Throughout its young season, the UA women's basketball team defeated its opponents with near-perfect free-throw shooting.
Last night, the Wildcats fell victim to their own game, losing to New Mexico 75-67 at the Pit in Albuquerque, N.M., as the Lobos hit 26 of 31 attempts from the free-throw line.
New Mexico, led by freshmen Mandi Moore and Lindsey Arndt, managed to overcome a 10-point second-half deficit to hand the Wildcats their first loss of the season.
Moore, a 5-foot-7 point guard from Canyon, Texas, hit 9-of-10 free throws in the final 2:20 to help lead the Lobos' comeback.
New Mexico's Arndt, an Albuquerque native, set career-highs with 17 points and 14 rebounds in the win. The forward scored on three consecutive possessions to give the Lobos a 61-56 lead, one they would not relinquish. Arndt - who added four assists - averaged just under five points per game in UNM's three previous contests.
Arndt's spark underneath the boards helped the undersized Lobos out-rebound the Wildcats, 52-35, despite the fact that the Wildcats start three players - junior guard Krista Warren, senior center LaKeisha Taylor and senior forward Elizabeth Pickney - that stand more than 6 feet tall.
Arizona didn't do much to help its own cause, either.
The Wildcats went quiet in the second half from the field, missing all six three-point attempts after hitting 4-of-6 three-pointers in the first half.
A 19-6 New Mexico run during a five-minute span in the second half showcased Arizona's weaknesses on both ends of the floor. UA finished the night with 22 turnovers and 37 percent (22 for 60) shooting from the field.
Pickney led the Wildcats with 17 points and eight rebounds. Taylor and Warren combined to score 21 points in the loss.
The loss was a letdown for the surging Wildcats, who knocked off defending NCAA National Champion Notre Dame 72-70 on Saturday when Pickney hit a last-second shot.
Arizona returns to action this weekend when it plays host to the Arizona Basketball Classic in McKale Center. The Wildcats will take on Holy Cross at 8 p.m. Friday and play either Pittsburgh or Wisconsin Sunday.