Open Announce

Lobos Down Fresno State 79-58 in Home Finale

by Steve Kirkland

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The New Mexico men’s basketball team concluded its home schedule Wednesday night with a 79-58 victory over Fresno State at The Pit. The Lobos (22-8, 10-7 MW) captured its 22nd regular season victory for the first time since 2013-14, while handing the Bulldogs (11-19, 4-13 MW) their sixth straight defeat.

Jamal Mashburn, Jr. scored a team-high 19 points for New Mexico on his senior night. JT Toppin extended his freshman school record with his 10th double-double, scoring 15 points and tying his career high with 16 rebounds. Nelly Junior Joseph also had a double-double, with 12 points and 12 rebounds, while Jaelen House added 10 points in his final game at The Pit.

The Lobos used a strong offensive start to take a 15-7 lead over the opening five minutes. The lead grew to double figures at 19-9 at the midway point of the half as both teams went cold for several minutes. The UNM advantage grew to 23-11 before the Bulldogs closed to within six at 25-19 with 5:00 to play. UNM would extend the lead to as many as 13 in the final minutes of the half to take a 37-24 lead into the break. Mashburn scored 13 in the first half to lead UNM.

In the second half, New Mexico pushed the lead to 51-32 over the first four-and-a-half minutes. UNM would push the margin to 65-42 at the midway point of the half and continue an 8-0 run to lead by 26 with 8:00 to play. Fresno State used a late 7-0 run to cut the margin to 73-53 with 3:30 to play before UNM closed out the 21-point victory.

• New Mexico clinched a winning record in the Mountain West for the first time since 2017-18
• UNM has won seven straight senior nights and 15 of the last 16
• Four seniors (Jemarl Baker, Jr., House, Mashburn, Isaac Mushila) were honored pregame during Senior Night festivities
• The Lobos had double-digit blocks for the third time this season
• 16 of UNM’s 22 wins have come by double digits and UNM has led by double digits at some point of all 22 wins
• New Mexico has started the same five (Donovan Dent, Mashburn, House, Toppin, Joseph) in every Mountain West game this season
• JT Toppin set the UNM freshman rebounding record, now with 269 boards on the season (breaking the previous mark of 256 by Kenny Thomas in 1995-96)

“It was a great way to send off the seniors. Defensively, we were terrific and we rebounded the ball extremely well. I am proud of the guys. Sitting at 22-8, and 10-7 in the conference, we knew we had to have this game and we handled our business. That was longest two-game losing streak I’ve ever had. Our guys did a phenomenal job of staying positive and being excited about this game.” – Richard Pitino

The Lobos will conclude the regular season on Saturday with a visit to No. 22 Utah State. Game time in Logan is 6:30 p.m. and the game will air on CBS Sports Network.