Nov. 14, 2007
The University of New Mexico (2-0) continues its six-game homestand Friday when it hosts Presbyterian College in the first round of the Basketball Travelers Tournament. Tipoff is approximately 7:15 p.m. from The Pit/Bob King Court in Albuquerque. Live audio is available via All Access at golobos.com.
The three-day event gets underway Friday at 5 with St. Bonaventure facing Loyola Marymount. Each team will play one another - a total of six games - in less than 48 hours.
UNM meets St. Bonaventure Saturday at 7:15, then closes the tournament Sunday against Loyola Marymount at 5:15 p.m.
New Mexico is 2-0 after bashing Eastern Washington 92-57 Monday in the home opener. Presbyterian was 0-1 entering a Wednesday night game at Radford. The Blue Hose lost at Nebraska 67-52 last Friday.
St. Bonaventure is 1-1 with a 68-57 loss at Boston University and a 97-80 victory over Binghamton on Monday. Loyola Marymount is 0-2 after losses to Cal Irvine (74-61) and Arkansas-Little Rock (71-40).
ALFORD'S HOME DEBUT A SUCCESS
Monday marked the regular-season home debut of Steve Alford, who was named UNM's 19th head coach on March 23, 2007. It was a success as the Lobos routed Eastern Washington 92-57.
Alford is 310-183 (63%) in his 17th season as a collegiate head coach. His teams have qualified for postseason play 11 times, produced 13 winning seasons and reached 20 wins on eight occasions.
Alford has not faced any of this week's participating teams in the Basketball Travelers Tournament in his head coaching career.
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.
SEASON TICKETS CLIMB
Season tickets have climbed above 10,000 for the first time since the 2003-04 season when UNM sold 10,598. The count as of Tuesday was 10,066. Season tickets are available through Friday, Nov. 16. UNM sold at least 10,000 season tickets for 30 consecutive seasons between 1974-75 and 2003-04.
SPECIAL FOOTBALL-BASKETBALL TICKET PROMOTION
All fans who attend the UNLV football game on Nov. 24 will receive a coupon for a free ticket to a Lobo men's or women's basketball game in December. Coupons will be distributed upon entrance to the football stadium. The offer is not valid for men's basketball games against Texas Tech (Dec. 15) or New Mexico State (Dec. 19).
UNM VS. B.T. PARTICIPANTS
New Mexico is facing Presbyterian College and St. Bonaventure for the first time.
The Lobos are 3-1 against Loyola Marymount. LMU was the third team UNM played following the opening of The Pit in 1966. The 6th-ranked Lobos won that game 77-59 on Dec. 7. The seriers results:
Dec. 7, 1966 UNM, 77-59 The Pit
Dec. 18, 1967 UNM, 77-76 The Pit
Dec. 16, 1979 LMU, 71-70 The Pit
Jan. 7, 1984 UNM, 66-58 The Pit
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 1,267-996 (.559). New Mexico was 421-497 (.458) from 1900-62, but has gone 846-499 (.628) 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.
DANRIDGE OUT UNTIL JANUARY
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.
UNM PREDICTED FOR 4TH-PLACE FINISH IN MOUNTAIN WEST
New Mexico was picked to finish fourth in the 2007-08 Mountain West Conference race during the league's preseason media gathering in Denver on October 17. Voters were a combination of head coaches and media.
EASTERN WASHINGTON RECAP
Jamaal Smith scored 15 points and Daniel Faris tied a career high with 14, making first-year coach Steve Alford's home court debut a success as New Mexico beat Eastern Washington 92-57 on Monday night.
J.R. Giddens had 13 points and 12 rebounds and reserve Chad Toppert scored 12 for the Lobos, who opened with a road win at Colorado last week and improved to 76-25 all-time in home openers. Adris DeLeon and Trey Gross each scored 14 for Eastern Washington.
Alford worked the sideline wearing a bright cherry blazer, the same jacket he wore at his introductory news conference last spring. He entered The Pit to cheers and calls of "Good luck, Steve!"
New Mexico led 47-29 at halftime and scored the first six points after the break during a 10-4 burst. Giddens scored on consecutive possessions, hitting a jumper and throwing down a highlight dunk after a stolen inbounds pass. That put the Lobos ahead 65-38 with just under 12 minutes remaining.
It was 77-44 with 8:26 to play after Toppert made a jumper, a 3-pointer and added a fastbreak bucket on a nice feed from Darren Prentice, then hit another 3-pointer during another 10-4 run.
Early on, the Lobos didn't look nearly as sharp as their coach. New Mexico committed four turnovers in the opening 4 minutes and Eastern Washington went ahead 10-3. But with Alford barking directions, the Lobos tightened their defense and took off. Fueled by a 1-2-2 press, New Mexico used a 12-0 run over a 3 1/2-minute span. Later, the Lobos scored 17 straight during a 4:13 stretch to build a 37-15 lead with 5:28 before halftime.
EASTERN WASHINGTON POSTGAME NOTES