Stevens: Lobos Stumble Down The Stretch 63-52 To TCU

Feb. 25, 2012

New Mexico Lobos Women's Basketball - In The Pit
Saturday: TCU Horned Frogs 63, New Mexico Lobos 52
Wednesday: 7 p.m., New Mexico at Air Force

By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/

The final ending in The Pit on Saturday was nice. The University of New Mexico fans got to say goodbye to four seniors: Lauren Taylor, Porche Torrance, Nikki Nelson and Ashley Rhoades, who played - or watched - their final Pit game.

The ending of the Mountain West game that preceded that warm farewell was not so nice. The Lobos rolled to a 43-32 lead with 13:30 to play, but were outscored 31-10 the rest of the way in and folded 63-52 to the TCU Horned Frogs.

The ending was kind of a shocker to the Lobos and their fans as UNM had controlled the game and the pace for most of the game before TCU turned up the intensity to roll to an unexpected 11-point win. The TCU's rally was aided by UNM's Porche Torrance fighting - and sitting - through four fouls in the final 13:13.

Torrance ended the game with 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting, had 10 rebounds and five fouls.

TCU was aided in the win by 29 bench points. UNM got 13 points off its bench. TCU got 18 points from freshman Natalie Ventress, who also pulled down nine boards.

Jayme Jackson had six assists for the Lobos. UNM also was hurt by key turnovers with Torrance turning the ball over six times and Durbin creating five turnovers. Torrance also had four steals.

TCU trailed most of the game and didn't take the lead in the second half until the 5:47 mark when a Ventress trey pulled TCU into a 48-47 lead. The Frogs outscored UNM 15-to-5 over the final 5:33.

The Lobos, looking for momentum to carry into the upcoming Mountain West Tournament in Las Vegas, end their regular-season Wednesday at Air Force. The TCU game probably will give UNM some good and bad to consider. The Lobos were good for about 30 minutes; not so good for the final 10 minutes.

Second Half: TCU Horned Frogs 38, New Mexico Lobos 24

The Lobos opened the half with a Durbin turnover which TCU converted into a fast break layup by Thompson: 28-27. Torrance got even with a steal that led to a Torrance layup and UNM was up 30-27. TCU missed and Torrance hit Rhoades for an open look that she nailed. Durbin followed that with a jumper that put UNM up 34-27.

TCU then got a jumper from Wynn and a trey by Ventress to pull to 34-32 at the 15:34 media break. UNM came out of the break and got a jumper from Durbin: 36-32. Nnaji got a point from the line and Torrance followed that with an old-fashioned 3-pointer to hand UNM a 40-32 lead.

The Lobos were up by eight and Torrance had 16 points. TCU turned the ball over on a Torrance steal which led to a Nnaji score and UNM had its biggest lead at 42-32. TCU called for a time out with 13:30 to play The Frogs, known as a defensive team, could not stop the Lobos from scoring - especially Torrance (16) and Durbin (12).

The Lobos' offense took a hit at the 13:13 mark when Torrance went to the sidelines with her fourth foul. TCU then cut UNM's lead to 44-39 on a Ventress trey. UNM's 10-point lead had been cut in half. It was UNM's turn to call a time out at the 11:43 mark.

Torrance came back in at the 11:03 mark. UNM went up 46-39 on an Erskine layup. TCU continued to go to Ventress, who continued to force shots. She had 15 points at that mark, but was 4-of-15 from the floor.

TCU pulled to 46-41 on a layup by Meagan Henson at 8:49. UNM turned the ball over and Thompson was fouled on a drive, but missed both free shots. The Lobos were up 7:40 at the media break. Torrance stayed on the UNM bench.

The Lobos got a free throw by Jackson, but TCU cut the lead to 47-45 and Torrance came back on the court. UNM missed a couple of shots and TCU ran setting up Ventress for a trey. The Frog freshman drilled it to give the Frogs their first lead of the second half at 48-47.

