Feb. 8, 2004
The University of New Mexico begins the second half of the Mountain West Conference schedule Monday, entertaining the University of Wyoming. The Lobos and Cowboys tipoff at 7:05 p.m. Mountain Time from The Pit/Bob King Court in Albuquerque. KRQE-TV in Albuquerque will show the game on a delayed basis beginning at 10:35 p.m.
UNM students with valid ID can purchase one guest ticket for just $5. The offer is good only at the ticket office at The Pit. Also, Monday's halftime show will feature international entertainer, Christopher, who is best described as a linear puppeteer.
New Mexico is 12-8 overall and 3-4 in the MWC after knocking off Colorado State for the ninth straight time in The Pit, 63-51. At the halfway point in the MWC season, the Lobos are in a five-way logjam for third place with BYU, Colorado State, San Diego State and UNLV. Air Force leads at 6-1 followed by Utah at 5-2.
With at least eight games remaining in the season, UNM has surpassed its win total from last year when it finished 10-18. New Mexico is 12-3 in The Pit, and has won 10 of its last 11. The Lobos were 10-7 at home last year. The Lobos are 10-5 after a 2-3 start.
Wyoming is 9-11 overall and 2-5 in MWC play following an 83-71 setback at Air Force. The Falcons shot 67% (24-36) from the floor, including 15 of 20 (75%) from inside the arc. Jay Straight led the Pokes with 23 points. The Cowboys have lost five of six since opening the conference season with an 82-77 victory over UNM in Laramie.
New Mexico has had a full roster the past 14 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 9-5 since their arrival. At 20.5 points a game, Granger would be leading the MWC in scoring had he played in the required number of games. His is averaging 9.4 rebounds. Granger has posted five double-doubles. He became the first Lobo since Kenny Thomas in 1997-98 to record four straight double-doubles.
DeVries is averaging 12.9 points, 3.0 rebounds and a team-leading 3.7 assists, including 12 dishes against Coppin State, the best total by a Lobo in 12 years. He is shooting 45% (39-87) from 3-point, an average of 2.8 treys a game.
LOBO 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.
LOBOS VS. WYOMING - Wyoming has a 59-48 lead in the series that started in December of 1950. UW has taken eight of the past nine overall and in MWC play, and seven straight in Laramie. The Lobos' last win at the Arena-Auditorium was Feb. 18, 1995, a 62-61 decision on a buzzer-beating 3-point bank shot by David Gibson.
New Mexico has a 29-23 lead in Albuquerque, including 23-14 in The Pit. Wyoming and BYU are tied for most wins (14) by an opponent on UNM's home floor. UW has won three of the past four in The Duke City.
The Pokes swept the series last year, winning 103-91 in The Pit and 85-81 in overtime in Laramie. That's the most points the Cowboys have ever scored against UNM in Albuquerque.
Jan. 12 in Laramie: The shooting of David Adams and a 15-point second-half deficit were too much to overcome as Wyoming handed New Mexico an 82-77 loss in the Mountain West Conference opener for both teams.
Adams hit three 3s in the first six minutes of the second half, staking the Cowboys to a 57-42 lead. Adams made his first six 3s and finished with 24 points.
The Lobos battled back to cut the deficit to 61-57 on a 3-pointer by Lenny Miles, who scored all eight of his points after halftime and was instrumental in the UNM comeback. The Cowboys pushed the margin back to 69-59, but a Troy DeVries 3-pointer capped a 9-2 Lobo run and trimmed the Wyoming lead to just three at 71-68 with 4:47 remaining.
Danny Granger canned a 3-pointer with 17.4 seconds left to make it 77-75 in the Cowboys' favor, but Jay Straight converted five of six free throws down the stretch to seal the win for Wyoming.
Granger had a monster game for the Lobos with a season-high 30 points and 14 rebounds. Alfred Neale added 14 for UNM.
The Lobos shot 53% (27-51) for the game, including 59% (16-27) in the second half. The Cowboys were even better, though, making 67% (10-15) of their shots after halftime and 55% (27-49) overall.
New Mexico was 16 of 26 (61.5%) from the FT line and it missed 4 of 6 in the final six minutes, including the front end of two 1-and-1 opportunities. UNM came into the game shooting 72% from the line.
