Open Announce

Lobos Drop Overtime Thriller to New Mexico State, 78-76

by Steve Kirkland

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The New Mexico men’s basketball team suffered its first home loss of the season, falling in overtime 78-76 to New Mexico State on Monday night at The Pit. The Aggies (7-2) scored at the buzzer of overtime to split the season series with the Lobos (5-4) in front of a season-high crowd of 13,019 fans.

Jamal Mashburn, Jr. tied his career high with 26 points to lead New Mexico on the night. Jaelen House added 21 points to give the Lobos two 20-point scorers for the second time this season.

Both teams got off to a slow start with the game remaining scoreless for the first two-and-a-half minutes before a Mashburn layup opened the scoring. The game remained low-scoring before the Lobos used an 8-0 run to take an 18-9 lead just past the midway point of the half. New Mexico pushed the lead to as many as 10 in the first half before the Aggies got within four points late in the half as the Lobos took a 31-27 advantage into the break. House had 11 points and Mashburn had 10 points to lead UNM in the first half.

In the second half, the Aggies used an early 8-0 run to take a 39-36 lead with 15:00 to play. The teams traded the lead for several minutes with the game tied at 47-47 at the midway point. NMSU took a 55-50 lead with 7:30 to go before the Lobos retook the lead 61-60 with 5:00 to play. The teams traded the lead again until back-to-back buckets by Mashburn gave UNM a 65-62 lead with 2:15 to play. The Aggies cut the UNM lead to 67-66 with a layup with 40.4 seconds left before Javonte Johnson was fouled with 12. 1 left. Johnson made 1-of-2 to give the Lobos a two-point lead, but the Aggies scored to tie the game with 3.8 seconds left and force overtime.

The Lobos won the overtime tip and House opened the extra period with a triple. The Aggies answered with the next four points to take a 72-71 lead. A Singleton free throw tied the game with 2:00 left before the Aggies took a 76-72 lead with 1:00 to go. A House jumper cut the lead in half with 48.3 left and after NMSU turned the ball over, a Mashburn jumper tied the game with 25 seconds to play. New Mexico State won as Nate Pryor scored on a layup as time expired.

• Mashburn had his fifth 20-point game of the season
• Mashburn has scored in double figures in 12 consecutive games, dating back to last season at Minnesota
• House had his fourth 20-point game of the season
• House scored in double figures for the sixth time this season
• The Aggies’ 27 first-half points tied the fewest in a half by a Lobo opponent this season (27 by Western New Mexico – 1st half)
• The Lobos played their first overtime game of the season
• The Lobos and Aggies split the series by each winning on the road for the first time since 2013-14

“Obviously it was a great game and I am very appreciative of our fans to come out and bring The Pit alive like we’ve talked about. I am disappointed that we didn’t come away with the win, but there are a lot of things we can learn from. It very hard to beat a team twice, especially an old team like that. We had a couple of miscues down the stretch and they made us pay. We won’t get too emotional with it. We are certainly disappointed that we weren’t able to protect home court, but we will learn from it and grow. This is a young team that has great potential.” – Head Coach Richard Pitino

The Lobos’ six-game homestand continues on Thursday with a matchup with Denver. Game time at The Pit is 7 p.m. and the game is Throwback Thursday, with former Lobos recognized and signing autographs. The teams haven’t met since the 1970-71 season after playing twice a year every season from 1951-52 to 1968-69.