Yellow light: UNM women's offense sputters in loss to Boise State

Jan. 6—Yellow did not prove to be a power color for the UNM women's basketball team on Saturday.

Sporting special New Mexico flag-themed uniforms, the Lobos struggled to find any offensive rhythm and ended up on the wrong end of a 64-56 outcome against Boise State in front of 5,715 fans at the Pit.

Aniyah Augmon scored 15 points to lead the Lobos, who managed to keep things close throughout despite ice-cold shooting and more than a few unforced turnovers. Boise State led just 56-52 with 5:24 remaining.

But the Lobos' offense continued to misfire at crunch time. Paula Reus missed a layup, Vianè Cumber missed a wide-open 3-point shot, Nyah Wilson missed a breakaway layup after a steal, and Augmon dribbled the ball off her foot for turnover — all within the game's final 2:43.

Boise State did not shoot or play all that much better but did hit three more 3-pointers, which proved to be the difference. The Broncos were 11-for-29 from long range, while the Lobos went 8-for-29.

"Offensively, that was it," UNM coach Mike Bradbury said, "we didn't make enough shots. Defensively, we gave up probably five 3's in transition, which is something we've been really good defending until today. That was probably the biggest difference and it's something we have to correct."

Dani Bayes scored 21 points for Boise State (10-6, 1-2 Mountain West), while Mia Hansen added 13. The Broncos' two starting guards combined for eight 3-pointers, several of them coming on wide-open looks.

UNM effectively shut down BSU's top two scorers, Natalie Pasco and post Abby Muse, who scored just five points apiece. But Bayes and Hansen more than made up for it.

"I don't know if (Bayes) surprised us because this is a good league and everyone can score," Wilson said. "We were really focused on stopping (Pasco) and (Bayes) was just on. It was her night."

Wilson finished with 11 points and went 3-for-4 from 3-point range, but the Lobos' top perimeter threats never found the range against Boise State's switching man-to-man and zone defenses. Cumber went 2-for-12 from deep and scored 10 points. Reus was 3-for-11 from the field and scored nine of her 11 points in the first half.

"Shots weren't falling," Augmon said, "and our transition defense needed to be better. In a game like that, giving up transition 3's really hurts."

The Lobos (10-5, 1-1) did an effective job defending the paint against the taller Broncos. In fact, Boise State did not score any points in the paint in the first half, but UNM was little better and managed only two.

The visitors were able to compensate with perimeter shooting. The Broncos' first six field goals were 3-pointers, helping them build an 18-9 lead early in the second quarter. UNM rallied to tie the score at 20 on a Reus 3-pointer, but Boise State regained a 28-25 lead by halftime.

Augmon quickly evened things at 28 with a three-point play to start the second half, but the Lobos never managed to take the lead. The Broncos led 47-40 after three quarters and hit enough key shots to fight off every UNM comeback attempt.

"I never felt like we were out of it," Bradbury said. "We'd cut the lead to four and get the ball inside and miss a layup. When that happens and then (the Broncos) hit a 3-pointer on the other end, it's really deflating."

UNM held its own on the boards (BSU held a 36-34 edge) and outscored the Broncos 24-16 in the paint. But the Lobos got no production from their bench, which was outscored 12-0 by Boise State's reserves.

New Mexico was also a player short on the bench as sophomore Jaelyn Bates missed the game due to illness, Bradbury said.

The Lobos will attempt to bounce back Wednesday with a 7 p.m. home game against Utah State.


BOISE STATE (10-6, 1-2 Mountain West): Lalotte 4-7 0-0 8, Pasco 1-11 2-2 5, Muse 2-3 1-1 5, Hansen 5-8 0-0 13, Bayes 8-15 0-0 21, Burgess 2-3 0-0 5, Thompson 2-6 0-0 4, Hull 0-1 0-0 0, Christensen 0-3 0-0 0, Lovrovich 1-3 0-0 3. Totals: 25-60 3-3 64.

NEW MEXICO (10-5, 1-1): Reus 3-11 3-4 11, Kohl 3-5 3-4 9, Wilson 4-8 0-0 11, Augmon 6-13 2-2 15, Cumber 4-14 0-0 10, Langermann 0-1 0-0 0, Lauro 0-2 0-0 0, Joaquim 0-0 0-0 0, Curtis 0-0 0-0 0, Diarra Berthe 0-3 0-0 0. Totals: 20-57 8-10 56.

Boise State 12 16 19 17 — 64

New Mexico 9 16 15 16 — 56

3-point FGs: BSU 11-29 (Pasco 1-6, Hansen 3-6, Bayes 5-11, Burgess 1-2, Thompson 0-2, Christensen 0-1, Lovrovich 1-1); UNM 8-29 (Reus 2-5, Kohl 0-1, Wilson 3-4, Augmon 1-4, Cumber 2-12, Langermann 0-1, Diarra Berthe 0-2). Rebounds: BSU 36 (Lalotte 3, Pasco 5, Muse 2, Hansen 5, Bayes 5, Burgess, Thompson 3, Hull 6, Christensen 2, Lovrovich); UNM 34 (Reus 5, Kohl 10, Wilson 2, Augmon 5, Cumber 4, Langermann, Joaquim). Assists: BSU 15 (Lalotte, Pasco 3, Hansen 8, Burgess, Thompson, Lovrovich); UNM 13 (Reus 3, Wilson 2, Augmon 5, Cumber 2, Langermann). Steals: BSU 9 (Lalotte 2, Pasco 2, Hansen, Thompson, Hull 2); UNM 6 (Wilson 2, Augmon 2, Cumber 2). Blocks: BSU 2 (Muse, Christensen); UNM 4 (Kohl 2, Cumber, Lauro). Turnovers: BSU 9, UNM 13. Team fouls: BSU 13, UNM 7. Fouled out: None. Technical fouls: None.