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Men's Basketball: Wolf Pack exact revenge on Lobos in Reno


It was the score of the game on Jan. 5 earlier in the season. One that favored the New Mexico Lobos and embarrassed the then-unbeaten No. 6 Nevada Wolf Pack.

But it was also reportedly a score that was shown to the Wolf Pack players during practice leading up to Saturday's rematch in Reno, Nevada — an apparently effective tactic that motivated the players in a rematch they had probably been eyeing for a while.

Nevada (23-1, 10-1 MW) exacted its revenge, beating down the University of New Mexico men's basketball team to the tune of 91-62, proving in many people's minds that the lop-sided loss in the first matchup was an absolute fluke.

In that first meeting, Nevada senior Jordan Caroline was the only player to crack double digits, but he was one of six Wolf Pack players to enjoy that distinction this time around.

UNM senior guard Anthony Mathis had 27 points in the first go-around, and connected on a pair of 3-pointers in the first half, but failed to score again after that. And while teammate Makuach Maluach was the top scorer with 12 first-half points, the sophomore was the only other Lobo to make more than one shot.

That, couple with the Wolf Pack's controlled anger on both ends of the floor, was a recipe for Nevada nearly doubling up UNM by halftime with a 51-26 lead.

"Nevada was really good tonight, they established themselves around the rim defensively and they really established themselves around the rim offensively," UNM head coach Paul Weir said in a release.

Nevada shot 50 percent, forced 14 turnovers and aggressively attacked the hoop, drawing the referee's whistle on numerous occasions on the way to a 17-3 advantage in free throw attempts in the opening period.

The Wolf Pack took its first double-digit lead just a shade over five minutes into the game when Jazz Johnson poured in a 3-pointer to make it 16-4 with 14:48 on the clock.

And the lead only swelled from there.

Caroline drew a foul and completed a 3-point play to make it a 19-point game, 23-4, just inside the 12-minute mark and added a layup minutes late to cap a 15-0 run.

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The lead got up to as many as 29 in the first half before Maluach stopped the onslaught with six quick points, but Nevada Caleb Martin got a layup to fall to push it back to a 25-point edge at the half.

Despite a decent offensive effort in the second half, the Lobos never made up any ground — in fact they lost more as Nevada maintained its consistent play and never really took the foot off the gas. The Wolf Pack shot 50 percent in the first half, and duplicated that effort in the second as well.

UNM trailed by 25 or more for the entire second half, falling behind by as much as 32 on four separate occasions.

Caleb and Cody Martin each registered three steals, part of 20 turnovers forced by the Wolf Pack — nine of which were steals en route to a 22-9 advantage in points scored off turnovers.

Trey Porter and Caleb Martin ended the game with 20 points, while Johnson, Caroline and Cody Martin each contributed 13 points, with Caroline collecting 13 boards to record a double-double.

Tre'Shawn Thurman rounded out the double-digit scoring effort with a 10-point performance as every Wolf Pack player who logged at least 20 minutes achieved that benchmark and Nevada coasted to the 91-62 victory.

Maluach ended up with a team-high 19 points and Carlton Bragg got things going with 11 second-half points to net him 13 overall to go along with eight rebounds, but there wasn't much offense to be found outside of that.

Mathis was held scoreless in the second and Keith McGee was the next-highest scorer with nine points, though it came on 4-of-14 shooting.

The loss dropped New Mexico to 10-13 overall and 4-7 in Mountain West play. The good news for the Lobos is that half its remaining games will be played against the bottom three in the conference standings. That could present an opportunity for the team to build some momentum prior to the end of the regular season.

Robert Maler is the sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers basketball and baseball and contributes content for various other sports as well. He can be contacted at or on Twitter @Robert_Maler.

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