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Lobos Dominate NMSU in First Rio Grande Rivalry Matchup of the Year

by Steve Kirkland

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The New Mexico men’s basketball team posted its biggest margin of victory in the Rio Grande Rivalry in nearly six decades, downing New Mexico State 106-62 on Saturday night at The Pit. The Lobos (7-1) ran their win streak to six while defeating the Aggies (4-6) in front of a crowd of 15,435, the largest at The Pit since 2009.

The Lobos’ 106 points were the most they have ever scored in the rivalry and their most points against a Division I opponent in four years. Jaelen House led UNM with 28 points on 9-11 shooting (5-6 3FG) to go along with four assists and four steals. Tru Washington had his first career 20-point game, setting career-bests with 21 points and six assists. Donovan Dent had his second double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 assists, along with no turnovers.

Both defenses started the game strong, with the Lobos holding a 6-4 lead after the opening four minutes of action. The Lobos surged to a 17-8 lead with 12:30 remaining in the half as House had 13 of UNM’s first 17 points. New Mexico led 21-17 at the midway point of the half before the Lobos took their first double-digit lead at 31-21 with 7:15 in the half. A 14-0 UNM run pushed the advantage to 45-24 with 3:15 to play before extending the advantage to 55-32 at the break. House had 26 first half points to lead UNM.

In the second half, New Mexico used a 12-2 run to extend the lead to 76-40 with 13:45 to play in the half. The Lobos led 83-47 at the midway point of the half and the advantage grew to 90-51 with 7:00 to go. Another 9-0 run gave UNM a 101-58 lead with 3:25 to play and the lead would grow to as many as 46 in the final two minutes as the Lobos closed out the 44-point win.

• Second-largest margin in the series, trailing only a 48-point Lobo win (86-38) at Johnson Gym in 1964-65
• House’s 26 first-half points were most in a first half by a Lobo since 2003, when Ruben Douglas scored 26 first-half points at Colorado State
• Washington became the ninth current Lobo to have a career 20-point game at the Division I level (T-most in the nation: TCU-9)
• The Lobos 24 assists were most in a game in the Pitino era
• All 11 Lobos who saw action scored

“We have the most underrated fan base in college basketball. Our guys have done an amazing job of captivating this community and we appreciate everyone showing out tonight. We played really well. We passed the ball really well with 24 assists on 32 field goals. There were a lot of fouls and we thought with how they were playing we just needed to be aggressive and get to the foul line. Defensively, we did a lot of good things. It was a terrific win and a great night. I can’t thank our fans enough.” – Richard Pitino

The Lobos’ three-game homestand concludes Wednesday with a matchup with preseason Big West favorite UC Santa Barbara. Game time at The Pit is 7 p.m. and tickets are on sale at