Lobos Host New Mexico Highlands
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  11/24/2003
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Nov. 24, 2003

The New Mexico Lobos will try and open 2-0 for the first time in five years when they host New Mexico Highlands tonight. Tipoff is 7:05 p.m. from The Pit/Bob King Court in Albuquerque.

UNM opened its 101st season Saturday with a resounding 95-42 victory over San Francisco State. Highlands fell at New Mexico State, 89-69.

Following the Highlands game, UNM will be off until Monday, Dec. 1, when the University of Portland comes to town. The Portland game will kick off a string of four games in eight days for the Lobos. UNM plays nine of its first 10 games at home and does not leave the state until a Jan. 3 trip to Wake Forest.

TICKETS - Single-game tickets are available online at golobos.com, or by calling 925-5858 or (800) 905-3315. Ticket outlets include the athletics ticket office at The Pit, the ticket office at the UNM Bookstore on main campus, and Raley's and Western Wearhouse locations in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Rio Rancho. Ticket office hours at The Pit are 8:30-5 Monday through Friday. Call (505) 925-5626 for more information.

UNM VS. HIGHLANDS - In a series that dates to 1910, the Lobos have a 24-4 lead over the Cowboys. This is the first game between the two in-state schools since Dec. 1, 1992, when UNM took an 89-54 victory in The Pit. The first contest was played Jan. 15, 1910, with UNM winning 40-20 in Albuquerque. New Mexico has won 14 straight over the Cowboys since 1929. Highlands won in 1911, '12, and twice in '29. Its only wins in Albuquerque came on Feb. 10, 1911 (26-11) and Jan. 29, 1929 (31-30).

SAN FRANCISCO STATE RECAP - Sophomore David Chiotti (San Jose, Calif.) scored a career-high 22 points and the Lobos set a school record for 3-point accuracy in the 95-42 season-opening win over San Francisco State. Chiotti was 7-of-8 from the floor and made 8-of-9 attempts from the line. He added five rebounds, three assists, one block and one steal in just 19 minutes of action. Chiotti scored the Lobos' first seven points and had 19 by halftime.

New Mexico shot 72.2 percent from 3-point range, making 13 of 18 on the evening. The previous best was 70% (7-10) against Wyoming on Feb. 6, 1992. UNM made 9 of 10 treys in the second half.

Senior guard Javin Tindall (Wichita, Kan.) added 18 points on 4-of-5 accuracy from beypond the arc. Freshman guard Lenny Miles (Commerce City, Colo.) tallied 11 points off the bench, making all three of his 3-point tries and both free throws. UNM outrebounded San Francisco State, 39-16. Freshman Justin Benson (Houston, Texas) pulled down a team-high nine boards.

UNM led 45-19 at the break. New Mexico held the Gators to 19 points in the first half, the fewest points by an opponent in one half since McNeese State scored 17 in the first half on Dec. 21, 1998.

The 53-point margin of victory ties for the seventh largest in school history and ties for the fifth-widest in The Pit. It's the most points in a season opener since a 98-76 triumph over Southern Cal in 1997. UNM stopped a two-game slide in home and season openers.

EXHIBITION REVIEW - The Lobos went 6-0 in exhibition games, including a 4-0 mark on a trip to Vancouver, British Columbia, in mid-October. UNM defeated the University of Calgary, Trinity Western College, the Vancouver All-Stars and Simon Fraser. Because of the tour - which is allowed by the NCAA once every four years - UNM's first practice was Sept. 27. The Lobos had 10 workouts before the trip, then resumed regularly-scheduled practices on Oct. 21.

New Mexico completed an unblemished exhibition season by ripping Team Ezybonds from Australia 107-75, then edging the EA Sports Southwest All-Stars 75-71

One constant in the Lobos' 6-0 exhibition record was good shooting. Despite a 39% showing against EA Sports, UNM shot a solid 50.1% from the floor, including a toasty 47% (66-140) from beyond the 3-point line. That's 11 treys a game. The Lobos outrebounded their opponents by nearly five a game (38.5-32.7) and held foes to 39.7% shooting, including 30% from beyond the arc.

No one was hotter than senior G Javin Tindall, who averaged 19.5 points a game. He made 68% (44-65) of his shots overall, including a salty 64% (21-33) from 3-point. David Chiotti averaged 14.5 ppg and a team-high 6.8 rpg.

Playing four games in three days in British Columbia in mid-October, the Lobos captured four wins thanks to hot shooting. UNM hit 52% of its field goals, including a steamy 50.5% (46-91) from the 3-point line, which was positioned at the international distance of 20'6". That's an average of 11.5 treys a game.

Tindall paced three Lobos in double figures by averaging 18.5 ppg. He nailed 13 of 20 shots from beyond the arc, or 65%, and had 16 assists. Chiotti averaged 15.8 ppg and a team-high 6.3 rebounds. He notched 18 points and a tour-high 15 boards in the win over the University of Calgary.

Sophomore G Jeff Hart came off the bench in all four games to average 13.8 ppg, canning 13 of 26 attempts from 3-point. Freshman F Justin Benson averaged 6.0 rebounds while freshman G Ryan Wall tallied a team-best 18 assists.

THE PIT - The 2003-04 season marks the 38th year of basketball in The Pit/Bob King Court, which was completed in December of 1966. UNM has an all-time mark of 523-128 (80%) in the building that resides 37 feet below street level. The Lobos have had a winning record in The Pit in 36 of their 37 years as tenants and tore off a school-record 41-game home winning streak from 1996-98. Since the beginning of the 1995-96 season, the Lobos are 124-26 (83%) at home.