Lobo MBB beat Washington State in 76 Classic

Sophomores Tony Snell and Kendall Williams scored 21 points and 17 points respectively as the UNM men's basketball team rebounded to defeat Washington State 72-62 in the consolation bracket of the 76 Classic in Anaheim, Calif. Friday night. The Lobos move on to play Boston College in the 76 Classic consolation championship game on Sunday at 2 p.m. The UNM-BC game will be televised on ESPNU.

Against the Cougars, New Mexico (3-2) shot 44 percent from the field for the game – 13-for-33 (39 percent) in the first half to improve from their first half performance against Santa Clara Thursday night. The Lobos shot exceptionally well from the three-point line, hitting 6-of-12 in the first half and finishing 9-for-19 (47 percent). UNM managed eight steals as WSU had 18 turnovers for the game.

Against the Cougars on Friday night, UNM sprinted out to a 12-2 lead and pushed the lead out to 28-11 with just over seven minutes left on the half on a pair of free throws from Chad Adams.

Adams scored 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting and went 2-for-2 from the free throw line in 20 minutes of action.

Head coach Steve Alford said Adams was a key coming off the bench and Williams was a key to the win.

"(Chad) gave us a big boost off the bench," said Alford. ""The difference in our losses vs. our wins is Kendall Williams. Kendall has to score for us, but we also need consistency from him. He had energy and focus tonight."

"Focus is a key for the whole team," said Alford. "We bring energy, but we haven't consistently brought focus."

Washington St. (2-3) managed to whittle the lead down in the final seven minutes behind a pair of three-pointers from Faisal Aden, who led all scorers with 25 points. Taking advantage of six Lobo turnovers and 3-of-10 shooting by UNM, the Cougars cut the lead down to nine points, trailing 36-27 at halftime.

But UNM started the second half with a trey by Snell to extend the lead to 39-27 as the Lobos kept the lead hovering around 10 until Davonte Lacy cut the lead to 54-47 with a thunderous dunk at the 10:00 mark.

But Snell managed another timely three-pointer at the 8:47 mark to extend the lead to 57-47 and the Cougars never threatened seriously again.

WSU was forced to foul down the stretch but Williams and Drew Gordon, who scored eight points in going 4-for-4 from the line, hit their 8-of-8 free throws to ice the game away.

Both teams finished with 33 rebounds a piece but UNM managed 19 assists to the Cougars 13.

Freshman Hugh Greenwood finished with five assists and no turnovers for the game to make his assist-to-turnover ratio 13-to-0 over the last three games. Greenwood has started the last three games at point guard for UNM.

UNM against played without Cameron Bairstow, who was sidelined with food poisoning.

UNM's opponent Sunday, Boston College, overcame a scrappy UC Riverside team 66-62 in overtime Friday afternoon.

"We're upset that we're not going through the championship bracket, but if we can get out of here with two wins – one over a Pac-12 team and one over an ACC team – it's not all lost," said Alford.

In other 76 Classic action, future UNM opponent Saint Louis upended Villanova 80-68 to advance to the 76 Classic championship game against the winner of the late Oklahoma-Santa Clara game.


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