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Lobos Snap Saint Mary’s Home Win Streak with 69-65 Win

by Steve Kirkland

MORAGA, Calif. – The New Mexico men’s basketball team remained unbeaten on the season with a 69-65 victory at Saint Mary’s on Wednesday night. The Lobos (7-0) overcame a slow start to down the Gaels (5-2) and snap their school-record 23-game home win streak and their 29-game non-conference home win streak.

Five Lobos scored in double figures, led by 17 points from Jaelen House, who also had five rebounds and six steals. Morris Udeze and Donovan Dent each had 13 points, while Jamal Mashburn, Jr. scored 12 points and Josiah Allick had 10 points.

The Gaels took advantage of a cold start by the Lobos to lead 13-2 after the opening eight minutes. UNM answered with a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 15-11 with eight minutes to play in the half. UNM was within one at 18-17 with four minutes to play before finishing the half strong. House’s three in the final minute gave UNM its first lead of the night and Allick’s tip-in in the final seconds gave the Lobos a 27-23 lead the break. House had 10 first half points to lead New Mexico.

In the second half, New Mexico scored the first four points to push the lead to eight early before the Gaels answered with a 6-0 run to close within two. UNM led 40-34 with 13:30 to play and were up 52-43 just past the midway point of the half, its largest lead of the half. The Gaels answered with a 7-0 run to make it a two-point game with 7:30 to play. The Lobos held a 60-59 lead at the final media timeout with 3:47 to go. Udeze’s free throw after he was fouled on a dunk gave UNM a 66-61 lead with 1:15 to go. After the Gaels got a layup, to cut the lead the three, they got a stop to have a chance for a tying shot, but the ball was stolen by House and he was fouled. House made both free throws with 12.0 to go to make the lead 68-63. After a SMC layup cut the lead to 68-65 with 4.1 left, Dent was fouled with 1.6 left and made 1-of-2 to seal the 69-65 win.

• The Lobos had the same starting lineup for the seventh straight game to open the season
• New Mexico had five double-figure scorers for the first time this season
• UNM improved to 7-0 for the first time since 2012-13
• The Lobos are one of 16 remaining undefeated teams in the nation
• Udeze has scored in double figures every game this season
• Mashburn scored in double figures for the 28th consecutive game, the longest active streak in the Mountain West

“I am proud of our guys. I thought in the second half we did a great job of adjusting offensively because they were terrific defensively. We did a much better job of being patient. Donovan Dent in the second half was just phenomenal. I’m so proud of how far we have come in a short amount of time. It is a lot of hard work and we have not arrived by any means. To have two true road wins already is terrific, and Saint Mary’s is a team that doesn’t lose a lot of games at home. To come in here in the non-conference, against a team and a coach I have a ton of respect for, makes this a terrific win.” – Richard Pitino

The Lobos return home to host Western New Mexico on Dec. 6. Game time at The Pit is 7 p.m. and the game will be available on the Mountain West Network.