Jaelen House scored 30 points, Jay Allen-Tovar and Gethro Muscadin both scored 18 points to help propel the New Mexico Lobos past the Florida Atlantic Owls, 99-92, in the season opening game for both teams.
“I think Jaelen House took over,” UNM head coach Richard Pitino said following the game. “We kind of scrapped what we were running and kept it very simple and ran side ball screen. And he was really hard to guard.”
House went 10-for-19 from the field, including 3-of-5 from three-point range, and 7-of-10 from the free throw line in the victory.
Both the Lobos and Owls traded the lead multiple times in the first half. The Owls at one point owned a four-point lead in the first half, and the Lobos were up at on point by five. New Mexico took the lead into half at 43-41 following Allen-Tovar’s put back at the buzzer.
In the second half it appeared as though the game was going to come down to the wire. The Lobos built an early eight-point lead before Florida Atlantic chipped away and eventually took a 65-60 lead with 13:12 left to play.
Then, New Mexico went on a 6-0 run to take a 66-65 lead with 12:12 to go. Both teams continued to trade the lead until late when UNM’s tempo wore down FAU and the Lobos pulled away to a 16-point lead, only to see some garbage time bucket from the Owls cut it to 99-92, where the game ended.
The New Mexico up tempo came in handy throughout the contest, forcing 17 FAU turnovers and clamping down on the three-point shooting, holding FAU to 8-for-26 from three-point land. Late in the game it was evident that the up tempo of play at the high altitude began to take its toll on the Owls. After leading 65-60, FAU fell apart at both ends of the floor as the Lobos went on a 35-14 run during a span of 10:31 in the second half that put the game out of reach.
Jaelen House could very well be a star in the making. House played with a ton of energy, energy that never seemed to go away at any point during the game. The Lobos will need that kind of energy to continue going forward.
The Lobos will pay a visit to the Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday evening. Tip time for the Lobos-Buffaloes contest will be at 4:30 p.m. Mountain Time.
The game will be broadcasted on the Pac-12 Network and can, as always, be heard on the Lobo Sports Radio Network.