New Mexico vs. San Jose State: How Lobos Can Win

New Mexico vs. San Jose State: How Lobos Can Win

Lobos looking to keep tourney hopes going.

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Can New Mexico win on the road?

Game: New Mexico Lobos vs San Jose State

Date: Wednesday, January, 24, 2024 

Location: Provident Credit Union Event Center in San Jose, CA

Time: 11:00 pm ET

TV: CBS Sports Network

Stream: FuboTV – Get a free trial

Radio:  KOB Albuquerque  96.3 FM Robert Portnoy/Hunter Greene

Overall Series: New Mexico leads 20-5

Nationally-Ranked Lobos Conclude Road Trip at San Jose State

Head Coach Richard Pitinos  No. 25 New Mexico Lobos (16-3, 4-2 MWC) are set to face off against the San Jose State Spartans (8-10, 1-4 MWC) 

San Jose State is 8-10 overall, 1-4 in the Mountain West, and hasn’t played since a buzzer-beating 85-82 loss at Fresno State on January 16. 

The Spartans are led by MJ Amey, who scored a team-high 15.2 points per game and hit the game-winning shot on January 13 in their win at Air Force.

The Lobos swept both meetings last season, winning 77-57 at The Pit and 96-68 in San Jose.

Meanwhile, New Mexico has demonstrated a strong performance, going 7-3 against the spread and achieving an 8-2 overall record in its recent ten games.

The No. 25 New Mexico men’s basketball team aims to secure its fourth consecutive victory as it wraps up a two-game road trip against San Jose State on Wednesday night. 

Coach Richard Pitino and his coaching staff continue to elevate the team’s performance with each passing game, demonstrating consistent improvement.

 They remain focused on the upcoming Mountain West game on the road against the Spartans, avoiding any complacency and taking each opponent seriously.

The game, scheduled at Provident Credit Union Events Center, kicks off at 9:00 pm MT (8:00 pm PT) and will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network and the Lobo Radio Network.

Boasting a 16-3 record this season, with a 4-2 standing in the Mountain West, the Lobos recently earned a spot in the national rankings, securing the No. 25 position in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls.

 The team is riding a wave of success after clinching three consecutive wins, including triumphs over nationally ranked San Diego State and Utah State at The Pit and a road victory against Air Force.

In their recent matchup against Air Force, the New Mexico Lobos secured a convincing victory with a final score of 85-66. 

Defensively, New Mexico allowed the opposing team to shoot 47.2% from the field on 25 of 53 shootings. 

They contributed 11 assists, forced 16 turnovers, and secured 11 steals. The Lobos collected 36 rebounds on the boards, including 13 offensive rebounds. 

From the free-throw line, they achieved an impressive 78.6% success rate by making 11 of 14 attempts.

 New Mexico concluded the game with a 54.7% field goal percentage (35 of 64) and connected on 4 of 19 three-point shots.

JT Toppin played a significant role in the game, shooting 80.0% from the field and contributing 25 points on 12 of 15 shots. 

Despite playing for 31 minutes, Toppin recorded no assists but collected 13 boards.

With a record of 16-3 for the season, New Mexico boasts an average of 83.6 points per game (22nd in the country) with a shooting percentage of 47.6%. 

The Lobos have a 32.8% success rate on three-pointers and shoot 68.4% from the free-throw line. 

Regarding team statistics, they average 39.5 rebounds per game and have 299 assists on the season, ranking 46th in the nation. 

Defensively, the Lobos force an average of 16.1 turnovers and draw 19.0 personal fouls per game. 

They rank 235th in conceding assists to the opposition, with 251 given up this season. New Mexico’s defense allows a field goal percentage of 41.6% and surrenders 35.1 rebounds per game.

 They give up 30.6% from beyond the arc and are ranked 117th in points allowed per game (69.2).

 JT Toppin’s outstanding performance with 25 points and 13 rebounds against the Falcons earned him his sixth Mountain West Freshman of the Week accolade for the season.

