Open Announce

New Mexico Downed by Towson to Conclude Las Vegas Invitational

by Steve Kirkland

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The New Mexico men’s basketball team wrapped up play at the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational with a 73-58 loss to Towson in a consolation game Friday night at the Orleans Arena. The Lobos (4-3) fell behind early by double digits and couldn’t mount a rally against the Tigers (4-3).

Jamal Mashburn, Jr. led the Lobos with 26 points, matching the career high he set a day earlier against UAB. Taryn Todd was the only other Lobo in double figure with 14 points as New Mexico was held to a season-low 58 points and 32.3 percent shooting from the floor.

The Lobos got off to a slow start, missing their first seven field goal attempts as Towson took an early 12-0 lead. The Tigers pushed the lead to 28-8 with 8:45 to play in the half before New Mexico fought back to cut the deficit to 42-29 at the break. Mashburn scored 16 in the first half to lead UNM.

Towson pushed the lead back to 20 points at 58-38 with 12:30 to play, but the Lobos could only get within 13 points the rest of the way as the Tigers closed out the 15-point victory.

• Mashburn has scored in double figures in 10 consecutive games, dating back to last season at Minnesota
• Mashburn had his fourth career 20-point game, all this season
• Todd has his third double-figure game of the season
• Emmanuel Kuac made his season debut after missing the first six games due to injury

“We hadn’t had a night yet where we couldn’t make a shot. In our first six games we have had terrific offensive performances. Tonight was the first night where we couldn’t score and our lack of defense and our lack of rebounding caught up to us. That is going to happen and you will not win if you think you can outscore everyone all the time. We clearly have to get tougher. This tournament revealed that we are just not physical enough and not scrappy enough. It is on me and I’m excited to get home and get to work on it. It is going to be a process, and it is going to be painful at times, but we know where we need to grow.” – Head Coach Richard Pitino

The Lobos conclude a three-game road trip on Tuesday with a trip to Las Cruces for the first meeting of a home-and-home series with New Mexico State. The Rio Grande Rivalry returns to The Pit on Dec. 6 as New Mexico begins a six-game homestand that sees them not leave home the entire month of December.