Lobos look to move on from SDSU loss
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — With six seconds left on the clock, and New Mexico up by one point, San Diego State guard Lamont Butler silenced The Pit with a game-winning three-point shot at the buzzer defeating the Lobos 73-71.
“Unfortunately, when you coach and play, there has to be a loser and unfortunately, they made one more play than we did,” Coach Richard Pitino said.
The Lobos (20-9, 7-9) found their groove in many different parts of their game Saturday night which allowed them to have a strong lead into the half, 37-27. But the No. 22 ranked Aztecs (23-5,14-2) took the lead back for the first time in the second half with just 5:45 minutes remaining in the second half.
The final minutes of the game mimicked other close battles the Lobos faced against teams like Nevada and Boise State — multiple lead changes and one possession determining the outcome.
“I mean, we put ourselves in a position to win the game,so no complaints there,” Pitino said.
Jaelen House made what seemed like the game winning play at the time. The Lobos put on full court pressure for the Aztecs which caused a steal, and House went back to the hoop for a layup that put the Lobos up 71-70 with a raging Pit crowd backing them up. After this, San Diego State made the game-winning basket.
Jamal Mashburn Jr. led the Lobos with 20 points. House added 15 points with five assists, and two steals.
KJ Jenkins played a huge role for the Lobos offensive contributions off the bench. Jenkins finished the game with 11 points shooting 3-of-4 from beyond-the-arc. While he didn’t score in the second half, his defensive prowess was a huge addition off the stat sheet for the Lobos.
This was another game of lead changes for the Lobos in the first half — nine to be exact. But New Mexico came out in the second half with a 9-0 run to extend their lead before the Aztecs caught fire. A trend seen a few times this season during the second half of the game.
“I think it’s just about the first four minutes coming out, I think that sets the tone for the rest of the half,” Jenkins said.
San Diego State shot 1-of-7 from the three in the first half, but in the second half, it was a different game — they knocked down 8-of-15 from deep putting them in position to execute on their game-winner.
The Lobos (20-9, 7-9) host their last home game of the season and senior night on Tuesday against Fresno State (10-18, 6-11) 8:30 p.m tip-off at The Pit