With its 82-63 win tonight, New Mexico earned its fifth straight victory and improved to 7-3 on the season...the Lobos won the Lobo Invitational title for the 27th time in the 39-year history of the tournament...UNM improved to 66-12 all-time in the Invitational and outscored its opponents 169-114 en route to this year's crown.
New Mexico continued a recent trend by jumping out to a big early lead for the fourth straight game...UNM led 22-6 nearly nine minutes into the game and later stretched its first half lead to 18 (33-15) at the 5:56 mark...the Lobos led Coppin State 26-5, New Mexico State 31-9 and Northwestern State 21-5 in the first half...Penn State battled back however, using a 13-2 run to close to within 7 at the 2:14 mark...the Nittany Lions trailed 42-33 at the half.
The Nittany Lions cut their deficit to 6 (51-45) at the 13:19 mark of the second half...New Mexico, however, received threes from Danny Granger, Troy DeVries and Javin Tindall to ignite a 13-0 run over the next 2:50 to put the game away.
UNM has not trailed in its last five games since losing to Texas Tech on Dec. 6...Sacramento State tied New Mexico at 47 midway through the second half on Dec. 8, but the Lobos have not faced a deficit of any kind for 200 minutes.
New Mexico hit a season-high 16 3-pointers on the night, matching the fourth-best effort in school history...UNM last hit 16 versus Sacramento State on Dec. 19, 1998...the Lobos connected on 8 of their first 14 (57.1%) from beyond the arc in the first 14 minutes of play, while Penn State had just 6 total field goals (6-14, 42.9%)...UNM extended its streak to 406 consecutive games hitting a 3-pointer, the 11th longest run in the nation.
One night after having his 14-game 3-point shooting streak snapped (0-2 3FGs), UNM guard Javin Tindall tied a career-high with 6 threes on 12 attempts (also a career-high)...Tindall finished with 20 points, his fourth game scoring 20 or more this year after posting a single-game high of just 18 last season...Tindall scored 12 points on 4-4 3-point shooting in the first five minutes of the game after scoring a total of 12 points in the past 2 games combined....Tindall also pulled down a career-high 5 rebounds.
UNM forward Danny Granger led New Mexico in scoring for the fourth straight game, finishing with a season-high 26 on the night...Granger also notched a career-high 8 steals (7 in the second half), which is tied for third on the UNM single-game charts...Marlow White was the most recent Lobo to steal 8 or more, notching 8 vs. BYU on Feb. 4, 1995...New Mexico recorded a season-high 12 steals as a team.
Penn State's 20 turnovers were the second-most by a Lobo opponent this year, two under San Francisco State's 22 miscues in the season-opener. ..UNM scored 40 points off the Lions' turnovers.
Lobo forward Alfred Neale recorded a career-high 7 assists, including 6 in the first half...Neale's previous best was 4 vs. New Mexico Highlands.
Penn State forward Jan Jagla scored a team-high 22 points, but was held to just 6 in the second half...Jagla was scoreless through the first 15 minutes of the game...he then hit 4 of his next 5 shots from the floor, including all 3 from 3-point range, and 5-6 from the FT line to finish with 16 first half points, all in the final 5:10 of the period.
New Mexico had four players score in double figures for the second time this year (4 vs. Portland)...the Lobos also had two players (Granger - 26, Tindall - 20) score 20 or more points for the second time this year (Chiotti - 24, Tindall - 22 vs. Sacramento State).