Stevens: Lobos Clawed 77-62 by Houston Cougars

Nov. 30, 2012

New Mexico Lobos Women's Basketball - At Houston Cougars

Friday: Houston Cougars 77, New Mexico Lobos 62
Tuesday: 7 p.m., Cal State Fullerton at New Mexico - The Pit

By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/

Lobo Bryce Owens claims she likes to play in The Pit. But the dynamic Lobo point guard snatched up off Texas soil by Lobo Coach Yvonne Sanchez also is used to doing her thing on Texas ground.

Remember, the freshman point guard from DeSoto, Texas, used to play AAU ball with the Houston Insiders.

Owens did her thing Friday night in Houston scoring 20 points while dishing out six assists and hauling down four rebounds. She got a lot of help on the scoreboard from Caroline Durbin with 17 and Deeva Vaughn with 14.

However, there wasn't enough Lobo help on the scoreboard after that - and not much Lobo defense anywhere -- as the Cougars ran to a convincing 77-62 win over the Lobos.

After Owens, Durbin and Vaughn, UNM got 11 points from the rest of its lineup. Sara Halasz did not score going 0-of-3 from the floor.

"It's disappointing. That's not what we wanted," said Coach Sanchez, who saw her Lobos drop to 6-2 on the year. "We didn't get enough firepower from some of the other people we normally get. They shut them down.

"Offensively, it's great. We have three people in double figures and all, but to give up 77 points ... My thing is the defensive end. We were very disappointing on the defensive end. There is really no excuse.

"We have to get back to work on defense. We'll solve that problem. We'll get it fixed."

Sanchez said her team's goal was to hold Houston to 57 points. UNM missed that by 20. Houston hit 57 with 10:25 left to play.

The Cougars ran to a 10-point halftime lead, fought back a number of Lobo rallies in the second half, and pulled ahead 67-47 with 6:35 to play to cruise to the 15-point win.

"We gave up transition baskets. We gave up unguarded threes," said Sanchez. "We fouled, 23 personal fouls to their 10. Everybody could say, `Well you're on the road and you got hosed a little bit,' but that wasn't the case.

"We didn't slide our feet and guard somebody like we normally do. To give up 77 points is just absolutely disappointing."

The Cougars did shoot 11 more free throws than UNM, but outscored the Lobos by only five at the line. A big stat was Houston shooting 54 percent to UNM's 39 percent and getting 24 points off the bench while UNM subs contributed seven points.

Houston got 22 points from Marissa Ashton, 18 points from Marche Amerson and 15 points and seven assists from Porsche Landry. Houston outscored UNM 30-to-20 in the paint. Ashton came off the bench to go 8-of-13 from the floor and 6-of-9 from 3-point range. Her long bombs were a dagger to UNM rallies all night.

"We didn't guard her," said Sanchez. "One kid beat us from three. We didn't guard the player on the scouting report that we deemed the shooter. She torched us.

"I'm not happy at all. It's not a good effort on our part. The overall effort, we have to get better at and we will."

One of the few stat lines the Lobos won was on the glass - a 34-to-32 lean toward New Mexico. The Lobos shot well from 3-point range, 6-of-16, but the Cougars shot 8-of-17.

Second Half: Houston 40, New Mexico 35

The Lobos came out of the locker room down 37-27 and quickly cut that gap to 39-33 on a layup by Vaughn. Houston called for time. At the 15:48 mark, UNM was down 43-36.

The Cougars then rolled out of transition to score twice inside and jumped up by 11. Sanchez burned a timeout. Houston's Landry put the Cougars up by 13 on a fast-break layup: 51-38 at the 13:03 mark.

The Lobos continued to have trouble with the quick Cougars and with Ashton on the edge. Ashton hit a trey for Houston followed by an Owens' bucket and Houston took a 54-44 lead into the 10:54 break. An Ashton trey pushed Houston back up 54-46.

A Houston layup after breaking UNM's press pushed UNM into a 14-point hole: 61-47.

At the 7:40 mark, Thompson hit a single free throw to hand Houston its biggest lead of the game up to that point, 15 points at 62-47. The hole got bigger for UNM.

Peacock missed a trey and Houston's Campbell scored inside and was fouled: 64-47. Ashton probably delivered the decisive dagger with another trey. Houston was up by 20, 67-47 with 6:35 to play.

Durbin hit a jumper and a trey to cut UNM's hole to 67-52, but when Sanchez called time with 5:24 to play, Houston was up 68-52.

It just wasn't meant to be the Lobos' night. Landry scored twice and the Cougars went up 72-54 with 4:22 to play. The Lobos were running out of time and were not making enough defensive stops on the quick Cougars.

First Half: Houston Cougars 37, New Mexico Lobos 27

The Lobos last had a lead at the 16:50 mark - 5-4. Houston used too many Lobo turnovers to keep the lead the rest of the half. A Halasz turnover at the 1:11 mark led to a trey by Houston's Marissa Ashton and the Cougars were up 35-27. Houston closed the half with a 9-2 run to turn a 28-25 score into a 37-27 Houston lead.

UNM got 10 points apiece from Owens and Durbin. Amerson scored 12 for Houston.