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Lobos Make it Close, Nevada Runs Away in Final Minutes

LUBBOCK, Texas — With a one-point lead with just 4:50 left to play, the University of New Mexico men’s basketball team made it a close one against the Nevada Wolf Pack on Saturday night, but a 15-4 final run by Nevada clinched its victory in an 84-74 final.

The Lobos (3-4, 0-4 MW) showed resilience, stringing together the largest scoring run of the game, 14-0, in the second half, followed later by a 10-0 run for yet another comeback, but Nevada (8-3, 3-1 MW) pulled away with 2:20 left for the win.

UNM had four players score in double figures on the night including redshirt-senior Keith McGee (14), senior Makuach Maluach (13), junior Saquan Singleton (10) and sophomore Jeremiah Francis (10).

The Lobos built a seven-point lead early before Nevada chipped away and took a commanding 13-point lead of its own (35-22) with just 3:25 left in the first half. UNM however, fought back and narrowed the 13-point gap to just three on a 12-2 run over 2:41.

The run was the first of many on the night and was sparked by back-to-back threes from McGee and junior Valdir Manuel. Manuel’s triple was his third of the season.

Nevada opened the second half on a 7-1 run until the Wolf Pack’s momentum was halted by a Maluach three. Maluach scored five straight points to spark UNM’s longest run of the game, 14-0 and the Lobos took a five-point lead (51-46) with 13:20 left. The run included the three from Maluach as well as triples from McGee and freshman Isaiah Marin and three points from junior Saquan Singleton.

The overwhelming 14-0 Lobo run caused Nevada head coach (and former Lobo head coach) Steve Alford to call a timeout.

Out of the huddle, the Wolf Pack’s Kane Milling hit back-to-back threes over a span of 46 seconds to reclaim a one-point lead.

The teams battled over the next two and a half minutes with neither getting a significant advantage but Nevada slowly built another near-double figure lead, nine points (69-60) on yet another Milling three at the 7:33 mark.

UNM once again battled back and went on a 10-0 run over 2:43 to take a one-point lead with 4:50 left on the clock.

Nevada quickly responded with 11 straight points to make it 80-70 with 2:20 left and the Lobos were not able to overcome the deficit.

Nevada just outshot the Lobos 49.0-45.1 percent from the floor and narrowly outrebounded UNM 29-28. The Wolf Pack was led by Grant Sherfield who posted 28 points on the night.

The Lobos remain in Lubbock and will be back in action on Wednesday, Jan. 6 when they host Utah State at Rip Griffin Center on CBS Sports Network at 7 p.m. MT / 8 p.m. CT.

Postgame Notes

  • Nevada now leads the series 10-7 overall
  • Nevada has won the last five straight contests between the squads
  • UNM is 1-9 over the last 10 meetings with the Wolf Pack
  • UNM is now an even 4-4 in “home” contests in series history


  • UNM utilized the same starting lineup for the fourth straight game: Francis, Singleton, Maluach, Brown and Matos
    • It remains the only repeat starting lineup of the season.
  • UNM had four players score in double figures on the night including redshirt-senior Keith McGee (14), senior Makuach Maluach (13), junior Saquan Singleton (10) and sophomore Jeremiah Francis (10)
  • The Lobos used multiple comeback runs to hang in the game on the night (12-2, 14-0, 10-0)
  • Both teams finished shooting just over 45 percent from the floor (UNM: 45.1% / NEV: 49.0%)
  • UNM posted its largest scoring run over the game, 14-0, at 13:20 in the second half
  • The game featured five lead changes and four ties
    • UNM led for 9:01
  • The teams were close in several statistical categories, finishing just one apart in rebounds (29-28), assists (17-16), steals (5-4)
    • Both teams registered 22 points in the paint
    • UNM posted 11 offensive rebounds to eight for Nevada
  • While the Lobos have struggled from the stripe so far this year, UNM shot 77.8 percent from the line in the first half (7-for-9)


  • Redshirt-senior Keith McGee led UNM in scoring for the first time this season with 14 points, going 4-for-10 from behind the arc, 5-for-11 from the floor
    • McGee hit eight points in just eight minutes in the second half
  • Sophomore Jeremiah Francis III registered a UNM career-high 10 points going a near perfect from the free-throw line (7-8)
  • Senior Makuach Maluach led the Lobos in rebounds (6) and assists (5)
    • His 13 points marks his sixth game of the season (out of seven) scoring in double figures
      • 11 of his points came in the second half
    • Saturday’s game marked Maluach’s 106th career game and 63rd straight start