The Lobo men's basketball team hosted the Boise State Broncos on Wednesday, Jan. 31 and saw the end of their four-game winning streak. The Broncos won 86-78 and are the only team this season that have been able to take down the Lobos at home.
The Lobos fell to 18-4 overall and 6-3 in conference play. They are in third place in the standings through Feb. 1.
The game started off with the Lobos breaking away with the score in the first five minutes. This came from Jamal Mashburn Jr. (#5), who was able to secure a pair of three-point shots. But the Broncos were quickly able to come back and keep up the pace. The Lobos didn't give in as Donovan Dent (#2) was able to have a few good drives into the paint.
Mustapha Amzil (#22) had a nice drive into the paint while attempting a layup, but was fouled and sent to the line to shoot two free throws. From that point, the Broncos took control with concise and consistent plays. The Lobos were still up 20-19 with 10:37 remaining in the half.
The Broncos were able to keep that momentum going as the half went on. Cam Martin (#31) and Jace Whiting’s (#15) offensive rebounding and drives were solid. The Broncos momentum frazzled the Lobos and they saw a decline in the number of shots they were making.
With five minutes left in the half, Dent was able to make a critical three-point basket and brought the fans back into the game, cheering harder than ever. Dent was able to sneak a quick pass to Nelly Junior Joseph (#23), who scored a basket.
Overall, Dent had a great game with a career high of 31 points. He made 12 of his 18 and six out of seven free throws.
Soon after the Broncos responded and O'Mar Stanley (#1) was able to get his own assisted dunk, Stanley and Tyson Degenhart (#2) showed off great rebounding throughout the half, as did Lobo JT Toppin (#15) who had the most for the half at nine. He finished the game with 15.
Within the last 60 seconds of the half, Jemarl Baker Jr. (#0) came onto the court and was able to make a great shot from the three-point line, but it wasn't enough to overtake the Broncos. By the end of the half, the Broncos were up 42-38.
The second half started with the Lobos coming out with renewed energy and confidence. Toppin came out with a blaze of great plays, earning three steals, two blocks and a three-point basket. Dent also came out with a skillful layup, and continued to pressure the offense.
Within the first few minutes, the Lobos were able to bring back the score and kept it within five for the rest of the quarter. The Bronco's Max Rice (#12) kicked his play into high gear and started letting loose three-point shots whenever possible. Rice also played his career game in points, shooting 12-20 from the field and 7-14 from the three-point line. He finished with 35 points.
Head Coach Richard Pitino commended the Broncos and Rice after the loss; while he is not happy with the game, he said it was just one loss with another half of the conference to play.
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“First and foremost, credit to Boise State. I think they played terrific. Max Rice just continues to get at us, among other players who just played solid tonight,” Pitino said.
Boise State called a timeout up 57-53. Jaelen House (#10) was able to make his first basket, electrifying the crowd with 10:13 left in the game.
Dent was able to drive to the basket and Mashburn Jr. scored another couple of three-point shots, but they were unable to keep up on the defensive end.
More and more fouls were called on House and Dent. With only three minutes left in the match, Coach Pitino called a timeout.
The University of New Mexico lost 86-78. One of the critical aspects of the game was the lack of turnovers that the Lobos were able to get on the Broncos, averaging 16.1 a game so far, but only had seven against Boise.
The Lobos will go on to play against the Wyoming Cowboys in Laramie after a six-day break on Tuesday, Feb. 6.
BillyJack Davidson is a beat reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BillyJackDL
BillyJack Davidson is a beat reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be reached on Twitter @BillyJackDL