Last month, the Lobos left Viejas Arena with a 97-77 loss. But on Tuesday night, the tables turned and it was the San Diego State Aztecs who left The Pit with an 87-70 loss.
“We finally got a lead, we haven’t had a ton of those lately, and we were able to hold it,” said New Mexico head coach Paul Weir. “San Diego State kept fighting. They are a great basketball team. They are athletic, very talented and are playing very well right now, so for us it’s obviously a good win.”
San Diego State took less than 30 seconds to get a basket for a 2-0 lead, but Keith McGee answered with a basket soon after that. The redshirt sophomore would eventually finish the night leading New Mexico with 19 points.
While the Aztecs were on top after first period, the Lobos showed some fight there. A layup by Vladimir Pinchuk got the Lobos within one point, entering halftime at 37-36.
Each team had a couple of good runs offensively. McGee entered the break with 14 points. He was the second highest scorer, right behind SDSU’s Jalen McDaniel who got 17 points.
Scoring runs for SDSU in the first half:— Geoff Grammer (@GeoffGrammer) February 6, 2019
Scoring runs for UNM in the first half:
When the Lobos traveled to California in January, their second half led them to a blowout loss. But on Tuesday night, they began this period strong and finished strong.
McGee collected five points less than three minutes in, while senior Anthony Mathis scored all 17 of his points during this half. During the postgame press conference, Weir said Mathis had a bruised tailbone from practice.
“They came out really going,” Weir commented on the Aztecs’ performance early in the game. “We were able to weather that. We were able to weather two more early first half leads. We got to halftime thinking ‘hey man, that first four minutes they played, they were incredible. We weathered that, let’s go out and continue to play the way we did.'”
Anthony Mathis, ladies and gentlemen 😎🔥 pic.twitter.com/Lsw9lZdGAb— The Lair New Mexico (@thelairnm) February 6, 2019
By the 15:22 timeout, New Mexico found itself leading 52-41. The home team got ahead by as many as 20 points when the clock read 8:09 and the score board read 69-49.
Each team recorded 16 turnovers, but New Mexico capitalized better on SDSU’s mistakes by getting 25 points from them while the Aztecs got 13.
Up next, the Lobos travel to Reno to take on the Nevada Wolf Pack on Saturday afternoon.