Lobos Overpowered by Utah State Wednesday
LUBBOCK, Texas — The University of New Mexico men’s basketball team dropped its fifth straight game on Wednesday night as the Utah State Aggies continued their win streak, putting together an 18-0 run in the final minutes of the game for a commanding 77-45 victory.
The Lobos (3-5, 0-5 MW) were led for the sixth time this season in scoring by senior Makuach Maluach who was the only Lobo to register double figures with 10 points. He also led UNM in rebounds with five.
Utah State (8-3, 5-0 MW) collected its seventh straight victory on the night and remained undefeated in Mountain West play. The Aggies were led by three players in double figures including Neemias Queta who scored 18 points, going 9-for-10 from the field, while posting a team-best six boards.
Both teams started out strong on defense, neither allowing the other to score until the 16:48 mark when Utah State registered its first points for a 2-0 lead. The Aggies were up 4-0 before junior Rod Brown scored the first Lobo points at the 15:45 mark on a pair of free throws to again make it a two-point game.
UNM went on a 9-0 run shortly thereafter when sophomore Jeremiah Francis III sparked back-to-back-to-back Lobo three pointers. He was followed by a pair from behind the arc from senior Keith McGee and the duo combined for nine points in just 1:38 to take an 11-6 lead at the 13:15 mark.
The five-point lead marked the largest of the night for UNM as Utah State immediately responded with a 5-0 run that tied the score at 11-11. The Aggies didn’t stop there.
The 5-0 run evolved into a 35-7 run to close out the half with New Mexico trailing by 23 points (41-18).
The Lobos matched the Aggies for three quarters of the second half but could not make headway on the deficit as Utah State led by 24 points with 5:11 left. Utah State finished with an 18-0 run, ended by a pair of free throws by Lobo freshman Javonté Johnson with 26 seconds left.
The Lobos were outshot on the night 49.1-26.8 percent from the floor and a much more narrow 25.0-23.8 percent from behind the arc. Utah State, which has outrebounded all of its opponents so far this season, outrebounded the Lobos 41-29.
Utah State dominated the paint with 46 points to UNM’s 12.
After a day of rest and some brief time to regroup, the teams are scheduled to rematch on Friday, Jan. 8 in Lubbock, Texas at 7 p.m. MT / 8 p.m. CT. Fans will be able to watch the game on FS1.
- Utah State now leads the series 28-12 overall
- Utah State is 2-0 in the last two meetings
- UNM’s last win in the series was on Feb. 29, 2020
- UNM utilized its fifth starting lineup of the season after going four straight games with the same lineup.
- Freshman Isaiah Marin started at the point guard position marking his first career start.
- The Lobos registered just 18 points in the first half, marking the first time since Dec. 20, 2016 that UNM has shot less than 20 points in the first half. That game was at Arizona.
- Four Lobos logged 20+ minutes on the night including redshirt-freshman Bayron Matos, junior Rod Brown, senior Makuach Maluach and redshirt-senior Keith McGee.
- Maluach led all Lobos with 26 minutes
- Two Lobos went near perfect from the free throw line as redshirt-junior Rod Brown and junior Saquan Singleton both went 3-for-4 from the stripe.
- Freshman Isaiah Marin earned his first career start
- Senior Makuach Maluach started his 64th career contest
- He also competed in his 107th career game
- With his seven points, he now posts 1,070 career points surpassing former Lobo great Chad Toppert (1,067)
- He now ranks 29th in UNM program history for most career points
- Maluach also led UNM on the night in rebounds with 5
- It marks the fourth time this season he has led UNM in rebounds, the 12th time in his career.
- Senior Keith McGee led the Lobos in scoring for the second straight game of the season with his second double-digit scoring game of the season (25th of his UNM career).
- He scored 10 points
- Junior Valdir Manuel collected three blocks on the night, a new UNM career high.