May 30, 2007
The University of New Mexico men's basketball team concluded exhibition play on its trip to the Bahamas with a 75-51 win over the Commonwealth Bank Giants tonight. Senior Tony Danridge again led the Lobos with 23 points and 10 rebounds in the game. Fellow senior Darren Prentice added 13 points and seven assists in the game.
The game was delayed for 45 minutes due to the lack of game officials at the scheduled 8:00 p.m. (E.D.T.) tip time. The Lobos may have wanted the game to be cancelled all together, because they played one of the worst possible ten minutes of basketball. UNM shot 3-13 from the field and 0-7 from 3-pt. range, committing eight turnovers. New Mexico had an abysmal six points after 10 minutes of action. The Giants weren't much better, hitting 3-19 from the floor and holding a 12-6 lead.
The second period was more of the same with UNM finishing the half shooting 29% from the floor. The Lobos tied the game at 17 when Danridge stole the ball and fed senior Jamaal Smith for two of his nine points with 5:21 left in the half. The Giants then had a 7-2 spurt to finish the half with a 24-19 lead. Included in that run was a monster put-back slam from 6-6 Giant forward Justano Johnson. Johnson leaped over two defenders to throw down a huge dunk off a teammate's miss. The Lobo deficit marked the third time in four games that UNM trailed at halftime.
The Lobos continued their cold shooting to start the third quarter. New Mexico trailed by as many as 10 points - 37-27 with 5:47 left - in the third quarter. At that point, Danridge hit a three-pointer that sparked a 17-2 run to end the period. UNM led 44-39 after going into the final frame.
"The first half was a good lesson because the guys learned that you have to be ready to play," stated UNM head coach Steve Alford. "We were late getting started, the officials showed up late, and then we showed up late. We adjusted and got things going in the second half and that is a good lesson for them to learn."
New Mexico dominated the fourth quarter, outscoring the Giants 31-12 in the final period. With the win, UNM finishes its Bahamas exhibition tour with a 3-1 record. The Lobos return to Albuquerque on Friday, June 1.