Lobos Visit Hawai'i Thursday
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  12/26/2007
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Dec. 26, 2007

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    Christmas in Hawai'i has a nice ring to it and that's where the New Mexico Lobos find themselves Dec. 27 for a single game against the Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors.

    UNM and UH hook up at 10 p.m. MST (7 p.m. in Honolulu) from the Stan Sheriff Center on the University of Hawai'i campus. The Mtn.will carry the game live. Live audio is also available via All Access at golobos.com.

    New Mexico defeated the Rainbow Warriors 89-60 in The Pit on Nov. 21. UNM is playing in Honolulu for the first time since Feb. 6, 1999 when Hawai'i took a 72-68 overtime decision.

    The Lobos (11-2) are riding a 4-game win streak - all at home - following a stifling 62-32 win over Weber State on Sunday. UNM stayed perfect at home (10-0) and is now 11-2 for only the second time in the past seven seasons. The 2004-05 squad led by Danny Granger started 14-2.

    The Lobos have won 31 consecutive non-conference home games. New Mexico has not lost a non-conference game in The Pit in more than three years, since an 81-64 setback to 5th-ranked Wake Forest on Dec. 22, 2004.

    New Mexico is 1-2 away from The Pit this season, winning 54-47 in the season opener at Colorado, then losing at Ole Miss (85-77) and New Mexico State (71-62).

    Hawai'i (3-7) has lost three in a row - all at home - to Louisiana Lafayette, St. John's and Georgia. The Rainbow Warriors are 3-5 at home this season.

    The Hawai'i game is the first of three straight road games for UNM. The Lobos open the New Year and close out the non-conference portion of the schedule Jan. 2 at UTEP followed by the Mountain West Conference opener Jan. 5 at Wyoming.

    The Lobos are away from The Pit for nearly three weeks. The next home game is Saturday, Jan. 12 against San Diego State. That is Pack The Pit night with all tickets available for just $10.

    Bring in the New Year in with a blast and travel with the Lobo Club to cheer on the men's basketball team at UTEP.

    Bus transportation leaves from the UNM athletics department at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 2 and returns immediately after the game. The cost is $55 per person, which includes a game ticket. There will be a stop for dinner on your own in El Paso.

    Space is limited so call 925-5014 or go on-line to www.unmloboclub.org and click on events to reserve your spot today.

    HEAD COACH Steve Alford
    Steve Alford was named UNM's 19th head coach on March 23, 2007, after spending eigth seasons at the University of Iowa.

    Alford is 319-185 (63%) into his 17th season. His teams have qualified for postseason play 11 times, produced 13 winning seasons and reached 20 wins on eight occasions.

    In eight seasons at Iowa, Alford compiled a 152-106 record with a school-record seven consecutive winning seasons, and six postseason appearances. The Hawkeyes won two Big Ten Conference tournament titles (2001 and `06). Iowa was 17-14 in 2006-07. It was 9-7 in the Big Ten, tied with NCAA teams Illinois and Purdue for fourth place.

    Prior to Iowa, Alford posted a 78-29 record in four seasons (1992-95) at NCAA Division III Manchester (Ind.) College and a four-year (1996-99) record of 78-48 at Southwest Missouri State (now Missouri State). The Bears defeated Wisconsin and Tennessee to advance to the Sweet 16 of the 1999 NCAA Tournament before losing to top-ranked Duke in the regional semifinals. In 1997 Alford led the Bears to a 24-9 record (second in the Missouri Valley Conference) and a trip to the National Invitation Tournament.

    In somewhat of a rarity, Alford has never been anything but a head coach at the collegiate level. His first position came at Manchester at the age of 27.

    Long-time rivals in the Western Athletic Conference, New Mexico and Hawai'i hook up for the 57th time since the first meeting on Feb. 5, 1965.

    UNM has a 39-17 lead overall, including 23-2 in Albuquerque and 21-2 in The Pit. The Lobos also lead 15-13 in games played in Honolulu, although Hawai'i has a 4-1 advantage in the Stan Sheriff Center. New Mexico's only win on that floor was 88-79 on Feb. 24, 1996.

    UNM and UH were both members of the WAC from 1980-99 and the Lobos held a 25-13 lead in the series over that span.

    Chad Toppert scored 20 points and Daniel Faris had 12 of his 16 in New Mexico's blistering second half as the Lobos beat Hawaii 89-60. Five players scored in double figures, including J.R. Giddens with 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots. Freshman Dairese Gary scored 15 points in his first college start and Jamaal Smith had 12.

    The Lobos made their last 9 field goals and outscored Hawaii 51-29 in the second half. Bobby Nash scored 16 for the Warriors while Jared Dillinger had 15, Riley Luettgerodt scored 14 and Bill Amis had 10.

    New Mexico led 38-31 at halftime, and everything seemed to go right for the Lobos whenever they ran the floor after that. Gary scored the first five points of the second half, hitting a 3-pointer and completing a conventional three-point play, as the Lobos opened with a 10-2 run that pushed their lead to 48-31.

