"4-0, it's fun," said UNM head coach Yvonne Sanchez. "We're a work in progress. We're going to be for a little but. But you' rather learn your lessons with a win. They're gelling together. They're doing different things in every game that's good. It's nice to see as a coaching staff. We're going to get it together and put a complete game together."
New Mexico (4-0) finished with three players in double figures – senior Caroline Durbin with a game-high 14 points and Sara Halasz and Jordan Erskine each with 10 points. Erskine finished with a game high seven rebounds and freshman guard Bryce Owens had 10 of the Lobos 16 assists for the game.
"It wasn't as big as I thought it would be," Owens said of the rivalry game. "I thought it would be more physical, maybe some 'bos (elbows) thrown."
The Aggies battled in the first half, trailing 15-4 with 9:22 left in the first half. UNM kept the lead at 11 until NMSU managed a 6-0 run keyed by Stephanie Gilbreath to cut the Lobo advantage to 25-20 with 3:03 left in the first half. Both teams managed only one field goal the rest of the first half for a 27-22 halftime score.
"The biggest thing is we had a couple of people in foul trouble with Sarah and Caroline (in the first half)," said Sanchez. "So getting them back out on the floor in the second half, they set the tone. We had a hand in their face every time."
Gilbreath and guard Danesia Williamson both led
NMSU with 10
points. Kelsie Rosenthal added seven points and a team-high six
The Lobos defensive effort in the second half led to a horrendous shooting half for the Aggies, who shot just 4 of 32 in the second half and went 0 of 13 from the three point line.
By contrast UNM shot 11 of 25 on their way to a 24 of 52 (46.2%) shooting performance for the game. NMSU finished shooting just 14 of 64 (21.9%) for the game and 0 of 18 on treys.
The Aggies did managed to outrebound the Lobos 44 to 43 but lost the battle on the defensive boards 37-27. UNM outscored NMSU 34-20 in the paint, 19-13 on points off turnovers and 10-4 on fast break opportunities. New Mexico's bench also outperformed New Mexico State's outscoring the Aggie reserves 20-10.
"It's great (to beat them)," said Durbin. "Since I've been here, we haven't lost to them and I'm trying to keep that alive.""