Dec. 17, 2010
Albuquerque, N.M. --- For about 13 minutes, it looked like the first game after a hectic week of final exams. For the last 25 minutes, it was an absolute A+ effort. New Mexico pulled away from the Longwood Lancers with a 16-4 run to end the first half, and then a 25-6 run to end the game after the Pit was evacuated after a fire alarm went off in the building as New Mexico won their 28th straight home game in the month of December with a 91-54 pasting of Longwood in the first game of the Las Vegas Classic, presented by iBN.
For the first 13 minutes a pasting was not on anyone's mind, as Longwood hit threes at a surprising clip to take a 22-18 lead. That lead, would not hold. New Mexico went on a closing 16-4 run to take a 39-29 advantage into the break, and it was started and ended by freshman Kendall Williams. He started it with a free throw and a laup to cut the lead to one, and after a missed three by Phillip McDonald, Emmanuel Negedu tipped the rebound in to give UNM their first lead since 1-0. Jeremiah Bowman hit a three for Longwood by Cameron Bairstow answered after a nice Williams dish to tie it at 25 at the 3:47 media timeout.
The Lobos slowly pulled away in the second half, and took a 20-point lead at 61-41 with 11:55 left. That 20-point lead is something they have had in all six home games thus far. With UNM up 66-48, it was twilight zone time as the Pit's fire alarm system went off due to excess smoke coming from one of the food preparations areas in the arena. The building was evacuated in good order, and the game was delayed 34 minutes.
A statement was release through Asst. A.D. for Communications Frank Mercogliano. "The smoke detector in the kitchen was set off by excess smoke. The system in place worked exactly as it was intended to. The building was evacuated, and once it was cleared by the UNM fire marshall, fans and players were allowed back in the building and we resumed the game."
And resumed meant the Lobos went crazy over the final 8:24, ending the game on a 25-6 run. The only basket they allowed was a three-pointer with 21 seconds left, but New Mexico held Longwood without a field goal over an 8:45 stretch, forcing 10 turnovers and five missed shots over that span.
The Lobos got solid efforts from just about everyone. Williams led all with a career-high 20 points, becoming the first Lobo this year to hit the 20-point mark. He went 7-for-8, 3-for-3 from the three, and had six assists, no turnovers, and three steals. Chad Adams also had a career-high with 15 points, all in 10 minutes of second half action. Phillip McDonald scored in double-figures for a sixth straight game with 12, Jamal Fenton had 11, and A.J. Hardeman had 10.
Dairese Gary only scored seven, but he had eight assists for the second straight game. UNM easily outrebounded the Lancers 42-23, with Emmanuel Negedu's eight leading the way. For Longwood, Antwan Carter was a tough out, scoring 17 points and grabbing eight boards. Martiz Washington added 11 and Bowman chipped in 10 off the bench.
The Lobos (8-1) now host the Citadel on Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. in a game broadcast on My50-TV. Lower bowl seats are still available by calling 925-5858, or by logging on at unmtickets.com.
NOTES: New Mexico has won 28 straight December home games, as their last December loss was December 22, 2004 to 5th-ranked Wake Forest 81-64 ... Hardeman was 6-for-11 from the line in the first half, both numbers career-highs ... New Mexico's six turnovers were a season low, and they accounted for just one point for Longwood ... New Mexico is now 38-6 since the start of the 2009-10 season ... UNM has now outrebounded their last two opponents 90-54.