Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Daily Lobo The Independent Voice of UNM since 1895
Latest Issue
Read our print edition on Issuu
Senior forward Drew Gordon jumps for a layup during the MWC Tournament game against UNLV on March 9. The Lobos defeated Long Beach 75-68 in the second round of the NCAA tournament Thursday afternoon in Portland, Org.

Men's basketball defense locks up victory against Long Beach

UNM won 75-68

Down 61-59 with 4:43 left in the game, sophomore guard Kendall Williams launched the most important three-pointer of his short career — it hit the back of the rim and bounced in.

Williams’ running one-handed floater a couple minutes later with a two-point lead and clutch free throws from Freshman Hugh Greenwood and Senior forward Drew Gordon put the game away.

The No. 5 seeded men’s basketball team struggled, but prevailed and beat No. 12 Long Beach State 75-68 Thursday afternoon in Portland, Ore.

“We must have been the worst No. 5 seed seeded because that was definitely the best 12 seed,” UNM head coach Steve Alford said.

Williams scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half.

“I just wanted to take better shots and create opportunities,” Williams said of his second-half outburst. “In the first half I was a little passive, this being my first tournament.”

Gordon led the way with another double-double, his 18th of the season, with 18 points and 13 rebounds.

Both teams took turns with the lead throughout the game as it changed nine times.

But after James Ennis’ breakaway dunk with 5:03 left in the game put the 49ers up two points, Williams hit the big 3-pointer that would put the Lobos up for good.

“I missed one before that, kind of short changed it, so I sort of came back and clutched up for my team and spread it out a little bit,” Williams said. “And luckily that one went in and we were able to get inside after that and finish the game.”

Casper Ware, Long Beach State’s top scorer, went just 5-for-19 from the field, but did finish with 17 points and seven assists.

“(Ware) didn’t really make shots that he usually makes,” 49ers’ guard Mike Caffey said. “No, I don’t think he worked harder for his shots. They played pretty good on him.”

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

The Lobo defense, which held its opponents to the fourth worst shooting percentage in the nation, bottled up Ware the entire game.

​“Our guys have just made defensive play after defensive play all year long,” Alford said. “And they were going to have to do that with this team. They’re well coached. Very, very talented. Anytime you can beat a team like this you feel very good.”

After a productive Mountain West Conference tournament, sophomore guard Tony Snell went back to his cold-shooting ways.

He missed all five of his shots and finished with no points.

The Lobos (28-6) made 25-of-49 shots for 51 percent, The 49ers (25-9) shot 28-of-66 for 42.4 percent.

Four Lobos finished in double-figures. Gordon had 18, Williams 16, Greenwood added 12 and sophomore guard Demetrius Walker scored 11.

The Lobo bench outscored the 49ers’ bench 26-15,

The Lobos will play fourth-seeded Louisville Saturday.

The Cardinals took care of No. 5 seed Davidson 69-62 on Thursday.

This is the first time in three years, Louisville has won its first game in the NCAA tournament, losing to California in 2010 and Morehead State in 2011.

UNM has been knocked out of the round of 32 in the NCAA tourney five of its last six appearances.

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