College Basketball Nation: Lobos-Rams 022310

Lobos hang on for 12th straight win

February, 24, 2010
FORT COLLINS, Colo. --- For the third time in the past four games, New Mexico narrowly escaped a debilitating loss. The Lobos trailed with six minutes remaining, but averted Colorado State's upset bid with a 72-66 win that set up a possible regular-season conference championship with BYU on Saturday. The Lobos (26-3, 12-2 MWC) will head to Provo on a 12-game winning streak.

More to come in a feature tomorrow, but here are some quick thoughts from the game:

  • New Mexico senior Roman Martinez had a spectacular game. He made a couple key shots down the stretch, hustled and grabbed a crucial rebound and hit a free throw at the end of the game to lock up the win.
  • Colorado State guard Adam Nigon had a career-high with 23 points. His previous best was 17 against Montana earlier this year. Nigon kept the Rams in the game by hitting a career-high six 3-pointers.
  • New Mexico turned it over 16 times and shot just 36.8 percent, which is one of its lowest shooting percentages during conference play. The Lobos made just 10-of-30 shots in the second half.
FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- No. 12 New Mexico plays No. 11 BYU on Saturday, but it appears the Lobos forgot they have to get through tonight’s game against Colorado State first.

The Rams have taken the fight to New Mexico and lead the Lobos 32-29 at halftime in front of about 4,000 fans at Moby Arena.

New Mexico hasn’t played anything like the team that earned the No. 12 ranking this week. It’s missing layups, has 12 turnovers and has struggled to get into any sort of offensive rhythm. None of the Lobos have scored in double figures.

Colorado State, on the other hand, is playing one of its best games of the season. It’s shooting 40 percent from 3-point range, led by guard Adam Nigon, whose game-high 14 points have come on four 3s and a pair of free throws.

If New Mexico loses this game, it will need BYU to lose to San Diego State tomorrow to get back even atop the conference standings heading into Saturday’s game.

Pregame: New Mexico-Colorado State

February, 23, 2010
FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- It’s about 30 minutes until tipoff between No. 12 New Mexico and Colorado State and Moby Arena isn’t exactly showing the type of energy you’d expect for hosting a Top 25 team.

There are less than 1,500 people in the building now and I was told by Colorado State media relations to expect less than 4,000. The arena holds 8,745. Press row is mostly deserted. The students showed up, though. Both end zones have a healthy dose of students, some with no shirts on. The general population and donor seats are mostly empty.

Colorado State is 15-11 and 6-6 in the Mountain West Conference. It’s lost its last two games by an average of 26.5 points. But come on, it’s free T-shirt night. Oh, and the No. 12 team in the country is here.

New Mexico should win this game handily similar to the way BYU (92-70) and UNLV (70-39), the other top teams in the Mountain West, did in the past two games. The only concern is that New Mexico could be looking ahead to Saturday’s game against No. 11 BYU. The Lobos and Cougars are tied atop the Mountain West and the winner of that game will clinch at least a share of the conference title.

A player to watch in this game is guard Darington Hobson, who leads the team in points, rebounds and assists. If he continues on his current pace, he’ll be the first player in New Mexico basketball history to lead the team in all three categories.