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Lobos Fall to UAB in Las Vegas Invitational Opener

by Steve Kirkland

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The New Mexico men’s basketball team fell 86-73 to UAB in the opener of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational on Thursday at Orleans Arena. The Lobos (4-2) and Blazers (5-1) were tied with five minutes to play before UAB closed out the game on a 18-5 run to get the win.

Jamal Mashburn scored 19 of his career-high 26 points in the second half to lead the Lobos. Javonte Johnson had 13 points and Jaelen House added 12 points and five assists.

HOW IT HAPPENED
The first half remained close until UAB used an 11-0 run to take a 31-21 lead with just under 6:00 to go in the first half. The Lobos answered with an 8-0 run of their own to get within two before UAB pushed the advantage to 42-37 at the break. Johnson had 10 first half points on 4-of-4 shooting.

UAB led in the second half until the Lobos used an 8-0 run to take a 52-50 lead with 12:45 to play. The teams traded the lead over the next few minutes and the game was tied 68-68 with 5:00 to play. UAB used a late 13-2 run to take an 81-70 lead with 1:24 to play and closed out the 86-73 win.

LOBO NOTES
• Mashburn has scored in double figures in nine consecutive games, dating back to last season at Minnesota
• Mashburn had his third career 20-point game, all this season
• House has scored in double figures in every game he has played in this season
• Johnson scored in double figures for the fourth time in the past five games
• Saquan Singleton made his season debut and scored eight points
• Birima Seck scored his first collegiate points
• The Lobos repeated a starting lineup for the first time this season (same lineup started vs. Montana State)

QUOTABLE
“We did a lot of really good things and we were right there. We clearly had a bad couple of minutes where it got away from us. We were not disciplined for 40 minutes. I thought we played hard. I thought we wanted it. It felt different than the Colorado game. Our guys were engaged but our discipline broke down. That’s a big, strong team. That is a team that is picked to win their league and have a lot of key guys back and some good transfers. In our two losses, we have been right there. We won close games against Montana State and FAU, so we have done it. We just have to find a way to stay confident, to stay positive and to stay disciplined through adversity. We have to have a short memory. Not a lot of our guys have played in an environment where you have to be ready to play the next day.” – Head Coach Richard Pitino

UP NEXT
The Lobos will play either San Francisco or Towson in the consolation game of the Las Vegas Invitational on Friday. The game will tip off at 7 pm MT (6 pm PT) and air on FS2.