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Weir's Lobos Shine in BYU Charity Exhibition

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The energy in Dreamstyle Arena – The Pit was electric on Friday night as the new-look Lobos took to Bob King Court for the first time under first-year head coach Paul Weir. Nearly 5,000 fans filled the chairbacks for the charity exhibition that saw the Lobos fall to former rival BYU by just six points in the final minute, 79-73.

In a match that was tied 12 times with 12 lead changes, the squads were tied with 4:13 left to play at 67-67. The Cougars went up by as much as five with 2:18 left until the Lobos came back with a fury on a pair of driving layups by senior Sam Logwood, making it 73-72 in favor of the visitors with 1:06 left.

From there it was a series of unfortunate events that would ultimately allow the Cougars to go 6-for-7 from the free throw line over the final stretch to claim the six-point victory. 

Overall, the Lobos shot 37.1 percent from the field (26-70) compared to 51.9 percent (27-52) for BYU. The Lobos also shot 17.9 percent from three and 66.7 percent from the line. UNM played aggressively, dominating the Cougars in steals 13-5 while forcing 23 turnovers and committing just 12.

“I think, outside of the three-point shooting percentage, we played a pretty good basketball game,” head coach Paul Weir said. “I thought the atmosphere was terrific. I thought (the fans’) volume was great and I felt it for sure. It was a really neat game and I’m really thankful for all the people that gave us a chance.”

Logwood led the Lobos with 23 points, despite finishing the last six minutes with four fouls. Logwood went 8-for-15 from the field, 7-for-11 from the stripe while collecting six rebounds and a pair of steals.

Also a key contributor Friday was fellow senior Joe Furstinger who not only registered the second-most points for UNM (9), but the forward also tallied his first shot from downtown since his freshman year (counting official games). He has only attempted 11 shots in his career from the three-point line and was 1-for-3 on the night. Furstinger was eliminated with 5:06 left in the game on his fifth personal foul.

The Lobo offense was well spread, with transfers Troy Simons and Antino Jackson putting up eight points apiece and juniors Chris McNeal and Anthony Mathis adding seven each.

Leading BYU was Yoelie Childs who posted a double-double on the night with 17 points and 19 rebounds. Childs was one of four Cougars to hit double-digit scoring on the night.

The teams remained close all game both in score, and in statistics, however BYU did have a significant advantage in rebounds, 48-33. BYU had a slight edge in points in the paint (40-34) and points off of turnovers (18-17) while the Lobos came out on top in second-chance points (11-10) and bench points (23-21). Both teams finished with 12 fast-break points.

While there were several key Lobo highlights that lit up the arena, one of which included a Mathis three with 3:39 left in the first half to cut the once 10-point deficit to just two nearing the break. At the end of the half and down by one, Simons snatched a last-second rebound and immediately put it back up at the buzzer to thrill the crowd. The referees originally counted the shot, putting the Lobos up by one at halftime, but as the teams were clearing the court the officials changed the ruling, sending the teams into the half with UNM down one.

The Lobos are set to officially open the 2017-18 season on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. as they host Northern New Mexico. The Lobos will play three of their first four matches at home at Dreamstyle Arena.