Open Announce

New Mexico Downs NDSU 76-55 to Remain Unbeaten

by Steve Kirkland

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The New Mexico men’s basketball team remained unbeaten on the season by downing North Dakota State 76-55 on Saturday during the second day of the Lobo Classic. The Lobos (5-0) pulled away from the Bison (1-6) in the second half to set up a chance to clinch the tournament title with a victory on Sunday.

Four Lobos scored in double figures, led by Jamal Mashburn, Jr. with 19 points. Jaelen House had 14 points to go with six assists and a career-high three blocks, while Morris Udeze added 12 points and Josiah Allick had 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds.

The game remained close with the game tied at 12-12 after the first six minutes of play. NDSU held an 18-17 lead with 8:45 in the half after a 6-0 run, but the Lobos retook the lead and extended it to 29-22 with 2:45 left. New Mexico took its largest lead of the half, seven, into the break at 32-25. UNM held NDSU to 21.6% field goal percentage, the lowest in a half by a Lobo opponent in the Pitino era.

In the second half, the Lobos pushed the lead to 10 early before the Bison closed the gap to six at 42-36 with 15 minutes left. New Mexico responded with a 10-1 run to take a 52-37 lead with 12:30 to go.   NDSU would get only within 13 points the rest of the way as UNM pulled away for the 21-point victory.

• The Lobos had the same starting lineup for the fifth straight game to open the season
• UNM improved to 5-0 for the first time since 2012-13
• NDSU’s 30.5% was the lowest by a UNM opponent in the Pitino era
• Mashburn scored in double figures for the 26th consecutive game, the longest active streak in the Mountain West
• The Lobos won their 11th straight game against a first-time opponent
• Mac Manzanares made his collegiate debut
• UNM will play for the Lobo Classic title on Sunday, seeking its 10th championship in the 12 year history of the event

“It was clear the reason we were able to build a lead in the second half was that we stopped giving up offensive rebounds. We only gave up one offensive rebound in the second half and we stopped turning the ball over, with only three turnovers in the second half. We were able to grind it out. It was a really good win and obviously we are proud to be 5-0. Our defense in the first half was terrific and we just keep trying to grow and evolve.” – Richard Pitino

The Lobo Classic concludes Sunday with another doubleheader at The Pit. New Mexico plays Northern Colorado in the final game at 5:30 p.m. Jacksonville State plays North Dakota State in the first game at 3 p.m.