Lobos Down Air Force 69-65 to Complete Season Series Sweep
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The New Mexico men’s basketball team completed a season sweep of Air Force with a 69-65 victory at The Pit on Saturday afternoon. The Lobos (12-17, 4-11) rallied from a six-point halftime deficit to hand the Falcons (10-17, 3-13) their ninth straight loss. The victory means New Mexico has doubled both its overall and conference win totals from last season.
Jamal Mashburn, Jr. scored 24 points to lead the Lobos. Jaelen House scored all 16 of his points in the second half while Javonte Johnson added 10 points for New Mexico. Jay Allen-Tovar had a career-high 12 rebounds, the most by a Lobo in a game this season.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Both teams had a slow offensive start with the Lobos leading 9-7 after seven minutes of play. New Mexico led 14-11 at the halfway point of the first half before a 6-0 Air Force run gave the Falcons a 22-18 lead with 4:15 left in the half. The teams traded the lead before the Falcons used a late surge to take a 30-24 lead at the break. Mashburn and Johnson each had eight points to lead UNM in the first half.
In the second half, after the Falcons pushed the lead to eight with the first two points of the half, the Lobos used a 6-0 to cut the deficit to two. New Mexico retook the lead at 39-38 with 14:00 to play and a 7-0 run pushed the lead to 46-40 with 11:15 to play. After the Lobos pushed the lead to eight, an 8-0 Falcon run tied the game at 51-51 with 5:45 left. UNM retook the lead and extended it to 63-57 with 2:15 to go before the Falcons cut the advantage to 63-61 with 1:25 left. The teams traded baskets with the Lobos having the ball and a 65-63 lead with 39.8 seconds left. Mashburn was fouled with 14.1 left and made both from the line before the Falcons cut the lead to 67-65 with 8.2 remaining. House was fouled with 7.1 left and made both free throws to seal the 69-65 victory.
— Lobo Basketball (@UNMLoboMBB) February 26, 2022
• Jamal Mashburn, Jr. became the first Lobo to score 500 points in a season since 2016-17 (Elijah Brown)
• Mashburn, Jr. scored in double figures for the 18th consecutive game and the 28th time in 29 games this season
• Mashburn had his 12th 20-point game of the season (fifth In Mountain West play)
• Jaelen House scored in double figures for the 20th time this season
• House became the first Lobo to have 60 steals in a season since 2005-06 (Mark Walters)
• Javonte Johnson scored in double figures for the 11th time this season
• New Mexico’s 27.6% (8-29) from the field in the first half was its lowest FG% half of the season
• The Lobos rallied from their largest halftime deficit (six) to win since the 2019 Mountain West Tournament (vs. Wyoming, trailed by 10 points at the half)
• It was UNM’s first season sweep of an opponent since 2019-20 (Wyoming) and the first sweep of Air Force since 2011-12
• The Lobos’ 25 free throws and 30 free throw attempts were both season-highs in Mountain West play
“Thank you to our fans, I thought it was a great crowd. In the first half, we weren’t hitting shots and I thought they were good looks and we got frustrated. We regrouped and in the second half we understood that we have them in foul trouble and we have to win this at the foul line. It was a great win. I thought our discipline in the second half was terrific. It sounds boring, but making free throws was huge. It doubled our win total from last year, we are excited about that. Now we just keep moving forward.” – Head Coach Richard Pitino
The Lobos visit Fresno State on Monday for their final road game of the season. Game time is 8 p.m. MT (7 p.m. PT) and the game will air on FS1.