Dec. 28, 2003
With its 87-51 win tonight, New Mexico earns its fourth straight victory and improves to 6-3 on the season...the Lobos advance to the title game of the Lobo Invitational for the 37th time in the 39-year history of the tournament...UNM is 65-12 all-time in the Lobo Invitational...New Mexico also improves to 2-0 all-time against Northwestern State after edging the Demons 60-56 at The Pit last year.
The Lobos will seek their 27th Lobo Invitational championship on Monday night when they take on Penn State...the Nittany Lions defeated Arkansas State 73-61 in the first round...forwards Jan Jagla (18 pts., 17 rebs.) and Ndu Egekeze (15 pts., 15 rebs.) each posted double-doubles for Penn State, while guard Deforrest Riley-Smith added 22 points, including 5-6 shooting from 3-point range. The Nittany Lions committed 23 turnovers, but held a 49-32 advantage in rebounding.
New Mexico had its second-best shooting performance of the year, hitting 55.6% (30-54) of its field goals on the night...UNM improved to 4-0 when shooting 50% or better from the floor...Northwestern State, meanwhile, hit just 24.2% (15-62) of its field goal attempts, the lowest by a Lobo opponent in six years when Yale shot 23.1% (12-52) in the championship game of the 1997 Lobo Invitational.
Northwestern State became the fifth Lobo opponent to shoot under 40% from the floor this year and was the fourth straight foe to hit less than 38% of its shots...UNM held five opponents to less than 40% shooting in all 28 games last season.
UNM received a season-high 40 points from 9 players off the bench tonight...the previous best was 32 points (5 players) versus New Mexico Highlands on Nov. 24...11 players logged double digit minutes tonight.
New Mexico had a season-high 23 assists and had a 16-0 advantage in fast break points...the Lobos also outscored the Demons 40-14 in the paint and held a 43-37 advantage in rebounding...since the addition of forward Danny Granger to the lineup, UNM has outrebounded its opponents 127-83 (3 games), an average of +15.
New Mexico held a 49-24 lead at the half, marking the third straight game the Lobos have led by 20 or more at the end of the first half...UNM is averaging 41.7 points in the first half of its last three games, while limiting its opponents to an average of 20 points...Northwestern State hit just 2 of its first 18 shots and endured a 5:08 field goal drought.
The Lobos' 49 first half points were a season-high, four more than the previous best of 45 versus San Francisco State in the season-opener (Nov. 22).
UNM opened the second half with a 17-2 run over the first 5:35 of the period.
Lobo guard Mark Walters scored a season-high 12 points off the bench...Walters had missed the past two games for personal reasons.
New Mexico guard Javin Tindall tied a season-high with 6 assists, despite playing a career-low 16 minutes...Tindall did not hit a 3-point shot for the first time in 14 games (last year at UNLV).
Other Player Notes: Post David Chiotti hit double digits in rebounds (10) for the fourth time this season...guard Ryan Ashcraft hit both of his free throw attempts, improving to 23-24 (95.8%) in his career...guard Collins Ferris matched a season-high with 8 points.