Open Announce

Lobos Roll to 92-55 Season-Opening Win over Texas Southern

by Steve Kirkland

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M – The New Mexico men’s basketball team began the 2023-24 season Monday night with a 92-55 victory over preseason SWAC favorite Texas Southern. The Lobos pulled away midway through the first half en route to posting their largest season-opening win over a Division I opponent since 2011-12.

Eleven Lobos scored on the night, all with at least four points, led by Jamal Mashburn, Jr., who tallied a game-high 15 points. Donovan Dent scored 12 points, while Braden Appelhans and JT Toppin each had 11 points off the bench. Toppin also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds in his collegiate debut.

Texas Southern jumped out to an early 7-3 lead before UNM went on a 16-2 run to take an 19-9 lead after nine minutes of play. UNM would lead by 12 at 28-16 with 8:00 to play in the half and would continue to lead by a dozen at 34-22 at the final media timeout of the half. The lead grew to 17 at the break as UNM led 41-24 at intermission. Mashburn had 10 first-half points to lead UNM, while Toppin had nine points and eight boards in his first collegiate half.

In the second half, the Lobos used a 14-0 run to push the lead to 30 at 59-29 with 14:00 to go. New Mexico grew the advantage to 69-36 at the midway point of the half and continued to hold a 30-point lead until 7:24 to play. New Mexico would end the game on an 11-3 run to end the game with its largest lead of the night at 37, the largest lead by UNM against a Division I opponent in the Pitino era.

• New Mexico’s 37-point win was the Lobos’ largest against a Division I opponent in a season opener since 2011-12 (92-40 vs. New Orleans)
• The 37-point win was the Lobos’ largest against a Division I opponent in any game since an 83-43 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff in December of 2016
• Mashburn scored in double figures for the 64th time in 67 career games as a Lobo
• Seven Lobos (Joseph, Amzil, Baker, Toppin, Washington, Mushila, Webb) made their first official appearance as a Lobo, and six scored their first points at UNM (all but Mushila)
• Braden Appelhans scored 11 points, one more than he scored (10) in the 10 games combined off his injury-shortened freshman season

“It was a great win and we played really, really hard. The effort was terrific. To play that many guys, and not let up was great. You can play that style of play when you have that type of depth. If we are playing that hard, with these fans, I’d be surprised if we lost as many games here as we did last year. This fanbase is so good and they fuel our guys. We passed the ball great, 20 assists was terrific. We defended and we rebounded and that was what we talked about needing to do.” – Richard Pitino

New Mexico will make its first road trip of the season, visiting No. 23 Saint Mary’s on Thursday. Game time is 8:00 p.m. MT (7:00 p.m. PT) and the game will air on ESPN+. It is the second straight season the Lobos have traveled to Moraga, having won 69-65 last season to snap the Gaels’ school-record 23-game home win streak.