The New Mexico Lobos men’s basketball team fell over the weekend, 79-70 to Nevada, in their opening Mountain West Conference game of the season.
The Lobos held a 36-35 halftime lead over the Wolf Pack before Nevada used a couple of runs in the second half to pull away.
Jaelen House scored 18 points for UNM, while Jamal Mashburn Jr. added 17 points for the Lobos, who are now 7-7 on the season and 0-1 in the MWC.
After leading 39-38 in the second half, the Lobos saw themselves on the wrong end of a 9-2 run that gave Nevada a 46-41 lead.
Over the next several minutes, the Lobos would continue to stay within arms reach, and were down 52-48 with a little over 11 minutes to play, but that deficit would grow for UNM over the next six minutes.
The Wolf Pack would put together a 17-2 run to take a commanding 69-50 lead with just over five minutes to play in the game.
After that, the Lobos would outscore Nevada 20-10, and got one time within five, but could not get closer as Nevada was able to stave off the Lobos for the win.
Obviously size played a big role in this contest as Warren Washington and Will Baker, Nevada’s two 7-footers in the post, were able to dominate in the block.
Each scored 12 points and each had 11 rebounds in the victory. The Lobos just do not have the size on this team to compete with the bigs of other teams, and that will come back to bite them just as it did against Nevada.
The Lobos continue to get good production from House and Mashburn and also got 14 points from Saquan Singleton, but that is as far as the production goes. The next highest scorer had five points.
UNM will need more consistent offensive production outside of their top three in order to stay in games and win games. That will be difficult to do given the MWC’s depth.
The Lobos will be at home on Saturday night as they will entertain Utah State in The Pit.
Tipoff for that contest is at 6:00 p.m. and the game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.