Open Announce

Lobos Drop Road Opener at No. 23 Saint Mary’s 72-58

by Steve Kirkland

MORAGA, Calif. – The New Mexico men’s basketball team dropped its road opener, falling to No. 23 Saint Mary’s 72-58 on Thursday night at UCU Pavilion. The Lobos (1-1) couldn’t overcome a slow start in their attempt to post a road win over the Gaels (2-0) for the second straight season.

Donovan Dent led UNM with a career-high 15 points to go along with five assists. Nelly Junior Joseph had 11 points and 13 rebounds to post his first double-double as a Lobo.

The Gaels got off to a fast start and led 13-2 after the opening five minutes of play. Saint Mary’s led 22-11 at the midway point of the half before the Lobos chipped away at the deficit and closed to 29-23 with 3:40 to play. SMC would answer with an 8-0 run to take a 37-23 lead with 2:00 to go and took a 40-25 lead into the break. Dent had 10 first-half points to lead New Mexico.

In the second half, Saint Mary’s extended the lead to 20 at 49-29 with 16:15 to go and led by as many as 22 during the first part of the second half. A 6-0 Lobo run cut the deficit to 58-43 with 8:00 to play, but that was as close as they would get until the final minute as the Gaels closed out the 14-point win.

• Nelly Junior Joseph’s 11 points were his most as a Lobo
• Donovan Dent scored in double figures in consecutive games for the second time in his career,
• All-Mountain West guard Jaelen House missed the game due to injury

“Their physicality shocked us way more than it did last year. That is an old, veteran, disciplined team. I told our guys that although that hurt, we are going to learn a lot from this when we watch it. That is the standard we want to be at. I knew it would be a hard game. I wanted to challenge our guys early in the season. I think it will be worth it in the long run.” – Richard Pitino

New Mexico returns to action in a week’s time, hosting UT Arlington on Thursday, November 16. Game time at The Pit is 7:00 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on the Mountain West Network.