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Howling With The Lobos: Takeaways from Win Number Two

CSU Northridge v New Mexico Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images

The New Mexico Lobos men’s basketball team went to 2-0 with a 97-70 victory of Cal State-Northridge on Saturday night. The win also means that the Lobos have started 2-0 in every season under Paul Weir. The Lobos started slow but were able to pick up the pace in the second half to pull away.

Slow out of the gates:

With 9:19 left in the first half Cal State-Northridge guard Elijah Harkless knocked down a jump shot to give CSUN a 26-25 lead. At that point it seemed as if this game was going to be a replay from last season’s 87-84 nail-biting Lobo victory. However, the Lobos ended the first half on an 18-6 run, led by Corey Manigault’s nine points over the run, to lead 43-32 at the half. The Lobos then proceeded to outscore CSUN 54-38 in the second half.

Although it wasn’t pretty early on, this is the reason for these early season non-conference games, to work out some wrinkles and rust. The Lobos do really need to get going early on to take some of the confidence out of the opposition.

Lyle again with a big game:

JaQuan Lyle was once again impressive. This time he was the leading scorer with 18 points, he also added five assists and grabbed four rebounds. This on the heels of a nine-point, 11 assist outing last time out against Eastern New Mexico.

It is becoming clear that the Lobos will go how Lyle goes, similar in the ways they went as Anthony Mathis went over the past few seasons. This will be key as the season goes along because of so many other shooters on the team, Lyle can set them up for buckets, or set himself up.

Defense impressive again:

Heading into this game the Lobos had to key on Terrell Gomez and Elijah Harkless defensively in order to keep CSUN from having a chance. Mission accomplished. Harkless struggled and played only 16 minutes scoring just three points. Gomez, who dropped 21 points on UNM last season, was held to 14 points in this game.

Even though Lance Coleman II scored 19 points, he and Gomez were the only two in double figures for the Matadors versus the five players in double figures that the Lobos had. The ability to slow down the opposition’s best players have been a real help in the first two wins of the season.

Looking ahead:

New Mexico will be back in action on Wednesday night when the Green Bay Phoenix come into The Pit. The contest is a campus game for the Legends Classic that the Lobos will participate in Brooklyn in December. With a win against Green Bay, the Lobos will start 3-0 for the first time under Paul Weir. Tipoff Wednesday night in the ABQ is at 7 p.m.