A subpar performance that included 19 turnovers cost the Lobos an important game and likely erased any chance at the Mountain West regular season title on Saturday night. New Mexico (16-11, 9-6 MW) was just one game out of first place going into the game, but suffered a 71-61 loss at the hands of Fresno State. Now, its NCAA tournament chances will rely heavily on whether the team can win the Mountain West Tournament in March.
New Mexico is half a game away from first place in the Mountain West again, and the team could have a chance to move up in the conference standings this weekend. “These guys have to understand that you’re a half-game back and we have to get better,” UNM head coach Craig Neal said during Friday’s press conference. “That’s the method to the madness, that’s what I’m telling them. We have to get better, we have to keep winning at home.” The Lobos are hosting the San José State Spartans on Saturday afternoon. The two teams first faced each other back in 1961, and the Lobos have yet to see a loss.
The Lobos were dealt a bad hand with some injuries prior to Wednesday night’s game, but they worked with what they had and pulled off an 80-77 victory over the UNLV Rebels. The Lobos improved to 14-9 overall and 7-4 in the Mountain West conference and sit just below Nevada and Boise State in the conference standings. UNLV remained at the bottom with a 10-13 record, just 3-7 in league play. "We were able to make plays and spread the floor tonight," UNM head coach Craig Neal said in a release. "I am proud of our guys." The win did not come easy though, as New Mexico was missing senior forward Tim Williams, who had been a key member of the Lobo offense while averaging 17.9 points per game.
Injuries are part of the game, and the New Mexico basketball team has been hit with the injury bug on several occasions this season — but none bigger than the news that broke Tuesday. Head coach Craig Neal said the Lobos will be without senior forward Tim Williams for the foreseeable future, due to a foot injury sidelining the second-leading scorer on the team. “It’s with my great regret that I have to announce that Tim Williams is going to miss a substantial amount of time,” Neal said in a release. “We don’t know how long he will be out, but he has a stress reaction in his left foot.” Neal said the important thing was the overall health of his star forward, as they work to get him healthy.
After a loss in Reno, the Lobos are back in Nevada this week to try their luck in Las Vegas. But luck has not been on the team’s side lately and has been especially bad when closing out the past two seasons. In the last two seasons, the Lobos have only won three games in the month of February. On Wednesday night, the first night of February, the UNM men’s basketball team will face the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, a team that has seemed to be an underdog in the Mountain West conference, but also one that doesn’t fold easily. “This UNLV game is going to be a tough matchup because it’s at their place,” said UNM head coach Craig Neal. “They beat us (in Albuquerque) so I’m sure they have confidence.“ UNLV enters Wednesday night coming off back-to-back road losses. The Rebels have not had a hot season, sitting at 10-12 overall and 3-6 in the Mountain West—dead last in the conference standings.
The Lobos have stretched their winning streak to four games with another Mountain West victory. New Mexico(13-8, 6-3 MW) took a 74-61 victory over Utah State Tuesday night, putting the team just half a game away from a first place standing in the conference. “We improved (Tuesday),” head coach Craig Neal said. “We are continuing to take one step forward. I’m really happy for the guys.” The Aggies fell to 8-11 overall and are just 2-6 in conference. Freshman Koby McEwen’s 17-point effort combined with Jalen Moore’s 14 weren’t enough to lift their team to a win.
The Wyoming Cowboys ride into Albuquerque Saturday evening as the Lobos return to WisePies Arena in search of their third-straight win. The UNM men’s basketball team enters the game off huge back-to-back road victories. The team took an 84-71 win over the Colorado State Rams and an 81-70 triumph over the Boise State Broncos, teams that are known for being difficult to beat at home. Lobo head coach kept the answer simple when asked how he felt after his team’s successful trips. “Good,” he said. “It feels good. Happy for the kids.” New Mexico (11-8, 4-3 Mountain West) became the only team in conference history to successfully take down San Diego State, Colorado State and Boise State on the road in a single season.
The UNM men’s basketball team grabbed an 81-70 victory over Boise State at the Taco Bell Arena, taking “Taco Tuesday” to a whole new level in handing the Broncos their first home loss of the season. The Lobos have posted back-to-back wins, both of which game on the road in tough venues. They improve their record to 11-8 overall and 4-3 in the Mountain West conference. “I am proud of these guys,” head coach Craig Neal said in a release. “They have been through a lot the last two weeks, but it has made us stronger as a group." New Mexico led the game wire-to-wire, with senior center Obij Aget putting up the first points of the game from the free throw line.
The Lobos snapped a three-game losing streak in their last game, but will have to pass a tough away test against one of the top teams in the conference to start a winning streak. New Mexico (10-8, 3-3 MW) will hit the road to take on Boise State (11-5, 4-1 MW). The Broncos are in a tie for first place in the Mountain West with Nevada, but the Wolf Pack have a better overall record at 15-3 on the season. Boise State had been undefeated in league play, but dropped its first conference game to Fresno State on Saturday, 89-80. New Mexico got back in the win column by taking down Colorado State, 84-71, also on Saturday.
The Lobos finally broke through their second half curse to get a win, but it is what happened post-game that appears to be grabbing attention. New Mexico (10-8, 3-3 MW) took an 84-71 victory over Colorado State on Saturday afternoon, snapping a three-game losing streak. "They did everything I asked them to do today," UNM head coach Craig Neal said in a release. “We have to finish out games and we did that tonight. I liked the way they fought back, and they followed the game plan." Junior guard Elijah Brown propelled his team to the win, scoring 25 points and going 4-of-6 from downtown. He also recorded nine rebounds and seven assists. Neal said the team received a lot of contributions from several players on the team, providing the balanced scoring attack he has been asking for.
