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Dent’s Buzzer-Beater Lifts Lobos to 82-80 Win over UT Arlington

by Steve Kirkland

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M – Donovan Dent’s layup with half a second to play lifted New Mexico (2-1) to an 82-80 victory over UT Arlington on Thursday night at The Pit. After the Mavericks (2-1) had rallied from down 12 to tie the game with 5.3 to play, Dent dribbled coast-to-coast for the game-winning shot with 0.5 left.

Dent finished with a career-high 25 points, his first career 20-point game, while Jamal Mashburn, Jr. scored a season-high 29 points for the Lobos. Freshman JT Toppin set career-highs of 15 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double.

Both teams got off to a slow start offensively, with the game tied 4-4 at the first media timeout. UNM would use a 7-0 run to take a 13-6 lead with 12:40 left in the half, but the Mavericks drew even at 15-15 at the midway point of the half. UNM took a 35-26 lead with 2:45 to go after an 8-0 run and held a 48-36 lead at halftime. Mashburn, Jr. (22 points), Dent (16 points) and Toppin (8 points) combined for 46 of UNM’s 48 points in the first half.

In the second half, the Mavericks opened on an 8-1 run to cut the margin to 49-44 with 17:15 to play. UNM led by five, 58-53, with 13:00 to go before extending the lead back to double-digits at 69-57 at the halfway point of the half. UTA cut the margin to 75-71 with 3:35 to play and closed to three at 77-74 with 1:20 to go. After the Mavericks got within one at 78-77 with 27.8 left, Mashburn made 1-of-2 from the line with 23.9 to go to make it 79-77. On the ensuing possession, Jemarl Baker, Jr. blocked a shot, grabbed the rebound and was fouled. He made 1-of-2 from the line to make it a three-point lead, but UTA tied the game with a 3-pointer with 5.3 left. That set up Dent’s heroics, as he went the length of the court for the game-winning layup with 0.5 to play.


• Dent’s game-winning shot was the Lobos’ first buzzer-beating shot (under 1.0 to play or less to give UNM the lead) since the 2018-19 opener when Anthony Mathis’ 3-pointer with 0.3 left gave UNM an 87-84 win at Cal State Northridge
• Dent became the fifth different teammate that Mashburn has partnered with for a game where teammates each scored 20 points (joining Jaelen House, Javonte Johnson, Jay Allen-Tovar and Morris Udeze)
• Mashburn’s 22 first-half points were the most by a Lobo in a first half since Elijah Brown had 22 points at the half at New Mexico State in 2015-16
• The Lobos used their third different starting lineup of the season (in three games); last season the Lobos used three different starting lineups all season (34 games)
• Jaelen House missed his second straight game due to injury, but the Lobos got their first win over a Division I team with him out of the lineup (lost previous three – two last season and at Saint Mary’s last week)

“Credit UT Arlington, they were really tough, especially at the end. I kept telling our guys that we have to find a way to win this thing. We know our best basketball is ahead of us. We have dealt with so many injuries and Nelly missing four crucial months of practice. Jemarl Baker made an amazing play with a blocked shot and Donovan Dent made a great play in the open court. I am proud of our guys. We need to get a little rest tomorrow and then we have three days to fix a lot of things. This team will progress as the season goes on.” – Richard Pitino

The Lobos will travel to Las Vegas next week for the Ball Dawgs Classic at the Dollar Loan Center in Henderson. New Mexico will play Toledo on Tuesday, Rice on Wednesday and Pepperdine on Friday. Tickets for the event are on sale now at