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Lobos Celebrate Statehood Day with 77-60 Win over Wyoming

by Steve Kirkland

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The New Mexico men’s basketball team celebrated the 112th anniversary of New Mexico statehood with a 77-60 victory over Wyoming on Saturday night in its Mountain West home opener. The Lobos (13-2, 1-1 MW) jumped out to a 17-point halftime lead and held off the Cowboys (8-7, 1-1 MW) in the second half.

Donovan Dent had his fifth 20-point game of the season to lead the Lobos, scoring a game-high 21 points. Jamal Mashburn, Jr. added 12 points, while Jaelen House and Nelly Junior Joseph each added 10 points.

The Lobos had 16 steals, their second-most ever against a Mountain West opponent, trailing only the conference-record 19 steals they had against Colorado State in 2005.

The Lobos used an early 7-0 run to take a 9-5 lead after five minutes of action and held a 18-12 advantage at the midway point. A 9-0 run by UNM pushed the advantage to 26-12 with 6:30 left in the half before another 9-0 run gave the Lobos a 37-18 edge with 2:00 to go. That was the largest lead of the first half as UNM took a 39-22 lead into the break. Dent had 10 first half points as the Lobos recorded 13 steals on 18 Wyoming turnovers in the first half.

In the second half, Wyoming got off to a hot start and trimmed the lead to 43-35 after an 8-0 run with 16:15 left to play. The Cowboys would get within seven with 14:00 left before a 6-0 Lobo run pushed the advantage to 53-40 with 11:00 to go. UNM led 53-42 at the midway point and held a 64-54 edge with 5:40 left. A Dent triple made the score 71-55 with 2:30 left as the Lobos closed out the 17-point win.

• The Lobos had a 28-0 edge in points off turnovers
• UNM improved to 8-0 at home this season
• House had at least five steals in a game for the ninth time in his Lobo career
• The Lobos had 10 steals, the seventh time in the last eight games with double-digit steals

“It was a great win for our program. I thought we did a great job in that first half and building a big lead. They cut it to seven, but we did a great job of weathering that storm and pulling away at the end. Wyoming did the same thing to San Jose State (on Tuesday), they were down 17 and came back to win the game. It was a team effort all around. Guys played really good defense down the stretch when we needed to. The crowd was electric. Obviously having Shaq and Michael Cooper here was awesome to see, but more than anything our guys are fueled by the energy of our fans`.” – Richard Pitino

The Lobos will return to action next week with a visit to UNLV on Tuesday before hosting San Diego State on Saturday. The game against the Aztecs will tip off at noon and air on CBS. Less than 2,000 tickets remain for that game and are on sale now at