New Mexico came in to the game 3 and 0 mark having blown out their 3 opponents by 20 plus points. With those victories comes a confident swagger that UNM teams had been lacking under Coach Mckay.
JR Giddens with a career best rebounding night
The Lobos started the game with some great defense that led to some fast break slam dunks to get the Lobo faithful fired up. New Kansas St. coach Bobby Huggins has a good young team though and they fought back to take the lead13 to 9 off some clutch three pointers by Blake Young and Cartier Martin. With The Cats up the Lobos started rolling again as they went on 21 to 1 run. During that time freshmen phenom Roman Martinez (who later left the game with an ankle injury. He is expected to be okay for next Tuesday's game.) and Aaron Johnson with shifty moves led the charge. K-State once again mounted a comeback, but with the 1st half coming to a end the Lobos 6'10 three point specialist, Kellen Walter hit a trey with time winding down to give the Lobos a 42-29 halftime lead.
With the 1st half over I thought the Lobos were playing well except for struggling from behind the arc as they went 2 for 8 from three point range. UNM also ended the half with 7 turnovers, something that needs to be cleaned up for sure. Still, with a 13 point lead Lobo fans had to feel good about the game thus far.
The Lobos started the 2nd half with a15 to 4 run and really put the game away at that point. Unlike many Lobo teams the past few years, this years Lobo team has a killer instinct, they don't let a team get back in the game, once they get the lead and have them on the edge, they go right for the jugular and go for the kill.
#21 Ryan Kersten
Once again the bench played a great game. Including Chad "Shooter" Toppert with 9 points, Ryan Kersten with 7, and Jeffery Henfield with 4. The two Lobo transfers finished with a double double apiece as Aaron Johnson ended the night with 10 points and 14 rebounds and JR Giddens led all scorers with 21 points and a career high 12 rebounds. The depth, The Pit, and the overall team effort helped out in yet another blow out win for UNM. Final Score 78 to 54 Lobos.
JR Giddens had some thoughts about tonight's crowd of 14,320 "There is a great home court advantage here. They (the fans) are great but I wish we could get a few more people out to see that we can play a little bit," Giddens said. "We need more students out there that are just home doing homework to come out and enjoy yourselves. Then get back to your home work like Aaron and myself will be doing tonight!"
I thought the unselfish play lead to an all-around team win. The bench play played a huge part in tonight's win scoring 29 points and the Lobos played some really nice pressure defense, While I don't want to get to overconfident, I'm sure like myself most Lobo fans are asking themselves, will NMSU provide a test for this Lobo basketball team or will they just become another victim! Overall Grade A+!
Red Menace Player of The Game!
#0 Aaron Johnson aka Big Sexy!
Aaron finished tonight's game with 10 pts. 14 boards, a block and an assist in his 27 minutes of play, but it was his defense that was the difference as Big Sexy's defense was a big key to tonight's victory
After tonight's game I had a few minutes and talked to him about being a Lobo
Can you tell us your feelings about the Pit and the Fans?
The other team has 5 people and we have a million. It feels like you can't lose because you have the support of the fans and they are on your backs. I had great fans at Penn. St but it is not any think like this.
Kansas St. has some big guys, and they ran them all at you, but you seemed to handle it well.
It does not matter about height; it is about your heart, the height the weight is all put to the side when you get on the court. I settle matters on the court and that is what I'm going to do.
What drives you to be a great rebounder?
I want them I hate when other people get the rebounds. I want to have a 30 rebound game that is my goal, I already have the 20 rebounds ones 3 or 4 times I want 30 which is a goal.
What can this season be?
The Sky is the limit the limit is not the sky.
What is the relationship between your self and Daniel Faris like?
Daniel is a tremendous kid, when you play the same position as someone you try to kill them, but him and I have a bother hood, The last game (Colorado) I was so proud of him most people think I would be upset, that I did not get the minutes like I usually do, some times a person gets hot and you got to ride them. Faris has got tremendous potential, seeing the game verses Colorado the way he rebounded, block shoots and scored and I am rooting for the kid he works so hard, it shows on the court in practice and games everyday.
Thanks Aaron "Big Sexy" Johnson
All pictures courtesy of NewMexicosportsnews.com