    It was 52-35 after Giddens made a jumper and scored a layin after a steal less than 5 minutes into the second half. Later, Faris had a fastbreak jumper for a 67-51 lead, forcing a Hawaii timeout with 7:42 remaining.

    Dillinger dropped a floater for Hawaii, trimming the deficit to 69-53, but the Lobos answered with a 9-0 burst. Then Toppert made a jumper and scored on a break to give New Mexico an 82-55 lead with 3:30 to play. During that stretch, New Mexico hit nine straight baskets without a miss.

  • The Lobos shot a season-high 61% (36-59) from the floor and 76% (22-29) in 2nd half...UNM made its last 9 FG attempts and 12 of its last 13

  • New Mexico started 1 of 7 from the floor, meaning it made 35 of its last 52 attempts, or 67%

  • UNM opened the second half with a 10-2 run to take a 48-33 lead...freshman Dairese Gary, who started his first Lobo game and finished with a season-high 15 points, scored the first six points of the 2nd half for the Lobos

  • Hawaii made 7 of its first 10 shots, but finished 22 of 49 for 45%

  • The Lobos out-rebounded UH 33-21, including 17-9 in the 2nd half...all 10 Lobos had a rebound

  • New Mexico had 21 assists to just 8 turnovers, and 8 players had at least one assist

  • Junior Daniel Faris had a career-high 16 points, 12 of those coming in the 2nd half when he made all 6 of his FG attempts...he scored 10 of the Lobos' 12 points during one stretch in the 2nd half

  • Led by junior Chad Toppert's team-high 20 points, the New Mexico bench scored 36 points, had 13 assists, 3 turnovers and 3 steals

    SEASON NO. 105
    The 2007-08 season is the 105th in school history. The Lobos first laced up the hightops on Feb. 2, 1900, when they lost 8-6 to the Albuquerque Guards. While this season is actually the 106th anniversary of that inaugural year, UNM did not field a team for various reasons in 1900-01, 1903-04, 1917-18 and 1920-21.

    The Lobos have been on the hardwoods continuously since the 1921-22 season and have compiled an all-time record of 1,275-999 (.560). New Mexico was 420-498 (.457) from 1900-62, but has gone 855-501 (.630) over the past 44-plus seasons, an average of nearly 19 wins per year.

    The Lobos have made 27 trips to the postseason during that span, including 11 appearances in the NCAA Tournament and 16 showings in the NIT.

    Lobo senior Tony Danridge suffered a broken left fibula during a game with teammates on Oct. 4. He had surgery on Oct. 8 and is expected to miss three months. Danridge, a 6-5 senior from San Bernardino, Calif., posted 12.5 points and 2.5 rebounds per game last season and was named 3rd team All-MWC. He is the only Lobo to play in all 95 games over the past three seasons, not missing a game to this point in his Lobo career. He does have a redshirt year available.

    The University of New Mexico got eight points from J.R. Giddens in a game-opening 15-0 run in a 62-32 rout over Weber State on Sunday. The Wildcats point total tied a University Arena record for the fewest points scored, as New Mexico won its fourth straight game.

    Giddens finished with a game-high 18 points, and Daniel Faris added 10, while Weber State did not have a player reach double figures. Weber's Arturas Valeika and Juan Pablo Silveira each scored eight points. Giddens also added a game-high nine rebounds.

    New Mexico hit six of its first seven shots, while the Wildcats missed their first six attempts before finally scoring on a 3-pointer from Silveira 6:14 into the game.

    The Lobos led 34-12 at halftime and consistently extended the advantage throughout the second half, with the final margin being the largest lead of the game.

    The Wildcats were never able to get a running game going, not scoring a point off a turnover until the final moments. New Mexico didn't offer many chances in that area, finishing with just nine.

  • The 32 points ties for the fewest by a Lobo opponent in The Pit, which opened in December of 1966...UNM beat BYU 74-32 on Feb. 3, 1997

  • It also ties for the fewest points allowed by a Steve Alford-coached team during his 17-year coaching career...on March 12, 1999, Alford's Southwest Missouri State squad beat Wisconsin 43-32 in the 1st round of the NCAA Tournament in Charlotte N.C.

