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Men’s basketball: A nail-biting win in New Mexico

The men’s basketball team defeated University of Texas at Arlington 82-80 on Thursday, Nov. 16. The Lobos beat the Mavericks at home with a Donovan Dent buzzer-beater to go to 2-1 on the season.

UT Arlington now stands at 2-1.

Jamal Mashburn Jr. scored 29 total points, shooting 9-23 from the field. He found himself at the charity stripe often with 13 attempts and nine makes. He shot half of the Lobos’ total free throws. Along with a layup buzzer-beater, Dent had a career-high 25 points along with five assists, two steals and a block.

JT Toppin had an efficient double-double with a total of 15 points and 10 rebounds with seven makes for 11 attempts in 27 minutes of play. He was the third highest scorer for the Lobos.

Both teams started out slow with a score of 9-6 within five minutes of the first half. The Lobos took the lead going into the second half with Dent – 16 points – and Mashburn Jr. – 22 points – combining for 38 points at the half.

“Mash was hitting tough shots … I got it going towards the end of the first half, we just had to piece it all together (for a) full 48 minutes of a game,” Dent said.

UT Arlington started out strong to come back from a 12-point deficit with an 8-1 scoring run within three minutes of play of the second half. The score was 49-44 with 17:15 minutes left in the half.

The Lobos took back a double digit lead at the halfway mark of the second half with 69-57, but the Mavericks cut the lead down again to single digits. Lobos were up 75-71 with 3:35 minutes remaining.

After the Lobo lead was cut down to only one point, Mashburn Jr. made one of two free throws after being intentionally fouled, making the lead 79-77.

After Mashburn Jr.’s free throws, Jermal Baker Jr. blocked a shot and was fouled after grabbing the rebound and made one of two free throws to push the lead to three points.

The next possession, the Mavericks got an open look three-pointer and UT Arlington’s Makaih Williams sunk the shot over Dent – leaving the Lobos and Mavericks tied at 80-80 with 5.3 seconds on the clock.

“Basketball is an imperfect game. You’re never gonna be 100% perfect but it’s all about how you respond to the next play,” University of New Mexico Head Coach Richard Pitino said.

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Following a 30-second timeout, Dent went the length of the court after the ball was passed and hit the game-winning layup to finish with a career-high 25 total points on 61% shooting.

“Normally, you get about a dribble a second and Donovan is as good as it gets at the rim … I wanted to space the court and I wanted Isaac (Mushila) to play behind the defense and Donovan to get to the rim,” Pitino said.

Next, the Lobos will play three games in four nights in Henderson, Nevada for the Ball Dawgs Classic. UNM will play the University of Toledo on Nov. 21, Rice University on Nov. 22 and Pepperdine University on Nov. 24.

Ryan Grossetete is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at

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