM was down 11-6 at the end of the first quarter.

Augmon ended a 7-0 run from the Rebels with a layup, but UNM continued to have difficulty scoring. They were down 19-10 with 4:53 left in the half.

Out of the timeout, Rebel Kiara Jackson made a three-pointer to extend their lead. After starting the game 0-7 as a team, Cumber and Augmon hit back-to-back three-pointers to close the half on a 6-0 run. Lobos were down 25-20.

At halftime as part of National Girls & Women in Sports Day, team members from New Mexico United, Isotopes, Lobo athletics and other organizations across the city were honored. Alumni from the women's basketball team, as well as active Lobos from the cheer, swimming and diving, softball, soccer, volleyball, golf and dance teams were celebrated – receiving applause from the fans.

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Wilson made a three-pointer and Augmon earned a layup to tie the game, but Obiazor made a three-pointer for the Rebels. UNM did not let the shot slow down their momentum; they were down 34-33 at the media timeout with 4:35 left in the quarter.

Out of the timeout with a layup, Wilson gave the Lobos their first lead since 2-0 at the start of the game. She then pushed the lead to three with another drive to the basket. Rebel Young tied it up as she was fouled on a basket – an and-1 free throw – and Alyssa Brown gave the Rebels the lead with a free throw. UNM was down 40-39 at the end of the third quarter.

The Rebels scored on their first three possessions of the quarter to prompt a Lobo timeout down 48-43 with 8:01 left in the game.

Lobos’ Augmon and Wilson had back-to-back layups but Wilson missed her and-1 free throw to keep the Lobos down one, and Young made another three-pointer to protect their lead. The Lobos were down 51-47 with 4:41 left in the game.

Out of the media timeout, Wilson shot two free throws and made both of them – the first basket made by a free throw from the Lobos. Cumber tied the game up with a pair of free throws of her own, but the Rebels exploded for a 7-0 run highlighted by a Young layup with an and-1 free throw. Cumber made a three-pointer to end the run. UNM called a timeout with 1:56 remaining and down 58-54.

With 1:14 left, the Lobos forced a shot clock violation. Wilson was fouled on her way to the basket but missed both free throws. Young and Augmon both made baskets to keep the lead to four, but Scoggin beat the Lobo press to put the Rebels up six with 28.5 seconds left in the game.

UNM were unable to get another shot off and lost 62-56.

Head Coach Mike Bradbury didn't get the outcome he wanted but was happy with how the team is competing against the top team in the conference and stuck to their defensive identity.

“We are who we are. We are really good when we make shots, but we're not bad when we don't. This team has been great. We're going to play to our identity … we got to make these games rock fights and that's what we did,” Bradbury said.

He went on to talk about how similar the two games were this season.

“I mean, the game was exactly the same, (but) they made the shots in the last three minutes and we didn't, and that was the difference between the two games. And give them credit. They made them,” Bradbury said.

The Lobos will go on to play in California against San Diego State on Wednesday, Feb. 7.

Thomas Bulger

 Thomas Bulger is the sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at or on Twitter @thomasbulger10 

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