New Mexico 78

(21-6, 8-4 MW)

San Diego State 61

(10-15, 4-8 MW)

    10:05 PM ET, February 26, 2005

    Viejas Arena, San Diego, California

    1 2 T
    UNM 27 5178
    SDSU 25 3661

    Top Performers

    New Mexico: M. Walters 20 Pts, 6 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Stl

    San Diego St: M. Slaughter 13 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Stl

    New Mexico 78, San Diego State 61

    SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Mark Walters scored 20 points and Danny Granger added 17 points to lead New Mexico to its fourth straight victory, a 78-61 win over San Diego State on Saturday night.

    New Mexico (21-6, 8-4 Mountain West), which led 27-25 at halftime, took control of the game in the first five minutes of the second half with a 17-4 run to increase its lead to 44-29.

    The Lobos were hot in the second half, hitting 60.7 percent (17 of 28) of their field goal attempts. They have now won seven of their last eight games.

    "I like the way we're playing," New Mexico coach Ritchie McKay said.

    New Mexico ended No. 13 Utah's 18-game winning streak on Monday by beating the Utes 65-54 in The Pit. That win in Albuquerque, said New Mexico coach Ritchie McKay, boosted the Lobos' confidence on the road, where they've had trouble winning in recent years.

    "The confidence of playing in that place (The Pit) has jumped out into the road," McKay said.

    David Chiotti scored two inside baskets to start the decisive run and New Mexico made three 3-pointers, including one by Troy DeVries to cap the run at the 15:19 mark.

    San Diego State (10-15, 4-8) cut the lead to 63-55 with 4:45 remaining on Brandon Heath's steal and layup. But Alfred Neale and Granger hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to put New Mexico ahead 69-55.

    Walters made 8 of 12 shots to lead a balanced attack. With 24 points in the win over Utah, Walters had his first back-to-back 20-point games in his career.

    "He's tough, big and strong at the point. He's a tough matchup," McKay said of Walters, who ran the Lobos' offense from the point guard spot much of the night.

    Chiotti scored 14 points and DeVries added 13.

    Brandon Heath and Marcus Slaughter each scored 13 points to lead the Aztecs, who lost their fourth straight game.

    Slaughter, who only played five minutes in the second half due to a sprained left big toe, dominated the opening minutes of the game, going 5-for-6 from the field and scoring all of San Diego State's points as it opened an 11-4 lead in the first five minutes of the game.

    But the Aztecs then went more than 14 minutes with just one field goal before scoring two baskets in the final minute, including Chris Manker's jumper at the halftime buzzer.

    "That was a detriment to their cause," McKay said of Slaughter's injury. "Offensively, he was really effective for them. His going out of the game had an impact certainly."

    New Mexico changed defenses and San Diego State struggled to score consistently, especially in the first half, when the Aztecs hit just 8 of 24 shots.

    "We wanted to keep them from getting into a rhythm," McKay said. "I didn't think we played with a great sense of urgency in the zone. But it was a good win for our guys. You don't see too many teams win on the road in conference games at this time of the year."

    New Mexico plays UNLV in Las Vegas on Monday night.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 78 61
    FG Made-Attempted 27-48 (.563) 21-52 (.404)
    3P Made-Attempted 7-21 (.333) 4-15 (.267)
    FT Made-Attempted 17-24 (.708) 15-21 (.714)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 17 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 17 7

    2004-05 Season

    Jan 31, 2005 @UNM 88, SDSU 71Recap
    » Feb 26, 2005 UNM 78, @SDSU 61Recap
    Mar 12, 2005 @UNM 77, SDSU 67Recap