SALT LAKE CITY – It is well documented that the New Mexico Lobos offense is not the best, and that they can have long bouts of not finding the basket. Well, to start their game against No. 14 seed Harvard Crimson the scoring drought appeared early in the game. The scoring issues continued for the entire half and allowed Harvard to have a 31-27 at the break.
It took the Lobos until the 15:38 mark to find their first field goal of the game when Alex Kirk hit a jumper. Despite the lack of offensive output the Lobos defense played well and never let Harvard get out to a big time lead.
One thing to be said about Harvard is that they are not afraid one bit against New Mexico. They are driving to the basket against Kirk and challenging the Lobos on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court. Despite Harvard leading for most of the first half, they too had issues shooting the ball all that well. That is until they started to hit their three's late in the first half.
New Mexico finally crawled their way back to tie the game at 16 and again at 18 points, but Harvard went on to knock down three straight three-pointers. The first was by Laurent Rivard which gave the Crimson a 21-18 lead, and that three also hushed the pro-New Mexico crowd at Energy Solutions Arena. Harvard struck again to go up 26-20 when Christian Webster hit a three that rolled around and bounced off the rim a few times before finding the bottom of the net. Then it was Webster with his second straight three to keep Harvard in the lead.
Pretty much to sum up the Harvard's offense for the first half is that they were knocking down their shots from downtown, and playing solid defense. Even after making consecutive three-pointers, New Mexico still elected to not contest the three-point shot. For the half Harvard made 5 of 10 from downtown.
New Mexico on offense was just atrocious as they shot just shot 10 of 28 from the field and 1 of 6 from beyond the arc which comes out to be 35.7 percent from the field. Harvard is shooting 56.5 percent from the field and are being led by Rivard who has nine points. New Mexico has eight points from Kirk and Cameron Bairstow, and that is really it for their offense.
The Lobos need to challenge Harvard on the outside shot on defense, and on offense they need to make their open shots they are getting, plus improve from the free throw line. If New Mexico does that they can win, but that is a big if going off of what they did in the first half.