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Lobos Fall in Overtime to Utah State

by Steve Kirkland

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The New Mexico men’s basketball team suffered a 90-87 overtime loss to Utah State on Saturday night in its Mountain West home opener at The Pit. The Lobos (7-8, 0-2) led by 17 early in the second half before the Aggies (10-5, 1-1) rallied and won the game in overtime.

Jamal Mashburn, Jr. scored a career-high 29 points and had a career-high eight assists to lead the Lobos. Javonte Johnson made a career-high seven three-pointers to record his first career 20-point game with 23 points.

New Mexico made 17 3-pointers in the game, tied for fifth most in a game in program history. Johnson’s seven triples were the most by a Lobo since Anthony Mathis had seven against Colorado in 2018-19.

Head Coach Richard Pitino missed the game due to COVID protocols, with assistant coach Eric Brown serving as acting head coach for the game.

The Lobos used a strong defensive start to take an 9-1 lead over the first four minutes. New Mexico pushed the lead to 17-8 at the midway point of the half. The Lobos heated up from three, making 7-of-12 over the first 15 minutes to push the lead to 31-19. UNM led by as many as 16 late in the first half before taking a 42-27 lead into the break. The Lobos made 10-of-15 threes in the first half as Johnson had 12 first-half points on 4-of-4 from deep.

In the second half, the Aggies used an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 44-35 with 17:19 to play. Utah State continued to chip away at the lead and used another 8-0 run to get within one at 56-55 at the midway point of the half.  The Aggies took their first lead of the game at 65-63 with 5:30 to play and led by four with 4:45 to go. UNM retook the lead, 69-68, on Johnson’s seventh three of the night before Jaelen House banked in a three to give the Lobos a 73-72 lead with 1:17 to play. After the Aggies made four free throws in the final minute to take a three-point lead, a KJ Jenkins corner three with 3.3 seconds to play tied the game and forced overtime.

In overtime, the teams traded baskets with the Lobos tying the game on a Mashburn three with 2:30 to go and a House jumper with 2:00 to play. Utah State took a two-point lead with 1:01 left on a layup and pushed the lead to four at the free throw line with 19.2 to play. A Mashburn layup-and-1 cut the lead to 88-87 with 8.0 seconds left, but the Aggies sealed the game with a pair of free throws.


• Mashburn had his sixth 20-point game of the season, his fifth game of 25 or more points
• Mashburn scored in double figures for the 14th time in 15 games this season and posted his sixth 20-point game of the season
• Johnson scored in double figures for the seventh time this season
• Saquan Singleton scored in double figures for the third time this season
• The Lobos’ 15-point halftime lead was their largest against a Mountain West opponent since leading San Jose State by 16 at the break in the first round of the 2020 Mountain West Tournament
• Emmanuel Kuac made his first start of the season (11th different Lobo to start a game this season)
• First time this season that the Lobos started three returning players and two newcomers (started at least three newcomers in each of the first 14 games of the season)

“I thought our kids really laid it all on the line tonight. I feel bad for them. They had a good, long week of practice with just one game this week. Coach Pitino and our staff are really proud of their effort and their fight tonight. We overcame a lot of adversity, but we stuck together and we are just sad we couldn’t pull that one out.” – Acting Head Coach Eric Brown

The Lobos will visit UNLV on Tuesday night. Game time from the Thomas & Mack Center is 9 p.m. MT (8 p.m. PT) and the game will air on CBS Sports Network and the Lobo Radio Network.