New Mexico got to 3-1 on Saturday following an 81-78 win over Montana State on Saturday afternoon in The Pit.
Jamal Mashburn Jr. scored 21 points and Gethro Muscadin scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the way for New Mexico. KJ Jenkins also scored 17 points in the UNM win.
“That is a veteran ball club,” UNM head coach Richard Pitino said about Montana State after the game. “I knew it would be hard, I really did.”
The Lobos never had much breathing room between them and the Bobcats.
In the first half the largest UNM lead was 24-18 with 5:56 to play in the half. The second half wasn’t much easier for UNM as the offense stalled out at the 10-minute mark.
That is when Jamal Mashburn Jr.’s jumper made it 60-53 New Mexico. Then Montana State went on an 11-0 run over the next four minutes to take a 64-60 lead over the Lobos.
After that, Muscadin scored eight of his 18 points over the final six minutes to carry UNM to the win.
The Lobos won despite losing Jaelen House to an ankle injury. House played 18 minutes and only scored eight points. House had been averaging 23 points entering Saturday’s contest with Montana State.
House will be evaluated during the week. Chances are House will at least miss Monday night’s game against Western New Mexico.
The Lobos held Montana State to a season low 19 three-point attempts. The Bobcats had been averaging 32 three-point attempts a game prior to Saturday.
Less three-point attempts, and makes, helped the Lobos to victory.
The Lobos will be back in The Pit on Monday night, taking on the Western New Mexico Mustangs. The Mustangs come into the contest 4-0 on the season. However, WMU is a Division II school.
Tip off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Mountain Time. The game will be streamed online on the Mountain West Network, and the Lobo Sports Radio Network will carry the game over the radio.