  • New Mexico led 34-12 at halftime...Weber State shot just 20% (5-25) in the 1st half and committed 9 turnovers

  • The 12 points scored by Weber State in the first half are the fewest by a UNM opponent since Dec. 29, 1972, when the Lobos had a 40-9 halftime lead over Dartmouth

  • New Mexico has won 31 consecutive non-conference home games and 47 of the past 48

  • UNM held Weber State to 22.9% (11-48) shooting, the lowest by an opponent since TCU shot 21% (13-62) on Feb. 11, 2006...Weber State came into the game shooting 47.6% on the season

  • Points off Turnovers: New Mexico 24, Weber State 2

  • The Lobos jumped out to a 15-0 lead by making 6 of their first 7 FGs, including 2-2 from 3-point...Weber State did not score until the 13:48 mark of the first half, missing its first 6 shots from the floor

    Senior J.R. Giddens

  • 18 points (7-10 FGs, 2-3 3s, 2-4 FTs) and a team-high 9 rebounds
  • best output in 9 games, since scoring 21 against Loyola Marymount
  • shooting 50% (60-120) from the floor in 2007-08
  • grabbed the Lobos' first 6 rebounds of the game

    Senior Darren Prentice

  • scored 9 points by making all 3 of his 3-point attempts
  • had missed his last 6 shots from 3-point against Texas Tech and NMSU

    Senior Jamaal Smith

  • scored 9 points and pulled down a career-high 8 rebounds; his previous rebound best was 5 against Presbyterian earlier this year

    Junior Chad Toppert

  • converted 1 of 5 shots from 3-point, only the 2nd time this season he has not made at least 2 3s in a game

  • his season accuracy is now 50% (36-72) while his career percentage of 45.3% (135-298) continues to be the best in UNM history

  • has 135 3-pointers in his career, 5 from moving into the top-10 all-time at UNM

    In consecutive games against San Diego and Texas Tech, New Mexico really put the clamps on the opponents' top scorers:

  • University of San Diego: USD's top-2 scorers - Brandon Johnson and Gyno Pomare - were held to a combined 14 points and 4 rebounds...they came into the game averaging 31.6 points and 10.7 rebounds...Pomare had a season-low 4 points

  • Texas Tech: Martin Zeno and Alan Voskuil had just 5 points and 0 rebounds...the duo was averaging 30.3 points and 10.1 rebounds...Zeno was held scoreless and had just 1 FG attempt in 5 minutes, while Voskuil (1-6 FGs, 2-2 FTs) didn't score until 3:31 into the second half on a pair of FTs

    IT'S A REAL T.E.A.M.
    Some pretty interesting facts about the 10-man Lobos team through the first 13 games of the season:

  • All 10 Lobos have played in every game this season, and all 10 are averaging between 12 and 28.5 minutes a game

  • With 13 games in the books, you could say there have been a total of 130 opportunities to score: 13 games x 10 players...amazingly, only 12 times has a Lobo not gotten into the scoring column this season...it's the same with rebounding: just 13 times has a Lobo failed to get a carom

  • Seven different players have led the team in scoring, and that happened in the first 11 games

  • Only one Lobo - J.R. Giddens - ranks in the top-20 in the Mountain West Conference in scoring...Giddens is 20th at 11.8 points a game

    And, since everyone plays the Lobo bench has made huge contributions. The reserves contributed 49 points in the 86-58 win over Loyola Marymount, including 19 of the first 23 and 26 of 43 in the first half. UNM's reserves have scored 43.3% (419 of 968) of the points and pulled down 43.5% (184 of 423) of the individual rebounds this season. That's averages of 32.2 points and 14.15 rebounds a game.

    The Lobos opened the season by shooting a chilly 60.4% from the free-throw line in the first 6 games. The past 7 contests, the accuracy is 73.2% (104-142), raising the season percentage to 67.6%.

    The Lobos' 81.8% (9-11) accuracy from 3-point against Texas Tech is a school record and it tied the Mountain West Conference record (San Diego State - Dec. 15, 2006). The previous UNM record was 72.2% (13-18) vs. San Francisco State in 2003.

    Junior Chad Toppert remains in the No. 1 position in school history for 3-point accuracy. He has made 45.3% (135-298) of his tries. Troy DeVries is 2nd at 44.95% (147-327).

    Toppert leads the league and is 10th nationally in 3-point shooting this season at 50% (36-72). He's made 18 of 32 (56%) the past 6 games after an 0 for 6 performance against Southern Utah.

    For the first time since the 3-point shot was introduced into college basketball before the 1986-87 season, UNM canned at least 13 3-pointers in three straight games. The historic feat came during the Basketball Travelers Invitational when the Lobos were 13 of 28 against Presbyterian, 13 of 28 against St. Bonaventure and 13 of 26 against Loyola Marymount. That's a 47.6% clip for the 3-game tournament.

    MORE ON THE 3s
    Before the 3-for-24 performance from long range against Southern Utah, the Lobos were among the nation's early leaders in 3-point shooting. However, they still lead the league in 3s per game at 8.85 and in accuracy at 44.1%.

    UNM has made a 3-pointer in 561 straight games, the 12th-longest active streak in NCAA Div. I. UNLV is 1st at more than 650 games. The last time UNM failed to connect from long range was Jan. 3, 1991, missing on 8 attempts against Colorado State in The Pit.

    The 28 assists in the 92-57 win over Eastern Washington is UNM's highest total in 10 years, since it had 32 in a 112-61 victory over Holy Cross on Dec. 29, 1997. The Lobos are averaging 17.2 assists a game compared to 15.1 in 2006-07.

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