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Lobos’ Road Win Streak Snapped with 81-70 Loss at San Diego State

by Steve Kirkland

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The New Mexico men’s basketball team saw its four-game road win streak snapped with an 81-70 loss at San Diego State on Friday night at Viejas Arena. The Lobos (20-6, 8-5 MW) suffered their first road loss in over a month, while the Aztecs (20-6, 9-4 MW) remained unbeaten at home.

Jaelen House scored 22 points to lead New Mexico, while JT Toppin and Mustapha Amzil both recorded double-doubles. Toppin had 18 points and 10 rebounds for his ninth double-double of the season, extending his UNM freshman record. Amzil had 10 points and a season-high 11 rebounds for his first double-double as a Lobo. Donovan Dent added 11 points to round out four double-figure scorers for New Mexico.

The game remained close early, with the score tied 7-7 at the first media timeout. San Diego State used a 9-0 run to take a 18-12 lead with 11:15 to play. Another 9-0 run Aztec run pushed the advantage to 29-16 with 6:45 left in the half. San Diego State would lead by as many as 13 in the first half before taking a 39-28 lead into the break. House had 11 points and Toppin had 10 points to lead UNM in the first half.

In the second half, Toppin scored the first four points to cut the margin to seven as the Lobos got within six in the first four minutes of the half. The Lobos cut the margin to 47-43 with 14:00 to play before a 9-0 SDSU run made it a double-digit margin again at 56-43 with 11:15 to play. A 12-2 Lobo run followed to get UNM back to within three at 58-55 with 9:30 to play. That would be as close as UNM would get as San Diego State pushed the margin to 70-59 with 4:30 to go. UNM would get within six in the final three minutes before the Aztecs closed out the 81-70 victory.

• New Mexico had a season-high 19 turnovers
• The Lobos had their 11th game of the season with at least 10 steals, one shy of the school record for a season (2019-20 and 2004-05)
• Toppin had (7) offensive boards, giving him at least six offensive rebounds in four of the last five games
• New Mexico has started the same five (Dent, Mashburn, House, Toppin, Joseph) in every Mountain West game this season

“We did a great job of coming back and just had three empty possessions that cost us and allowed them to build the lead again. San Diego State is a terrific team. If we don’t play good offense, we are going to let them get out on the break and get this building going. We had some silly turnovers and they will capitalize on that, especially in this building. We need to be more efficient offensively, with six assists and 19 turnovers. We turned them over, battled on the boards and did a lot of good things, but there is a reason they haven’t lost at home since us last year. They are a terrific team, especially at home.” – Richard Pitino

The Lobos return home for a pair of home games next week, hosting Colorado State on Feb. 21 and Air Force on Feb. 24. Tickets for both games are on sale now at