Feb. 12, 2008
Complete Release in PDF Format
Monday Interviews: Alford | Giddens | Wills
Giddens Named MWC Men's Basketball co-Player of the Week
TCU Game Ticket & Cherry Crush T-Shirt $7.95 at the UNM Bookstore
The suddenly offensive-potent New Mexico Lobos (18-6, 5-4 MWC) take their show on the road Wednesday for a key game at San Diego State (16-7, 6-3 MWC). Tipoff is 9:05 p.m. Mountain Time from Cox Arena in San Diego.
Wednesday's game can be seen live on The Mtn. with James Bates and Dave Bollwinkel, plus live audio is available via All Access at golobos.com.
New Mexico begins the week tied with Utah for 4th place in the MWC. UNM's next four games - three of which are on the road - are against teams sandwiched around them in the conference standings. New Mexico hosts TCU Saturday then visits Air Force and Utah next week.
Led by senior J.R. Giddens, the Lobos are coming off their two biggest wins of the season, a 91-51 decision against Colorado State and 100-55 over Wyoming on Saturday. Giddens scored 55 points in the two wins, including a career-high 36 against the Cowboys.
The Lobos are attempting to win three straight conference games for the first time since a 4-game run from Feb. 4-15, 2006.
San Diego State lost at TCU 68-62 last Saturday. After starting 3-0 in league play, the Aztecs have lost three of five.
On Jan. 12 in Albuquerque, San Diego State rallied from a 24-10 hole to take a 72-67 victory over the Lobos. SDSU has won five in a row against UNM for the first time since seven straight from 1981-84.
LOBO BRIEFING It took New Mexico only 20 games to surpass last year's victory total (15-17)...UNM has also eclipsed last year's win total for conference games (4-10)
After going 3-19 in true road games the past two seasons and 8-43 in five years from 2003-07, UNM is 4-5 this year...however, the last two road trips were not kind...the Lobos were down to BYU 78-45 before losing 83-66 then lost 79-60 at UNLV in a game they trailed 64-34
New Mexico has lost 5 of its last 6 games to San Diego State at Cox Arena...the lone win was 78-61 in 2005
Although San Diego State has won the last 5 games against the Lobos, the Aztecs' average winning margin is just 6 points
In MWC games, UNM is 4-0 when holding opponents to less than 70 points, 1-4 when allowing 70 or more
The most wins by a Lobo head coach in his rookie season is 22 by Dave Bliss in 1988-89...UNM went 22-11 that year and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NIT
J.R. Giddens was named co-MWC Player of the Week for his performances last week against Colorado State and Wyoming...Giddens converted 24 of 35 field goals, 3 of 7 attempts from 3-point and 4 of 5 free throws...he added 18 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 blocks and 8 steals in just 60 minutes of action...his averages for the week were 27.5 points, 9 rebounds, 4. 0 steals and 3.5 assists...against Wyoming, Giddens scored a career-high 36 points and added 11 rebounds for his 7th double-double of the season and the 10th of his collegiate career...he also had 3 assists, 1 block and a career-high 6 steals against the Cowboys...Giddens' outburst is the most points by a Lobo since Ruben Douglas scored 39 in a 76-69 win over No. 22 Utah on March 1, 2003. It's also the most by an individual in a conference game this season...Giddens has made 30 of 45 FGs (67%) the past 3 games.
How much better is Lobo senior J.R. Giddens' overall game? It only took him 23 games to set personal season-highs for rebounds, assists, blocks and steals
At UTEP on Jan. 2, Giddens fell 1 rebound short from becoming the first Lobo in 31 seasons to notch 20 points and 20 rebounds in a game...Jimmy Allen had 21 points and 20 boards in a 112-103 loss at New Mexico State on Dec. 1, 1976...Giddens scored 20 points and set career-highs with 19 rebounds and 7 assists in the overtime victory over the Miners...the 19 rebounds are the most in the MWC this season
New Mexico is 14-1 at home this year, winning by an average margin of 22.3 points...the lone blemish was a 72-67 loss to San Diego State, a game the Lobos led 24-10 in the first half and 33-25 at halftime
Through games of Sunday, Feb. 10, New Mexico was 2nd in the nation in 3-point accuracy at 42.56% after making 22 of 42 (52.4%) the past 2 games...IUPUI is 1st at 42.61%
After burying 10 of 15 3-pointers in two games last week, junior Chad Topppert ranks 5th in the nation in 3-point percentage at 50.4% through games of Sunday, Feb. 10...he leads the MWC in 3-pointers made (2.79) and accuracy...Toppert has converted 54.7% of his treys in league games, including 59% (23 of 39) the past 7 contests
The Lobos lead the MWC in scoring offense (76 ppg), 3-point FGs (8.58 pg) and 3-point percentage (42.6%)...UNM's 3-point shooting would be the 2nd-best in school history were it to hold up for the entire season
New Mexico is 10-0 when Giddens and junior Chad Toppert - the team's leading scorers - each reach double figures in scoring, but 8-6 when they don't...the tandem combined for 95 points in wins last week against Colorado State and Wyoming...in the two road losses at BYU and UNLV, they were held to a combined 29 points
Dairese Gary is establishing himself as one of the top freshman point guards in school history...he has started 19 games, the most by a UNM freshman point guard since John Robinson II started 30 in 1998-99...Gary is on track to become just the 5th Lobo freshman to record 100 assists in a season, joining Phil Smith (176 in 1980-81), David Gibson (113 in 1994-95), Robinson II (162 in 1998-99) and Marlon Parmer (115 in 1999-2000)...Gary also leads UNM in steals with 35, tied with Robinson II for second-most by a UNM freshman...Phil Smith had 47 in 1980-81
HEAD COACH Steve Alford
Steve Alford was named UNM's 19th head coach on March 23, 2007, after spending eight seasons at the University of Iowa.
