Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Daily Lobo The Independent Voice of UNM since 1895
Latest Issue
Read our print edition on Issuu

UNM's Big Apple dream foiled

Big men, rebounding help Memphis to 81-63 win

The University of Memphis' tall front line took a big bite out of UNM's chances for an NIT Final Four appearance in the Big Apple with its 81-63 manhandling of the Lobos Thursday night.

The Tigers (20-14) outrebounded the Lobos 49-32 on the night and capitalized on 25 offensive rebounds to highlight UNM's height deficiencies in the decisive defeat.

Though the Lobos (21-13) had been without an imposing low post threat throughout the year, Memphis painfully reiterated that fact with its inside play to advance to the NIT semifinals in New York City next week.

"I think the whole difference in the game was the offensive rebounding," UNM head coach Fran Fraschilla said during his post-game radio show. "They're a big team, a quick team; it came down to the fact that we couldn't rebound with them."

The Tiger tandem of Earl Barron and all-Conference USA forward Kelly Wise combined for 32 points and 16 rebounds, while UNM freshman forward Patrick Dennehy and senior forwards Brian Smith and Wayland White combined for only 18 points on the night.

"They're both good players," Fraschilla said of Barron and Wise. "They've been outstanding all year."

UNM never held a lead, though it hung tough with the Tigers for much of the first half as the two teams traded baskets in the early going. Memphis led 13-10 with 12:45 to play and the Lobos seemed to counter the Tigers' height with strong penetration to the basket. But Memphis would begin its rebounding dominance to jump out to leads of nine, at 23-14, and ten, at 30-20 with 5:12 to play in the first half.

And every time the Lobos made a run, the Tigers, playing in front of more than 15,000 home-crowd fans, would respond. UNM guard Ruben Douglas hit a three to close the lead to 30-23, but Mark Moody responded with a 3-pointer of his own. Douglas countered with a three-point play after he drove the lane for a bucket and was fouled, but Moody hit another three to keep the lead at 10 and aid the Tigers to a 39-30 halftime lead.

In the second half, it was all Tigers. Memphis used a 16-5 run to start the second half, with Moody and Barron leading the way. Little-used UNM guard Michael Jordan made an appearance with more than four minutes gone in the half, perhaps as an attempt to instill life into UNM's struggling offensive set, but to no avail.

With 12 minutes remaining, the Lobos closed the deficit to 55-42 but would get no closer the rest of the half, as the Tigers opened up a 71-49 lead to end UNM's season.

The Lobos finished the game shooting 39 percent from the field, compared to Memphis' 46 percent. Eric Chatfield led UNM with 17 points, followed by Douglas with 16. Marlon Parmer and Dennehy both had nine points for the Lobos. Smith finished with six points in his final game as a Lobo and White, playing one hour from his birthplace of Mount Bayou, Miss., had three in his final game in a UNM uniform.

Fraschilla said he felt his team was never in the game.

Enjoy what you're reading?
Get content from The Daily Lobo delivered to your inbox

"I don't think we were ever very focused," Fraschilla said. "But they didn't throw anything at us that we didn't expect."

He praised the play of Dennehy, who added seven rebounds and four fouls to his nine points in his second career start.

"It was a great way to reward Patrick for what he's done for us at the end of the year," Fraschilla said. "He did a great job for us down the stretch."

Memphis advances to face the University of Tulsa in the NIT semifinals Tuesday. The University of Detroit will play either Purdue University or the University of Alabama in the other semifinal game. UNM's foray into the NIT quarterfinals was its second farthest in school history.

The Lobos advanced to the NIT Final Four round in 1990 and finished in fourth place.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Daily Lobo