No. 19 New Mexico still unbeaten
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP)—New Mexico stayed perfect by going behind the 3-point line.
Roman Martinez and Phillip McDonald each had four of the 19th-ranked Lobos’ season-high 16 3-pointers and they remained unbeaten with a 96-57 victory over Northern Arizona on Wednesday night.
“We shoot the ball pretty well,” Lobos coach Steve Alford said. “I just thought our shot selection was really good. We didn’t have too many bad shots and that’s a key for us. The key is what we do defensively because it allows us to get in the open floor where I think we’re really good.”
New Mexico (11-0) opened the game with a 14-0 run, holding the Lumberjacks scoreless for more than 5 minutes. But it was in the second half that the Lobos took control, going 22 of 31 from the field and scoring a season-high 60 points.
“The second half, we got blitzed,” Northern Arizona coach Mike Adras said. “The start of the game really rocked us.”
Four players hit 3-pointers in the opening run for the Lobos, who led 19-2 before the Lumberjacks (3-6) scored 11 straight points.
Northern Arizona got within 31-26 before New Mexico scored the final five points of the first half.
New Mexico, the first Division I team to reach 11 wins this season, started the second half with a 10-2 run that was capped by Dairese Gary’s fast break layup that followed a block at the other end by A.J. Hardeman.
Martinez had 17 points and McDonald added 14 for the Lobos, who had six players score in double figures. Darington Hobson had nine assists for New Mexico.
Shane Johannsen had 14 points to lead the Lumberjacks.
New Mexico was 8 of 19 from 3-point range in the first half and only made 4 of its 11 other shots from the field.
The Lobos’ production was significantly more balanced in the second half, when they went 8 of 13 on 3-point attempts and 14 of 18 inside the arc.
Northern Arizona hit only 2 of 15 3-point tries and had 16 turnovers, 12 more than New Mexico.
“Finals week is difficult,” Alford said of playing during final exams. “Mentally, they are worn out and they’re up late. They are trying to finish what they need to do. I told them, `My class isn’t going to be the most important class this week. But you’ve still got to find a way to pass my class. And passing my class is winning.”’