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Monday, December 22, 2014

UNM escapes Indiana State in overtime

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By Michael Conroy / AP photo / New Mexico Daily Lobo

Junior guard Hugh Greenwood, left, shoots over Indiana State guard Lucas Eitel in the second half of the game Saturday in Indiana. New Mexico defeated Indiana State 77-68 in overtime.

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Hugh Greenwood said his confidence increases as games progress, so overtime should be his time to shine.

That was the case Saturday night in UNM’s 77-68 overtime victory at Indiana State. Greenwood, the Lobos’ sophomore point guard, scored eight points in the extra session while helping maintain the team’s unblemished record this season.

“I get confident as the game goes on,” said Greenwood, who finished the game with 14 points. “I knew it would only be a matter of time until I hit big shots. Sure enough, I did.”

No. 25-ranked UNM (8-0) won its first true road game of the season following four home games and the Paradise Jam, a neutral-site tournament in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is the 10th time in school history that the Lobos opened the season with eight straight wins, and the second time under head coach Steve Alford.

It didn’t come easy. UNM gave up a 19-point lead in the second half, missing 12 consecutive field goals at one stretch. The Lobos made 5 of 25 second-half shots after holding a 33-19 advantage after the first 20 minutes.

“They (Indiana) didn’t shoot the ball well in the first half. We didn’t shoot the ball in the second half,” Alford said. “It was just a really good college basketball game against two teams that really fight.”

Greenwood hit two 3-pointers and a 2-point field goal, accounting for eight of UNM’s 13 points in overtime. The Lobo defense held Indiana State to two field goals in extra time.

Junior guard Kendall Williams played a key role as well, seeing the court for a career-high 43 minutes. He led the Lobos with 24 points, also a career high, on 7 of 16 shooting. He had scored 23 points against Illinois-Chicago on Nov. 16.

Senior forward Chad Adams, who has been the starting power forward for the past few games, earned the first double-double of his college career with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore post Alex Kirk added 10 points, and junior forward Cameron Bairstow had eight points and a team-high 11 rebounds.

Junior guard Jake Odum led Indiana State’s scorers with 25 points, followed by junior forward Manny Arop with 17 and junior guard Dawon Cummings with 10.

During the game, UNM made 22 of its 57 field goal attempts (38.6 percent), 5 of 20 from 3-point range (25 percent) and 28 of 34 from the foul line (82.4 percent). Indiana State was 23 of 59 on field goals (39 percent), 4 of 23 on 3-pointers (17.4 percent) and 18 of 30 on free throws (60 percent). The teams combined for 52 fouls. UNM and Indiana State each committed 26.

“There obviously must have been a lot of grabbing going on,” Alford said. “We tried to tell our guys to stop fouling. It was the second half where there were a lot of fouls.”