Last year in Albuquerque: Despite stellar nights from Ruben Douglas and Javin Tindall, the Lobos came up short in a 103-91 loss to visiting Wyoming. Douglas scored a career-high 43 points and Tindall added a season-high 18 on 6-for-7 shooting from 3-point range, but they couldn't offset four Wyoming Cowboys in double figures, including guard Donta Richardson, who scored a career-high 39 points.
The Lobos held a 17-11 lead before Wyoming went on a 17-2 run to grab a 28-19 advantage. The Cowboys had a stretch where they made 13 of 17 shots as the bulge grew to 42-28 and New Mexico would come no closer than 10 the rest of the game.
The Pokes opened up their biggest lead of 18 points on several occasions, the last time at 83-65 aided by nine straight points from David Rottinghaus. New Mexico persevered, though, cutting the deficit to 95-85 on a Douglas long ball. Wyoming connected on 12 straight attempts from the free throw line down the stretch, ending the suspense.
Wyoming shot a blistering 61.1% from the field, including a 11-of-16 performance from beyond the arc for 69% accuracy. Seven of the 15 threes were made by Richardson. The Cowboys also had a 36-24 edge on the boards. Midway through the second half, Wyoming held an 18-2 lead in second-chance points.
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 105-115, 22-26 at New Mexico. McKay is 7-14 in conference games while at UNM, 7-4 at The Pit, 0-10 on the road. He is 4-5 against Wyoming, 0-1 in Albuquerque.
COLORADO STATE RECAP / NOTES - Troy DeVries scored 15 points and freshman guard Lenny Miles provided the energy in New Mexico's 63-51 win over Colorado State. New Mexico never trailed and broke the game open behind the early second-half scoring of David Chiotti and Alfred Neale and Miles' hustle at both ends of the court. Chiotti and Danny Granger each scored 13 points and Neale had 9 points and 8 rebounds.
The Lobos pulled away from a 28-22 lead early in the second half as Chiotti and Neale combined for 12 points. Chiotti scored New Mexico's first five points of the second half and later added a layup, while Neale scored off an offensive rebound and connected on a 3-pointer. That put New Mexico up 40-30 and the Rams got no closer the rest of the way.
Coming off the bench, Miles played 24 minutes, the most since early December. He scored just two points but tied his season-high with five rebounds and got the Lobo crowd of more than 16,000 into the game with his quickness and reckless style of play.
At one point he leaped over the scorer's table, nearly colliding with a concrete barrier behind the New Mexico bench while chasing a loose ball. He also set up a couple of teammates for easy baskets with his passing and had a block late in the game.
* New Mexico has won nine straight over CSU at The Pit, and 33 of the last 34...Colorado State's only wins in The Pit have come in 1970, '71 and '93
* The Rams shot just 37.5%, the lowest by a Lobo opponent in 12 games, since Northwestern State hit 24.2% from the floor on Dec. 28
* UNM held Colorado State to 2 of 13 shooting from 3-point, the lowest by an opponent since Northwestern State made 2 of 18
* The Lobos have won 15 straight games when shooting better than their opponent, including a perfect 10-0 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 50-4 in such situations since 2000-01, 147-13 since the 1995-96 season
* Colorado State recorded just six assists (with 4 coming in the second half), the fewest since San Francisco State notched five in the season-opener...the Rams also had 14 turnovers, the most by a Lobo opponent in eight games
* Danny Granger's 13 points were his second-lowest this season...Granger did get 3 blocks for the second straight game and had 3 assists...fellow forward Alfred Neale's 11 shot attempts were the most in 9 games...his 8 rebounds were his best output in 14 games...Granger and Neale combined for 22 points, 14 rebounds and 5 blocks, while committing just 2 turnovers
* New Mexico is now 7-0 when holding opponents to less than 60 points
* The Lobos' 8 blocks were the second most this season, since swatting 10 versus New Mexico Highlands...UNM also had 7 steals, the most in 8 games...Javin Tindall tied a career-high with 3 steals
* New Mexico committed just nine turnovers, the third time in the past five games they have been in single digits...the Lobos have just 22 miscues (7.3 a game) in their three MWC wins compared to 51 (12.8 a game) in their four conference losses
* UNM is now 10-2 in games decided by 10 points or more, 2-6 when the margin is under double figures
* New Mexico was 18-29 (62%) from the FT line, including 9 of 16 in the final 2:56