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Lobos Shine in 88-70 Victory Over No. 19 San Diego State

by Steve Kirkland

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The New Mexico men’s basketball team captured its first ranked win of the season, downing No. 19 San Diego State 88-70 on Saturday afternoon in front of a sold out crowd at The Pit and a national television audience on CBS. The Lobos (14-3, 2-2 MW) overcame an early 12-point deficit to hand the Aztecs (14-3, 3-1 MW) their first conference loss of the season.

Jaelen House led the Lobos with 26 points and five assists. JT Toppin had 17 points and set career-highs of 16 rebounds and five blocks to post his fifth double-double of the season. Jamal Mashburn, Jr. added 19 points and Mustapha Amzil scored a season-high 12 points for New Mexico.

The Lobos tied a school record with 14 blocks, led by five each from Toppin and Nelly Junior Joseph, marking the third-most blocks ever in a Mountain West game and the most in the league since 2007.

The Aztecs used an early 6-0 run to take a 10-7 lead after four-and-a-half minutes. San Diego State pushed the advantage to 24-17 with 11:00 left in the half and led 24-19 at the midway point. The Aztecs took a 35-23 lead with 5:30 to play before a 17-0 UNM run gave them a 40-35 lead with 0:50 left. The Lobos took a 40-37 lead into the break as House had 14 first-half points to lead UNM.

In the second half, the Lobos scored the first three points to double their halftime advantage and led 47-40 with 18:20 to play. A 6-0 Aztec run cut the lead to one before UNM extended the lead to 64-51 with an 11-1 run with 10:30 to play. UNM took a 73-54 lead with 6:15 to go after a 7-0 run, all from Mashburn and pushed the lead to 20 at 78-58 at the final media timeout. UNM led by as many as 22 late in the game as they closed out the 18-point victory.

• The crowd of 15,437 at The Pit was the largest at the arena since 2009 (the season before renovations reduced capacity)
• The 18-point margin was the Lobos’ largest against a ranked opponent since an 85-58 win over No. 6 Nevada in 2018-19
• UNM’s 17-0 run late in the first half was its largest run against a Division I opponent in the Richard Pitino era
• Toppin’s 16 rebounds were one shy of Kenny Thomas’ freshman school record of 17 rebounds he set against No. 10 Utah in the 1996 WAC Championship (Toppin’s nine offensive rebounds ties Thomas’ freshman record from that game)
• The Lobos handed the Aztecs their largest margin of defeat in two years, since a 75-57 loss at Utah State in 2021-22

“First, to the 15,437, I can’t thank you enough. It is a special building and the most underrated fan base in college basketball, and we were able to do this on the biggest stage against a terrific program. Hopefully we can continue to build upon this. It was amazing effort all around. We were plus-10 on the glass. JT Toppin, I know he will kick himself for the free throw, but he played his butt off. Jaelen House was phenomenal. Mash had been in a little bit of a slump and I was glad to see his teammates pick him up and then he hit some big time shots. Our defensive intensity was terrific. A great day for our fan base and our team, but we now have to get ready for another ranked team.” – Richard Pitino

The Lobos will host another ranked team on Tuesday when No. 20 Utah State visits Albuquerque. The Aggies are 16-1 and hold the nation’s longest win streak at 15 straight. Game time at The Pit is 8:30 p.m. and the game will air on FS1. Tickets for that game are on sale now at