Nov. 6, 2010
By Chelsea Einerwold, Writer/GoLobos.com
The University of New Mexico men's basketball team took care of Manchester College 107-62 in exhibition play Saturday evening at the Pit in front of 14,093 fans.
Lobo Jamal Fenton was a force to be reckoned with. The sophomore guard led all scorers for the evening with 23 points, eight of which came from perfect shooting at the free throw line. He also had five steals and dished out four assists --all in just 19 minutes.
Head coach Steve Alford was pleased with three-fourths of Fenton's play against the Spartans, citing his liveliness as perhaps the most beneficial part of his game.
"He brings a lot of energy," Alford said. "He went into the game four times tonight, three of the times he was terrific and one he was awful. So, he gives us a different dimension. He can pick up full-court and he can harass guards. I thought he did a really good job offensively. I just didn't like his approach defensively to start the second half."
Gary also ripped down six rebounds, handed out four assists and nabbed four steals. Lobo Emmanuel Negedu led all players on the boards, pulling down eight in 20 minutes of play.
In all, a dozen Lobos saw action in the game, with a majority scoring two buckets or more. As a team, New Mexico shot 52.9%, making 36 of 68 from the floor. "We've got a lot of balance," Alford said. "We're deep. We have a lot of combinations and for the first time I can really use that bench for motivation, and I've never had that. We're young, but we can rotate a lot of guys. We saw our versatility in substitution patterns, which I liked."
Heading a gritty Manchester College team was Tyler Delauder. The senior came off the bench for the Spartans to shoot 5-for-10 from three-point range and score a team high 17 points. The guard also had four rebounds and four assists.
Mitch Schaefer added 13 points, with Nathan Ferch and Jason Spindler chipping in nine points apiece for Manchester. Alford was impressed with the Division-III program, and added that it was fun to play against the school where he began his coaching career 20 years ago.
"I really like their team," he said. "They do a very good job with dribble drive and kick and they mix their defenses. I like their personnel and I think they've got a chance to be highly successful."
The two exhibition games garnered a combined attendance of 28,014 fans, which Alford couldn't be more appreciative of. He says his young players need to get used to the big-crowd atmosphere.
New Mexico will spend the next six days preparing for its season opener against Detroit, a tall and athletic team picked to finish second to Butler in the Horizon League.
"This is a pretty good Detroit team," Alford said. "It's going to be a tremendous test. We have six days to get ready and hopefully we'll do that."