Lobos Close Home Season Against Runnin' Rebels
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  02/29/2004
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Feb. 29, 2004

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The University of New Mexico closes its home season Monday, playing host to the UNLV Runnin' Rebels. Tipoff is 7:07 p.m. Mountain Time from The Pit/Bob King Court in Albuquerque. KRQE-TV will broadcast the game on a delayed basis beginning at 10:35 p.m. The game will be live on DirecTV's Full Court package. The Lobos' two seniors - Ryan Ashcraft and Javin Tindall - will be recognized before the game.


Lobo students with current ID may purchase a guest ticket for $5 The offer is good only at the ticket office at The Pit.

New Mexico is 14-11 overall and 5-7 in the MWC after paddling San Diego State 72-60 on Saturday to end a three-game losing streak. The Lobos are tied with the Aztecs for fifth place in the league. Saturday's win guarantees New Mexico no worse than a .500 record, a feat they have now accomplished 20 of the past 21 seasons.

After going 10-18 last season, UNM will avoid consecutive losing seasons for what would have been only the second time in more than 40 years. New Mexico was 6-20 in 1979-80 and 11-15 in 1980-81. The Lobos have only had four losing campaigns since former head coach Bob King arrived in Albuquerque prior to the 1962-63 season.

UNLV is 15-10 overall and 6-6 in the MWC after having its three-game winning streak snapped at Air Force Saturday, 72-70. Interim head coach Jay Spoonhour is 3-1 after taking over for his father, Charlie, who retired last month.

Among the seven MWC opponents, UNLV has the longest current winning streak against New Mexico at five games. The Lobos' last victory over the Runnin' Rebels was a 84-81 overtime decision in The Pit on Feb. 5, 2002.

Additionaly, UNLV is the only team Lobo head coach Ritchie McKay has not beaten in his career. McKay is 0-7 against the Rebels.

UNM has surpassed last year's win total by four games and its conference mark by one (4-10). New Mexico is 14-3 in The Pit this season, and has won five straight and 12 of its last 13. The Lobos were 10-7 at home last year.

New Mexico has had a full roster the past 19 games - since Dec. 21 - when Granger (Bradley) and Troy DeVries (Portland State) became eligible as mid-season transfers. The twosome has been UNM's top-two scorers since taking the court. UNM is 11-8 since their arrival, 11-1 in The Pit.

At 19.6 points a game, Granger is leading the MWC in scoring. He is averaging 8.9 rebounds, good for 5th in the league. Granger became the first Lobo since Kenny Thomas in 1997-98 to record four straight double-doubles.

DeVries is averaging 11.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists, including 12 dishes against Coppin State, the best total by a Lobo in 12 years. He is shooting 46.3% (50-108) from 3-point, an average of 2.63 treys a game, second-best in the MWC.

LOBO TICKETS - Single-game tickets are available by clicking here, 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.

LOBOS VS. UNLV - UNLV has a 15-9 lead in a series that started Jan. 17, 1976. The Rebels won both games last year and have taken four straight and eight of the last 10, including six consecutive in Las Vegas. The last New Mexico victory in Las Vegas was 75-66 on Feb. 16, 1998. UNM was ranked 11th in the nation going into that game. UNLV has a 10-3 lead overall in Las Vegas, 6-1 in the Thomas and Mack Center. The Rebels lead 6-2 in MWC games.

Jan. 31 in Las Vegas: The hole was just too deep for the Lobos to climb out of in the 89-80 loss. Trying to rally from a 20-point first-half deficit, UNM cut the margin to five early in the second half, then six in the closing minutes, but it was not enough despite a record-tying performance by Javin Tindall.

Tindall made nine 3-pointers (in 11 attempts and he made his first 6) to tie the UNM and Mountain West Conference record, however, it is a new school and league standard for 3s made in a conference game.

Tindall finished with 27 points to tie a career scoring high set on two other occasions, the last time earlier this year against Texas Tech. Tindall also added five assists before fouling out with 18.4 seconds left.

A first-half shooting clinic propelled the Rebels to a 50-34 lead at the break. UNLV shot 72% (18-25) from the floor in the first period, including 70% (7-10) from beyond the arc. The Rebels came into the game shooting just 31% from 3-point.

New Mexico took a 13-10 lead on Tindall's third straight 3-pointer, but the Runnin' Rebels scored from inside and out, posting runs of 16-5 and 14-2 to take a 40-22 advantage. The lead grew to 45-25 late in the first period.

The Lobos clawed back from that hole, cutting the deficit to five on two occasions early in the second half. Three straight 3s to open the second period sparked a 14-3 run as UNM trailed just 53-48.

After UNLV went back in front 80-66, UNM threatened again as Tindall nailed treys to pare the margin to six twice, the last time 86-80 with 23.5 seconds left.

The Lobos' chances were severely hampered early on due to Danny Granger's foul problems. Granger, averaging 25 points in the first four MWC games, was held to two points in 11 first-half minutes. He picked up his third foul - a charge - with 5:25 left before halftime. Granger finished with 12 points on 4 of 12 shooting.

