Stevens: Alford's Lobos Dissect Davenport 92-54 In The Pit
Nov. 1, 2011
New Mexico Lobos Men's' Basketball - In the Pit
Tuesday: Lobos 92, Davenport 54
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
As expected, it was pretty much an exhibition romp. As expected, the pack of Lobos Steve Alford threw out on the court - minus three - looked deep, talented and hungry in their 92-54 roll over Davenport.
The 38-point roll even had Davenport coach Burt Paddock gushing about the New Mexico team that tamed the Panthers in The Pit in front of 12,978.
"This team is extremely good," said Paddock, a former player for Alford at Manchester. "Their defense was way better than what I ever expected it to be. They had us on our heels all night. Their defense was phenomenal tonight. If they keep doing that, they are going to have an incredible season."
Good defense should be expected from a team as athletic, deep and versatile as the Lobos. But often exceptional basketball players are happy just to outscore you. Coach Alford knows better.
"We threw some presses out and I thought that was pretty good," he said. "We forced 22 turnovers and we haven't done that in a while."
The Panthers were an athletic bunch, but obviously were overmatched in The Pit. You especially noticed the difference when Lobos attacked the glass. Davenport's most popular answer to a Lobo attack was to foul. UNM went 28-of-35 from the line to outscore the Panthers (8-of-15) by 20.
"We got to the line a lot. That tells me how aggressive we were offensively," said Alford. "We've been out of rhythm a little bit (in practice). It's been a little frustrating. Maybe we needed to play somebody else."
"I thought we did a great job on the glass and I thought that was a key to the outcome," said Alford. "Boards play a huge key and tonight was a lot better than what I've seen in practice."
One major difference between practice and Tuesday night's run was people in the stands. "It's kind of crazy to get that many people for an exhibition game," said Snell. "It means a whole lot to have the crowd for us."
Said Alford of the 12,978: "That doesn't happen across the country. We are blessed that we have the fan base we have and it really helps our guys. We can't say enough about how much we appreciate the fans."
Alford didn't have a full crew Tuesday as three Lobos - Chad Adams, Alex Kirk and Phillip McDonald - sat for a variety of injury reasons. Kirk is coming off back surgery and could be a redshirt candidate.
These Lobos weren't really missed on Tuesday as UNM had more than enough depth and firepower to roll Davenport. UNM also got double figures in scoring from Drew Gordon (12), Demetrius Walker (12), and Jamal Fenton (10).
Alford was pleased with the 22 turnovers on Davenport's side of the chart, but UNM had a too-high 19. Davenport scored 19 points off UNM turnovers and the Lobos scored 27 points off Panther miscues.
First Half - Lobos 41, Davenport 22
It started out exactly the way the Lobos probably wanted it to start: two Lobo steals, two Snell breakaway dunks, a 4-0 UNM lead, a Davenport timeout. It was a good time out. Davenport needed to quiet the crowd and the Panthers' players needed to regroup and talk about the Lobos' pressure.
"I kind of started off bad, so I had to make it up," Snell said of his two Pit-rocking jams.
The pressure never went away and UNM rolled up 14-4 and 26-13 with 8:25 to play in the first half. UNM coasted in for the 19-point lead, using nine players. Kendall Williams looked poised to repeat his stellar season of a year ago. The sophomore scored 12 points and had two steals and four boards in 16 minutes of work. Drew Gordon and Snell each added six points.
The Lobos shot 11-of-29 from the floor for a so-so 37.9 percentage, but their quickness was forcing the Panthers into hurried shots. They hit at a 27.6 clip, making only eight field goals in the same number (29) of shots. UNM ruled the board 26-to-17. UNM also had a big bump at the free-throw line going 16-of-19. Davenport was 5-of-8 from the stripe.