Donovan Dent takes charge as the playmaker for the Lobos, averaging an impressive 6.2 assists per game. In addition, he contributes 14.8 points and 2.8 rebounds to the team’s offensive efforts. Dent is also a defensive asset, averaging 1.6 steals and 0.7 blocked shots.

Nelly Junior Joseph is averaging 9.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game while maintaining an impressive 54.4% shooting accuracy from the field.

Jaelen House is averaging 1.9 made 3-pointers over the last ten games for New Mexico. Jamal Mashburn’s 15.7 ppg has looked locked in recently. 

New Mexico boasts one of the most formidable backcourts in the Western region, featuring the dynamic trio of Jaelen House, Donovan Dent, and Jamal Mashburn. 

Their synergy on the court is evident, showcasing moments of sheer dominance when pushing the action down the court in a high-tempo fashion.

Entering last Saturday’s game at the U.S. Air Force Academy, the UNM Lobos ranked eighth out of 362 Division I teams in tempo, per

They don’t just play fast; they want to play extremely fast compared to the rest of college basketball. (courtesy of Geoff Grammer, Albuquerque Journal) 

 Additionally, the Lobos’ bench has witnessed impressive performances from Mustapha Amzil, particularly with his sharp three-point shooting. 

At the same time, Tru Washington has emerged as a spark plug for the team, showing fans why he was highly recruited. 

Facing San Jose State, who holds an 8-10 overall record and a 1-4 standing in the Mountain West, the Lobos anticipate a competitive matchup.

 San Jose State, led by MJ Amey with a team-high 15.2 points per game, 3.1 assists per contest — both team highs. 

He also puts up 4.7 rebounds, shooting 43.4% from the field and 36.5% from downtown with 2.1 made 3-pointers per game. 

Alvaro Cardenas Torre leads his team with an average of 5.9 assists per game, complemented by contributions of 13.5 points and 3.7 rebounds. On the defensive end, he records 0.9 steals and 0.2 blocked shots.

Meanwhile, Tibet Gorener contributes 13.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 0.6 assists per game. Defensively, he maintains an average of 0.6 steals and 0.5 blocked shots.

The Spartans’ last victory came on January 13 when they secured a win at Air Force with a game-winning shot by Amey.

In their recent game, the San Jose State Spartans experienced a defeat at home with a final score of 85-82 against Fresno State.

Tibet Gorener played a crucial role for the Spartans in this matchup, shooting 70.6% by making 12 of 17 attempts. He contributed 5 rebounds, scored 32 points in 38 minutes on the court, and registered 1 assist.

With a season record of 8-10, the Spartans commit an average of 16.7 personal fouls per game and connect on 69.6% of their free throws. Their assist rate is 14.0 times per game (139th in D-1), and they turn the ball over 10.2 times per game.

 San Jose State has scored 1,356 points this season (75.3 per contest) and pulls down 32.9 rebounds per game. Offensively, they shoot at a 46.5% accuracy from the field, ranking 91st in the country.

Defensively, the Spartans allowed opponents to shoot 35.7% from a three-point range (125 of 350), and their opponents made 71.4% of their free throws. 

They concede an average of 12.2 assists and 35.0 rebounds per game, ranking 127th and 193rd in the country, respectively. 

The Spartans are placed 218th in points allowed per game with 72.8. They force an average of 11.1 turnovers per game and allow teams to shoot 45.2% from the field (293rd in D-1).

Reflecting on previous encounters, the Lobos dominated both meetings against San Jose State last season, securing a 77-57 victory at The Pit and a convincing 96-68 win in San Jose.

In the upcoming schedule, New Mexico is set to return home on Sunday, kicking off a two-game homestand against former Lobo coaches Steve Alford and Craig Neal Nevada at 8 pm.

 Anticipated as an exciting matchup for fans, the Lobos are keenly aware that, being ranked, they will face their opponents’ best efforts. 

They aim to avoid a lackluster performance, and the accompanying “Overrated” chants often accompany such games from teams they are expected to beat! 


Story originally appeared on Mountain West Wire