STEVENS: Lobos Stumble Down The Stretch in Road Loss At Texas Tech
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  12/20/2008
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Dec. 20, 2008

Box Score |  Notes

Lobo Basketball
Texas Tech 86, Lobos 78
Up Next: Lobos vs. New Mexico State, 6:35 p.m., Tuesday, The Pit

By Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

To win on the road, there are a lot of things a team needs to do and a lot of things a team needs not to do. The Lobos made more than a few critical mistakes down the stretch at Texas Tech allowing the Red Raiders to escape with a 86-78 win Saturday afternoon in Tech's United Spirit Arena.

Simply put, the Lobos didn't make plays in the game's critical minutes and allowed the Red Raiders to make big plays and big shots. The Lobos also didn't take care of the basketball very well in the game's final minutes.

The back breakers for UNM:

-- A cross-court pass by senior Daniel Faris that was stolen by Tech's Tyree Graham, who goes in for a layup at 3:55 to push Tech up 73-66.

-- A Dairese Gary turnover on a pass that leads to a Alan Voskuil trey at 2:14 to push Tech up 76-69.

-- Sending the wrong Raider to the free-throw line (Voskuil) with 1:31 to play. Voskuil hits them both to give Tech an 80-74 lead.

-- Another Gary turnover at 1:11 that eventually leads to a layup by Tech's Robert Lewandoski that gives the Raiders an 82-74 lead to ice the win for Texas Tech.

The loss at Tech drops the Lobos to 7-5 on the season, but the Lobos have a chance to quickly wash the taste of defeat out of their mouths. The New Mexico State Aggies visit The Pit at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday. The Lobos next game after that is a Dec. 30 visit to the Aggie's Pan American Center in Las Cruces.

The Lobos were paced in scoring at Tech by freshman Phillip McDonald, who had 17 points and six rebounds. Chad Toppert had 15 points and Roman Martinez added 14 points. Tony Danridge had 13 points. The Lobos did not get a good game inside from Faris, who had more fouls (5) than he had points (4) or rebounds (3).

Tech was paced by Voskuil with 28 points. John Roberson had 13 points and nine assists and Mike Singletary had 12 points and 11 rebounds. Tech shot 26-of-56 from the floor for 46.4 percent and UNM shot 28-of-60 for 46.7 percent.

Tech used the free-throw line to help it raise its record to 8-3. The Raiders went 25-of-31 from the charity stripe. UNM went 12-of-18. The Lobos had 19 turnovers and Tech had 16. Tech had 36 rebounds to 33 for the visitors from Albuquerque.

The Lobos had muscled to a 24-17 lead in the first half, but a 14-0 run by Tech pushed the Raiders up 31-24. UNM trailed 35-31 at the half.

The Lobos' inside game suffered a blow at the 15:12 mark of the second half when Faris fouled Singletary on a drive and the 6-9 Faris went to the bench with his fourth foul. Singletary made the free throw to give Tech a 46-40 lead.

A 3-pointer by freshman Nate Garth, a layup by A.J. Hardeman and a 3-pointer by Chad Toppert helped UNM grab a 48-47 lead. At the 11:41 media timeout, it was Tech 51-50. Roberson hit two free throws at 10:33 to put Tech up 53-50 and UNM's Garth came down to hit a trey to tie the game at 53-all.

Tech went up 60-55 at at the 9:18 mark when Voskuil launched a long and successful 3-pointer. Tech's Roberson picked up his fourth foul bumping Danridge on a cut and Danridge hit both free throws to cut UNM's gap to two points at 60-58 going into the game's final eight minutes.

Danridge cut into Tech's lead again with two free throws at the 5:52 mark to make it 64-62 in favor of Tech. Roberson came off the bench and quickly hit a trey to make it 67-62 at 5:37. Lobos coach Steve Alford called a timeout.

McDonald and Voskuil exchanged jumpers and at 4:49 it was 69-64 Tech. McDonald penetrated the zone for a jumper and Voskuil countered with two free throws to make it 71-66.

Tech's Graham came up with his big play play at 3:55 when he stepped in front of Faris' pass and scored to put Tech up 76-66. UNM cut it to 73-69 at 3:34 on a Toppert trey. Going into a timeout at 3:05, UNM is still down 73-69, but UNM has possession of the ball.

Garth comes out of the break and turns the ball over on a drive. Tech couldn't convert, but Gary turns it over with a bad pass and Voskuil banged in a trey from the right side at 1:10 to push Tech up 76-69. Martinez came back with a quick trey to pull UNM to 76-72 at 1:57, but the Lobos were running out of time.

Tech got a driving scoop layup from Robertson and Martinez hit two free throws to make it 78-74. Martinez made a mistake after his free throws by sending the red-hot Voskuil to the line. It was Martinez's fifth foul. The 6-3 senior banged in both freebies and came up with a steal a few seconds later on a Gary turnover. With 1:05 to play. Raiders' coach Pat Knight called a timeout with the ball and with a six-point lead.

The Raiders' iced the game with 50.2 seconds to play when Robert Lewandowski scored a layup that pushed Tech up 82-74 and pushed Faris to the bench with his fifth foul. The Raiders used the free-throw line to reach the 86-78 final.

Editor's note: Richard Stevens is a former Associate Sports Editor and sports columnist for The Albuquerque Tribune. You can reach him at rstevens50@comcast.net. Previous articles are available at The Richard Stevens Corner