Lobos Top Omaha with Second Straight 100+ Game
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The University of New Mexico men’s basketball team posted its first back-to-back 100+ point games since December 1998 on Tuesday night as the Lobos routed the visiting Omaha Mavericks 103-71 in their Nike N7 game. Junior transfer Troy Simons paced the Lobos with 24 points that included six 3-pointers on the night.
The Nike N7 jersey auction in Dreamstyle Arena raised over $2,500 for the NB3 Foundation and American Indian Student Services (AISS).
Four Lobos scored in double figures including Simons and seniors Antino Jackson (19), Sam Logwood (18) and Joe Furstinger (11). Furstinger’s 11 points marks a new career-best for the senior, who has tallied a previous high of nine points twice in his career, including Saturday’s game against Northern New Mexico. He also tied his career-best in free throws (5) and blocks (4).
Coach Weir earned his 30th career victory on the night as the Lobos improve to 2-0. Omaha falls to 0-3 on the season.
The Lobos opened the game with an 8-0 run over the first 2:30, half which came from Furstinger. Omaha followed with a 7-0 run as the Lobos struggled to find a consistent offensive flow, closing the gap to make it 19-16 UNM midway through the first half.
Alternating scoring droughts for both teams caused the score to remain close through the remainder of the first half, sending UNM into the locker room up by just one, 35-34. The Lobos shot an unimpressive 34.1 percent from the field and 20 percent from 3-point range compared to 37 percent from the floor and 35.7 percent from the arc for the Mavericks.
The second half was another story as the Lobos stormed past Omaha and didn’t look back. In the second half, the Lobos shot 55.6 percent from the field and an outstanding 68.4 percent from 3-point range, hitting 13 triples en route to a 68-point second-half performance while limiting Omaha to just 37 points.
“I thought in the second half, we kept our defensive energy up and our offensive energy ended up coming around,” head coach Paul Weir said. “I was much more pleased with our defensive energy in the second half.
“As far as our style of play, it’s how we want to play and it went the way we wanted to. We were able to shoot the way we wanted to and hopefully we continue playing this way moving forward.”
Simons’s six 3-pointers combined with five from Jackson, three from junior Anthony Mathis, two from junior Chris McNeal and another from freshman Makuach Maluach – his first as a Lobo.
The UNM advantage was held within single digits until midway through the second half when the Lobos pulled away – fast. Sparked by a pair of Furstinger free throws and a three from McNeal, the Lobos took off on a 9-0 run in just one minute, taking a reachable 63-57 game to a 72-57 contest. McNeal’s three was set up after he snagged a steal and, just 10 seconds later, Simons grabbed another steal in the Lobos’ full-court press and posted the layup.
The 15-point lead was stretched to a 30-point blowout with four minutes left, 92-62 on a pair of Logwood free throws. Logwood went 10-for-11 from the stripe on the night, doubling his previous career-best five free throws in a single game.
It was a Jackson three that put the Lobos over 100 with 1:09 left. With seven seconds left on the clock, Omaha’s Alex Allbery hit a three to cut the 35-point Lobo lead to 32 to close the game.
The Lobos are averaging 29.5 turnovers forced per game to start the season to go along with 44.5 field goals and 58.5 bench points. In the last two games, UNM has hit 35 3-pointers, at least 17 per game. Last season, it took nine games to reach that mark.
UNM outrebounded the Mavericks 48-37 including 19-9 offensive boards and forced 26 turnovers on the night.
The Lobos are back in action on Friday night, Nov. 17, as they hit the road for their first game away from The Pit against Coach Weir’s former team, New Mexico State. The Lobos will take on long-time, in-state rival NMSU at 7 p.m.