Dec 28, 2003
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Danny Granger scored 16 points and New Mexico won its fourth straight game, defeating Northwestern State 87-51 in the first round of the Lobo Invitational Sunday.
New Mexico (6-3) will meet Penn State (5-4) in Monday's championship game. The Nittany Lions beat Arkansas State, 73-61, in the first game.
New Mexico dominated the young Lions (2-7), who have 10 sophomores and three freshmen on their squad. Jermaine Wallace, one of those sophomores, was the only Lion in double figures with 10 points.
The four wins is the Lobos' longest winning streak since an eight-game streak in the 2001-2002 season.
With Northwestern State hitting just two of its first 17 shots, New Mexico steadily pulled away to a 49-24 halftime lead. Fourteen of the final 16 points in the first half were scored from the foul line as the two teams combined for 26 fouls in the first 20 minutes and 46 for the game.
The two teams shot 58 free throws.
New Mexico's lead ballooned to 66-26 with 15:20 left in the game after the Lobos scored 16 straight points. Troy DeVries had a pair of 3-pointers and Mark Walters also hit from behind the arc in that scoring run.
New Mexico coach Ritchie McKay played his reserves much of the night, with Granger was on the court for only 16 minutes.
Walters, who missed the last two games, had a season-high 12 points. Walters was hospitalized this month for what his parents said was an overdose of medication. He was greeted with a loud ovation when he entered the game with 14:31 left in the first half.