The University of New Mexico men’s basketball team picked up its third straight loss after falling 97-77 to the San Diego State Aztecs on Tuesday night.With this result, the Lobos drop to 8-9 overall and 2-3 in the Mountain West Conference. It took 30 minutes before UNM head coach Paul Weir came out of the locker room.
Prior to this game, the Aztecs held a 7-2 record when playing at Viejas Arena, so the Lobos knew it would be a challenge.
San Diego State took an early 4-0 lead but Vance Jackson hit a three-pointer to put the Lobos on the board. By the first timeout of the night, San Diego State led 15-7. After that timeout, the Aztecs opened with a dunk but the Lobos remained calmed. At the 12:20 mark, Mathis hit the second of back-to-back three-pointers to make it 19-14.
Mathis’ three-pointer magic continued as he hit his third shot from beyond the arc and made it a one-point game at 23-22. He reached double digits with this shot as he began leading the Lobos with 10 points.
New Mexico tied the game at 30-30 with a free throw from Vladimir Pinchuk with 5:02 remaining in the second half. But halftime, the Aztecs led 44-39.
It was not a huge lead, but the way this period ended seemed to have given SDSU the momentum they needed for their dominating second half performance.
HALFTIME: SDSU 44, UNM 39— The Lair New Mexico (@thelairnm) January 16, 2019
HUGE three-point basket for the Aztecs to close the half. pic.twitter.com/cLrtcKEWq9
During the second half, the Aztecs outshot New Mexico 53-38. Even Mathis’ 21 overall points throughout the night weren’t enough to dig the Lobos out of their issues on the defense.
Although it happened earlier this month, the Lobos’ victory over the Nevada Wolf Pack seems far away now.
“Unfortunately since then, we’ve been turning the ball over and not defending the three-point line,” said New Mexico head coach Paul Weir. “For the first 20 minutes tonight I thought we did a pretty good job with that. That turnover there at the end of the half leading to the half court shot kinda swung that statistic a little bit.”
Weir focused on turnovers and defending three-pointers during his post game interview. The Lobos had 17 turnovers and allowed San Diego State to make 10 out of their 23 attempts from beyond the arc.
Up next, the Lobos host the Wyoming Cowboys on Saturday at 4pm.