UNM Downs Northern Colorado 98-74 to Win Lobo Classic
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The New Mexico men’s basketball team captured the Lobo Classic title on Sunday by pulling away in the second half for a 98-74 victory over Northern Colorado at The Pit. The Lobos (6-0) used a 20-3 run to take control of the game from the Bears (3-5) and remain unbeaten on the season.
Tournament MVP Morris Udeze had a dominating performance, setting career highs of 33 points and 14 rebounds, including a perfect 13-13 from the free throw line. It was the first 33 point/14 rebound game by a Lobo in almost 20 years, dating back to Ruben Douglas’ 39 point/14 rebound game against Utah in 2003.
Jamal Mashburn, Jr. had 15 points and joined Udeze on the All-Tournament Team. Jaelen House had 22 points as the Lobos scored their most points in a game since last year’s 101-94 victory at New Mexico State.
HOW IT HAPPENED
After Northern Colorado took an early 7-6 lead, the Lobos used an early 12-0 run to take an 18-7 lead with 14:05 left in the half. The UNM surge continued as the lead grew to 25-11 with just over 12:00 left in the half. UNC chipped away at the lead and got within five at 32-27 with 6:15 to go. UNM answered with an 8-1 run to push the lead back to 12 with 4:30 in the half. The Lobos took a 50-42 halftime lead as Udeze had 19 first-half points
In the second half, the Bears scored the opening four points to cut the lead to 50-46. The lead would remain in single digits with the Lobos up 62-58 with 13:45 to play before a 7-0 UNM run extended the advantage to 69-58 with 11:50 to go. The Lobos were up 71-65 at the midway point of the half before going on the 20-3 run over the next five minutes to hold a 91-68 lead. UNM closed out the 24-point victory over the final five minutes.
— Lobo Basketball (@UNMLoboMBB) November 28, 2022
• UNM improved to 6-0 for the first time since 2012-13
• 2012-13 was also the last time the Lobos won a tournament, taking the Paradise Jam title that season in the U.S. Virgin Islands
• The Lobos’ 50 first-half points were their most against a Division I opponent since 2018 (58 at Colorado State)
• Udeze’s 13-13 FT performance was the seventh best perfect free throw game in school history
• Udeze’s double-double was the first by a Lobo in 18 games (Jaelen House 18p/13a vs. San Jose State last season) and the first points/rebound double-double by a Lobo in 29 games (Gethro Muscadin 12p/11r vs. Denver last season)
• Udeze had the nation’s first 33 point/14 rebound game of the season
• Udeze has scored in double figures in every game of the season
• Mashburn scored in double figures for the 27th consecutive game, the longest active streak in the Mountain West
“I thought our defense got better in the second half and we made some adjustments. What worked against SMU and North Dakota State wasn’t going to work vs. a team like Northern Colorado that can really shoot the ball. That helped us pull away. Morris Udeze was phenomenal. Our guys did a great job of finding him. He did an unbelievable job of hitting free throws for a guy who hasn’t been shooting great from the foul line. Jaelen House bounced back and played a great game and Mash was rock solid. I Three games in three days is a lot for anybody, so I thought fatigue could be a factor. I told them fatigue would play a factor and someone was going to break down in the second half and it couldn’t be us.” – Richard Pitino
LOBO CLASSIC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Morris Udeze, New Mexico (MVP)
Jamal Mashburn, Jr., New Mexico
Daylen Kountz, Northern Colorado
Dalton Knecht, Northern Colorado
Demaree King, Jacksonville State
The Lobos will travel to Saint Mary’s on Wednesday. Game time in Moraga is 7 p.m. PT (8 p.m. MT) and the game will be streamed online on the West Coast Conference Network.