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UNM women's team absorbs first loss in Italy

Staff report

ROME, Italy — The University of New Mexico women’s basketball team suffered its first loss during its tour of Italy on Tuesday, with the Netherlands National Team scoring a 53-44 victory in an exhibition game.

The two teams face off again at 6:30 p.m. today (10:30 a.m. MDT), with the Lobos returning home on Thursday morning.

Netherlands dominated the fourth quarter, outscoring UNM 14-0 over an eight-minute span to take a 53-42 lead with a minute left.

Senior and Clovis native Antiesha Brown had a fast-break layup with 50 seconds left to stop the game-turning run for the Dutch, but UNM got no closer.

“You can tell they’re a very good team, and they practice year-round,” UNM coach Yvonne Sanchez said of the Dutch team. “It’s a good experience for us. Again, I’m going to play everybody to see what kind of roles people are going to fill (this season).”

The Netherlands’ Natalie Van Den Adei led all scorers with 20 points, while Khadijah Shumpert had eight of her team-high 13 points in the third quarter. Kianna Keller scored nine points, all in the first half, for UNM.

“Kianna Keller, I thought she had an exceptional game today,” Sanchez said. “The kids are learning. It was good to take away the positive things we’ve done. Obviously, we have a lot of things we have to work on. But it’s August. That’s the way we want to play in February or March — like them (Netherlands).”