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STEVENS: Lobos Stay Undefeated with 83-71 Win at Hawaii
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  11/28/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Nov. 28, 2009

Box Score

Friday: Lobos 83, Hawaii 71
Up Next: California at Lobos, Wednesday (Dec. 2), The Pit

By Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

At halftime, maybe all Lobo coach Steve Alford said to two of his top guns -- and a few other Lobos -- was, "Welcome to Hawaii. The plane landed two days ago!"

It didn't really look like Darington Hobson and Phillip McDonald knew they were in Honolulu in the first half, but the two Lobos combined to go 8-of-8 from the floor early in the second half to spur a 25-to-4 Lobo run that buried Hawaii in a 60-40 hole.

The Rainbow Warriors never recovered and the University of New Mexico protected its undefeated season by going 6-0 after a convincing 83-71 non-conference win over Hawaii.

The Lobos came out of the half down by a point, 36-35, and were up by 20 before the halfway mark of the second half had been reached.

Alford said there wasn't any Xs and Os adjusted at halftime, but there were some attitude adjustments.

"It looked like we were a little full of ourselves (in the first half)," said Alford. "The adjustments at halftime were nothing X and O. It was more changing our demeanor, challenging our guys' character. It was, 'Hey, you guys want to be coached or you going to do this thing on your own?'

"We didn't mention one adjustment offensively. We did nothing defensively. We talked about our demeanor, our attitude, our character. That's what changed in the second half."

The Lobos opened the second half with a 10-0 run and a few key Lobos who were quiet in the first half -- namely Hobson and McDonald -- were big parts in the run that handed UNM a quick 45-36 lead. That Lobo scoring spurt also led to a Hawaii timeout.

Hobson scored inside again and UNM was up 47-36. The Lobos had come out of the half inspired while the Rainbows looked like a team suffering from jet lag.

Hobson made it a 14-0 run and the Lobos were up 49-36. Jeremy Lay finally cracked the ice off the Rainbows' rim and broke the UNM run with a single free throw that made it 49-37 at the 16:28 mark. McDonald then scored a layup off a Hobson pass to push UNM up 51-37. The teams went into a break at 15:49 with UNM up 51-37 and riding a 16-to-1 run.

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Hawaii got a 3-pointer from Hiram Thompson to make it 54-37, but Martinez banged in a long one to answer and push UNM up 57-40. The Lobos, down one at the half, were up 17 less than seven minutes into the second half. Another Martinez trey made it 60-40 and Hawaii called a 30-second timeout at the 13:36 mark.

The Rainbows desperately needed a scoring run of their own in order to get back into the game. Martinez kept the `Bows in a hole by throwing in a trey at 9:49 to keep UNM up by 20 points, 65-45.

Then the home team got things rolling. A 6-0 Hawaii run made it 65-51 (14) with 8:19 to play. Lay cut UNM's lead to 11 with a trey: 65-54. The `Bows were playing better, but they were running short on time against a UNM team playing solid defense.

Alford called a full timeout with 4:46 to play and leading 66-54 (12). The Lobos were playing good defense and rebounding well, but needed to put some more juice into their offense. Martinez and Hobson now had 16 points and Hardeman had ten boards.

Hobson came out of the break, drove, scored and was fouled. He completed the 3-point play to put UNM up 69-54 with 4:22 to play. The Lobos went up 73-58 following two short baskets by Hobson and Nate Garth.

Hawaii called a timeout with 1:59 to play and began fouling UNM at one end and launching treys at the other end. The Warriors hit a few shots down the stretch, but UNM made enough free throws to preserve the 83-71 win.

Hobson ended with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists. A.J. Hardeman also had a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards. Martinez had 19 points and 5 rebounds. McDonald finished with 10 points. UNM shot 47 percent from the field and outrebounded Hawaii 43-to-35. The Lobos had 22 offensive rebounds with Hardeman getting six, and Hobson and Martinez each pulling down four offensive boards.

"I thought a difference was offensive board play," said Alford. "You get 22 offensive rebounds, you're going to be hard to beat."

The Lobos' next game is Wednesday in The Pit against California. "It couldn't be more perfect," said Alford. "We have a team that is supposed to win the Pac-10 and probably is going to be nationally ranked and we're undefeated."

First Half -- Hawaii 36, Lobos 35

The Lobos jumped up 6-0 and 8-4 to open the non-conference game. At the 12:09 mark, it was 8-6 UNM before the Rainbows produced an 8-all tie going into a break at the 10:58 mark. The Lobos were 0-and-8 from the 3-point line at that mark. UNM was shooting 4-of-18 from the floor.

Jamal Fenton drove and tossed in a layup to produce a 10-9 Lobo lead. Hawaii's Hiram Thompson hit the first trey of the game near the 9:40 mark to push Hawaii up 12-10. Rainbow Roderick Fleming drove and threw in a floater to make it 14-10 Hawaii. UNM's Nate Garth came back to hit UNM's first trey followed by another Thompson trey to give Hawaii a 17-13 lead.

UNM's Alford called a 30-second timeout when Hawaii went up 19-13 off a UNM turnover. The Lobos, who had five turnovers against Miami (Ohio), now had five miscues against Hawaii.

Gary came out with a power drive, scored and was fouled going into a media break at 7:46. The tough Lobo missed the free shot, but scored a few seconds later to make it 19-17. The `Bows turned it over and A.J. Hardeman threw down a dunk to produce a 19-all tie.

Hawaii then scored two straight buckets to take a 23-19 lead with 6:07 to play. Hardeman put up a Martinez miss to pull UNM to 23-21. Hardeman got the next Lobo basket, too, to make the score 25-23 in Hawaii's favor.

Hawaii went up 27-23 with Thompson hit two-of-three from the line after getting fouled behind the 3-point line by Gary. UNM had 11 offensive rebounds at that mark, but the Lobos were shooting 1-of-11 from behind the line and 34 percent overall.

Martinez rattled in two free throws and Will Brown got a dunk to tie the game at 27-all. Jeremy Lay came back with a trey to produce a 30-27 Hawaii lead. Martinez countered with a bomb to tie the game 30-all at the 2:31 mark. It was UNM's second trey of the game.

Hawaii held a 31-30 lead on a free throw before Fenton banged in a trey to put UNM back up, 33-31. Lay tossed in his second trey to give Hawaii at 34-33 lead. Hobson scored under the hoop to put UNM up 35-34. Fenton fouled Hawaii's Lay with 19 seconds to go and the `Bow hit his two free shots to push Hawaii up 36-35. The first half ended on that one-point Rainbow lead. It was the first time in six games that UNM trailed at the half.

Hardeman paced the Lobos' first half with eight points, seven rebounds and one steal. Hawaii was led by Lay with 11 points. The Lobos ruled the boards 21-to-15, but Hawaii outshot the Lobos, 50 percent to 39 percent from the floor. The Lobos were 3-of-13 from behind the line while Hawaii was 4-of-6. Both teams had nine turnovers in the first half.

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