Durbin got fouled at 5:33 and hit the front end of a one-and-one to form a 48-all tie. TCU came down and TCU's Colbert scored inside over a cautious Torrance: 50-48. Torrance went back to the bench at 4:50. TCU got a single free throw from Colbert at 4:35 and TCU was up 51-48.

UNM's Nnaji missed a one-and-one at 4:11, but UNM got two offensive put backs that failed to drop. At the 3:48 media stop, TCU was still up 51-48. Ventress came out of the TCU huddle looking at a one-and-one, but missed.

TCU used the free-throw line to go up 52-48, making one of two. The Lobos turned it over and then TCU got a big bucket inside from Briesha Wynn, who followed her miss for a layup and a 54-48 TCU lead. UNM and TCU then both missed offensive chances and Torrance scored with 55 seconds to play to pull the Lobos to 54-50.

The Lobos needed a turnover or a quick foul to push TCU to the line. UNM's Jamie Parker fouled with 54 ticks to go and Wynn went to the line. She made the first: 55-50, but TCU got the long rebound on the second shot. UNM had to foul again and TCU's Henson made two: 57-50.

Jackson drove and scored for UNM (57-52), but Henson again hit her free throws and UNM was down 59-52 with 37 seconds to go. TCU used the line to coast in for the 63-52 win.

First Half: New Mexico Lobos 28, TCU Horned Frogs 25

The Lobos had a good shooting first half hitting at a 52.4 percentage. TCU wasn't so good at 31 percent, but the Frogs were only down three points. UNM had a 21-13 lead, before TCU closed out the half outscoring the Lobos 12-7.

Torrance led UNM with 11 points and five boards inside. Jayme Jackson had five assists. Durbin had eight points with four turnovers. TCU limited UNM to six shots from 3-point range, but UNM knocked down three of them: two by Durbin and one by Nelson. Torrance was 4-of-4 from the field.

TCU got seven points from Ventress, six from Thompson and five boards from Latricia Lovings.

UNM jumped up 2-0 on an inside move by Torrance off a Rhoades assist. UNM got back-to-back buckets from Durbin to go up 7-3 after TCU went up 3-2. At the 15:46 break, UNM was up 7-5, shooting 3-of-4 from the field. TCU was 2-of-7 shooting.

Torrance came out of the UNM huddle looking at two free throws. She made them both and UNM was up 9-5. TCU got a 3-point play from Antoinette Thompson, who beat Nnaji on a drive and got fouled: 9-8 at the 14:31 mark.

UNM's Nelson hit a 3-pointer to make it 12-8 and Erskine hit a baseline shot to make it 14-8. TCU scored, but Durbin answered with a trey and UNM carried a 17-10 lead into the 11:46 media break. TCU cut UNM's lead to 17-13 on a trey, but UNM got back-to-back buckets from Jackson and Erskine to go up 21-13.

TCU then went on a 5-0 spurt to cut UNM's lead to 21-18 and Sanchez called for a time out with 7:06 left in the half. UNM was shooting 66.7 percent from the floor at that mark. UNM came out of the break and TCU came up with a steal that led to a layup by Delisa Gross. TCU was down 21-20 at the 6:52 media break.

UNM's Erskine missed a 3-ball, but Torrance got the rebound and scored to raise UNM to a 23-20 lead. Torrance scored again inside off a Jackson assist. The 25-20 lead convinced TCU to burn a time out with 5:04 to play. TCU's Whitney Williams hit a trey at 4:26 to pull to 25-23. That count held up going into the 4:03 media break.

TCU had a couple of nice looks inside, but missed. The Frogs' Natalie Ventress finally formed a 25-all tie at 2:39 going to the line off a foul by Nelson. Jackson got the ball inside to Torrance, who got the layup and a 27-25 UNM lead. Torrance was fouled at the 1:01 mark and made one to produce a 28-25 Lobo lead. That score held up to form the halftime count of 28-25.