Jan. 22, 2004
Provo, Utah - The New Mexico Lobos overcame a sluggish start and a late BYU rally to post a 58-52 victory over the Cougars. UNM improves to 10-5 overall and 2-0 in Mountain West Conference play. The Lobos have won four of their past five games. BYU falls to 10-7 and 0-3.
After trailing by eight points early in the first half, New Mexico stormed back to build a 34-20 lead three minutes into the second period. UNM held a 51-42 advantage, but the Cougars hit consecutive 3-pointers to trim the deficit to 53-50 with 23.9 seconds left. The Lobos were able to make their free throws down the stretch to hold on for the win.
The charity stripe was kind to the Lobos all night as they converted 27 of 33 (82%), including 16 straight during one stretch, and 21 of 25 in the second half. UNM's accuracy at the charity stripe helped offset 21 turnovers and just 30% (14-47) shooting from the floor. New Mexico was 5 of 19 (26%) from the field in the second half. UNM was also aided by a huge rebounding edge, 50-30.
The Lobos got off to a horrendous start, failing to score on their first 12 possessions of the game. New Mexico missed its first nine shots and committed five turnovers before finally getting on the board on a layin by Melissa Forest at the 13:26 mark.
Mandi Moore scored UNM's final nine points of the first half as the Lobo lead grew to 27-18 at the break. Moore, who came into the game averaging just 7.7 points and had reached double figures only three times this season, tallied a season-high 17 points, including 8 of 9 free throws.
Perplexed by UNM's zone defense, the Cougars missed their first 20 attempts from 3-point before finishing 2 of 22 from long range. BYU shot 33% (21-63) for the game.
The Lobos visit preseason conference favorite Utah Sunday in Salt Lake City. Tipoff is 1 p.m., and the game will be televised live by ESPN2.