Lobo women open season with 91-18 rout

The New Mexico women's basketball team opened the 2012-13 season with a crowd pleasing performance, demolishing visiting Northern New Mexico College 91-18 in an exhibition game before 5,673 at The Pit Wednesday night.

The Lobos tied a record for allowing the fewest points by an opponent – 18, first set in a win over Tennessee State in 2003 – and posting the second largest margin of victory against an opponent with 73 points. The record is 79 set in a 102-22 win over Morgan State in 2005.

New Mexico got scoring from 12 of 13 players as head coach Yvonne Sanchez was able to play her bench extensively in the game – in fact, only starter Brcye Owens played more minutes than any other bench player.

"It is a little strange in some respect because you look down (the bench) and there's not a lot of kids in street clothes," said Sanchez, referring to her team's sliver thin bench last season. "I'm really proud of these guys. I think we have an opportunity to gel. I think we need to do that better."

Senior guard Caroline Durbin led all scorers with 21 points while freshman forward Khadijah Shumpert added 17 points and eight rebounds. Senior Jayme Jackson and freshman Brea Mitchell each added nine points while senior Jordan Erskine and Deeva Vaughn each pulled in eight rebounds.

Northern New Mexico, which is an NAIA school from Española, N.M., was paced by Nisa Duran and Michelle Montes, who each scored 4 points. Dorsheka Lopez pulled down a team-high six rebounds.

New Mexico started on a 19-0 run and pushed the lead out to 34-4 at the 8:04 mark as the Eagles immediately found themselves overmatched. The Lobos led 50-11 at halftime.

UNM scored 26 points the open the second half to extended the lead to 76-11 before NNMC was able to get its first points on the board in the second frame.

"Those games can get pretty sloppy," said Sanchez. "I was pretty pleased by the fact that we oly had 12 turnovers. We slowed some things down. We executed on offense. I like the fact that the game didn't get sloppy and that we got in our offense and executed."

In addition to the five newcomers on the team, who earned high marks from their coach, Sanchez also said it was good to see the return of Halasz, who suffered her second season-ending knee injury before the 2011-12 season even started, and Vaughn, who was relegated to the bench after suffering a series of concussions mid season.

"I thought Sarah starting – she didn't have jitters," said Sanchez. "She just went in there and did some good things early. It looked good for her to be out there hustling. 

"And Deeva looked good," said Sahcnez. "You know she didn't shoot well and her stat line isn't great but she had eight rebounds and she looked good."

New Mexico finishes the exhibition slate on Saturday when they play Eastern New Mexico in The Pit. Tip off is 2 p.m. The Lobos open the regular season on Friday, Nov. 9 against Northern Arizona in The Pit. Tip time for that game is 7 p.m.

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