SDSU dominated on the offensive and defensive boards and forced 17 turnovers and managed 10 steals in defeating UNM 55-34. The Aztecs moved to 16-4 overall and 4-2 in the MWC, half a game behind the Lobos, who fell to 17-3 and 4-1 in conference.
"It's exciting. We needed that one," said Aztecs' Jamaal Franklin, who scored 10 points in the win. "It was a really big win and New Mexico is a really good team. Like Coach Fisher always stresses, you can't win this league if you don't win home games. I feel like this was a big home win."
The 34 points registered by New Mexico were the fewest for the program in almost 40 years - when UNM scored just 32 on Jan. 31, 1976, at Utah. The Lobos also shot an anemic 25 percent (11 of 44), their lowest mark since at least 1965.
"We weren't who we were," said UNM head coach Steve Alford said. "We didn't execute our offense. We really got dominated inside, which we thought would be our strength. They beat us points in the paint; they beat us on the glass. They took away just about everything that was our strength."
How bad was it?
How bad was it? Consider:
- SDSU dominated UNM on the glass 42-26.
- The Aztecs outscored the Lobos 32-to-8 in the paint and 14-4 off the bench.
- New Mexico got a combined two points from center Alex Kirk and forward Cameron Bairstow, who also combined to go 1-of-12 from the floor.
The two teams battled evenly early on but the
Aztecs used a
14-3 run to take a 21-9 lead on a Xavier Thames three-pointer with
9:19 left in
the first half.
UNM managed to rally to cut to 25-19 but the
the half on an 8-0 run and led 33-19 halftime lead. New Mexico
half without a field goal in the final five minutes and had four
end with turnovers to end the half.
The Aztecs opened the second half on a 10-5 as
UNM was never
able to find any kind of offensive rhythm.
J.J. O'Brien led the Aztecs with 12 points and
Kendall Williams paced the Lobos with 14 points. Kirn and
Greenwood each pulled
down six rebounds to lead UNM.