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New Mexico Rallies to Top Visiting Mustangs 84-68

New Mexico Rallies to Top Visiting Mustangs 84-68

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Led by a career-high 27-point night from junior forward Khadijah Shumpert, the New Mexico women's basketball team came from behind for an 84-68 win over Cal Poly in front of a crowd of 4,869 at The Pit on Thursday.

To start the middle of their three-game northbound road trip through the region, the Mustangs held a steady lead throughout nearly the entire first half. It crested at 36-28 with 3:14 to go until the break, but the Lobos closed on a 9-0 run, going up for the first time two minutes later, at 37-36 on a pair of free throws.

After the teams exchanged baskets with a slight UNM lead, junior point guard Lisa Marie Sanchez cut the gap to 57-52 on a layup at the 9:29 mark.

The Lobos — who earlier this year only lost to then-No. 5 Stanford 70-65 — re-asserted themselves from there, though, as Shumpert went 10-for-13 while also grabbing 12 rebounds.

Cal Poly fought almost the whole game without its leading rebounder, senior power forward Taryn Garza, who had to leave after taking a blow to the head just two minutes in.

Ariana Elegado led Cal Poly with a season-high 24 points, plus a game-best five assists. The senior guard was 7-for-10 on 3-pointers, three off the all-time single-game program record for makes.

Now a combined 11-of-17 from long range over her past two games, Elegado has moved to No. 10 in Big West Conference history in career 3s made, with a school-record total of exactly 200.

Fellow senior guard Kristen Ale also added 14 points, four rebounds and four assists for the Mustangs.

Sophomore forward Rachel Koehler continued her solid play of late, rewriting her career highs for the second game in a row — this time with eight points and 10 boards (six of which came on the offensive end) in 23 backup minutes.

The Mustangs' week-long itinerary will finish at defending Mountain West champion Colorado State (7-3) in Fort Collins' Moby Arena at 1 p.m. PST Sunday.