PHOTO: UNM’s Ahlise Hurst, No. 3, had 39 points on Wednesday (Nov. 28) to lead the Lobos to an 84-80 win against Oklahoma in the Pit.
By George Hronich
For Enchantment Sports
Oh, those freshman guards.
So far, so good for the young University of New Mexico women’s basketball players — and the Lobos (4-1), who took an 84-80 win against Oklahoma (2-4) on Wednesday night in the Pit.
Jayla Everett, from Missouri, was a top-100 prospect by some of the scouting services. She has started all five games so far this season and has led the Lobos in minutes played while averaging 17 points a game.
But on Wednesday, it was another freshman guard — Ahlise Hurst, from Australia — who really rocked the house. The last two games, nail-biters against Houston and Oklahoma, Hurst has joined Everett in the starting line up. On Wednesday, she finished the Sooners by scoring 39 points.
Hurst scored 11 points against Houston, including three treys that either tied the game or gave the Lobos late leads.
Against Oklahoma, she added two steals and drew three charging calls.
Against Oklahoma, Everett had 13 points and four assists in limited time as she appeared to have sprained her ankle and sat for a time. In earlier games, she has made big shots late in the contests.
This gives UNM two young freshmen that so far have not been rattled by pressure in crunch time.
As we have seen in past games and the open scrimmage, Hurst does have a nice shot. And she has international experience playing with Australian national teams. It’s easy to see that she has a good basketball IQ as well as talent and deceptive quickness.
With quick point guard Asia Robertson and a couple other young guards off the bench, this is very likely the deepest, quickest group of backcourt players the women have had.
Some other big numbers in the game Wednesday; graduate transfer Nike McClure had nine blocks and 10 rebounds. She is a defensive presence in the paint with her shot-blocking ability, something the program has not had since Jordan Adams.
Jaisa Nunn had another double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Robertson had 16 assists. She is a quick flashy player that needs to, maybe, pick some better spots for some of the flash, as she also committed nine turnovers.
Early season prognosis is this is the quickest, most balanced team we have had in several years. Good size and quickness in the backcourt.
With Nike joining Jaisa in the post, it gives the Lobos better rebounding and a better defensive presence inside, which should help against some of the bigger teams in the Mountain West.
Coach Mike Bradbury likes to play fast and is assembling a team that can do that, averaging about 80 points a game.
A fun team to watch, my hope is that a lot of the fans come back and get the attendance back in the top five.
The announced crowd was about 5,100 for Oklahoma, and it did get loud. New Mexico State comes to Dreamstyle Arena on Saturday at 2 p.m. Maybe this win over Oklahoma will get a lot more people out for the rivalry game.