Stevens: Lobos Finish Strong To Crush Huskies 63-46 in The Pit

Nov. 18, 2012

Photo Gallery 

New Mexico Lobos Women's Basketball - In The Pit

Sunday: New Mexico Lobos 63, Houston Baptist 46
Up Next: 7 p.m., Tuesday vs. New Mexico State in The Pit
On The Air: 610-AM KNML with Joe Behrend & Nikki Heckroth

By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/

To some, the Houston Baptist team that lost to UNM by 27 a year ago in Houston and only won one game last season was supposed to be mauled by Lobos in The Pit.

The Huskies were chewed on -- but not until the final six minutes.

The New Mexico Lobos threw out a 19-4 run to break out of a tight 44-42 count at the 6:53 mark. UNM cruised to the 63-46 win that looked a lot prettier on the scoreboard than it did on the court.

"Houston Baptist is not the team they were last year and, quite frankly, neither are we," said Lobo Coach Yvonne Sanchez. "A win's a win. I'm proud of this team. We outscored them 37 to 16 in the second half and that's pretty impressive."

It was really impressive if you consider the first 10:28 and the final 6:53.

The Huskies didn't score a field goal in the second half until Devyn Weymouth made a layup to cut UNM's lead to 39-33. The Huskies only scored four points in the final 6:23. That means Houston Baptist played about 16 minutes of basketball with two field goals.

"We came out strong (in the second half) and came out saying we were going to win every four minutes that we can," said UNM's Sara Halasz, who scored 11 points and hauled down eight boards.

Said Caroline Durbin: "They (Huskies) are so much better. We told them after the game, `You guys played great.'"

Durbin wasn't too shabby either. She had 20 points, 10 boards and three assists in 32 minutes. She started the second-half rally that rolled Houston Baptist out of the Pit. The smooth Lobo scored a layup followed by a 3-pointer to push UNM up 54-44.

"We needed to start with defense," said Durbin of UNM's rally from a 30-26 halftime hole. "In the second half we needed to play with more of a sense of urgency."

Said Sanchez: "They (Lobos) knew they were getting outworked in the first half."

Houston Baptist was paced by Shanice Steenholdt of Roswell, N.M., who had 21 points and a massive 16 boards. She also had two steals, a block and two assists. She was the only Huskie in double figures.

UNM had four players in double digits as Halasz and Durbin were joined by Deeva Vaughn with 11 points and eight boards and Bryce Owens with 11 points, four assists and three steals.

Vaughn did not start the game, but did start the second half.

"Deeva is tough and she is physical," said Sanchez. "She was the one who was getting things rolling in the first half and I thought we needed some confidence. She had a nice game.

"Steenholdt had a terrific game. She is relentless and a heck of a player. I always root for New Mexico kids whether we have them or not."

The Lobos shot 38.3 percent from the field and won the board battle 44-31. The win pushes the Lobos toward a Tuesday Pit battle with New Mexico State. UNM is undefeated on the year at 3-0.

Second Half: New Mexico Lobos 37, Houston Baptist 16

The Lobos lost a 24-17 first-half lead and had to come back from a 30-26 halftime deficit. It took them until the 15:26 mark of the second half to claim a lead at 34-31. That shot was a trey by Durbin. Durbin struck again on a follow of a Vaughn trey and UNM was up 36-31.

The Lobos threatened to pull away based on better defense particularly on Steenholdt. The Huskies didn't score a field goal until the 10:28 mark, a drive by Devyn Weymouth that made it 39-33 in UNM's favor.

The Huskies then made a little run and cut the gap to 40-39 and 42-41. UNM called for time at the 8:26 mark. At the 7:17 media break, UNM was up 44-41. UNM was shooting 26.1 percent at that mark and Houston Baptist was hitting at a 28.6 clip. Steenholdt had only three points in the half.

The Huskies cut the gap down to 44-42 before a UNM steal led to a Vaughn drive and a 46-44 UNM lead. Another Huskie turnover convinced the Huskies to burn a timeout at 5:34. A long trey by Owens gave the Lobos a little breathing room at 49-42. Durbin drove the lane and flipped in a layup: 51-42.

At a 3:09 break, UNM was up 51-44 after Steenholdt scored inside. Durbin continued to be a thorn for the Huskies hitting a baseline trey in front of the UNM bench. UNM's 54-44 lead was huge, especially against a Huskie team that needed to burn time to score out of its half-court offense.

The Lobos continued to run - and roll - pushing to the 63-46 final. UNM finished the game on a 19-4 run.

First Half: Houston Baptist 30, New Mexico Lobos 26

The Lobos scratched to leads of 20-14 and 24-17, before the Huskies went on a 10-0 run to go up 27-24. Houston Baptist took a well-earned four-point lead into the half. UNM shot 41.4 percent in the half and the Huskies shot 40.7 percent. The Huskies had one more trey and went 5-off-12 from the line. UNM did not reach the line in the first 20 minutes.

Durbin and Vaughn had seven points for UNM and Steenholdt had 13 points and eight boards for Houston Baptist.

It was an ugly opening. At the first media break, the Lobos were down 4-2, shooting 1-of-7 (14.3 percent) from the field. Halasz hit the lone bucket. Houston Baptist got two baskets from Steenholdt.

Houston Baptist went up 9-4 and 11-6 off a Steenholdt steal and layup and Sanchez called for time. Her Lobos looked a bit flat. Vaughn came off the bench to hit a trey: 11-9. A Durbin trey finally produced a 12-all tie.

The Lobos then had a little run to pull out of a 14-14 tie. Durbin scored on a short jumper and Vaughn powered inside to make it 18-14. Owens then cut in front of a Houston Baptist pass and went coast-to-coast for a layup. It was 20-14 and Houston Baptist called time. At the 7:29 mark, UNM was shooting 47.4 percent and dominating the boards 13-7.

UNM went up 24-17 on a baseline drive by Halasz, but the Huskies came back to make it 24-23 at a media break at 3:00. The Huskies continued their roll. Steenholdt scored inside on a power move and a trey made it 30-24. Vaughn scored on a drive to cut the gap to 30-26 at the half.