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Pioneers Head to New Mexico for the WNIT


March 21, 2019

Women's Basketball 3/20/2019 9:00:00 AM Hunter Yrigoyen

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO – The University of Denver women's basketball team (17-13) begins the WNIT on Thursday with a matchup against the New Mexico Lobos at 7 pm MT. It is just DU's second appearance in the WNIT and third postseason game in the school's DI history, joining the 2012 NIT team and the 2001 NCAA Tournament team.

Second-year head coach Jim Turgeon's team finished the regular season 17-12 and 10-6 in the Summit League prior to falling to North Dakota in the first round of the league tournament back on March 10. Despite the early exit from the tournament, the 2018-19 Pioneers set numerous school records while winning the most games since the 2013-14 season.

DU's offense is one of the best in the country, averaging a blistering 80.6 points per game (ninth in the NCAA) while shooting 39.2 percent from downtown (third in the NCAA). The offense is powered by five players who average double-figures – Madison Nelson (16.0 points per game), Lauren Loven (14.3 points per game) Samantha Romanowski (11.8 points per game), Claire Gritt (10.8 points per game) and Courtney Smith (10.4 points per game). Nelson (second-team selection), Loven (honorable mention) and Romanowski (honorable mention) were all recognized for their performances this season, landing on the postseason all-league teams.

The Pioneers will have a tough test with New Mexico, which holds opponents to just 36.6 percent from the floor (38th in the nation) and 28.9 percent from 3-point range (52nd in the NCAA).

The Lobos (24-6) are coached by Mike Bradbury who is in his third season at the helm. UNM ended the regular season 24-5 overall and 14-4 in the Mountain West before losing 70-61 to San Diego State in the conference tournament. New Mexico's offense is also impressive, averaging 75.4 points per game (31st in the NCAA) while outscoring opponents by an average of 12.0 points per game (33rd in the NCAA). Bradbury's team is led by a pair of stars, Jaisa Nunn and Aisia Robertson who are two of the Mountain West's top players. Nunn averages 17.2 points per game and shoots 57.8 percent from the field (19th in the NCAA). She's also inside the top 100 in the NCAA rebounds per game (48th, 9.5 rpg) and double-doubles (24th, 15 total). Robertson, like Romanowski, is one of the nation's best passer, dishing out 6.6 assists per game (seventh in the NCAA). The junior from San Francisco has totaled 192 assists while recording 68 steals (62nd in the NCAA) on the year. The Lobos will participate in the WNIT for the second-straight season after reaching the third round of last year's tournament.


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