Lobos Edged by No. 23 Colorado State, 80-74
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The New Mexico men’s basketball team battled nationally-ranked Colorado State to the end before falling 80-74 on Wednesday night at Moby Arena. The Lobos (7-11, 0-5) were within four points in the final minute before the No. 23 Rams (14-1, 4-1) were able to close out the victory.
Jaelen House scored 18 points and tied a career high with seven assists to lead the Lobos. Javonte Johnson had 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting (4-of-5 from deep) in his return to his home state. KJ Jenkins added 17 points and Jamal Mashburn, Jr. had 13 points for New Mexico.
The Lobos made 14 3-pointers, their third game with double-digit threes in conference play, led by Jenkins who matched a career high with five.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Lobos got off to a strong offensive start, taking an early 9-4 lead as House scored seven of UNM’s first nine points. After New Mexico pushed its lead to six at the first media timeout, an 11-0 run by the Rams gave them the lead, 17-12, with 12:20 in the half. The Rams held a 21-18 lead at the midway point of the half and pushed the advantage to seven at 28-21 with 6:00 to go. Colorado State would take a 37-32 edge into the break with House scoring 10 to lead the Lobos in the first half.
In the second half, an early 7-0 run by the Rams extended the lead to 46-36, with 16:30 to play. The Lobos answered with a 11-0 run to take a 47-46 lead with 13:45 to play. The teams traded the lead over the next few minutes with the game tied 54-54 at the midway point of the half. The Rams took a 62-57 lead with 7:00 to go after a 6-0 run and pushed the lead to eight with a 7-0 run with 4:00 to go. The Lobos got within four, 75-71, with 49 seconds left after a Jenkins triple, but the Rams sealed the 80-74 victory at the free throw line.
• House scored in double figures for the 11th time this season
• Mashburn scored in double figures for the 17th time in 18 games this season
• Johnson scored in double figures for the eighth time this season
• Jenkins scored in double figures for the ninth time this season
• Saquan Singleton missed the game due to a toe injury
• Jay Allen-Tovar made his first start since November 15 (at Colorado)
“I am proud of this team. I am not a moral victory guy by any means, but down another starter and come in here be there right at the end says a lot. This group understands how hard it is to win and they are being confident and staying together. Colorado State is what we want to become in a couple of years as we build up this roster. We showed some good fight, but some bad turnovers at the end and some miscues on defense hurt us. Where we are right now, we know that we need to be almost perfect.” – Head Coach Richard Pitino
The Lobos will conclude its two-game road trip at Wyoming on Saturday evening. Tip-off is 5:30 p.m. MT and the game will air on CBS Sports Network and the Lobo Radio Network.