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Lobos Edged at Fresno State 71-68

by Steve Kirkland

FRESNO, Calif. – The New Mexico men’s basketball team suffered a hard-fought 71-68 setback Monday night at Fresno State in its road finale. The Lobos (12-18, 4-12) and the Bulldogs (18-10, 8-7) traded the lead late before Fresno State held on for the victory.

Jamal Mashburn, Jr. had 27 points, including 20 in the second half, to lead the Lobos. Jaelen House added 18 points for New Mexico.

The Bulldogs used a strong offensive start to take a 12-6 lead over the first four minutes of play. The Lobos’ cold shooting allowed Fresno State to extend the lead to 24-12 with 9:30 to play in the half. After New Mexico got within six, the Bulldogs used a 6-0 run to push the lead back to 12 with 4:30 to play. Fresno State took a 39-31 lead into halftime as Mashburn led the Lobos with seven first-half points.

In the second half, the teams traded scores early before the Lobos cut the deficit to 48-44 with 15:00 to play. New Mexico used a 9-0 run to take the lead, 53-51, with just under 12:00 to go.  The Lobos led 57-54 at the midway point of the half and pushed the advantage to 59-54 with 7:00 to play. New Mexico held a 63-61 lead at the final media timeout before the Bulldogs tied the game at 63-63 with 3:30 left. The teams traded the lead before a Mashburn jumper tied the game with 1:52 to play. Fresno State took a 3-point lead with just under 1:00 to go and the Lobos had the ball for a final possession, but a potential tying 3-pointer from Mashburn rimmed out.


• Mashburn, Jr. scored in double figures for the 19th consecutive game and the 29th time in 30 games this season
•  Mashburn had his 13th 20-point game of the season (sixth In Mountain West play)
•  Mashburn had his sixth 25-point game of the season
• Jaelen House scored in double figures for the 21st time this season

“I can’t complain with this effort. Overall, we played a terrific game and they just made one or two more plays down the stretch than we did. Mash really got into a rhythm in the second half with his mid-range and I was surprised he missed the last one. I thought it was right there. He just had a terrific overall game, especially starting 0-for-8 from the floor. When the shot wasn’t falling, he got to the rim and got fouled. Then, when the shot was falling, he kept going.” – Head Coach Richard Pitino

The Lobos conclude the regular season by hosting UNLV on Saturday night. Game time at The Pit is 9 p.m. and the game will air on FS1. It is senior night for the Lobos, who will honor Saquan Singleton, Jordan Arroyo and Clay Patterson.