Playing at one of the toughest arena's in college basketball, BYU lost a close call to New Mexico 58-52, Thursday. The loss drops the Cougars to 10-6, 1-2 for the season. New Mexico improves to 13-4, 2-1.
Jennifer Leitner, a junior, led the Cougars with 15 points on 6-6 shooting from the foul line and contributed eight rebounds. Senior Stacy Jensen scored 12 points. Erin Thorn and Melanie Pearson chipped in 8 points a piece.
The first half was played close, but the Lobos took the lead as BYU went scoreless during a seven minute drought. The Cougars scored seven points in the final two minutes of the half to bring the score within five, 30-25.
"You can't have big droughts on the road in conference play and expect to win," said head coach Jeff Judkins.
The Cougars went cold in the second half making only 25 percent from the field, shooting 7-28. Free throws were the difference in the game as the Lobos had 26 attempts compared to only 14 for BYU.
"I was pleased with our defensive effort," said Judkins. "We had good looks but missed a lot of open shots."
Three New Mexico players scored in double figures led by Mandi Moore's 12 points and nine rebounds.
BYU shot 33 percent from the field for the game but only 26 percent from behind arc. New Mexico shot only 34 percent from the floor and 30 percent from the behind the arc. The Cougars committed 17 turnovers and only had seven assists.
The Cougars continue their conference road trip on Saturday at Air Force (4-11, 0-2) at noon MT. The next home game for the Cougars is Saturday, January 31 with a 7 p.m. tip-off at the Marriott Center.