After back-to-back losses at WisePies Arena, the UNM men’s basketball team is heading to Fort Collins to take on Colorado State on Saturday. Perhaps the road trip will provide the Lobos and a chance to clear the minds of how they folded in the second half of games and focus on another tough opponent. “Colorado State is playing very well,” Lobo head coach Craig Neal said. “We are going to be ready to play motion offense. Our guys are going to have to play at a high level; I think they are ready for that.”
Another second-half lead slipped away from the UNM men’s basketball team, costing the Lobos victory again at WisePies Arena on Tuesday night. Although New Mexico (9-8, 2-3 MW) was the favorite to win, UNM wasn’t able to close things out and deliver, and instead was dealt a 71-66 loss to the UNLV Rebels (9-9, 2-3 MW). The 2017 year looked promising for the Lobos, who pulled off a 68-62 road upset over San Diego State on Jan 1. But they haven’t won a game since and are mired in a three-game losing streak. In the previous game, the team blew a 25-point lead in the span of 11 minutes in a 105-104 overtime loss to Nevada. Prior to the UNLV game, head coach Craig Neal said the players had energy and were looking forward to being back on the floor. But that energy faded down the stretch again. The head coach seemed unsure about what’s been going on with the team and tried to analyze what happened in the second half. "We just couldn't get it going," Neal said. "It looked like we didn't have any oomph in our step. It looked like we were in quicksand all night.”
The Lobos will be looking to rebound from a stunning loss and regain their focus at WisePies Arena as they host the UNLV Rebels in a Tuesday night showdown. New Mexico (9-7, 2-2 MW) may have lost a lot Saturday night after falling in overtime to Nevada 105-104. The team blew a 25-point lead with 11 minutes remaining, is no longer undefeated at home and may have lost its confidence. “I’ve never seen anything like that,” UNM head coach Craig Neal said. “I’ve never been a part of what happened the other night. You gotta give them credit. We just didn’t finish the game.”
Men's Basketball: Lobos collapse in final minutes, losing in one of the greatest comebacks in NCAA historyIsabel Gonzalez | January 8
Players and coaches ecstatically jumped up and down, filling The Pit’s red tunnel in a lively celebration after an historic comeback Saturday night — but it was the opposing team in blue that pulled it off. Nevada (14-3, 3-1 MW) stunned New Mexico (9-7, 2-2 MW) by dealing the Lobos their first loss of the season at WisePies Arena 105-104 in overtime after an improbable comeback. The game was back and forth during the first two minutes. New Mexico went on top 8-7 after a jumper by Jalen Harris at the 15:51 mark, and the Lobos continued to build on the lead, which lasted for most of the game. By halftime, New Mexico was up 44-31 and seemed to be playing solid in almost every aspect of the game.
The Lobos have talked all season about the importance of defense and on Saturday against the Wolfpack, it will be even more important. New Mexico (9-6, 2-1 Mountain West) is hosting Nevada, a team that is known for its strong offense. The Wolf Pack has averaged 77.8 points per game, propelling the team to a 13-3 overall record and 2-1 in the conference. It is likely to be a tough challenge, but head coach Craig Neal said he thinks his players are capable of getting the win. “My philosophy is that we match up good with everybody, if we play like we did San Diego State,” he said.
Some say good things come in threes—but three was not a lucky number for the Lobo men’s basketball Wednesday night. New Mexico shot over five percentage points better than its opponent from the floor, but 3-pointers and limited or no playing time to three key players cost the team what would’ve been its third straight conference win. Instead, the cherry and silver fell 79-75 to the Utah State. "This is only our first loss," UNM head coach Craig Neal said in a release. "It's a long conference season and hopefully we can have everyone back. We just have to play a little smarter and a little more mature. It was a perfect opportunity for us to come in here and get a win...but we didn't take advantage of that."
After pulling off an upset over San Diego State in sunny California, the Lobos will try to make it three in a row in the much colder location of Logan, Utah against the Utah State Aggies. New Mexico (9-5, 2-0 MW) have started well in Mountain West Conference play, winning its first two games. But its opponent hasn’t been so fortunate, as Utah State (6-7, 0-2 MW) is mired in a three-game losing streak. In their most recent games, the Lobos got by the Aztecs, 68-62, while the Aggies lost 78-73 to Air Force. Although two Utah State players scored more than 20 points, Koby McEwen with a career-high 22 points and Jalen Moore with 21, their efforts were not enough. The Falcons controlled the game, leading for all but 20 seconds.
The new year started on Sunday, and the UNM men’s basketball team wasted no time getting new results in 2017. New Mexico (9-5, 2-0 MW) hadn’t been successful in getting a win against San Diego State since March 15, 2014. But on Sunday afternoon, the team walked away with a 68-62 comeback victory. The result snapped the Aztecs’ four-game winning streak and helped the Lobos jumped out to an early 2-0 mark in Mountain West Conference play.
The Lobos finished 2016 with a bang and are looking to start the new year the same way. The UNM men’s basketball team is heading to "the Golden State" to face the San Diego State Aztecs (5-7, 0-1 MW), a team that has had a hot hand in a four-game winning streak. New Mexico (8-5, 1-0 MW) has several ups and downs so far during the 2016-17. It managed to stay undefeated at home with a 7-0 record, but have picked up some painful losses on the road including a 77-46 one to the Arizona Wildcats.
The UNM men’s basketball team opened up Mountain West Conference play on Wednesday night on a good note. The Lobos took down the Fresno State Bulldogs 78-73 increasing their undefeated home record to 7-0 at WisePies Arena aka the Pit. The victory marked New Mexico’s sixth consecutive in Mountain West openers and eighth straight when opening conference play at home. Head Coach Craig Neal said he thought it was a good game for his players, who were bouncing back from a painful 31-point loss at No. 18 Arizona last week.