Lobo women handle ENMU in exhibition play

The New Mexico women's basketball team closed the exhibition portion of the 2012-13 season with a 56-37 win over Division II Eastern New Mexico Saturday afternoon in The Pit. Seniors Caroline Durbin and Deeva Vaughn led all scorers with 11 points for New Mexico as UNM finished with all 11 players scoring.

Freshman Bryce Owens scored just 2 points but dished out 10 assists. Tara Johnson and Ashlee Pierson led Eastern with six apiece.

ENMU took a 5-2 at the 16:42 mark of the first half but UNM responded with a 12-0 run over the next 7:25. And eventually led 23-18 at halftime.

New Mexico shot just 25.8 percent from the field in the first half but rebounded to shoot 44.8% in the second half. The first-half rebounding battle was a draw at 21 rebounds for each team. UNM had a 23-15 rebounding advantage in the second half to finish with a 44-36 edge on boards for the game.

"The first half… it's interesting because they played hard – Eastern came out and played hard," said head coach Yvonne Sanchez. "They did a nice job. We were a little tentative I thought."

Sanchez again used the exhibition to take a closer look at her first-year Lobos and also at potential combinations she might use during the regular-season hoop wars. Owens led UNM in minutes played with 28 and ten Lobos logged double-figure minutes.

"I played a lot of players so it probably wasn't a great flow in the first half," said Sanchez. "(But) it gave me an opportunity to see what I needed to see off certain individuals. Second half we came in with just more of a regular rotation and then played better. Didn't shoot offensively well, but you know those games are going to happen and we have to rely on our defense. I thought our defense picked it up in the second half."

Senior Jourdan Erskine led the Lobos with rebounds, pulling down nine. Vaughn finished with five and freshmen Khadijah Shumpert and Brea Mitchell each pulled down four rebounds.

UNM finished with 30 points in the paint to 16 for the Zias and the Lobos got 26 points off the bench while the ENMU subs finished with 19 points.

Durbin shot 4-of-8 from the field while and Chinyere Nnaji went 3-3 to score six points.

"Those shots we missed today, we shoot every day at practice," said Sanchez. "I think there's just some nerves there. Every single day we're still got to work at shooting and getting that shot better."

The Lobo women open regular-season play on Friday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. in The Pit vs. Northern Arizona.

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