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Lobos Win the Shootout After the Blackout, Downing New Mexico State, 101-94

by Steve Kirkland

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The New Mexico men’s basketball team overcame an experienced opponent, a hostile crowd and a blackout to down New Mexico State 101-94 on Tuesday night at the Pan American Center. The Lobos (5-3) put up a season-high 101 points to win their third straight game in the series with the Aggies (5-2).

In a game that featured a 50-minute delay early in the first half when the power went out in the arena, Jaelen House scored a career-high 31 points and recorded five assists to lead the Lobos. Jamal Mashburn, Jr. scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half while Jay Allen-Tovar had 15 points and 11 rebounds for his first career double-double. Javonte Johnson added 12 points for UNM.

The Lobos shot 46.8 percent from the floor and 40.0 percent from deep on the night. UNM was 35-of-42 from the line, the most free throws by UNM in a game in five seasons. New Mexico also won the rebounding battle by a 39-35 margin.

The Aggies led 9-7 at the first media timeout when a power outage caused a 50-minute delay. After the power returned, the Lobos took a 20-18 lead after a House layup-and-1 at the midway point of the half. That play was part of a 10-0 Lobo run to give UNM a 25-18 lead with 9:00 to go. The Aggies answered with an 8-0 run of their own to retake the lead 26-25. The teams traded the lead for the next few minutes before the Lobos pushed the lead to 43-35 with 2:45 in the half. Allen-Tovar’s layup at the buzzer gave New Mexico a 49-42 lead at the break. House had 19 points in the first half, while Allen-Tovar had 11 points.

In the second half, the Lobo lead was extended to 10 points at 54-44 after an early Johnson triple. The Aggies chipped away at the lead at got it to within one at 61-60 with 13:47 to play. New Mexico answered and pushed the lead back to eight at 77-69 with 7:45 to play. A 6-0 NMSU run cut the lead to 77-75 with 6:20 left, but the Lobos answered with a 6-0 run of their own to push the lead back to eight. UNM led 85-77 at the final media timeout before pushing the advantage to 11 points with just over one minute to play. The Lobos closed out the game from the free throw line and posted the 101-94 win.

• House had his second 30-point game of the season
• Mashburn has scored in double figures in 11 consecutive games, dating back to last season at Minnesota
• Allen-Tovar set a career high with 11 rebounds
• The Lobos had a season-low nine turnovers
• New Mexico is now 5-0 when scoring at least 80 points this season

“I am really, really proud of the effort and the togetherness. This group grew today. We have not had a lot of experiences together. This group hadn’t played in a rivalry game on the road before. The elements were difficult. The crowd was hostile and then you have the blackout. I thought our guys kept their focus the whole time and then made big plays. We played a very talented team and we made big offensive plays and we finally outrebounded a team. I’m happy for our players and happy for our fans. I know how much it means to them. We will celebrate it tonight and then start to get ready to play them again next week.” – Head Coach Richard Pitino

The Rio Grande Rivalry returns to The Pit on Dec. 6 for the return game of the home-and-home series with New Mexico State. Game time is 7 p.m. The game begins a six-game homestand that sees the Lobos not leave home the entire month of December.