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Men’s Basketball: Lobos charge into the Top 25 rankings

On Wednesday, Jan. 24, The University of New Mexico men’s basketball team won their second road game of the season against the San José Spartans. Two days before, the Lobos jumped onto the Associated Press' Top 25 and took 25th place, landing them on the national level.

The victory over the San José Spartans came only four days after they defeated the Air Force Falcons. During both games, the Lobos left their opponents in the dust when it came to scoring – 19 points over the Falcons (85-66) and 20 points over the Spartans (95-75).

They are looking to dominate as they come home for their game against Nevada Wolf Pack, going into  the match with a 17-3 seasonal record and a conference play of 5-2.

The team’s dominance has emerged with their never-ending force on the ball and effort to win the possession battle. Within the Mountain West Conference, UNM currently leads the league, scoring with 1684 total points through 20 games – averaging 84.2 points per game.

This kind of dominance is becoming part of their trademark style, led by the triple rotation of guards. Jaelen House (#10), Jamal Mashburn Jr. (#5) and Donovan Dent (#2) each played more than 30 minutes against the Spartans and collectively scored 52 points. 

It’s not only offensive numbers that have put the Lobos at the top, but the defensive capabilities of centers – Nelly Junior Joseph (#23) and Mustapha Amzil (#22) – who are both new to the team this season. The Lobos lead the conference in blocks by 14, with 97 being the season total through Jan. 26.

Alongside their 39.25 offensive rebound average that puts them alongside Utah State and Boise State at the top of the conference, The Lobos’ have a +4.25 rebound margin.

That trademark force within the guards is shown clearly through their offensive capabilities that come off of a tremendous amount of steals. The team has made 203 steals this season with an average of 10.15 per game. In comparison, the San Diego State Aztecs are second in the conference and have 150 with a 7.50 per game average.

Lobo fans have packed The Pit this season and UNM is currently second in the league for average attendance behind SDSU. Fans have had a great impact on games. The Lobos have won every home game this season, going 10-0 through Jan. 27.

Coming into this next week of play, the Lobos have the longest active winning streak in the conference with four in a row. The upcoming games will be on Sunday, Jan. 28 where they will face the University of Nevada Wolf Pack, and on Jan. 31 against the Boise State Broncos. Both will take place at The Pit. 

BillyJack Davidson is a beat reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at or on Twitter @BillyJackDL

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BillyJack Davidson

BillyJack Davidson is a beat reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be reached on Twitter @BillyJackDL 

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