Lobos Host Colorado State on Tuesday
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  02/04/2008
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Feb. 4, 2008

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    The first lap around the Mountain West Conference track comes to end Tuesday when New Mexico (16-6, 3-4 MWC) hosts Colorado State (6-15, 0-7 MWC). Tipoff is 8:05 p.m. Mountain Time from The Pit/Bob King Court.

    The game can be seen live on The Mtn. with Tim Neverett and Blaine Fowler, plus live audio is available via All Access at golobos.com. Game Sponsors are Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico & 94 Rock.

    Last Saturday in Las Vegas, the Lobos were bounced 79-60 by league co-leader UNLV. The Runnin' Rebels jumped to a 21-5 lead and never looked back. UNM committed a season-high 22 turnovers, matching their entire total from the previous three games. The Lobos had 16 miscues in the first half.

    Trying to avoid losing three straight games for the first time this season, New Mexico enters Tuesday's game tied with TCU and Utah for 5th place in the conference standings.

    Colorado State is looking for its first conference victory. Like UNM on Saturday, the Rams fell behind early in their home game against Utah. The Utes led 33-13 at halftime. Junior Marcus Walker, the MWC's leading scorer, finished with 23 points.


  • It only took New Mexico 20 games to surpass last year's victory total (15-17)...UNM needs one MWC win to equal last year's total (4-10)

  • New Mexico is 12-1 at home this year, winning by an average margin of 19.1 points...the lone blemish was a 72-67 loss to San Diego State, a game the Lobos led 24-10 in the first half and 33-25 at halftime

  • Although CSU took an 88-79 win in The Pit last year, it was just the Rams' 4th victory in 39 tries at University Arena...overall, the Lobos have won 5 of 6, 7 of 9 and 21 of 24 against CSU since Feb. 12, 1994...the Lobos have a 13-3 lead in MWC games

  • Colorado State's new head coach is Tim Miles..it's the 11th - and final - team UNM is facing this season with a new head man on the bench

  • Through games of Sunday, Feb. 3, New Mexico was 6th in the nation in 3-point accuracy at 41.6%, although the Lobos have made just 33.3% (14-42) of their long-distance tries the past 2 games

  • Happy to be home: In the Lobos' last two games - losses at MWC co-leaders BYU and UNLV - they trailed by 20 points at halftime in each game

  • The Lobos' top-2 scorers - J.R. Giddens and Chad Toppert - combine to average more than 24 points a game...in UNM's last 2 games, the duo has combined to score just 29 points...in New Mexico's six losses, Giddens and Toppert are averaging 20 points a game

  • The past 3 games, opponents are averaging 76.3 points and shooting 49.1% (79-161) from the floor

  • The Lobos are shooting just 42.2% from the field in MWC affairs, including 39% (89-228) the past 4 games

  • The Lobos lead the MWC in 3-point FGs (8.36 pg) and 3-point percentage (41.6%)...UNM's 3-point shooting of 41.6% would be the 2nd-best in school history were it to hold up for the entire season

  • The quintet of Daniel Faris, Dairese Gary, J.R. Giddens, Roman Martinez and Chad Toppert has started the past 13 games...the Lobos are 9-4 in those games

  • At UTEP on Jan. 2, Giddens fell 1 rebound short from becoming the first Lobo in 31 seasons to notch 20 points and 20 rebounds in a game...Jimmy Allen had 21 points and 20 boards in a 112-103 loss at New Mexico State on Dec. 1, 1976...Giddens scored 20 points and set career-highs with 19 rebounds and 7 assists in the overtime victory over the Miners...the 19 rebounds are the most in the MWC this season

    HEAD COACH Steve Alford
    Steve Alford was named UNM's 19th head coach on March 23, 2007, after spending eight seasons at the University of Iowa.

    Alford is 324-189 (63%) into his 17th season. His teams have qualified for postseason play 11 times, produced 13 winning seasons and reached 20 wins on eight occasions.

    Alford is facing Colorado State for the first time in his 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.

    In somewhat of a rarity, Alford has never been anything but a head coach at the collegiate level. His first position came at Manchester at the age of 27.

    It's game No. 102 in a series that started Dec. 22, 1940. UNM has a 60-41 lead, although CSU took an 88-79 win in The Pit last year, just the Rams' 4th in 39 tries at University Arena.

    The Lobos have won 5 of 6, 7 of 9 and 21 of 24 against the Rams since Feb. 12, 1994. UNM has a 13-3 lead in MWC games and 35-4 in The Pit.

    Jason Smith had a double-double with 28 points and 11 rebounds and Colorado State put on a torrid first half shooting display in an 88-79 win over New Mexico.

    CSU beat New Mexico in The Pit for only the fourth time in 39 tries. The Rams did it with the 7-footer Smith's dominating play and soft touch jumpers inside and 11 3-pointers - seven of them in the first half.

    New Mexico played without leading scorer J.R. Giddens. Giddens, who practiced on Friday, was in street clothes and wearing a boot on his injured left foot.

    Tony Danridge led New Mexico with 17 points. Reserve Kellen Walter scored a career-high 13 - 10 of them over a span of 65 seconds late in the game when the Lobos used a 17-3 run to trim an 81-60 CSU lead to 84-77 with 55 seconds left.

    The Rams hit 19 of 26 shots in the first half, including 7 of 11 3s.

    CSU scored 13 straight points early in the first half to take a 19-8 lead. Guard Cory Lewis, who scored 10 straight points in the midst of that run, got the Rams rolling with a 3-pointer. He added a jumper in the lane and another 3-pointer and Smith hit a 10-footer and Tyler Smith connected on a 3.

