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Men's basketball: Lobos defeat San José State 77-57

 On Tuesday, Jan. 17 the University of New Mexico's men's basketball team defeated the San José State University Spartans 77-57. The Lobos have an overall record of 17-2 and are 4-2 in conference play.

The Lobos were able to hold the Spartans to a 33.9% scoring percentage, making just 21 of their 62 shots in contrast to the Lobos, who had four players in double-digit scoring.

Jamal Mashburn Jr. and Jaelen House each had 20 points in the game, and Morris Udeze had a double-double scoring 17 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.

Spartan Omari Moore had a great game and was the only Spartan in double digits. He had 24 points, five assists and four rebounds.

Moore scored the first points of the games for the Spartans, but Mashburn responded with a mid-range jump shot on the next possession. House blocked a shot and made a layup, but Moore made a 3-pointer to give the Spartans the lead.

Udeze tied the game with a layup which led to a 9-0 run for the Lobos. This was ended by a Moore layup. Mashburn then made a jump shot leading into the media timeout with the Lobos up 15-9 with 10:59 left in the first half.

The Spartan's offense started to get in groove, but the Lobos were able to stay in front by getting to the free-throw line and making their shots.

Out of the timeout, Udeze had a block which led to a shot-clock violation; House followed it up with a layup to put the Lobos up by 29-18. Moore made a tough layup which led to UNM taking a timeout with 1:28 left in the half.

Moore then hit a 3-pointer, but Udeze scored a layup with the clock expiring and the half ending. The Lobos were up 32-23 going into the second half.

Moore carried the scoring load for the Spartans with 13 points in the first half. The Lobos would need to slow him down for the Spartan offense to go completely stagnant. UNM would also need to keep going to the free-throw line; by the end of the game, the team made 10 of their 14 free throws.

Udeze made 2 free throws to start the half. UNM was playing excellent defense forcing tough shots, not allowing San Jose to score until 17:07 left in the game. House threw a lob to Udeze for a dunk that put the Lobos up 40-26.

Lobo KJ Jenkins made a 3-pointer and followed it up with a jump shot which forced the Spartans to call a timeout down 45-29 with 13:26 left in the game.

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The Spartans' offense came back to life when Moore scored 5 points straight, but the Lobo offense was able to outscore San José. House was fouled at the 3-point line and he made all three. House was fouled again and made both his free throws and on the next possession had an assist on a Mashburn 3-pointer. Jenkins made a 3-pointer to put the Lobos up 70-50 with 4:06 left in the game.

With 1:37 left, all of the starters were taken out of the game. The Lobos won the game 77-57.

After the game, Mashburn spoke about the importance of every game in conference play and credited San José as a very competitive team.

"Every game we play in the Mountain West is important because we know how competitive this conference is. We know how well-prepared the teams are. We have to be ready from the jump every single day. San José is a great team: they're going to win multiple games this year, they're well-coached," Mashburn said.

In his press conference, head coach Richard Pitino praised his team's ability to not get stuck on a win and look ahead to the next game.

"Our guys were great: first half they were terrific defensively, maybe not as good offensively and we were way better offensively in the second half … It was a good game overall. The crowd was awesome. Proud of these guys to be able to go from an emotional win at San Diego State, come back and be all business and take care of it," Pitino said.

The Lobos next play against Boise State University on Friday, Jan. 20 at The Pit.

Thomas Bulger is the sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at sports@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @thomasbulger10 

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