Nov. 27, 2011
New Mexico Lobos Men's Basketball - 76 Classic - Anaheim, Calif.
Sunday: Lobos 75, Boston College 57
Up Next: Nov. 30, Idaho State at Lobos - In The Pit
On The Air: 770-AM KKOB - Lobo Radio Network
GoLobos.com: Game Recap, Stats, Live Stats
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
The New Mexico Lobos went into the 76 Classic in Anaheim, Calif., knowing they had a big man and 6-foot-9 Drew Gordon indeed looked big in scoring 21 points and hauling down 11 rebounds in his double-double that paced UNM to a 75-57 roll over Boston College Sunday.
But maybe the Lobos found something even more important - a point guard who will take care of the ball and get the Lobos into their offense.
Lobo freshman Hugh Greenwood went into the 76 Classic off a win at Arizona State in which the Australian product did not have a turnover. He then played three games in Anaheim the same way - no turnovers.
"That has to be close to a school record for a four-game period," said Lobo coach Steve Alford. "He didn't have a turnover at Arizona State and he didn't have a turnover in this entire tournament. In all his minutes here, he has no turnovers. He is doing a really good job of taking care of the ball and making sure we are getting into our offense."
The Lobos got into their offense early in their Friday night win over Washington State and did the same thing against Boston College of the ACC. UNM's Jamal Fenton came off the bench in the first half to launch in a trey followed by a fast-break layup to hand UNM a fat 32-13 lead. A buzzer trey by Greenwood pushed the Lobos up 41-25 at the half. UNM never looked back.
Boston College hung around in the second half, but never mounted a serious threat as UNM rolled to the win. Alford said he went to the 76 Classic hoping to see strides in offensive execution plus major improvements on defense.
"The guys really took some positive steps forward in what we are trying to do," said Alford. "I thought the last two games we've been able to get out in transition. We were able to do a lot of the things we wanted to do on offense because of what the guys were doing on defense."
The Lobos held Boston College to 35 percent shooting while UNM hit at a sizzling 56.9 percentage. UNM's Tony Snell, who had an outstanding tournament, joined Gordon in double figures with 13 points. Snell also topped UNM in assists with six.
Greenwood had three assists in his 27 minutes of turnover-less basketball. He added seven points and five boards. To give his ball handling some perspective, Lobo sophomore Kendall Williams had six turnovers in 31 minutes. Williams also reached double figures with 10 points. Fenton had nine points and three turnovers in 15 minutes of play.
Alford said the play of Gordon inside had a lot to do with Gordon's activity inside.
"We got him some shots," said Alford. "I think it's the guys looking for him, but I think it's Drew being in the right position and demanding the ball. I don't think he had done as good a job posting as he needs to. It's about playing at a level where you demand those types of things (getting the ball)."
First Half: Lobos 41 Boston College 25
The Lobos got off to a quick start and a quick 6-0 lead going inside twice to Gordon and getting a fast-break bucket from Williams. The Lobos slowed down after that with a few turnovers and a few missed shots, but Boston College was having problems, too. UNM drifted into the 15:15 break up 8-4.
UNM extended its lead to 14-5 at 13:33 when Snell drilled a 3-pointer and was fouled to make it a 4-point play. Bairstow, who missed Friday's win over Washington State due to food poisoning, flipped in a right-handed jump hook and UNM was up 16-5. UNM carried that lead into the 11:55 break. Fenton came off a screen to hit a 15-foot jumper and UNM was up 18-5.
Boston College, which lost its five starters from a year ago and has nine freshmen on its roster, was in danger of falling into an insurmountable hole to the more experienced Lobos. At the 7:46 media break, the Lobos were up by 13 points, 26-13.
Fenton banged in a trey and scored a layup on a break to hand the Lobos a fat 32-13 lead. At the 3:59 break, it was UNM 32-16. UNM got a buzzer trey from Greenwood to maintain that 16-point lead, 41-25, at the half.