UNM canned 14 of 30 shots from 3-point, but gave up its most points of the season. David Chiotti added 19 points. Troy DeVries had 14, but was just 2 of 9 from beyond the arc.

Last year in Albuquerque: Despite a heroic effort by Ruben Douglas, the Lobos allowed a late lead to slip through their fingers in a 75-66 loss. New Mexico, which fell despite a career-high 40 points from Douglas, was outscored 13-3 over the final 4:21 of the contest.

New Mexico had taken a 63-62 lead on a thunderous Douglas dunk before UNLV went to work down the stretch. Rebel guards Demetrius Hunter and Marcus Banks sandwiched back-to-back 3-pointers around a pair of missed free throws by Douglas. J.K. Edwards then hit both ends of a one-and-one before Douglas responded with his eighth three of the game. However, UNLV knocked down 3-4 FTs and grabbed the offensive rebound on its lone miss in the final minute to secure the victory.

The Lobos built a nine-point halftime lead, 41-32, behind Douglas' 25 points in the first 20 minutes. Down 44-35 a little more than a minute into the second half, the Runnin' Rebels got consecutive threes from Hunter and Dalron Johnson to start an 11-0 run, giving them their first lead, 46-44, with 16:36 remaining. The lead switched hands eight times in the next 13 minutes before the decisive UNLV run. New Mexico shot just 32.1 percent (9-28) from the floor, including 2-16 (16.7%) from beyond the arc, in the second half.

HEAD COACH Ritchie McKay - Ritchie McKay is in his second season in charge of Lobo hoops and his eighth year as a collegiate head coach. He was named UNM's 18th head coach on March 28, 2002. McKay is the son of the late Joe McKay, who was a three-year letterman at guard for the Lobos from 1961-63.

McKay had previous stops at Portland State (1996-98), Colorado State (1998-2000) and Oregon State (2000-02). He has a career record of 107-118, 24-29 at New Mexico. McKay is 9-17 in conference games while at UNM, 9-4 at The Pit, 0-13 on the road. He is 0-7 against UNLV, 0-1 in Albuquerque.

SAN DIEGO STATE RECAP / NOTES - Danny Granger led four Lobos in double figures with 20 points and 15 rebounds as UNM eased past San Diego State 72-60. The Lobos used a 16-2 run late in the first half to pull away from the Aztecs. Point guard Javin Tindall, who finished with 16 points, sparked the run by scoring the first nine points, including two 3-pointers.

There were seven lead changes and the Aztecs held their biggest and final lead at 23-17 after a 3-pointer by Chris Manker with 8:11 left in the first half. Tindall then was fouled on a 3-point shot and converted on all three free throws, then sandwiched 3-pointers around a slam dunk by Sanders.

Granger, Tindall and Troy DeVries, who also scored 16, accounted for 34 of New Mexico's 36 first half points. Center David Chiotti, who had the other two points in the opening half, scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half.

San Diego State went scoreless for the first 6? minutes of the second half and the Lobos stretched the lead to 44-29 with 14:43 remaining on a pair of free throws by Granger.

* San Diego State shot just 39% (26-66), the lowest by a Lobo opponent in six games, since Colorado State made 37.5% (18-48) in The Pit on Feb. 7...UNM had allowed 53.3% (97-182) shooting in the four games before SDSU

* The Lobos have now won 16 straight games when shooting better than their opponent, including a perfect 12-0 this season...the last loss was at Tennessee on Jan. 4, 2003...UNM shot 45% (18-40), the Vols 43% (22-51)...the Lobos are 51-4 in such situations since 2000-01, 148-13 since the 1995-96 season

* After being outrebounded by a season-worst 16 (43-27) in its last meeting with San Diego State, New Mexico trailed by just two, 38-36...Danny Granger led all players with 15 rebounds, one shy of his season-high...Granger notched double-digits in rebounds for the first time in 11 games when he grabbed 14 at Wyoming

* UNM post David Chiotti tallied 14 points and 6 rebounds in the second half...after starting the night 1-6 from the floor, Chiotti hit 6 of his next 7...he sat out the first meeting with the Aztecs due to a sprained ankle

* SDSU center Aerick Sanders finished with just 10 points (5-12 FGs) and 7 rebounds in 29 minutes before fouling out in the second half...Sanders posted 27 points (10-14 FGs) and 10 rebounds in 40 minutes vs. New Mexico on Feb. 2

* The Lobos shot 42.3% (22-52), the lowest FG% for New Mexico in a win this season...they shot 42.6% in their 65-63 victory over BYU on Jan. 26

*The starting backcourt of Javin Tindall and Troy DeVries combined for 32 points on 8-10 from the floor, 7-8 from 3-pt. range and 7-9 from the foul line...its the most points the duo has scored since combining for 41 (Tindall 27, DeVries 14) in a loss at UNLV on Jan. 31

* Danny Granger scored 20 points and grabbed 15 rebounds...it is his sixth double-double in a Lobo uniform and the 17th of his collegiate career...it's his first double-double since getting 30 points and 14 rebounds at Wyoming on Jan. 12