    Jason Smith, who matched his career scoring high - he also had 28 against the Lobos in Albuquerque a year ago - hit 11 of 15 shots, many of them lay-ups over the shorter New Mexico front line.

    Lewis, who scored 15 points in the first half, finished with 17 and Tim Denson scored 15. Stephen Gilling added 12 on four 3-pointers.

    New Mexico, which trailed 46-30 at halftime, scored the first seven points of the second half on a 3-pointer by Darren Prentice and back-to-back field goals by Danridge. Smith halted the rally with a 3-point play and New Mexico would get no closer than the seven-point margin in the final minute.

  • CSU won at The Pit for only the 4th time in 39 games, and the first time since 1993...the Rams had lost 11 straight in Albuquerque

  • Colorado State also halted New Mexico's 11-game home winning streak...UNM's last loss in Albuquerque was 73-66 to San Diego State on Feb. 25, 2006

  • UNM employed its 8th different starting lineup of the season...sophomore G Chad Toppert made his first career start in his 45th career game

  • Colorado State set season-highs with 11 3-pointers, 3-point percentage (55.0%) and FG% (63.3%)...the Rams came into the game averaging 5.4 3s a game

    Tony Danridge scored 24 points to lead New Mexico to a 70-66 win over Colorado State. Aaron Johnson had 13 rebounds and five points for New Mexico and J.R. Giddens added 14 points.

    The teams traded the lead 14 times. Chad Toppert's two free throws with 20 seconds left gave New Mexico a 70-66 lead. Jason Smith and Tyler Smith both missed 3-pointers in the last 15 seconds for Colorado State.

    The Rams trailed 65-64 with 1:13 to go after two free throws by Cory Lewis. Toppert hit a 3-pointer with 39 seconds left to put New Mexico up 68-64. Jason Smith hit two foul shots for CSU to pull to within 68-66 before Toppert hit his two foul shots to close out the scoring. Jason Smith led the Rams with 16 points.

  • New Mexico snapped a 9-game road losing streak, dating to last February at TCU...the Lobos also ended a 9-game road skid a year ago in Fort Collins

  • UNM is 9-2 in its last 11 games against the Rams in Fort Collins

  • New Mexico missed its first 11 shots from the floor and 15 of its first 16...the first basket came at the 13:05 mark on a 3-pointer by Darren Prentice...UNM ended up shooting 38% (24-64) for the game

  • CSU's Jason Smith scored a career-high 28 points - plus 11 rebounds - against New Mexico in The Pit last month...he had 16, all in the 2nd half

  • Smith and Stuart Creason had 36 points and 16 boards against New Mexico in The Pit, 24 points and 9 rebounds in Fort Collins

  • Tony Danridge tied a career-high with 24 points...he also had 24 against Alcorn State...he scored 17 points in the 2nd half, making 7 of 9 FGs after 7 points in the 1st half on 3 of 8 FGs

  • Chad Toppert scored 11 points on three 3s...he scored 8 of UNM's final 12 points, including the last 5 in the final 38 seconds; a 3 that gave UNM a 68-64 lead, then 2 FTs on a 1-and-1 with 20.2 seconds left that pushed the lead back to 70-66

  • Aaron Johnson pulled down 13 rebounds, including 9 on the offensive end...had 2 rebounds against Colorado State in The Pit

  • Ryan Kersten scored 11 points off the bench, on 3 of 6 from 3-point...he made three 3s for the first time this season

  • J.R. Giddens finished with 14 points, hitting 3 baskets from 3-point

    UNLV's Wink Adams had a game high 24 points and Joe Darger added 17 Saturday night as the Rebels never trailed in a 79-60 victory against New Mexico.

    The Rebels opened the game on a 21-5 run, including a stretch of 13 unanswered points. Corey Bailey and Adams each had six points in the outburst.

    UNLV opened the second half on an 8-2 run to extend a 20-point halftime advantage to 48-22. The Rebels led by at least 20 points until the final minute of the game when New Mexico scored the game's final seven points.

    New Mexico committed 16 turnovers in the first half, including 10 in the opening eight minutes, as the Rebels led by as many as 22 points. The Lobos were also limited to six field goals in the half. J.R. Giddens led the Lobos with 13 points and Roman Martinez added 10.

  • New Mexico loses to UNLV for the 10th time in the past 11 games in Las Vegas

  • The 19-point loss is UNM's widest to UNLV in Las Vegas since a 100-68 setback in 1982

  • The Lobos were scoreless for a span of 6:15 of the first half as UNLV increased an 8-5 lead to 21-5...UNM trailed 40-20 at halftime, the second straight game it was down by 20 at the break

  • The Lobos came into the game leading the MWC in 3-point shooting at 42.1%, but were held to 33.3% (8-24) tonight

  • New Mexico shot 39.2% (20-51) and is now shooting 42.2% in 7 MWC games...the FT% tonight was 12 of 23, lowering the season accuracy to 66% and 61.3% (98-160) in conference games

  • After committing a season-low 6 turnovers last Saturday at BYU, the Lobos were guilty of a season-high 22 against UNLV, including 16 in the first half and 11 in the first 9 minutes...the Lobos had committed just 22 turnovers in its past 3 games before tonight

    Freshman Jonathan Wills

  • scored 7 points, his best outing since 13 points in the season opener at Colorado
  • added a season-high 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block and 0 turnovers in 23 minutes

    Freshman Dairese Gary

  • 7 points, 7 assists, 3 rebounds and just 1 turnover

    Junior Chad Toppert

  • 6 points on 2 of 4 shots from 3-point
  • has made a 3-pointer in 15 straight games
  • career accuracy from 3-point is 45.34% (156-344), 1st all-time at UNM...Troy DeVries is 2nd at 44.95%
  • has 156 3-pointers in his career, 8th place all-time at UNM
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