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Spartans out-Lobo’d

Omari Moore reaches 1,000 career points

photo by: Terrell Lloyd

Tuesday night at the Pit in Albuquerque wasn’t kind to San Jose State (12-7, MW 3-3) where the New Mexico Lobos (17-2, MW 4-2) dismantled the Spartans 77-57.

A raucous crowd saw four different UNM Lobo players with double digit scoring in All-Mountain West guards Jaelen House and Jamaal Mashburn Jr. with 20 points each along with KJ Jenkins’ 10 points and forward Morris Udeze’s 17.

Though San Jose State only had four turnovers overall, UNM’s relentless offensive aggression was also its best defense, where the Lobos forced a huge disparity at the charity stripe.

The Lobos garnered 26 free-throw points to SJS’ nine at the line was also the big difference on the scoreboard.

On the boards, UNM and SJS are also the top two rebounding teams in the conference. The Lobos dominated off the glass as well 42-30 over the Spartans.

In the first half, the Spartans started fast with guard Omari Moore and center Ibrahima Diallo bursting to 7-4 lead until the first timeout five minutes in.

The Lobos didn’t look back by immediately going on a 9-0 run and weathering the short first-half Spartan spurts to a 32-23 half-time lead.

Surprisingly, the Spartans remained relatively close despite all the misfiring; going 3-17 from the arc (27% from the field) in the half, while the Lobos hit no threes until well into the second-half.

In the second-half, the Lobos continued to show their personnel could handle the Spartans on the inside; forcing various SJS bigs into foul trouble.

The only true offensive threat the Lobos had to manage was the athletic Moore, who they know all too well.

Back in February 2022, Moore’s triple-double (18 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists) carried the Spartans to a 71-55 win over UNM.

On this evening, the only real Spartan highlight was Moore’s 24 points which put him among 16 other former Spartans with 1,000 points in his SJS career.

“This was a tough environment,” said head coach Tim Miles in his post-game interview. “I think we’ll give them a better shot in San Jose.”

The Spartans face another tough road test in another hostile environment at Utah State Saturday.

How SJS responds should characterize what and who the Spartans are this season.