The Lobos loss, the first on the road this
season, in large
part due to committing a season-high 22 turnovers caused by the
"This was just a bad 20 minutes on the road,"
head coach Steve Alford, who picked up two technical fouls back to
through the second half and was ejected from the game.
"It was just a very poor first half,” said
“I'll take responsibility. We obviously weren't ready to play and
ready to play falls on my shoulders. There were too many guys, to
me, who weren't
ready to play the game.”
It’s hard to overstate how bad the turnover
situation was in
the first half. UNM, which was re-entered the AP poll at No. 20
and the Coaches
poll at No. 23, came into the game with an average of 9.5
turnovers in the last
four games – three of those being wins. The Lobos had hit that
number by the
midway point of the first half, having turned the ball over on
New Mexico (13-2) finished the half with more
than points (13) as St. Louis (10-3) scored 22 of its first half
point off of
turnovers and led 33-13. The 13 points posted by New Mexico was
the fewest in
the Alford era and the fewest since March 18, 2005, when UNM fell
Villanova 34-11 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in
"They really pressured us," said Alford. "We
really wanted to get the ball inside to Alex (Kirk) and we had a
doing that because we couldn't get open on the wings."
In he second half, UNM began to go more to its
primarily running the offense through center Alex Kirk. As a
result, he Lobos
rallied to begin the half, outscoring the Billikens 16-5 to cut
the lead to 38-29
with 13:21 left in the game.
But Kirk picked up his third foul soon after
that and St.
Louis was able to go on a 13-2 run of its own to reestablish the
lead at 20 at
51-31 on three of four made free throws with 9:25 left in the game
after Alford picked up a pair of technical fouls while trying to
call a timeout
for his team.
"To get a double technical, I had to literally
timeout three times," said Alford, who was also appealing a foul
"I've been worse than that in 22 seasons and never got a
“I apologize,” said Alford, who has picked up
technical fouls in two Lobo loses this season. “I was not trying
to get a
technical or get ejected."
The Billikens finished with three players in
led by forward Cory Remekun who scored 15 points. Cody Ellis came
off the bench
to add 13 points on 3 of 6 three point shooting and Mike McCall,
Jr. scored 12
points before fouling out along with center Rob Loe.
New Mexico was paced by Kendall Williams, who
points on 5 of 14 shooting with four assists and three turnovers.
Kirk added 13
points and eight rebounds in just 26 minutes of play. UNM finished
just 31.8 % (14 of 44) and 25% from three point range (3 of 12).
The only stat
line the Lobos did better in was rebounding, where UNM
Billikens 36-32. St. Louis outscored New Mexico in the paint 32-16
and with its
"Our guys fought in the second half and we got
doing the things we had been doing all season long," said Alford.
like our fight and our grit in the second half. But we can't start
on the road
against a very good basketball team and get down 20 points. I give
credit. They did a lot of positive things."