Lobos Still In The Hunt For A Mountain West Title

J.P. Murrieta
February 15, 2017 10:42 PM

The University of New Mexico men's basketball team trails first place Colorado State by a game and sits a half-game behind Nevada and Boise State for second place. The Lobos can thank Elijah Brown for that.


Tuesday night, UNM held on to beat Boise State 78-73. Brown missed nine of his first 11 shots but started to warm up in the second half. He finished with a team-high 27 points.

Brown was 13 of 14 from the free-throw line and added six rebounds and four assists. He scored 17 of UNM's final 19 points, including a stretch of 15 straight.

"You've got to give Elijah credit because he really struggled early, then he made big shots," said UNM head coach Craig Neal, whose team improved to 9-5 in Mountain West play. "I thought he came in and made some big plays at the end when we needed it. We were stuck on 53 for a while.  He came in and made some big plays and made some crucial free throws."

Neal was very pleased with the performance of point guard Jordan Hunter. He led the Lobos off the bench with nine points and a team-leading five assists.

Neal describes Hunter as shifty. He's an excellent passer and in the past two weeks has played with a pace he's never played with before.

"I think he's played with a higher motor," Neal said. "He's played with a different energy level. He's played with a different confidence level.  He does so many things for you because he can make shots."

Colorado State is currently the league leader with a 10-4 conference record. Nevada is tied with Boise State for second place at 9-4.

In the postgame handshake line, Neal and Boise State assistant Phil Beckner exchanged heated words. The shouting match continued up the ramp as both teams headed to the locker room with some four-letter words being dropped.

When asked about what happened, Neal said: "I don't know what you're talking about … I just think it's in the heat of the moment."


J.P. Murrieta

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