ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - In its final game of the regular season, the Air Force women's basketball team dropped a 65-59 decision to New Mexico Saturday afternoon in The Pit.
Junior Cherae Medina (Denver, Colo.) led the Falcons' offense, scoring 15 points, while senior captain Katie Hilbig (Castle Rock, Colo.) registered her second-straight double-double, finishing with 11 points and 13 rebounds. For the Lobos, Deeva Vaughn led the way with 23 points and 14 rebounds.
Air Force, which shot 50 percent from the field in the opening half, led by as many as six points in the first half, earning a 23-17 advantage with 3:09 on the clock. However, after the Lobos called a timeout, they went on a 10-0 run to take their first lead of the game and went into the half with a 27-25 advantage.
Senior Dymond James (Brambleton, Va.) scored the Falcons' first six points of the second half, as Air Force went back on top. The Falcons extended their lead to 44-34 with 11:41 remaining with a pair of free throws from Missy Byrd (Fr., Decatur, Ga.), but the Lobos began to rally back, eventually tying the score at 50-50 with just over six minutes to play.
While Air Force regained its advantage following a three-pointer by Medina and a bucket from Hilbig, New Mexico put together another 10-0 run over the next five minutes. The Lobos iced the game at the free throw line, leading by as many as nine before Alicia Leipprandt (Sr., Ubly, Mich.) knocked down a three-pointer with a second remaining.
The Falcons now get set to head to the 2013 Reese's Mountain West Championship, being held March 12-16 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev. In the first round, Air Force will face Nevada, with the tip scheduled for Tuesday, March 12, at 7:30 p.m.