Alford is 326-189 (63%) into his 17th season. His teams have qualified for postseason play 11 times, produced 13 winning seasons and reached 20 wins on eight occasions.
Alford is 0-1 in his career against San Diego State.
In eight seasons at Iowa, Alford compiled a 152-106 record with a school-record seven consecutive winning seasons, and six postseason appearances. The Hawkeyes won two Big Ten Conference tournament titles (2001 and `06). Iowa was 17-14 in 2006-07. It was 9-7 in the Big Ten, tied with NCAA teams Illinois and Purdue for fourth place.
Prior to Iowa, Alford posted a 78-29 record in four seasons (1992-95) at NCAA Division III Manchester (Ind.) College and a four-year (1996-99) record of 78-48 at Southwest Missouri State (now Missouri State). The Bears defeated Wisconsin and Tennessee to advance to the Sweet 16 of the 1999 NCAA Tournament before losing to top-ranked Duke in the regional semifinals. In 1997 Alford led the Bears to a 24-9 record (second in the Missouri Valley Conference) and a trip to the National Invitation Tournament.
In somewhat of a rarity, Alford has never been anything but a head coach at the collegiate level. His first position came at Manchester at the age of 27.
NEW MEXICO-SAN DIEGO STATE SERIES
UNM has a 35-26 lead in a series that started Jan. 2, 1976. SDSU has won 5 straight for the first time since taking 7 in a row between 1981-84. The winning team has scored at least 70 points in each of the past 11 games. The last five games - all SDSU wins - have been decided by 7 points or less.
Last year, the Aztecs won 73-68 in San Diego and 81-74 in overtime in The Pit.
UNM-SDSU JAN. 12 IN ALBUQUERQUE
Lorrenzo Wade scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half and San Diego State rallied from a 14-point first-half deficit to beat New Mexico 72-67.
With the win, the Aztecs ended New Mexico's seven-game winning streak. San Diego State has won five straight over the Lobos, including three in a row at The Pit.
San Diego State also logged the second biggest comeback under coach Steve Fisher, holding the Lobos without a field goal for a 4-minute span late in the second half, then making 13-of-14 from the free throw line in the final 1:10.
J.R. Giddens had 24 points and 11 rebounds for New Mexico, which was coming off two overtime road wins for the first time in school history but couldn't capitalize on the fire from a crowd of 17,464 fans.
Matt Thomas made two free throws to put the Aztecs up 63-56 at the 1-minute mark, but New Mexico's Chad Toppert hit a 3-pointer from the left corner. Spain made another pair for San Diego State but Jamaal Smith answered with another 3-pointer, pulling New Mexico to 65-62 with 35 seconds remaining. Wade made two more free throws with 33.3 on the clock to give the Aztecs a 67-62 lead.
San Diego State coach Steve Fisher called his last timeout, and Toppert put up an airball on New Mexico's ensuing possession.
The Lobos had all the momentum in the first half, when they built a 24-10 lead with 8:29 before halftime. It was 33-25 at the break when Roman Martinez threw in a 3-pointer at the buzzer. But the Aztecs opened the second half with a 14-4 run to seize control.
The Lobos missed 10 of their first 14 shots in the 2nd half and SDSU opened the period with a 14-4 run to take its first lead, 39-37, with 14:35 to play
San Diego State missed its first 6 FGs and was 11-33 (33.3%) in the 1st half, but hit 51.9% of its shots (14-27) in the 2nd half
The Aztecs were 2-14 from beyond the arc in the 1st half, but hit 4-7 in the 2nd half
SDSU hit 15-18 free throws in the second half, including 13-14 in the final 1:10, and finished the game 16-21 (76.2%)...the Aztecs entered the game ranked 8th in the MWC in free throw percentage (67.1%)...UNM was just 10 of 20 from the line
After holding a 23-21 advantage on the boards in the 1st half, UNM was outrebounded by 14 (24-10) in the 2nd half
UNM led by 11, 28-17, with 5:14 left in the 1st half, but was outscored 55-39 over the final 25 minutes
UNM-SAN DIEGO STATE: LAST YEAR IN SAN DIEGO
Lorenzo Wade recorded his first career double-double scoring 13 points and pulling down 12 rebounds as San Diego State defeated New Mexico 73-68.
