Open Announce

#11 Lobos Make it Rain from Deep; Nearly Upset #6 Fresno State in MW First Round

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The 11th-seed University of New Mexico men’s basketball team nearly upset sixth-seed Fresno State on Wednesday night in the first round of the 2021 Air Force Reserve Mountain West Tournament. The Lobos racked up a season-most 12 threes but ultimately fell 85-77 in head coach Paul Weir’s final contest at the helm of the Lobos.

New Mexico (6-16) was led by sophomore Jeremiah Francis III who posted a career-high 19 points, connecting on 6-of-8 from the floor while going a perfect 4-for-4 from deep. Francis III struggled from the floor for much of the season but found his footing when it counted in his final game of his inaugural season as a Lobo.

Francis was followed by senior Makuach Maluach who collected 16 points to total 1,308 career points, ranking 17th in Lobo program scoring history.

The pair led four players to score in double figures on the night including freshmen Isaiah Marin (13) and sophomore Javonté Johnson (10). Marin also netted four triples on the night.

The Lobos led by as many as 10 after an 11-0 scoring run in the first half but Fresno State (12-11) made a comeback in the second half with a 10-0 run to take a 15-point lead. The Lobo run included triples from Marin and sophomore Logan Padgett.

The Bulldogs had five players score in double figures while two players reached double-doubles.

Fresno State shot a blistering 58.7 percent from the floor to UNM’s 41.1 percent however, it was the Lobos that shined from beyond the arc shooting 42.9 percent from three.

In the game that saw 17 lead changes, New Mexico led by one at the half, 35-34.

Just 2:15 into the second half, Maluach collected his fourth foul. He eventually posted his fifth along with two other Lobos, Marin and sophomore Emmanuel Kuac. All three fouled out as Fresno State began to grow its lead.

Wednesday’s game marks the end of the 2020-21 season for the Lobo men’s basketball team, as well as the Paul Weir era.

Postgame Notes

  • The Bulldogs now lead the series between the teams 18-17.
  • The series is now tied in neutral contests, 2-2.


  • The loss marks the final game at the helm of the Lobos for head coach Paul Weir.
  • The Lobos featured a small lineup for the second game new lineup, going a significantly smaller route. New Mexico started freshman Isaiah Marin, junior Saquan Singleton, senior Makuach Maluach, sophomore Jeremiah Francis III and freshman Javonté Johnson.
  • Four of UNM’s 10 men on the court were walkons for the second straight game.
  • New Mexico hit a season-high 12 threes on the night.
  • Four Lobos scored in double figures on the night including Francis, Maluach, Marin and Johnson.


  • Senior Makuach Maluach registered his 78th career start while competing in his 121st career game.
    • He now posts 1,308. career points, ranking 17th in Lobo all-time scoring history.
    • Maluach went 11-for-12 from the stripe.
  • Sophomore Jeremiah Francis III posted a career-high 19 points on the night
    • He went a perfect 4-for-4 from 3-point range and 6-for-8 from the field.
  • Through three seasons, redshirt-junior Clay Patterson made his first appearance in a Mountain West Tournament contest.