Dec. 4, 2003
The New Mexico Lobos face a stern test Saturday afternoon as they look to stop a two-game losing streak against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Tipoff is 1:05 p.m. from The Pit/Bob King Court in Albuquerque. KRQE-TV will show the game on a delayed basis Saturday at 11:05 p.m.
UNM is 2-2 after consecutive losses to Portland (77-71) Monday and at New Mexico State (67-48) on Wednesday. The Lobos had a pair of three-game losing streaks last year. Texas Tech is 5-2 following a 70-57 triumph over UTEP Wednesday night in Lubbock. The Red Raiders, ranked 25th in last week's coaches' poll, finished second in the Preseason NIT. One of their wins was 65-54 over Utah at Madison Square Garden in the NIT semifinals.
UNM closes its busy schedule of four games in eight days Monday against Sacramento State. Then, it's a 13-day break for semester exams before the resumption of games on Dec. 21. New Mexico plays nine of its first 10 games at home and does not leave the state until a Jan. 3 trip to Wake Forest.
BUY A BONUS PACK; GET A FREE TICKET TO NMSU - Lobo fans can get a free ticket to the New Mexico State game on Dec. 22 when they purchase a six-game Bonus Pack for just 72 dollars. The Bonus Pack includes six games: Coppin State Dec. 21, Northwestern State Dec. 28, U. of San Diego Jan. 6, Cornell Jan. 9, Air Force Jan. 17 and BYU Jan. 26. Fans must come to the ticket office at The Pit to purchase the Bonus Pack. Call (505) 925-5626 for more information.
UNM-TEXAS TECH SERIES NOTES - It's the 80th meeting in a series that started Feb. 24, 1931. Texas Tech leads 40-39, including last year's 98-71 win in Lubbock. In that game, the Red Raiders hit 69% (25-36) of their shots in the first half to build a 56-32 advantage. TTU finished at 65.6% (42-64) for the game, the best shooting against a Lobo team in 16 years. The last meeting in Albuquerque was December of 1997, an 81-62 Lobo win.
UNM has a 25-16 lead in games in Albuquerque, 6-1 in The Pit. The lone loss here came during the 1991-92 season with Tech winning 58-56.
Texas Tech head coach Bob Knight has coached in The Pit before. His 1992 Indiana team beat Florida State and UCLA in the NCAA West Regional on its way to the Final Four.
NEW MEXICO STATE RECAP/NOTES - UNM's early-season proficiency from the 3-point line disappeared in the 67-48 loss at New Mexico State. Coming into the game, the Lobos were 2nd in the nation in 3-pointers made at 11.7 a game and 3rd in 3-point accuracy at 48% (35-73). Against the Aggies, UNM connected on just 5 of 26 shots (19%), missing 12 straight during one stretch. The Lobos, who never led, also set a season-low for overall FG% at 32% (19-58). That's the poorest shooting since last year's home loss to Southern Utah when UNM made 31.6% (18-57).
* New Mexico has dropped three straight to New Mexico State for the first time since losing three in a row during the 1999 calendar year.
* The Lobos have now lost 18 straight road games, the longest skid since a 29-game drought between the 1956-57 and 1959-60 seasons. The last road win was Jan. 28, 2001, a 70-64 decision at Colorado State.
* The 19-point deficit is UNM's widest against New Mexico State since a 76-55 setback in Las Cruces on Jan. 19, 1999.
* The 48 points scored is the Lobos' lowest total since a 47-44 loss at Air Force on Feb. 9, 2002. It's the fewest points against the Aggies since Dec. 30, 1985, when NMSU won 53-44 in Las Cruces.
* Chiotti scored 17 points and has scored in double figures every game this season. He scored in double figures three times in 28 games last season. Chiotti is now averaging a team-high 19.3 ppg.
* Walters recorded his 4th career double-digit rebounding game. His career-high is 14 last year at Air Force.
* Javin Tindall's 3 in the first half gave the Lobos at least one made 3-pointer in 400 straight games. The last time UNM failed to make a trey was Jan. 3, 1991, when it went 0 of 8 against Colorado State.
* Tindall, the Lobos' 2nd-leading scorer at 19.3 ppg entering the game, was held to just 5 points. Tindall was 2 of 13 from the floor, including 1 of 8 from 3-point.
* The Lobos have received just one point from their bench the past two games as Justin Benson made a free throw at New Mexico State. Due to some outstanding performances, the Lobo reserves have been outscored 65-1 in the past two games. Portland's Casey Frandsen had 23 points Monday night, while Duane John soared for 33 points in his Aggies' debut Wednesday.
HEAD COACH Ritchie McKay - Ritchie McKay is in his second season in charge of Lobo hoops and his eighth year as a collegiate head coach. He was named UNM's 18th head coach on March 28, 2002. McKay is the son of the late Joe McKay, who was a three-year letterman at guard for the Lobos from 1961-63.
McKay had previous stops at Portland State (1996-98), Colorado State (1998-2000) and Oregon State (2000-02). He has a career record of 95-109, 12-20 at New Mexico. McKay is 8-9 in non-conference games while at UNM, 8-5 at The Pit, 0-4 on the road.
While at Mountain West Conference member Colorado State, McKay led the Colorado State Rams to the NIT in 1999. McKay is 0-1 in his career against Texas Tech.
SEASON NOTES - In its first two games, UNM averaged 90.5 points and shot 57.3% (59-103) from the floor, including 55% (25-45) from 3-point...the numbers the past two games are 59.5 points a game and overall shooting of 38.5% (42-109), 28% (15-54) from 3-point
* Through games of Dec. 3, the Lobos are 10th in the nation in 3-point FGs made per game at 10.0
* David Chiotti scored a career-high 22 points in the win against San Francisco State...Chiotti had his first career double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds in the victory over Highlands
* Javin Tindall scored 18 of his career-high 27 points in the first half in UNM's 86-59 win over New Mexico Highlands
* The Lobos set a school record for 3-point accuracy against San Francisco State, making 72.2% (13-18) of their attempts...the previous best was 70% (7-10) against Wyoming on Feb. 6, 1992...UNM made 9 of 10 treys in the second half against the Gators
* The 53-point margin of victory (95-42) against San Francisco State ties for the seventh largest in school history and ties for the fifth-widest in The Pit...it's the most points in a season opener since a 98-76 triumph over Southern Cal in 1997...it's also the fewest points allowed by UNM since a 74-32 victory over BYU on Feb. 3, 1997
* UNM has made a 3-pointer in 400 straight games, the 11th-longest streak in NCAA Div. I history...the last time the Lobos failed to connect was Jan. 3, 1991 at Colorado State when they missed on eight attempts...UNLV, which has never failed to make a 3 since the shot became rule in 1986-87, is the all-time leader at more than 540 in a row
* Alfred Neale recorded the first double-double of his Lobo career, finishing with a season-best 22 points and 13 rebounds against Portland...he also tied a season-high with four 3-pointers
* Freshman guard Ryan Wall turns 20 on Dec. 10