In a game with 11 lead changes, San Diego State trailed 53-52 with 7:44 left. However the Aztecs, sparked by Wade, Brandon Heath and Mohamed Abukar, outscored the Lobos 17-7 and took a 69-60 lead with 2:21 left.
Heath led San Diego State with 16 points while Abukar added 14. Tony Dandridge had 18 points for New Mexico and Chad Toppert contributed 12, hitting 4-of-7 from three-point range.
It was Toppert's three straight treys that lifted New Mexico from a 46-42 deficit into a 53-52 lead. However, Wade, who also had four assists and three steals, drained a three that kicked off the 17-7 run. Wade followed with a dunk following a spectacular steal and pass by Heath.
WYOMING RECAP AND POSTGAME NOTES
J.R. Giddens scored 21 of his career-high 36 points in a lopsided first half as New Mexico beat Wyoming 100-55. Giddens, who was 15-of-24 from the field, also had 11 rebounds and six steals as the Lobos completed a season sweep of the Cowboys for the first time since 1994.
Chad Toppert added 18 points - making five 3-pointers - for New Mexico, which reached 100 points for the first time this season. It also marked the first time that Wyoming has given up 100 points this season. Brad Jones had 13 points to pace the Cowboys, who trailed 50-34 at halftime.
Giddens scored seven points in an 18-2 run midway through the first half that gave the Lobos a 29-9 lead. A 13-0 run midway through the second half made it 76-46 and New Mexico coasted from there.
UNM sweeps the season series against the Cowboys for the first time since 1994
The 45-point victory margin is not only UNM's largest all-time against Wyoming, but it's the largest by the Lobos in a conference game in The Pit
It's the first time New Mexico has scored 100 points against Wyoming in Albuquerque...it's also the first time UNM has reached 100 points in a conference game since whipping San Diego State 102-72 in The Pit on March 2, 1989
The Lobos shot 59.7% (40-67) from the floor, 65.6% (21-32) in the 2nd half...UNM was 16 of 19 from 2-point range in the 2nd half
Wyoming's Ryan Dermody, who had a career-high 24 points against the Lobos in Laramie on Jan. 5, had 8, and none in the 2nd half
Wyoming's Brandon Ewing was held to a season-low 6 points, and was scoreless in the 2nd half...Ewing has scored 13 points in his 3 games against UNM in The Pit, shooting 4 of 31 from the field and 1 of 13 from 3-point
UNM forced 23 turnovers against a team that is last in the MWC in turnovers...the Cowboys entered the game averaging 17.6 miscues a game
New Mexico had a season-high 16 steals, tying for the 9th-highest total in school history...it's the most thefts since 19 against Colorado State on March 5, 2005...UNM came into the game averaging 6.09 steals a game
The Lobos came into the game leading the MWC in 3-point shooting at 42.4%, and canned 10 of 22 (45.5%) to raise the season percentage to 42.6%
New Mexico committed 7 turnovers, the 5th time in the past 6 games it has had less than 10 and the 9th time overall this season...UNM has committed 37 turnovers in its past 5 home games, an average of 7.4 a game
Senior J.R. GiddensA career-high 36 points, plus 11 rebounds for his 7th double-double of the season and the 10th of his career
Also 3 assists, 1 block and a career-high 6 steals
It's the most points by a Lobo since Ruben Douglas scored 39 in a 76-69 win over No. 22 Utah on March 1, 2003
Set a career-high with 24 FGs attempted; his previous high was 19 three times
has made 30 of 45 FGs (67%) the past 3 games
Junior Chad Toppertdid not start, but had 18 points on 5 of 6 shots from 3-point
has made a 3-pointer in 17 straight games
season accuracy is now 50.4% (67-133) in all games and 55.6% (30-54) in MWC
career accuracy from 3-point is 46.2% (166-359), 1st all-time at UNM
has 166 3-pointers in his career, 8th place all-time at UNM
Senior Jamaal Smith 13 points on 5-5 FGs, including 3-3 from 3-point
37 points in 2 games against Wyoming this season, 11-15 FGs and 6-8 from 3-point
Junior Daniel Faris11 points, giving him 24 in 2 games against Wyoming this season
55 points the past 5 games, or 11 a game
Freshman Dairese Gary 20 assists and just 2 turnovers in the past 5 games, covering 136 minutes
Freshman Jonathan Wills 8 points and a career-high 8 assists with 0 turnovers in 23 minutes