Lobo women fall to Boise St. in MWC opener

The UNM women hung with host Boise State for much of the first half but were unable to overcome 23 turnovers and an 0-for-3 three-point shooting performance in the second half, losing to the Broncos 65-46 Wednesday night in both teams' Mountain West Conference opener.

Senior Porche Torrance had a double-double, scoring 17 points and pulling in 12 rebounds but New Mexico (6-9, 0-1 MWC) had no answer for BSU's Lauren Lenhardt, who scored 15 points in the first half on her way to a 23-point performance.

The Lobos scored just 19 points in the second half in the loss.

"I thought we broke their pressure pretty well," said head coach Yvonne Sanchez. "But 23 turnovers are too many and it wasn't their press, it was lack of focus, lack of concentration. We probably should have zoned them in the second half and taken our chances there. They are a good team. They have the total package inside and out.

Guard Caroline Durbin added 13 points and seven rebounds, guard Jayme Jackson added six points and guard Nikki Nelson added five points. The Lobos shot 19-of-50 (38%) for the game and shot just 3-of-8 (37.5%) from the three-point line. But the Lobos were out-rebounded 41-to-35 by Boise State (10-6, 1-0).

BSU outscored the New Mexico in the paints 28-20 while the Broncos scored 19 points off turnovers compared to UNM's eight points.

Guard Kati Isham scored 12 points for BSU, under her 15.4 points-per-game average but Lenhardt finished with her highest point total of the season.

"We emphasized (defending) Isham, but we didn't have an answer for Lenhardt. She had the hot hand."

The Lobos railed just 7-6 at the 15:44 mark of the first half before the Broncos responded with a 12-4 run to take a 19-10 lead with just over 8 minutes left in the first half. UNM cut the lead to 27-23 with just over two minutes left in the half but BSU finished on an 8-4 run to take a 35-27 halftime lead.

Boise State began the second half on an 8-0 run and never looked back, pushing the lead to 25 at one point.

"We just weren't tough enough," said Sanchez. "It's a disappointing loss for us. We could have made the game a little closer. We have to step up as a team. We'll correct it and get it better by Wyoming. We have to get tougher inside."

UNM hosts Wyoming Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. in The Pit. The 4-10 Cowgirls lost to UNLV 54-51 in Laramie, Wyoming Wednesday night.

In other MWC action Wednesday, host Colorado St. defeated Air Force 73-39 and host San Diego St. beat TCU 61-46.

STAFF APPRECIATION DAY SATURDAY: The UNM Staff Council has teamed with the UNM Athletic Department to hold "Staff Appreciation Day" at The Pit this Saturday for the UNM-Wyoming women's game.

UNM Staff, with a valid Lobo ID Card, can purchase unlimited tickets for $7 per ticket. The $7 includes a ticket to the game (bench seating only) and a $5 coupon for a hot dog, chips and a small fountain drink.

Tickets can be purchased at The Pit Ticket Office, which is located at the northeast corner of The Pit and is open Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. UNM staff members also can purchase tickets at the UNM Main Campus Bookstore Ticket Office now through Thursday, 1/12/12. The Bookstore Ticket Office is open Tuesday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

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