To close out the week after facing Eastern New Mexico on Tuesday, the Western New Mexico University women’s basketball team will host Texas Woman’s University this Saturday at 2 p.m. inside Drag’s Court.
The Pioneers are 5-5 overall and 2-2 in conference play with wins over Texas A&M-Kingsville and UT Permian Basin, while they were defeated by Angelo State and West Texas A&M. They are 1-2 away from home in true road games and will face Eastern New Mexico in Portales tonight (Thursday).
The Lady Mustangs (0-13, 0-5 LSC) picked up another solid game from junior Ciara Fields on Tuesday as she went for a game-high 19 points. Senior Jade Botelho and junior Takiyah Lopez added eight points apiece.
Fields leads the team at 11.6 points per game, while also grabbing nearly four rebounds, 14 steals and four blocks. Freshman Cassandra Vickery is second in scoring at 9.5 per game, while Lopez is third at 8.8 per contest. Lopez leads the team with 21 three-pointers, while freshman Rachel Francisco leads in assists with 22. Senior Melody McLaughlin has come away with 26 steals this year to lead the squad. WNMU averages nearly 54 points per game and allows nearly 74 points, making 34 percent from the field and opponents are at 45 percent.
WNMU ranks in the top-three in the LSC in a few categories including second and 84th nationally in free throw percentage (73), second in three point field goals attempted (270) and third in steals (115). Individually, Fields is third in free throw percentage (79) and fourth in free throws made (44), McLaughlin is third in total steals and fourth in steals per game (2.17), Lopez is fifth in three point field goals made.
Last year, Texas Woman’s took both matchups winning the first meeting in Denton (75-46) and the later meeting in Silver City (78-52). Jordan Gutierrez and junior Megan Looney had big games for the Lady Mustangs in Denton last season with Gutierrez going for 17 points and Looney adding 16 points and 13 rebounds. In the rematch in Silver City, Gutierrez, Botelho and Keshaun Clark all scored in double-figures with Gutierrez tallying 11 points and both Botelho and Clark at 10 points apiece.
Alexis Nezianya paces the Pioneers averaging 12.6 points per game, she also leads the way with 8.8 rebounds and 12 blocks. Grace Mitchell adds 8.7 points, KJ Stastny at 8.2 and Bri’anna Gray adds 8.0 points per contest. Stastny has 28 assists and Mitchell has 14 steals. They average 63 points per game and allow 65 points, making 40 percent from the field and allowing 39 percent.
After Saturday’s game, WNMU will hit the road next week to face Midwestern State and Cameron.