A rivalry resumed last night in poor fashion for UNM fans. New Mexico was cold out the gate, missing their first 11 shots while their opponent jumped out to a 12-0 lead. The Lobos would never get back in the game.
Arizona proved why they are a top 20 team in college basketball. Their defense stifled New Mexico into a terrible shooting night, particularly in the first half when the Lobos could only muster 16 points on 23% shooting. Though UNM fared much better in the second half, putting up 30 points to the Wildcats’ 40, the game was already decided once the Wildcats extended their lead from 47-24 in the first five minutes of the second half. In fact, the game was so decided that Arizona had four walk-ons on the court at once to finish the game.
The Lobos’ tandem of Elijah Brown and Tim Williams led the way with an inefficient 17 and 14 points, respectively. But as usual in losses, they did not receive much help.
The Wildcats countered with a balanced attack that featured Chance Comanche (14 points), Rawle Alkins (13 points, 11 rebounds), and Lauri Markkanen (13 points, 9 rebounds).
This was a good test for the Lobos with a disappointing result. Hopefully they can make this rivalry, now that it has been resumed, more competitive in the future. Their next game is the beginning of Mountain West Conference play as they take on Fresno State on December 28th.