The New Mexico Lobos will now turn their attention to the number 16 Utah State Aggies on Tuesday night after blowing out then 19th-ranked San Diego State on Saturday afternoon, 88-70.
The win puts the Lobos to 2-2 in the MWC, two full games behind Tuesday’s opponent, and 14-3 overall.
“This was a total team effort,” UNM coach Richard Pitino said after the game. “Hopefully we can continue to build on this.”
The Lobos defense continued to give another opponent fits as they blocked 14 Aztec shots and forced 13 turnovers.
Things did look bleak early when the Lobos got down 35-23 in the first half. Then, Jaelen House came to life on the floor and scored the next 11 points to pull the Lobos to within one, before JT Toppin made a layup to give the Lobos a 36-35 lead. UNM took a 40-37 lead into the half before dominating the second half en route to the win.
Utah State Awaits
The Lobos will welcome the conference leader to The Pit on Tuesday when they host Utah State at 8:30 Mountain Time on Fox Sports 1. The Aggies are 16-1 overall and 4-0 in the MWC.
The Aggies are in the midst of a 15-game winning streak, dating back to November 11th when they lost to Bradley in overtime, 72-66. The winning streak includes wins over Colorado State and a huge road win over UNLV, who defeated the Lobos by 10.
Utah State’s top player is Great Osobor, who averages 19 points and nearly 10 rebounds a game. The 6’8” 250-pound junior forward will be a handful that no doubt will draw the attention of Toppin down low.
The Lobos trio of guards in House, Jamal Mashburn Jr. and Donovan Dent will also have a huge matchup with Utah State’s trio of guards in Darius Brown II, Ian Martinez, and Mason Falslev. Brown averages 10.6 points and 7.4 assists per game this season. He will no doubt draw House as his defender.
Ian Martinez is sneaky good, he just went for 24 points in the win over UNLV, including hitting six three-point baskets.
This one will be a good matchup. As said above, tipoff will be at 8:30 Mountain Time and be shown on Fox Sports 1 and on the radio waves with the UNM Sports Radio Network.